Well, hi. This lil corner of the internet has been riding the struggle bus for far too long. My preferred method of communication about music has been twitter lately, and this year marked my ten thousandth tweet. Proud or ashamed? Not sure. It’s simpler than blogging and I also just think people are plain-ol lazy sometimes and not interested in reading more than 140 characters. Anyway, I did a twitter-feature this July and always meant to give it a more permanent home on a blog post, as it’s bound to be eaten by the twitter archive monster.
#WomenWhoRock explained | This idea stemmed from an upsetting interaction with a new female country artist looking for attention by plagiarizing tweets as a social media promotional tactic. Instead of naming her and delving into the depths of juvenile behavior, I decided to use my time to promote honest, talented, original female artists deserving of recognition. Redirecting evil, for good. 2013 has undeniably been a monumental year for country and roots music’s female artists. I couldn’t be prouder. Here are a few of the best, perhaps under-recognized, artists whom I really believe in. Enjoy!
- Courtney Patton @court_patton #WomenWhoRock — This songstress has a way with words that strike truth in your heart, and a voice that will stir your soul. Here she is with the beautiful waltz, “What I Didn’t Say” from her new, excellent record Triggering A Flood. Now on iTunes and live on tour in a Texas dancehall near you.
- Caitlyn Smith @caitlynsmith #WomenWhoRock — This hometown (Minnesota!) girl is as equally talented as a songwriter as she is a vocalist. Here she is with the lovely “Second Wind.” Ear candy!
- The Trishas @TheTrishasMusic #WomenWhoRock — An all-female super group of talent featuring Jamie Wilson, Savannah Welch, Kelley Mickwee and Liz Foster. Here they are with one of my favorite summer tales, “Little Sweet Cigars.” An essential to your music collection, High, Wide and Handsome, is available on iTunes.
- Elizabeth Cook @Elizabeth_Cook #WomenWhoRock — Queen Midas. She epitomizes cool. Music, humor; everything she touches turns to gold. Here she is performing “If I Had My Way” on The Late Show with David Letterman. NBD. Her latest release, a double-side of songs by the incomparable Townes Van Zandt is now on iTunes.
- Kylie Rae Harris @KylieRH #WomenWhoRock — Kylie Rae is an artist w/ a fiery spirit & soulful delivery of the stories she was sent to tell. Here she is performing her latest groovy single “Slide Over,” which is available on iTunes.
- Brandy Clark @TheBrandyClark #WomenWhoRock — One of Nashville’s best, Brandy is paving her own way. Sassy, real, relatable. Here’s her brand new video for “Stripes.” CAN I GET AN AMEN?! Her new record 12 Stories is now on iTunes! Better than therapy (and hella cheaper).
- Holly Williams @hollywilliams1 www.hollywilliams.com #WomenWhoRock — Where has she been all my life? I heard “Drinkin” earlier this year and haven’t looked back. Easily one of the best country songs of 2013. Timeless. More where that came from can be found on The Highway, one of my favorite new records of the year! iTunes
- Sunny Sweeney @GettinSweenered www.sunnysweeney.com #WomenWhoRock — She’s hilarious, talented, witty, and OH!!!.. doesn’t steal tweets. I’m always on Team Sunny. Heeeeree she is with “You Don’t Know Your Husband.” Cross your fangers this ditty will be on her new Thirty Tigers record. We’ve been waiting a long time on this one.
- Brandi Carlile @brandicarlile http://www.brandicarlile.com #WomenWhoRock — Brandi is a cult phenomenon (in Minneapolis, especially). Listen, and it’s easy to understand why. Here she sings “Hard Way Home” for you. Click play. Then repeat.
- Kacey Musgraves @KaceyMusgraves www.kaceymusgraves.com #WomenWhoRock — The most buzzed about female artist of the year, I’m proud to be a longtime supporter. Hear her bold message in #FollowYourArrow, an anthem for our generation.
- Gillian Welch @GillianWelch www.gillianwelch.com #WomenWhoRock — I would’ve sold my soul to the devil to be there for this. “Look At Miss Ohio” live at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.
- Bri Bagwell @BriBagwell http://www.coloredlion.com/BB/ #WomenWhoRock — As long as there are men that cheat, there’ll be women writing fiery rockers like this.
[CONTEST] Six Market Blvd. Giveaway
While people willingly fry in triple digit weather and prepare for football season back at home, the bands of the Texas music scene are hitting the road this month, and by God’s grace, Minneapolis will welcome Stephenville’s own Six Market Blvd. to town on August 29th!
Thursday, August 29th 2013
Lee’s Liquor Lounge
The band’s wicked kick-in-the-face new single “Mailbox” is just hitting the Texas radio airwaves. Check out a performance on the Texas Music Scene.
Thanks to the fine folks at RPR Media, we have copies of Six Market Blvd’s Shake It Down (2012) and Running on Seven (2010) to give away to Independent Sky readers. To enter, comment below with your name before Monday, August 19th 11:59pm CST. Winners randomly selected will be announced here on Tuesday.
I haven’t seen these guys since Steamboat. Can’t wait for this show!
Need the cliff notes on the band? Check this out [YouTube]
They get around. See all tour dates [6MB]
Like em on facebook. Right now. [Facebook]
WINNERS! Congrats Joe, Laura, David, Brittany and Al - you’ve won a CD! Email your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org to win a prize. - BD
Church of Stapleton
"Nobody cares if the words don’t rhyme, if you say the right ones.."
Recently Chris Stapleton performed an acoustic set in the K102 Roadhouse (KEEY St. Paul/Minneapolis), and thanks to the magic of technology, you can watch, listen, and perhaps feel 1/8th of the spirit I felt when quietly listening in the studio. Trust me - it’s all good - but this song is my personal favorite of the new music I’ve heard. Co-written with famed songwriter, Semisonic front man, and Minneapolis native Dan Wilson, “The Right Ones” is a hell of an earworm and I want to hear more where that came from.
Chris Stapleton’s solo release is tentatively set for January 2014, but if you’re like me and can’t get enough.. you can get your fix by checking out Chris’ work with the Steeldrivers [bluegrass] and The Jompson Brothers [straight up rock ‘n roll]. Both of those albums are in heavy rotation at BMD FM, and I fully admit that if I were a millionaire I would buy a million copies of that Steeldrivers record and pass them out on street corners like the Gideon’s bible, preaching the good word. It is THAT good.
Chris is heading out with Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley on the fall leg of their Locked & Re-loaded tour, melting faces in a town near you; in St Paul October 11th! Hell yeah.
Watch more videos from Chris Stapleton’s acoustic performance at the K102 Roadhouse here [K102.com]
Sturgill Simpson - Turf Club St Paul 6.25.2013
Sturgill Simpson. Remember that name. All it takes is one listen to know that he’s primed to shake things up in country music as we know it today.
I must sound like a broken record. “This is one of my favorite records of the year…” Yes, absolutely… along with Holly Williams, Courtney Patton, Jason Isbell, Ashley Monroe, Statesboro Revue, Quaker City Night Hawks, Kacey Musgraves, etc etc etc. There is absolutely no shortage of great (GREAT) new music in the world, but Sturgill’s new record High Top Mountain stands apart. From fiery bluegrass to steel-laden balladry, honkytonk rock to outlaw ferocity, he’s as country as country gets. I think Step #1 in country radio rehab should be a playlist with Sturgill, Whitey Morgan and Cody Jinks. That’ll set you straight. I can’t wait to hear these songs live.
No bitching about it being a Tuesday. Get your butt to the show.
Sturgill Simpson, The Silent Comedy, Hope Country
Tuesday, June 25th 2013
Turf Club (Snelling and University)
St Paul, Minnesota
$10 door ($8 advance via etix)
RIP Music Store
I’m disappointed to have to announce that the Independent Sky music store is shutting its’ doors… for that, you can thank the Democrats in Minnesota.
Other than the small noninvasive banner ads you see in the sidebar, the pennies that this independent website generates through referrals when readers purchase a copy of the music we recommend is our only source of revenue, which doesn’t even come close to covering the annual operating costs.
Not any more. Due to the “E-Fairness” legislation which slid through the Democrat-controlled State House and Senate, and was signed by Governor Mark Dayton, websites like Amazon.com are now responsible for the sales tax on transactions when the referral source is a Minnesota-based “business.” The state sales tax law is effective July 1st, 2013.
Fortunately for me, this is a hobby. For many of my fellow Minnesotans, they’re out of a job. If I ran this website full-time, you can bet I’d be out of this oppressive state faster than you can say “Texas or bust!”
If you would, support this website that supports the best of independent music, and take a moment to check out the music store before it is forced to close at the end of the month.
More information via the Minneapolis Star Tribune http://strib.mn/129otjP
Medicine Stone, September 12-14, 2013
What better event to mark my (and maybe your) pilgrimage to the red dirt of Oklahoma than this inaugural music festival featuring the best of Oklahoma’s music scene? This September, the Turnpike Troubadours and Jason Boland & The Stragglers are hosting Medicine Stone, a three-day music event at the Diamondhead Resort in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
Nestled on the banks of the majestic Illinois River termed “the Medicine Stone River” by the Osage Indians, the Diamondhead Resort in Tahlequah, Oklahoma will play host to the first annual music event aptly named Medicine Stone. The brain child of acclaimed Oklahoma artists Jason Boland & The Stragglers and the Turnpike Troubadours, Medicine Stone intends to serve as the premier outdoor music event in the four-state area. Music, food, camping, canoeing, rafting and floating, all in one of the most beautiful spots in America… Medicine Stone has you covered in a three-day Okie style event that is sure to make the list of primary attractions on the Illinois River. Kicking off September 12th through the 14th the nearly all Oklahoma music line-up includes Jason Boland & The Stragglers, the Turnpike Troubadours, Todd Snider, Stoney LaRue, Cody Canada & The Departed, John Fullbright, the Red Dirt Rangers, Randy Crouch and Jason Eady.
Well hell. How you could miss a lineup like that?
It also includes Thomas Trapp and the much buzzed-about John Moreland. If your twitter timeline is at all like mine, lately you can’t go ten tweets without seeing someone raving about his new record In The Throes.
Tickets are on sale July 1st. For more details visit http://www.medicinestoneok.com/
I have a feeling Medicine Stone will sound a little something like this… Bethany Dorobiala
John Mayer - Paper Doll
I have no words.
Okay I thought of a couple: lovely, awkward and oddly relaxing.
New John Mayer sounds. I’m a happy girl. So happy I could just.. PRANCE!
What Are You Listening To?
You’ll have to excuse me, I’ve been so rude. I haven’t been sharing. It’s been far too long between first discovering Chris Stapleton and posting a proper blog about him. I couldn’t go another day posing as a legitimate music blog without his music present on this URL. Oh, sure there are tweets here and there. Videos. Gherming. Telling everyone I meet to listen to him. His two available records with The Steeldrivers (The Steeldrivers) and The Jompson Brothers (The Jompson Brothers) are staples in my music library. I spin them damn near daily. Bearing witness to a jaw-dropping live performance this spring solidified it — he’s the real damn deal… and he’s coming out from behind the credits, rightfully so, as a solo artist with Universal Nashville.
Country radio has already been playing Chris Stapleton for years. What, you didn’t know? I guarantee you’ve heard a Chris Stapleton-penned song. I also guarantee you love them as much as I do. For a playlist of music he’s been credited as a vocalist or writer, listen here [Spotify]. You will undoubtedly by amazed.
He’s a songwriter’s songwriter, singing about songs. Listen. If you love music — I mean if you really love it — you’ll know what he means. A song that takes you back. A song that gets you through. A song that breaks your heart. A love song. A feel-good song.
Listen below to discover why Chris Stapleton is one of my favorite songwriters. ”What Are You Listening To” plays on your radio beginning July 1st.
Smokin’ with Kacey
Major GIRL CRUSH ALERT!
Fullbright EN FUEGO
I love the music, I really do. Hopefully my borderline-mad tweets raving about this man have convinced you of that, but you wouldn’t know it if you had seen the look on my face when I first saw video of John Fullbright performing the music I had already become completed enraptured with..
Every interview I’ve read over the past year gave me more depth into the mind behind the music, leading me to easily conclude that he is one of the most brilliant of our generation. From The Ground Up topped my favorite albums of 2012 for this reason alone. In addition to soaring onto everyone’s radars as one of the Americana music scene’s (and beyond. Can any one genre really ‘claim’ an artist like this? No.) hottest new talents, John was already emitting a powerful sex appeal simply with the nature of his raw lyrics, seemingly understated personality, breadth of knowledge, super-human musical skill, edgy performance style, and apparent unawareness of his draw (translation: chicks dig guys that are confident but oblivious to how hot they are), but this new video for “Gawd Above,” and its’ blatant sexual overtones?
This is on another level.
Filmed in black & white and red hot, it brings together fantasy, religion, and passion in the most divine way possible. If I know a shred of anything about the music business, I know that there were many a discussion about the way to film this video. To the Idea (Wo)man responsible: well done. Sex sells.
John Fullbright, live at First Avenue Minneapolis — Friday, May 31st 2013