Acclaimed singer-songwriter Emily Scott Robinson has announced an ambitious new project that’s centered around a Shakespearian tragedy.
Set for release on Oct. 28 via Oh Boy Records, Robinson’s upcoming album Built on Bones acts as a modern musical adaptation of Macbeth. The play tells the story of a Scottish general whose life takes a dark turn after encountering three witches. The trio serve the general with a prophecy, stating that he’ll soon become King of Scotland.
Built on Bones came to life after Robinson became a part of Telluride Theatre’s adaptation of Macbeth, acting on stage in the role of Hecate — the leader of the three witches — and serving as musical director for the entire production.
“In the spring of 2021, I was asked by my friend and theatre director Colin Sullivan to compose music for Shakespeare’s Macbeth,” Robinson says. “The Witches of MacBeth are traditionally cast as scary, ugly and evil creatures to which we attribute the darker magic of the show and Macbeth’s descent into madness. Our theory was this: What if the Witches were instead beautiful, tempting, sexy, powerful and playful? What if the Witches held the capacity, just like Macbeth, for both light and dark magic? After all, in the time of King James I and the witch trials in England, the ‘witches’ targeted by the Crown were not supernatural beings — they were folk healers, spiritualists and teachers.”
The multi-talented singer-songwriter wanted to present the play, which dates back to the early 1600s, through a distinctly modern lens.
“We envisioned a version of the show where we gave the Witches a powerful voice, and in doing so, belied the history of violence against women and their magic. In making this record, Lizzy, Alisa, Brandy and I held in our hearts the intention to heal the lineage of women who came before us and declare that our power and magic cannot be controlled or snuffed out by a violent patriarchy of fearful men.”
Produced by the multi-talented Brandy Zdan, Built on Bones also features accompaniment from Ellen Angelico (electric guitar, baritone guitar), Josh Grange (pedal steel, piano, electric guitar), Aaron Haynes (drums), Vanessa McGowan (bass), Eamon McLoughlin (fiddle), Teddy Morgan (bass), Kaitlyn Raitz (cello) and Kristin Weber (violin, string arrangements).
Built on Bones marks Robinson’s fourth album and second full-length release on Oh Boy Records, following her celebrated 2021 LP American Siren.
Later this week, Robinson will perform in Nashville as an official showcasing artist at AmericanaFest 2022. Additional tour dates in support of Built on Bones are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. You can find more information on upcoming performances and ticketing information at Emily Scott Robinson‘s official website.
Emily Scott Robinson, Built on Bones Track List:
1. “Built on Bones”
2. “Old Gods (Theatrical Version)”
3. “Double Double”
4. “Sleep No More”
5. “Old Gods (Minor Response)”
6. “Men and Moons”
13 John Prine Lyrics That Prove He Wrote Like No One Else
Prine’s lyrical stories were both fantastical and simple; he wrote with a Midwest-bred honesty and humor that kept listeners on their toes. His catalog, spread over 18 albums, contains vivid stories (“Lake Marie”), insightful looks at the human condition (“Hello in There”) and sweet love songs (“Aimless Love”).
These 13 Prine lyrics — largely pulled from his songs’ choruses — are some of his very best: