Robert Lester Folsom Music And Dreams on LP + Download
Rock and pop music are, by all accounts, as unfair as life itself. Imagine spending the prime years of one's life, slowly honing one's skills as a guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and fledgling producer/engineer, only to have the developed fruits of your labor passed over by industry, radio, even those who you may have connected with earlier. Such was the fate of Music And Dreams, a wonderful, privately-issued album released by Robert Lester Folsom in 1976 that's very special to those at Anthology Recordings.
Robert Lester Folsom's story isn't all that uncommon in the parlance of his era. Too young to be drafted, he spent the ‘60s growing up in Adel, GA, a small town nearer to Valdosta and Florida's northern border than anything resembling rock & roll, obsessing over his guitar as his craft and skills grew. Convincing a friend to go in on a Sears reel-to-reel tape recorder, which he'd eventually buy out, Folsom caught the recording bug, traveling all around the area with his mobile unit, capturing sound to tapes for hire, and mastering the art of multi-tracking, which would become essential to his own material.
Folsom had become a seasoned studio head and professional musician by the time that his solo debut Music And Dreams had materialized. Recording at the Lefevre studio in Atlanta, GA, it brings his earlier ideas into clear, polished relief, lushly appointed with synthesizers, clavinet, an army of percussion, and multiple tracks of orchestration and arrangements. Folsom provides a homespun challenge to then-established artists as farflung as Todd Rundgren, Neil Young, and KC & The Sunshine Band, albeit with touches of guitar fuzz ripping ("Jericho") that credit his upbringing from the decade prior.
Had the record any manner of major label backing, it could've been a hit; as it stands, Music And Dreams has quietly amassed a cult following, with original copies trading for handsome sums, as attested by its presence in both editions of The Acid Archives, and its thorough championing by an unlikely ally, Gumball/Velvet Monkeys guitarist and celebrated producer Don Fleming, who grew up next door to Folsom back in Adel, and whose first outfit, The Stroke Band, was produced by Folsom himself at Lefevre in 1978.