Viv & Riley | Dori Freeman | Alexa Rose

Lime Kiln Theater

Viv & Riley | Dori Freeman | Alexa Rose

  • Doors: 6:00 pm
  • Start Time: 7:30 pm
  • Age Restriction:  All Ages

About the Event
Viv & Riley
Viv & Riley's sound is old-soul roots music to its core, elegantly combining a traditional
backbone with the fresh iconic melodies of future-leaning indie-folk, and the tightly wound
vocal harmonies of the old-time and classic country music they came from.

Dori Freeman
Dori Freeman has sharpened her vision of Appalachian Americana over five studio albums. From the country traditionalism of her self-titled debut to the amplified folk of
Ten Thousand Roses, it's a sound that nods to her mountain-town roots even as it reaches beyond them. Freeman continues creating her own musical geography with Do You Recall, the songwriter's most eclectic — and electric — record yet.
Like a counterpart to Ten Thousand Roses — the 2021 release that found Freeman trading the acoustic textures of her earlier work for a more expansive, electrified version of American roots music — Do You Recall nods to the full range of Freeman's influences and abilities. She still sings with the unforced vibrato of a classic folksinger, but she's more of a modern trailblazer than a throwback traditionalist, funneling her Blue Ridge roots into a contemporary sound that's both broad and bold.
"I grew up in a family that played a lot of traditional music, but my dad played a lot of other types of music for me, too," says Freeman, who grew up in rural Galax, Virginia. "I'd go fiddler's conventions, but I'd also watch my dad play jazz, swing, country, and rock & roll. He was a big fan of singer- songwriters. I think that variety has a lot to do with the way my own songwriting has developed."
After traveling to New York City to record her first three albums with producer Teddy Thompson (son of folk-rock icons Richard and Linda Thompson), Freeman chose to stay in Virginia for the Ten Thousand Roses sessions. She remained there for the creation of
Do You Recall, too, tapping drummer Nicholas Falk — her husband, as well as a touring member of Hiss Golden Messenger — to produce. The two musicians worked out of a small, timber-framed recording studio in the couple's own backyard, tracking songs during the daytime hours while their daughter attended school. Grounded in sharp songwriting and layered with electric guitar, organ, pedal steel, percussion, and vocal harmonies,
Do You Recall finds Freeman delivering tales about motherhood, marriage, and life in modern-day Appalachia.
The results are as stunning as they are diverse. On "Why Do I Do This To Myself," Freeman nods to the glory days of '90s country with a combination of pop hooks and amplified power chords. She gets psychedelic with "River Runs," lacing the folksong (which she wrote alongside Falk) with banjo, feedback, and hazy clouds of reverb. Her longtime champion Teddy Thompson sings harmony on "Good Enough," whose nostalgic keyboard textures evoke the garage-rock era, while her father contributes to "Laundromat" — in which Freeman nurses a broken heart by turning to the washing machine and running a load of colors, taking solace in life's more mundane tasks — as a co-writer. For Freeman, who penned every song on her previous albums without outside help, collaborating with other writers marks another milestone in her evolution as a singer, storyteller, and songwriter.
That evolution is highlighted by songs like "Soup Beans Milk and Bread" and "They Do It's True," two songs that ground themselves in Freeman's experience an an Appalachian native who's traveled the country for years, broadening her horizons far beyond the Blue Ridge. Both tunes explore the physical beauty, social challenges, and musical hallmarks of the area, and Freeman sings them with warmth and unflinching honesty. "I want people to associate different things with Appalachia than what's become the standard," she says. "You can't define this area as one thing. I know my perspective on it, and I love sharing that perspective and representing Appalachia in my own way." Do You Recall offers a closer look at Dori Freeman's brand of expansive Americana. It's an album that both reaffirms her roots and reaches past them, exploring the sounds and stories that lay between traditional formats. Freeman does her best work in those grey areas, bringing her own color to a sound that's varied, versatile, and unmistakably her own. She's still proud of her Appalachian heritage. With Do You Recall, though, she's making her own traditions.

Alexa Rose
On her new album ‘Headwaters’…
Headwaters are the source of a river. The furthest point from where water merges with
something else. They are not mighty. Just a network of small tributaries, like a creek, not
necessarily picturesque, but they’re the most important part of the river. Water is fluid and
inconsistent and sacred and indifferent. You can be miles down a river, but you’re still at the
origin. And in that way, water feels like it has transcended time. That’s how these songs found me—the way memories find you, in that slivering, elusive water. As quickly as you come across them, you bend in another direction.
Headwaters is the sophomore album from Virginian indie folk singer Alexa Rose. A series of
minutely-observed vignettes that feel intimate and expansive at the same time. It captures the sweetness of life without avoiding any of the pain, with songs about time and its constraints, peppered with precise details pulled from Rose’s own life that make universal themes seem personal, inviting the listener to make each song their own.
A series of rivers, Headwaters is centered on the fluidity of time. After a year where time has
seemed to ebb and flow inconsistently and all routine has been dismantled, I found myself
writing in the medium of water, says Rose. When I was sitting alone in my room in the southern summer heat, windows open, humidity fuming, a song called Human poured out of me. It was August, and all summer there had been such a tremendous sense of humanity, revolution, justice coming up against division, misinformation, fear. Like most regular, feeling people, I had such a strange mixture of emotions: grief, excitement; solidarity with the ways people across the world were showing up to love and support one another. I wanted so badly to run outside and be a part of it all, right then and there in that moment. But I was stuck at home. And in that strange swelling of simultaneous loss and the richness of witnessing so much kindness, I remember laying on the bed with the guitar, staring at the ceiling, and just singing “I wanna go downtown and look some stranger in the face.” I would be happy to see anyone. I just really want to hug someone. To jump into some icy swimming hole. To feel the surge of aliveness. And I felt so imperfect and raw, but I knew so did everyone else.
Recorded over five sessions in Memphis, Tennessee at Delta Sonic Studios, with Bruce Watson producing, with mixing by Matt Ross-Spang and Clay Jones. Rose would sometimes bring songs written the night before and record them the next day with an all-star band, including guitarist Will Sexton, bassist Mark Stuart, drummer George Sluppick, and Al Gamble on organ and piano.The immediacy of being in the studio with freshly-written songs and an excellent band allowed. Rose to expand her music in new ways.
I feel like this record is the first time I’ve ever let my whole self into the room, says Rose. The parts of me that are angry and wanting to stand up and the parts that want to be quiet. The parts that remember being a kid. Letting myself release all of that in the studio and having all these people back me up and make it work was a tremendous gift.
When I turned 27 and felt the weight of a decade in a conversation, I envisioned my present and past self in the form of a frenetic, uneasy current slapping up against a steady boat. I imagined my great grandparents in their garden in the golden embers of some evening and the timeless sensation of change, the colorful sunsets I’ve seen through their own eyes, decades later.
And in the same way I found the songs, waves breaking against my own roughness, only visitors, I’m passing them on to you now. May all of your rivers come back headwaters
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