July 16, 2012

Donnie & Joe Emerson: Dreamin' Wild

There's a great charm to this 1979 album: the story of a farming family sacrificing a great deal to support their isolated teenage boys musical ambitions. Borrowing against their land, they sunk the money into instruments, recording equipment, and even built a recording studio AND a full-function concert hall on their property to indulge their sons fantasies of making it big.  The boys spent all their free time practicing, playing some small gigs around town, and came to self-produce and record their own album of all original material, playing all the instruments, and even put it out on their own label.

Unfortunately, they did all this while knowing nothing about the music business, nothing about promotion or distribution.  The record went nowhere, and the family lost most of its land. Some copies were sold to record sellers not more than a couple hours away, but most copies sat in the studio it was recorded in. It was DOA for almost 30 years, until 2008 when record collector Jack Fleischer happened across a still-sealed copy propped up at an antiques store- and we all know how such a curiosity can pay off with something great. Fleischer blogged about his find, other bloggers re-blogged and an underground interest grew, mostly for the wildly innocence heard in the track Baby. As blissful as Baby is, Dream Full of Dreams is my favorite here, with it's raw vulnerability.

33 years after making it, the Emerson brothers' album finally finds an audience with Light In The Attic's beautiful 2012 reissue in high-gloss tip-on gatefold with family photos and folded insert of extensive liner notes (download card included).

100 copies were pressed in baby blue vinyl and sold-out as pre-orders.  25 random copies contain an original debut 7" the boys cut in '77.
Dreamin' Wild on pitchfork.
Light In The Attic / Donnie & Joe Emerson.

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