First/Last – Dori Cameron

August 29, 2016

“Dori Cameron is a singer-songwriter who is native to Pittsburgh, PA and now lives in Boston, MA. For years, her instrument was a pen, but she has finally fused her love for writing and singing into songwriting. Her carefully-crafted lyrics and strong voice often capture difficult, yet universal themes that any audience can relate to. Her expression of emotions such as guilt, longing, and hope are not just accepted, but embraced. She uses vivid imagery to tell stories and ask questions that we’ve all asked ourselves. Her songs create a space for conversation to those who are willing to express themselves as well.”

Dori Cameron is an Pittsburgh based (via Boston) singer-songwriter who is an emerging force in the scene using her talents and enthusiasm to foster an already strong and growing musical community. You can frequently catch her play out all over town and there are two chances within the next couple weeks. First on Wednesday November 2, she joins the bill at The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls for a prerelease show from Apres Pompeii. Two days later on Friday, November 4, she will be part of the Songwriters Circle CD Release at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. I want to thank her for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • Probably Guns and Roses Appetite for Destruction. I has a serious crush on Axl Rose back when I was growing up… that voice! That hair!
  • Your last album bought?
  • Sleater Kinney’s The Woods on vinyl. I love singing along, such powerful vocals… I also have NOFX’s First Ditch Effort on preorder.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • This is a tough one, but if I could only pick one… it has to be Float by Flogging Molly. They are my all-time favorite band, and this album simply does it for me, musically and lyrically. Close runner up is The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me by Brand New.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • I’d have to say my Saves the Day Through Being Cool album… it was “digitally remastered” and the songs are a few seconds too fast on the vinyl, and it drives me crazy. Otherwise, it would be one of my favorites.
  • First concert attended?
  • Boyz II Men at the Star Lake Amphitheater, back in the day (to say the least)!
  • Last concert?
  • Last concert was The Lopez! They really went all out in their performance too…rocked it out!
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • Hands-down, without a doubt, FLOGGING MOLLY! I’ve seen them over 60 times since 2000. They transport me into another world when they play. So much energy and spirit – their signatures are the ones on my guitar! They have their own Salty Dog Cruise every year, and I’ve met dozens of new friends from it. An authentic band who brings some of the best people I’ve ever met together at their shows.
  • Least favorite concert?
  • A few months back I went to see Chris Conley from Saves the Day perform an acoustic set. I was crushed that he dropped off the tour that night. Thankfully, Dan Andriano from Alkaline Trio performed an amazing set. I was super upset at first since Chris didn’t show, but Dan’s song “From This Oil Can” resonated with me so clearly… he saved the day for me (see what I did there?!) But I was still super bummed… I was planning on studying how Chris played his songs on the acoustic, and was totally let down.
  • Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh is everything to me, and my best memories involve music. Club Laga, seeing Lagwagon, Catch 22, Jonah Matranga, Boy Sets Fire… I even saw Flogging Molly play there before. Warped Tour when it was still at IC Light Amphitheater, then moved to Post-Gazette Pavilion… but more importantly, the independent music scene that has been such a remarkable haven for me. Here I am, a new singer-songwriter, and I have not had one bad encounter from anyone during an open mic or show in Pittsburgh in the past year I’ve been playing. Nothing but positive reinforcement from even the most experienced local musicians. The new Funhouse at Mr. Smalls hosts AcoustiCafe, which is my favorite place and time to play in the city. Tons of impromptu collaboration and memorable performances. I am super proud of the female talent too – this community of encouragement and strength in numbers was palpable when performing at Ladyfest Pittsburgh. If you couldn’t already tell, I’ll come out and say it – I am honored and humbled to share my music in the Steel City.

Thanks, Dori. I too am constantly amazed at the incredible kinship that musicians in this city have. It is such a special thing for me to be able to experience.