Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds at The Putnam Den

Arleigh Kincheloe and her band of eight Dirty Birds returned to The Putnam Den on Friday the 13th after a successful Kickstarter campaign for a new tour bus, which was parked on display outside, new digs for a band that has grown immensely in the past three years. Having seen them for the first time in late 2010, they stole the show, opening for The Radiators and continued to spread their wings and tour coast to coast, garnering a following in the process. With steady stage presence by Arleigh and tighter grooves, the band played songs old and new, including tunes from their new album Pound of Dirt, notably ‘Too Much’ with harmonica from Jackson Kincheloe sounded more Popper than Musselwhite while having a kind similarity to the Stones’ Heartbreaker.

Covers of Fat Bottom Girls and Cripple Creek were incredible (with a pseudo Saratoga reference of bets of win and show) but the highlight was Dirt, the album’s title song. Arleigh sang with the Southern (not-Scott) Joplin-esque funk with early Grace Potter vocals and the grittyness of Aguilera. The encore of Vices is always welcome, bringing with it a beat akin to Blondie’s The Tide is High. The night even attracted a full wedding party who got into the show before their (sigh) local DJ played till 4am.

After the show, Arleigh commented the growth of the Sister Sparrow crowd upstate over the past couple years. “It seems like the crowd grows significantly each time we play upstate. It’s sweet they came to see us and are singing along in the back, it’s kinda wonderful. It feels like home, coming from Brooklyn, and we like New York.” Their summer is quite busy with trips to New Orleans Jazz Fest, Summercamp, Mountain Jam, Bonnaroo (twice), Teullride Jazz Fest and many more plus a western tour slotted fro July. In their new van, they can see the country in style and fan out across the country, blending funk and soul with amazing vocals.

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