The further adventures of Donnie and Joe Emerson
A couple of years ago I wrote about Donnie and Joe Emerson and their "lost" album, Dreamin' Wild. It's a good story, the Donnie and Joe Emerson one. Two kids growing up in the 70s in America, their dad builds them a home studio and concert venue. Seriously. Just figures that's what you do - wants to engage with his children, promote their interest in music. They record an album. It doesn't do much. The family farm is sold off in parts to pay the debts and the record all but disappears.
And then the album is rediscovered - a junk-shop find turned into a LightInTheAttic reissue (this label almost always gets it right). And then you have Donnie and Joe Emerson's great song Baby being covered by Aerial Pink. So now they've got new hipster-cred.
But as fun - as interesting - as the back-story is it wouldn't work for me if I didn't like the music. And I heard Dreamin' Wild without knowing the full story. It arrived as a curio - I listened and liked it. Then there was that wonderful story to fill in the where and why, to explain how this reissue had come to be.
Over the last couple of years I've carried on a bit of a love affair with the Dreamin' Wild album. So it was a nice surprise to find out that Still Dreamin' Wild: The Lost Recordings 1979-81 was out and about, a second volume. The leftover efforts.
It was going to be the follow-up album. And of course the debut tanked and this second set of songs was largely the work of Donnie on his own. Playing all of the instruments - he was clearly tracing around some of the adult-oriented pop on the radio at the time but there's some real charm to these songs. Though there's nothing that quite reaches the exquisite I just found a long lost gem feel that tends to greet people's discovery of Baby or Good Time from the first album I actually find myself even more impressed by the music - overall - on this collection of leftovers.
Donnie & Joe Emerson's music is strangely moving. Still Dreamin' Wild, along with this fabulous compilation, Too Slow To Disco, has been my most played music lately. So I just wanted to mention the release of this second volume of Emerson magic for anyone out there turned on to Donnie and Joe via the reissue of Dreamin' Wild.
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