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Freeman Dre

Singer-songwriter, bandleader of The Kitchen Party

Song – "Oak Tree" - Now playing...

The richly textured atmosphere may remind you of Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits. You'll hear echoes of Lou Reed's sketchy, fizzed-out urban tableaux and the visceral honesty of alt-country greats like Johnny Cash and Townes Van Zandt. Layered into the mix are lyrical fearlessness and an experimental ear for beats, like those of blues/hip-hop fusion pioneers such as Everlast and Buck 65. That's Freeman Dre, and his Kitchen Party is a cult following in the making.

Dre's writing style is characterized by highly personal lyrics, and his signature raspy singing voice. His songs frequently portray dark and seedy situations and characters, although he has a penchant for more conventional ballads. Pete Meades, manager of the Black Dog Pub in Bayfield, Ontario, once said, "If Dre's tunes were movies, they'd be closer to Jim Jarmusch than James Cameron."

His band The Kitchen Party takes its name from the great and timeless East Coast tradition of friends and neighbours gathering together in the kitchen for an evening of laughter, drinks and music. The soul of this music comes from Dre's apartment in one of Toronto's most colourful and creatively fertile neighbourhoods, Parkdale. It's a place full of characters, where friends hang out in the kitchen most every night; where a raccoon recently tried to give birth in Dre's vinyl collection; where Hank the cat comes to chill out from life in the mean streets and alleys; and where a lot of music gets made.

Now, after packing Toronto clubs like The Dakota and Bread & Circus for more than a year, Freeman Dre & The Kitchen Party are ready to take their show on the road with their new debut album, Red Door 2nd Floor. Produced by John Critchley (Dan Mangan, Elliott Brood) at his Green Door Studio, the 12-song album captures the life of the Party – with a free spirit, a kind heart, an open ear and a bright future.



Red Door 2nd Floor (2010)

SOCAN Connection
Member since 2003