Diamond Ranch Vol. 1

by Jackson Emmer



Music-lovers have often celebrated the legendary recording studios of yesteryear; Abbey Road, Muscle Shoals, Motown, Sun, Sound City, etc. These places produced some of the most iconic recordings of the 20th century. Each one had a magic to them, a certain hybrid of top-level devotion to professionalism and craft, blended perfectly with wild curiosity, nuance, and the human spark. Each of these studios were located in relatively populous areas. They were easy to get to, and musicians came from around the world to work in their facilities. Diamond Ranch is no such place.

Let me tell you about Carbondale, Colorado. It’s a three hour drive from Denver- if there’s no snow, no traffic, and no boulders in Glenwood Canyon (sometimes rocks fall on the road and the DOT has to shut down I-70 to clean it up). The closest other cities are Santa Fe (7.5hr drive) and Salt Lake City (6hr drive). Once you’re in Carbondale, it’s easy to forget you’re in the middle of nowhere. But, forgetting doesn’t change facts.

We’re lucky to have a creative, artistically thriving community here in the lovable-middle-of-nowhere. There’s a surprisingly high concentration of artists, songwriters, bands, and players- considering the population is just north of 6,800 (and only 32,000 people live within an hour radius).

Diamond Ranch is our Abbey Road. Our Muscle Shoals. Our Sound City. It’s as much a state of mind, as it is a recording studio. The first thing you need to know about Diamond Ranch is this: nobody calls it Diamond Ranch. Normally, it goes by a string of less official names. Some call it Jeff’s House. Some call it Lester’s House. I suspect it’s actually Cynthia’s House, but it’s not for me to say.

We are lucky to have such a place in our remote town. They’re a quality-over-quantity kind of studio. There have not been a zillion records made at Diamond Ranch (not yet, anyway), but the music emanating from that studio has a vibrancy to it, and a spark, that you can’t get anywhere else.

Just listen to Alison May, Mornin’ Old Sport, and Let Them Roar. Each of these artists used the alchemy of Diamond Ranch to create something worthy of the studio’s name: a diamond in the rough. Deep in the wild west, at the confluence of two crystalline rivers, at the foot of Mount Sopris, Diamond Ranch lives up to it’s name. These two songs were tracked during my first recording session at Diamond Ranch, one I'd been looking forward to for a decade. I hope you enjoy listening to these, as much as we enjoyed playing them.

- JE -


released May 21, 2019

Jackson Emmer: vocals, guitars, bass, songwriting.
Lester Price: guitars
Chris Goplerud: drums
Mike Facey: bass
Jackson Dulaney: steel guitars
Letitia VanSant: harmony vocals
Sam Moss: fiddle
Jeff Price: recording engineer
Sean Price: recording engineer
Chris Latham: mixing and mastering

Album art photo by Olive & West Photography


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