Little Blackbird Records
Ragged Dreams is the fourth recording from this 13-year-old from East Tennessee. Born Emilie Sunshine Hamilton, her sound is less bluegrass and more country, folk, and Americana. Emi is backed on this project by her family band called Rain, consisting of her father Randall Hamilton (bass), brother Johnathon Hamilton (mandolin), and uncle Bobby Hill (drums, percussion). Guest appearances include Parker Carson (organ), Tim Crouch (mandolin, fiddle, guitar), Robbie Helton (guitar), Randy Kohrs (resonator guitar), Lewell Molen (guitar), Justin Moses (fiddle, guitar, banjo), Jeremy Pinell (guitar), Ben Probus (fiddle), and Hitoshi Yamaguchi (cello).
Her primary instrument is ukulele, and while she can play others, her strength is in her songwriting with themes that belie her young age. All of the songs here were written or co-written by Emi, who delivers each with her youthful Tennessee twang. Selections include the title-cut “Ragged Dreams,” “Strong Armed Robbery,” “Resting Place,” “Johnny, June, And Jesus,” “Tennessee Killin’ Song,” “As The Waters Rise,” “Shame, Shame, Shame,” and “Danny Ray.” While a couple of her tunes sound the same, the overall project is backed by a solid studio production with tasty arrangements and delivery. Time will see what the future holds for Emisunshine. (www.emisunshine.com)BF