Friday, October 4, 2013

Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds Get Sweaty in the Jam Room

In the bowels of Milk Studios lies a secret venue known as the Jam Room. Neon sex shop signs illuminate a maze of pipework suspended from the ceiling.  The vibe is basement house party, right down to the partygoers sipping from Solo cups and beer cans.  While the basement is typically the coolest part in the house, the Jam Room was sweltering, packed to the pipes with press, friends, and contest-winners all there to celebrate the release of Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds' latest EP, Fight.

The show began like the other times I've seen them, the Dirty Birds firing off their horn-drenched intro jam.  Arleigh "Sister Sparrow" Kincheloe usually remains backstage before her swaggering entrance, but with no place to hide, she joined the boys, spiritedly banging on a cowbell.  Arleigh approached the mic and asserted, "I need y'all to clap your hands with me now," before launching into "The Long Way," the EP's hard-hitting single.  They followed it with a new tune, "Don't Be Jealous," which proved a nice springboard for some squealing interplay between guitarist Sasha Brown and harmonica-player Jackson Kincheloe. "We're only three songs in; I'm sweating my ass off," admitted Arleigh, grabbing a towel.  Where many would've taken the chance to cool things down with a slower song, the band cranked up the temperature with one of their most fiery numbers, "Make It Rain."  "Mama Knows" brought things to a soulful simmer, Arleigh powering through a hint of laryngitis.  Her cousin Bram drumrolled into the night's standout, "Boogie Man," which culminated in Arleigh clanging her tambourine against the pipes above.  "Borderline" was another vehicle for Jackson's freight train harmonica, and trombonist Ryan Snow transported us to New Orleans for a steaming serving of "Crawdaddies."  "I want y'all to please be advised, it's a low hanging ceiling. You too, Dirty Birds," admonished Arleigh.  About to embark on a clockwise tour of the US, the band fittingly charged into a "Road Trip" that had everyone chanting and clapping against their Solo cups.  Fight may be a misnomer for the EP.  Your ears will welcome it without hostility.

SISTER SPARROW & THE DIRTY BIRDS - 10.03.13 - MILK STUDIOS JAM ROOM (48 minutes, 27 seconds)

Intro > The Long Way / Don't Be Jealous / Make It Rain / Mama Knows > Boogie Man / Borderline / Crawdaddies / Road Trip

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