Sister Sparrow And The Dirty Birds – Sister Sparrow And The Dirty Birds
2010, Modern Vintage Recordings
Brother and sister Arleigh (lead vocals) and Jason Kincheloe grew up in the Catskill Mountains of New York as part of a musical family. Jam sessions of family and friends that ran deep into the night weren’t uncommon, so it’s not surprising the pair grew up with a desire to make music. Now based in Brooklyn, the Kincheloes are the heart and soul of Sister Sparrow And The Dirty Birds. The nine-member group recently released their self-titled debut album to rave reviews. Sister Sparrow And The Dirty Birds mixes funk, soul and rock n roll with the dynamic lead vocals of Arleigh Kincheloe in an explosive mix that rocks the house, big or small.
Sister Sparrow And The Dirty Birds is an under-achieving record with a lot of great points going for it. Perhaps the great boon for Sister Sparrow is the dynamic voice of Arleigh Kincheloe; a near-perfect interest for the bluesy-rock n roll sound that Sister Sparrow seems to prefer. The band is solid musically, matching Kincheloe step for step and note for note. That being said, the energy that Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds have gained a reputation for in their live shows does not carry over to the album. Whether its production style or just a distinct disconnection in performance styles between the studio and the stage, Sister Sparrow And The Dirty Birds is less than it might be. Sister Sparrow works their way through bluesy rock (“Untie My Shoelaces”, “Freight Train”); old school R&B (“Quicksand”); dance-infused Reggae (“Boom Boom”) and even old-school country with a soulful twist (“Just My Eyes”). All are nice, but the wow moment you crave as a listener just never quite materializes. The closest Sister Sparrow gets is “Rock On It”, which might be the ultimate come-on song. Kincheloe in particular is on fire here. The other high point on the album is “Who Are You?” which borrows its main melody line from Grieg’s “In The Hall Of The Mountain King”. It’s an intriguing listen that works in Stax-style horns.
At the end of the day, Sister Sparrow And The Dirty Birds is an enjoyable listening experience that seems like it could have been so much more. Arleigh Kincheloe is going to be a star, but the songwriting here is inconsistent and the energy the band achieves on stage just never quite materializes here. Nevertheless, Sister Sparrow And The Dirty Birds is all about a band finding its footing in the studio. Even if their first steps are a bit wobbly, this is a band that’s set to run hard and run free.
Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)