Road tripping in an RV can be the most exhausting experience for most people. But with the soul of a natural wanderer, Emily Scott Robinson has lived her life as a daily adventure in one. The singer/songwriter from North Carolina spent life on the road for over four years with her husband. With her guitar, she’s corralled the stories of “America’s wild country” and composed them into some of the most transparent of songs. Since her official studio debut in 2019, Robinson has been hailed by numerous publications as one of the fastest rising voices in Americana. But her life story is one that can be too much to bear, yet it’s filled with so much hope that it shows the power of the human spirit.
Robinson’s hometown of Greensboro, North Carolina hosted many opportunities for the singer to perform in front of others. It wasn’t until she received encouragement from friends, family and other artists to pursue the chances to sing live. The euphoric feeling she received from it inspired her to dedicate more time developing this talent. But Robinson’s life and newfound passion came to an abrupt halt when she was assaulted at the age of 22. Depression and anxiety took over Robinson but with the healing touch of counsel and love from family she stood tall from it. After rediscovering her love of performing, Robinson began attending songwriter’s camps and decided to pursue music full-time. “This was my gift that I could give to the world,” she says, “that I could share with people.” Her early years of listening to artists such as: Nanci Griffith, Patty Griffin and Joni Mitchell forged the artistry she continues to emulate to this day.
After gaining the income to buy the best RV they could find, Robinson and her husband started a troubadour lifestyle. The American plains and valley’s became Robinson’s backyard as she performed at local festivals nationwide. Her first album, 2016’s Magnolia Queen, capsulate the life and stories of the people she’s come across during her travels. The folk vibes and vocal style are a stark comparison to an artist who pioneered the genre, Emmylou Harris. The album’s self-titled single and opener, “Slaughterhouse Road”, are both harrowing through their distinctive roots tone. While she incorporates some of her early life as a “lost” teenager, Robinson offers social criticism on the growing pains of life and the parody of adulthood.
Robinson followed-up her debut with the EP release Live in Birmingham in 2017. The live set contains renditions of Robinson’s previous singles with bonus tracks. Audiences became fanatical of Robinson’s music and stage presence as her reach expanded the entire south. This influence traveled to downtown Nashville where indie label, Brooklyn Basement Records, would sign her. The hype surrounding Robinson gained magnitude with her latest album Traveling Mercies. Its lead single, “Better With Time”, relays the challenges and fruition that a couple receives during their union in love. Robinson’s storytelling abilities shape the heartbreak and enduring companionship that make the track memorable. Even so, it’s the next single that has led to millions talking about her.
“The Dress” approaches a subject matter that shakes the soul as Robinson recounts the time of her assault. Its graceful ballad and hazy voice mask a dark moment in that ensued in the singer’s life. Her lyrics render circling thoughts of distress and agony felt in the moments after the event. But Robinson’s messages of hope and endearment outline why she makes it her purpose to share her story. In an interview with Billboard she’s stated, “My goal is turning them into something that can be of use to others. That’s central to what I do.” Together, Robinson’s singles’ have collected nearly 3 million streams while her other tracks have each garnered a half million listeners on Spotify. The album went to be listed at No. 21 in Rolling Stone’s Top 40 Country and Americana Albums for 2019. A list that featured other prevalent artists including: Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert and Maren Morris.
Robinson has promised the release of another album for 2021 as fans continue their support on her daily blog. Even though, she may longer be traveling around in an RV, she remains content in a home that’s grounded. As she states, “We ended our RV lifestyle in the year when many many many people are just beginning theirs because of Covid.” But after settling her roots in one location, Robinson feels confident and ready to create her next stunner for the world.
Written by Trenton Luber