discovered the music of Emily Scott Robinson while listening to the "Vintage Vibes" playlist on Spotify. The tagline of the playlist, "Old makes New," doesn't necessarily tell you what to expect. Robinson and others on the playlist display a variety of styles, but lean toward folk and old-school country. Robinson brands her style of roots music as "Southern Gothic Folk."
"Nobody really know how the Spotify world works," Robinson says. "You can't submit a bid to be on a playlist. I had just gotten verified and the song that's on the playlist ("Marriage Ain't the End of Being Lonely") had through the roof numbers compared to my other songs. I figured it must have landed on a playlist somewhere.
"Sitting in circles with other songwriters, I learned to not be afraid to write a song that sucks. Write through it—it's valuable to move you along in your process."tweet this
"I try to look at the bright side of them (streaming services). I think that they really make it possible for me to get my music out in the world. Typically, in the old model, people who discover me because we promoted the show really well, they might hear me on the radio. Now, I can reach people via sharing through social media. People are more likely to recommend your music to friends."
On the flip side, instead of buying records and digital downloads, people are streaming their music, and with services such as Spotify and Apple Music, the payoffs are much lower.R
obinson performs in Bend as part of the Songwriter Series, a house concert experience that includes a "Meet and Greet" with the artist. According to the series' website, the concerts, which take place at a home in the Awbrey Butte area, are organized by John M. Cook and Jimmie Cook.
"I wrote my first song when I was 19 and it was a flash of inspiration that I got and it came out pretty fully formed," Robinson says. "Then, I didn't finish another until I was 26."
When her first song came easily and the others didn't, Robinson began to refine her craft. She went to a week-long songwriters' retreat. She sat in with people who love writing.
"Sitting in circles with other songwriters, I learned to not be afraid to write a song that sucks. Write through it—it's valuable to move you along in your process."
Things have since improved for Robinson. In 2015, she won first place and a Gibson guitar in the "American Songwriter" May/June Lyric Contest. In 2016, she won the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk competition. Robinson was also named a winner of the 2017 Wildflower Festival Performing Songwriter Contest.
Robinson currently lives with her husband, a rock climber, in a motorhome traveling the country, and is in the writing and pre-production phase for her next album. She plans to follow up her debut album, "Magnolia Queen," with "Traveling Mercies," to be recorded in Nashville in January. This will be her first fully-produced album and she can't wait to get in the studio.
Emily Scott Robinson
Sat., Nov. 4. 5-7pm
Songwriter Series House Concert
3536 NW Mesa Verde Court, Bend
$15-$20 suggested donation