Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, Rockwood Stage 2 [2/4/11]

Posted on: February 8th, 2011 at 6:18 am by

It honestly wasn’t our plan, but we stumbled upon them nonetheless. Late Friday evening, we found ourselves drinking at Rockwood Stage 2, squeezed tightly between the bar and a mass of jacketed fans. The band was electric, the crowd bopping.

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Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds was the penultimate act on the bill that night, but could easily have headlined.  Especially with their confident stage presence and command of the crowd.  Led by scantily-clad chanteuse Arleigh Kincheloe, the nine-piece outfit from Brooklyn harnessed quite a frantic energy with their powerful cocktail of gut-wrenching soul, groovy funk, and gritty rock. Or, in their own words, just a “whole lotta dirt.”

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That so-called dirt was comprised of a robust wall of horns, punchy bass lines, thunderous backbeat, and the added bonus of a distorted harmonica.  These components alone facilitated a whole lot of dancing, even up in the balcony section where space was much tighter.  Set highlights included the Edvard Grieg-inspired “Who Are You,” “Make it Rain,” and the rushed encore of “Road Trip.”  The latter song ended with a sing-along, leaving folks wanting more after the eventual load-out.

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Friday’s show was the first of a two-night stand at Rockwood.  They now head upstate for a run of shows.  Sister Sparrow has already shared the stage with the Black Keys and moe., and will soon add another feather to their collective cap.  Their next New York City gig will be opening for Dr. John at Le Poisson Rouge during the fifth annual Mardi Gras Ball.

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