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“Dreamin’ Wild” Story Hits the Big Screen

Roadside Attractions will release DREAMIN' WILD exclusively in theaters on

August 4th, 2023

Dreamin’ Wild, the true story of love and redemption, is about what happened to singer/songwriter Donnie Emerson (Donnie and Joe Emerson) and his family when the album he and his brother recorded as teens was rediscovered after thirty years of obscurity and was suddenly hailed by music critics as a lost masterpiece. While the album’s rediscovery brings hopes of second chances, it also brings long-buried emotions as Donnie, his wife Nancy, brother Joe, and father Don Sr. come to terms with the past and their newly found fame.

Donnie and Joy Emerson Dreaming' Wild Album Cover

The Donnie and Joe Emerson story revolves around two brothers from a small town in Washington state who, in the late 1970s, created an album called Dreamin' Wild that would go on to become a cult classic. Donnie, the older brother, wrote the songs and played guitar, while Joe, the younger brother, provided the soulful vocals.

Dreamin' Wild was a homemade recording that the brothers produced in their family's basement studio, showcasing their raw talent and a unique blend of folk, rock, and soul influences. Despite their isolation from the music industry, the album was charmingly authentic.

Initially, Dreamin' Wild received little attention upon its release in 1979, and the Emerson brothers returned to their normal lives, working on their family farm. However, years later, the album found its way into the hands of collectors and music enthusiasts, who were captivated by its lo-fi beauty and heartfelt compositions.

As Dreamin' Wild gained a cult following, Donnie and Joe Emerson found themselves experiencing a resurgence of interest in their music. The album's reissue in 2012 brought their music to a wider audience, and the brothers were rediscovered as talented and overlooked musicians.

The story of Donnie and Joe Emerson is one of unexpected fame, capturing the essence of dreams, perseverance, and the enduring power of music. Their journey from obscurity to belated recognition serves as a reminder of the hidden gems that can emerge from the unlikeliest of places, resonating with listeners and inspiring new generations of artists.

The film is written and directed by Academy Award® and Emmy®-nominated Bill Pohlad and featuring original music by Donnie Emerson, the film stars Academy Award® Winner Casey Affleck, Emmy®-nominated Zooey Deschanel , Emmy®-nominated Walton Goggins, Chris Messina, Jack Dylan Grazer and Emmy® and Grammy Award®-winning Beau Bridges.

Dreamin’ Wild was produced by Academy Award®-winner Jim Burke, Pohlad, Kim Roth, Viviana Vezzani and Karl Spoerri. Affleck executive produced with Emmy®-nominated Christa Workman, Dan Clifton, Steven Snyder and Tobias Gutzwiller. A River Road Entertainment, Innisfree Pictures, Zurich Avenue production.

The soundtrack for Dreamin' Wild will be available via Light in the Attic on Digital (August 4th) and vinyl (late 2023), along with a re-release of the original 1979 Dreamin’ Wild album and the collection Still Dreamin’ Wild: The Lost Recordings 1979-81.


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