Built on Bones Emily Scott Robinson
Label: Oh Boy Records
Interpret: Emily Scott Robinson
Das Album enthält Albumcover
- 1Built on Bones04:29
- 2Old Gods (Theatrical Version)03:34
- 3Double Double03:48
- 4Sleep No More02:17
- 5Old Gods (Minor Reprise)03:31
- 6Men and Moons03:33
Info zu Built on Bones
“Built on Bones” is a collection of six original songs for the Witches of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Originally commissioned as a live piece for theater by director Colin Sullivan, the song cycle was recorded in May 2022 in Nashville with producer Brandy Zdan and is set to release fall of 2022 on Oh Boy Records. It features Emily Scott Robinson (writer/composer), Alisa Amador (NPR Tiny Desk Contest Winner 2022) and Lizzy Ross (of duo Violet Bell) as the three witches singing through the tragedy of Macbeth in three-part harmony.
The record begins with “Built on Bones,” the prophesy delivered by the Witches foretelling Macbeth’s rise to power and subsequent death. Next is “Old Gods,” the love song and theme for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, sung by the Witches as the two lovers reunite after battle. The third track is “Double Double,” a fresh, sexy and celebratory version of the infamous spell cast by the Witches.
The B side of the record is darker as the machinations of the Macbeths unravel in the final acts of the play. “Sleep No More,” is sung in a circle around Lady Macbeth as she exists in a waking nightmare of her own hallucinations and the Witches prepare her for the afterlife. “Old Gods” is then reprised in the minor key as Macbeth grieves his wife’s untimely death in the famous “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” soliloquy. “Men and Moons” serves as the epilogue to the play. The Witches are joined on stage by other women characters— Lady Macbeth, Lady Macduff, and the Crone— to sing a Celtic prayer and blessing song about the cycles of life, death and rebirth.
Artist’s Note: It is important to know that Shakespeare wrote Macbeth under the reign of King James I of England, a ruler who sanctioned brutal and violent witch hunts and trials across his kingdom, imprisoning and murdering countless women. In line with the fears and stereotypes of that time, the Witches of Macbeth are written as ugly, hag-like, and scary creatures— a portrayal that has persisted in popular culture for hundreds of years. We thought it was time for a powerful rewrite of these Witches as the healers, seers, and creators that they are. Today we are still in a battle for the sovereignty and safety of the bodies of women, non-binary, and trans people. Through these songs we declare that our power and magic cannot be controlled or snuffed out by a violent patriarchy of fearful men.
Emily Scott Robinson, guitar, vocals
Alisa Amador, vocals
Lizzy Ross (Violet Bell), vocals
Ellen Angelico, electric guitar, baritone guitar
Vanessa McGowan, bass
Teddy Morgan, bass
Josh Grange, pedal steel, piano, electric guitar
Aaron Haynes, drums
Kaitlyn Raitz, cello
Kristin Weber, violin
Eamon McLoughlin, fiddle
Emily Scott Robinson
Colorado songwriter Emily Scott Robinson beckons to those who are lost, lonely, or learning the hard way with American Siren, her first album for Oh Boy Records. With hints of bluegrass, country, and folk, the eloquent collection shares her gift for storytelling through her pristine soprano and the perspective of her unconventional path into music.
“I think that the thread running through the album is those things that call to us, and how we can't resist that call,” she says. “It’s about the siren songs that come up through our lives.”
Though not fully autobiographical, American Siren gracefully blends imagined characters with meaningful people she’s encountered on her journey. Showcasing her ability as a storyteller, “If Trouble Comes a Lookin’” invents a scene where a vulnerable priest and an unhappy wife meet in an Arkansas hotel bar. “Hometown Hero” is an emotional tribute to her cousin, a veteran lost to suicide. “Lost Woman’s Prayer” stems from the words of a sage friend she met while traveling abroad, while “Every Day in Faith” is a personal testament to seeing things through.
As the album’s lead track, “Old Gods” carries the siren concept to its fullest potential with beautiful three-part female harmony; she originally wrote it for a theater production of Macbeth. Meanwhile, “Things You Learn the Hard Way” was completed after asking for relevant scenarios from her social media followers. Yet there’s a part of her own life in every song, too. That’s especially true in “Cheap Seats,” about a distracted waitress who’s bound (someday) to realize her dreams. Robinson wrote it after seeing John Prine and Bonnie Raitt sing together at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville in 2019.
“If you make music that you love that tells the truth, or that tells a story, everything emanates from what you have inside,” she says. “I knew at the core that I love writing, I love telling stories and I love performing. I knew if I just kept doing that, even when I didn't always know what the next step was, that it would continue to grow and that the people who were meant to be a part of that would find me.”
Robinson grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina, and turned toward guitar at age 13, after a summer camp counselor closed out the nights by playing songs by Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, and Dar Williams every night. She taught herself to play in the early 2000s by printing guitar tabs from the internet and singing to CDs by Indigo Girls and James Taylor. But she didn’t pursue songwriting until after seeing Nanci Griffith perform in Greensboro in 2007.
“I went home and I wrote a really sad, beautiful country song,” Robinson remembers. “I was like, ‘Wow, that was easy.’ And then I kept trying to write through college and I realized, ‘This is not actually that easy.’”
Graduating from Furman University with degrees in history and Spanish, Robinson took a job as a social worker and translator in 2011. “I moved to Telluride when I was 24 to work as a victim's advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault,” she says. “I fell in love with Telluride. That's really where my dream started to be born of doing music.”
In 2013, she found kindred spirits at Planet Bluegrass’ The Song School, a songwriting retreat in Lyons, Colorado, where other participants encouraged her talent, and just as importantly, showed her that being a touring musician could be a viable financial option. Before temporarily moving away from Telluride, Robinson went into town and sat on the empty stage where the city’s annual bluegrass festival is staged, promising herself that she’d be singing on it someday.
Bolstered by the positive response of her 2016 debut album, Magnolia Queen, Robinson and her husband packed everything into an RV and hit the road, with Robinson booking her own shows along the way. That same year, her songwriting landed her among the Kerrville New Folk Winners at the esteemed Texas festival. The winners embarked on an eight-city tour of Texas that fall, introducing Robinson to an audience that remains invested in her career.
“That was my first time touring,” she says. “It was so much more fun than I thought it would be. I'm a homebody and I was anxious about it because I hadn't done it. I thought it would run me ragged. What I didn't account for was how much energy I would get from it and how great it would feel to get in touring shape and be singing every night and have my stories be super on-point and loving the experience of finding an audience.”
Robinson received significant acclaim for her 2019 album, Traveling Mercies. And her long-held dream came true later that year when she sang on the Telluride Bluegrass Festival stage as the winner of the Telluride Troubadour Contest. A poignant standalone single in 2020, titled “The Time for Flowers,” prompted a private Instagram message from Oh Boy Records’ Jody Whelan, letting her know how meaningful the song was to his family. They struck up a fast friendship, then decided to partner for a release of American Siren.
“It is bigger and riskier and more expansive than my last collection,” Robinson says. “It feels like I wrote some songs that I'm going to grow into as I continue to perform them. I actually cried after I finished every one of them. I was so relieved that I was able to write them. I carved out a little more of my own experiences into these songs. They're excavating some deeper stuff than I've touched on before. I think they will have a healing quality for people who listen.”
For her fans and for herself, this revealing collection proves that heeding the call to make music was the right decision. "Ever since this dream was born, I don't think it's ever left my mind," Robinson says. "I've worked toward it every day, even when I felt like I was stumbling in the dark. Now I can look back and see how beautifully it all knits together."
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