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Contrary Content Panel at AmericanaFest 2022

Design, Photography, and Story for a Content Strategy that Stands Apart

Emily Scott Robinson, Bob Delevante, Jody Whelan, Clara Rose Keen, and Allison Mahal joined us at AmericanaFest for our panel, Contrary Content: Design, Photography, and Story for a Content Strategy that Stands Apart.

The content landscape can be difficult and tedious to navigate. Whether it’s a musician just starting out or a brand that’s developed over the years, this panel will explore how to create a complete approach for a record run or a brand campaign with content that maintains marketing best practices and connects to the overarching story. Artists, managers, publicists, and labels interface to craft a single, focused plan and voice for a record release, but how do they all come together to not only amplify but stay true to the artist’s vision? How does that extend to designers, photographers, and producers who engage with the work? This group will discuss how to share stories in a way that visually reflects the spirit and aesthetic inherent in the music, creating and keeping a consistent brand across platforms with story-oriented content that invites audiences to make a deeper connection.


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. 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.

Bob Delevante: designer, draftsman, illustrator, photographer, package designer, or songwriter; is a craftsman’s craftsman. As the Creative Director of Bob Delevante Studios—an award-winning full service creative house featuring photography, graphic design, illustration, and songwriting—he has worked with countless artists and brands with an emphasis on storytelling.

Jody Whelan is the managing partner at Oh Boy Records, the independent record label founded in 1981 by John Prine, Al Bunetta, and Dan Einstein. Since taking over operations of the label in 2015, Whelan has sought to expand the audience for Prine’s work by embracing new technologies, partnerships and platforms, while being laser-focused on respecting the integrity of the artwork. Under his leadership Oh Boy has significantly expanded its roster of artists and is dedicated to serving the next generation of singer-songwriters & Americana musicians. As well as being active within the Americana Music Association, Whelan is also a member of A2IM, the Recording Academy, the CMA, Folk Alliance International, and Leadership Music.

Clara Rose Keen is the representative and producer of Robert Earl Keen’s podcast aptly named Americana Podcast. Graduating from Texas Christian University with a degree in Art History, Clara originally intended on pursuing grad school. Thankfully, she put that off for a few years and taught herself audio production and familiarized herself with the music industry instead. These days, she enjoys working with bands and artists across the Americana genre to set up interviews on Americana Podcast. Residing in Nashville, Clara is in the process of getting her MBA in Entertainment Business from Belmont University.

Allison Mahal is a Senior Publicist at IVPR and has led national PR campaigns for a variety of music and music-adjacent clients including Chris Shiflett, Park City Song Summit, We Banjo 3, Wood & Wire, Esther Rose, Cristina Vane, Luke Laird, and more. Chicago raised and Nashville educated (Belmont University), she has a rich background in communication thanks in part to her time spent with her alma mater's Speech & Debate team, Mahal a National Champion in Persuasive Speaking for two years running. Her favorite part of PR is digging into her clients’ stories—finding out what fuels them as both an artist and human. She currently resides in Milwaukee, WI, and is on the hunt for the best cheese curds in town. Forbes: "Esther Rose Announces Album" Talkhouse: "Esther Rose Doesn't Live Here Anymore" by Esther Rose Esther Rose's Guide to the Best Thrift Shops Esther Rose - How Many Times Video


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