Label: Oh Boy
Colorado songwriter Emily Scott Robinson beckons to those who are lost, lonely, or learning the hard way with American Siren, her first album for John Prine's 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. Though not fully autobiographical, American Siren gracefully blends imagined characters with meaningful people she’s encountered on her journey. 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. 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. For her fans and for herself, this revealing collection proves that heeding the call to make music was the right decision.