Tuesday, January 28, 2014

This is such a HOT song. One of my favorite jams from The 4onthefloor’s solid 2013 release Spirit of Minneapolis, “Engine No. 4” has a badass new music video.

Not sure exactly I follow the storyline, but when a cool chick steals a truck from a hot guy, throws back a beer at a bonfire and picks up a friend, all while we get a scenic view of southern Minnesota country-side, I don’t much care.

Check out this band, makin’ Minnesota proud!

Free downloads at http://4otf.com/

Bethany Dorobiala
Independent Sky

Friday, January 24, 2014


Tickets On Sale This Week: Jan 23, 2014

ON SALE: Friday, January 24 at noon

Band of Heathens
Turf Club | SAT MAR 22 | BUY TIX

Band of Heathens at the Turf Club, Saturday March 22nd! H to the Yeah! Get yo tickets.
Thursday, January 16, 2014

@wadebowen closing out MusicFest 2014 #mf14 #livemusic #concert #music

You’ve got to check out the Texas Music Scene photo albums from MusicFest - amazing images! facebook.com/TXmusicTV


@wadebowen closing out MusicFest 2014 #mf14 #livemusic #concert #music

You’ve got to check out the Texas Music Scene photo albums from MusicFest - amazing images! facebook.com/TXmusicTV

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

This is real music.

My lordy. Ever had one of those regular ol Tuesdays when you’re exhausted from a long day at work and are casually scrolling through your social media feeds when BAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! an innocent-enough looking YouTube video rocks your world?! Well. It happened to me. And I shouldn’t be all that surprised. When these three incredibly talented individuals come together, magic happens.

Please enjoy (and share) this video of Jamie Wilson performing “Wayfaring Stranger” at a private acoustic session at last week’s MusicFest 2014 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, featuring Courtney Patton and Jason Eady on harmony and Reckless Kelly’s Cody Braun on fiddle.


Bethany Dorobiala
Independent Sky

Friday, January 3, 2014

MusicFest 2014 Livestream, Jan 5-8th



All the music, none of the freezing your ass off.

It’s nothing at all like dropping a grand on a fabulous ski trip to beautiful Steamboat Springs, Colorado - bonding with fellow music fans from across the country - sitting in on a priceless late night jam session of some of the most remarkably talented artists of our generation - getting altitude sickness - consuming a rediculous amount of Deep Eddy Texas Tea’s - traveling up the gondola to what feels like the top of the world and hearing Randy Rogers play your favorite song for the first time - perusing the mecca of all merch stores - introducing Texans to the magic of late-night “hot dish” - singing “we don’t have to wear underwearrrrrr…” with a crowd of strangers at Hold My Beer and Watch This (ha!) - bumping into your favorite artist in the bathroom at the Grand Hotel - shouting “WHAT KINDA COWS, CORB?” at Corb Lund as he walks up the mountain past your condo - discovering raw, real talent at the open mic sessions - this http://t.co/10RVS6vJ this http://t.co/N0LfS3cC or this http://t.co/FiIsGCWY - and all the while having the time of your life — but it’ll do.

MusicFest 2013

I experienced my first MusicFest online in 2012. Through the tweets from Rita and other fans, artist updates and a wobbly (free) livestream from the big tent on themusicfest.com, I studied up so that when it was finally my turn to head up the mountain, I’d have a better handle on how it works, where I needed to spend my time, etc. Come last January at MusicFest 2013, I did just that. I’ll never forget watching Reckless Kelly play “Wicked Twisted Road” live from the Big Tent while laying on my bed watching via my laptop, to then standing there in person the next year, experiencing it all in real life. 

For MusicFest 2014 Dickson Productions has contracted StageHop to cast the event, and having experienced one of their other livestream events (a Stoney LaRue, Wade Bowen show in OKC this summer when I was sick in bed with chicken pox), I can vouch that they are professional and high quality. For $14.99 you can get access to the evening shows at the Big Tent, the Grand Ballroom, (what I’m particarly excited about) the smaller, intimate Dung Beedle Saloon, and the possibility of some of the outdoor stage performances in the square. What with venue capacities and hangovers, in some cases those of us at home may get to see more performances than the MusicFest-ers themselves! 

Some of the shows being streamed include: The MusicFest Jam, Turnpike Troubadours, Will Hoge, Hayes Carll, Reckless Kelly, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Randy Rogers Band, Wade Bowen, Uncle Lucius, The Departed, Dirty River Boys, John D Hale, American Aquarium, Adam Hood, The Statesboro Revue, Charlie Worsham..

Some Shiner, some sub-zero temps, and the MusicFest livestream Chromecasted to my TV and it’ll be as close as I can get to MusicFest this year. I’ll take it.

See you on the mountain next year, MusicFest!

Bethany Dorobiala
Independent Sky

I was not compensated by MusicFest by Dickson Productions or StageHop for the content of this post.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Best of the Year: 2013

150+ songs from 2013, and the following albums from which they came:

Jason Isbell, Southeastern
Will Hoge, Never Give In
Holly Williams, The Highway

Courtney Patton, Triggering A Flood
Brandy Clark, 12 Stories
The Wild Feathers, The Wild Feathers
Sturgill Simpson, High Top Mountain
Ashley Monroe, Like A Rose
John Moreland, In The Throes
Zane Williams, Overnight Success
Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Dark and Dirty Mile
Statesboro Revue, Ramble On Privilege Creek
William Clark Green, Rose Queen
Kacey Musgraves, Same Trailer, Different Park
The Lone Bellow, The Lone Bellow
Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones, Foreverly

Lindi Ortega, Tin Star
The 4onthefloor, Spirit of Minneapolis
Sons of Fathers, Burning Days
Guy Clark, My Favorite Picture of You
Reckless Kelly, Long Night Moon
Cody Canada, Some Old, Some New, Maybe a Cover or Two
High Cotton: a Tribute to Alabama
Randy Rogers Band, Trouble
Quaker City Night Hawks, Honcho
Band of Heathens, Sunday Morning Record
Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis, Cheater’s Game
Drew Kennedy, Wide Listener

Pistol Annies, Annie Up
Cody Jinks, Blacksheep
John Mayer, Paradise Valley
Trampled by Turtles, Live at First Avenue
Della Mae, This World Oft Can Be
Slaid Cleaves, Still Fighting The War EP
Charlie Worsham, Rubberband
Thieving Birds, Gold Coast
Jonathan Singleton, Getaway
Sam Riggs and the Night People, Outrun the Sun
Vince Gill, Bakersfield
Alan Jackson, Bluegrass album
Lincoln Durham, The Shovel vs. The Howling Bones
Chris King, 1983
Gary Allan, Set You Free
Kylie Rae Harris, Taking It Back EP
Matt Skinner, Native Stranger EP
The Avetts, Magpie and the Dandelion
Hurray for the Riff Raff, My Dearest Darkest Neighbors
Valerie June, Pushing Against A Stone
Jason Isbell and Elizabeth Cook, Tecumseh Valley/Pancho and Lefty EP
Ben Danaher, Starting Over EP
Amanda Shires, Down Fell The Doves

Bethany Dorobiala
Independent Sky

Thursday, December 5, 2013


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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

Bethany Dorobiala
Independent Sky

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

[CONTEST] Six Market Blvd. Giveaway

imageWhile 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
Minneapolis, MN

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!

Bethany Dorobiala
Independent Sky

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 music@independentsky.com to win a prize. - BD

Church of Stapleton

image"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]

Bethany Dorobiala
Independent Sky

Holly Williams, “Waiting On June” (by AmerSongwriter)

American Songwriter posted this video of Holly Williams performing “Waiting  On June” from The Highway, and I figured what better to get back into blogging than with a beautiful performance of one of my newest favorite female artists. Her record is one of my favorites of the year. I really can’t recommend her enough.

I took a bit of a summer hiatus, but I’m back! I know it’s been a while because I found a Dierks Bentley “Bourbon in Kentucky” single review in the hopper, which is now irrelevant since it’s been canned by country radio. Damn. That was a good one. But I have a feeling there’ll be more where that came from with Riser.

Bethany Dorobiala
Independent Sky

Saturday, June 22, 2013

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
music 8:30pm
$10 door ($8 advance via etix)

Bethany Dorobiala
Independent Sky

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

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

Bethany Dorobiala
Independent Sky

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
Independent Sky

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!

Bethany Dorobiala
Independent Sky

Saturday, June 15, 2013

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.

Bethany Dorobiala
Independent Sky