This is a story about Donnie and Joe Emerson. - Oh My Rockness

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This is a story about Donnie and Joe Emerson.

May 13, 2013
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Donnie (singer/guitarist) & Joe Emerson (drums) are brothers with a crazy backstory. Back in 1979 when they were teenagers, they wanted to be rock stars. Of course they did. They were teenagers. So their super supportive dad, Don Sr., took out a massive bank loan and built them a recording studio (and also an outdoor venue called “Camp Jammin” - YES) on their farm in the middle of nowhere Washington. Of course he did.

As the studio was being built, the Emersons holed themselves up and practiced, practiced, practiced. And finally, when they both were ready, they went into that studio and made a super solid record that, mostly due to the brothers’ isolation, sounded like nothing else of its time. It was called “Dreamin Wild” and was full of soulful yacht-rock-funky-psych-pop jams. And then......nothing happened. They pressed records and they just sat there - in the studio. Nobody cared. The dad almost lost all of his money (and 1500 acres of his land). Donnie & Joe Emerson never became rock stars. And Camp Jammin never even opened its doors.

But we’re not even at the weird part yet. Well, now we are. In 2010, a record collector named Jack Fleischer spotted a still sealed copy of “Dreamin Wild” in an antique shop (of course he did!) in Spokane. He was initially attracted to the cover - because it’s awesome and ridiculous. But when he bought it and took it home and started listening to it - he realized the record was awesome because the songs were, you know, really good. So he talked about it on his blog. And then wheels were spun. Things moved. Things shook. Ariel Pink covered one of their songs etc. You know how these things go.

This renewed out-of-nowhere interest led the label, Light in the Attic, to reissue “Dreamin Wild” in 2012. And now, as of this writing - 34 years after they recorded it - Donnie & Joe Emerson are finally going on tour to support their record. Their show on June 9th at Mercury Lounge in NYC will be the very first time the brothers have played together outside the state of Washington. Now tell me that’s not a crazy story to love right there.

As Donnie recently said about this whole crazy experience, “It’s like the song never really ended.” Hell yeah, Donnie. Hell. Yeah.



Donnie & Joe Emerson play Mercury Lounge, on Saturday, June 29th.

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