Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds back in Steamboat Springs on Colorado tour
If You Go...
What: Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds
When: 10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10
Where: Schmiggity's, 821 Lincoln Ave.
Steamboat Springs — A seven-piece powerhouse is about to soar through Schmiggity’s on Thursday.
With bluesy grit and stampeding horns, the New York City-based group, Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, will bring its hard soul collective sound to the stage at 10 p.m.
Since its fresh start in New York City in 2008, the band has performed more than 600 shows, released two-full length albums and an EP.
Reinvigorating its sound, the group, which is comprised of members Arleigh Kincheloe on lead vocals, her brother Jackson Kincheloe on harmonica, Sasha Brown on guitar, Josh Myers on bass, Phil Rodriguez on the trumpet, Brian Graham on saxophone and Dan Boyden on drums, recently released its newest album “The Weather Below” in May.
Kincheloe said the group “locked” themselves in the iconic Bear Creek Studio just outside of Seattle, Washington, with producer Ryan Hadlock, who has worked with The Lumineers and Vance Joy.
What came out of that experience is an album that has accomplished the goals Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds have been looking for. It’s one that has a sonic mix of blues, rock, gospel and soul with tunes like “Mama Knows,” “Sugar” and the band’s “anthem” song, “Don’t Be Jealous.”
Belting her heart out and lighting up the stage with her captivating presence since she was a little girl, singer songwriter Kincheloe took a break from the group’s Colorado tour to chat with Explore Steamboat about the new album, inspirations and life on the road.
Explore Steamboat: This album has been a big hit for you guys, was it everything you thought it would be?
Arleigh Kincheloe: This is something I’ve never really felt before with a record. I am so proud of it and definitely accomplished what I had set out to do musically. I’m kind of embarrassed to say that because I haven’t felt that way before, fully. I was able to convey what I wanted, and it feels like it came together really well. The producer Ryan was awesome in finding that vision that we wanted and making it a reality. It’s such a release to finally share this with people.
ES: The lyrics in this are different compared to what you guys have done in the past. What would you say is the overarching theme of the album?
AK: Family is a huge thing that ended up coming out of this album. It wasn’t on purpose, but that was clearly what we were thinking about a lot. It’s important to continue to talk about new things, for our own sake and the fan’s sake and to not get stuck in that same old love song. This really was inspired by our family and friends who really support us when we are on the road.
ES: How do you think your music has evolved especially after the release of this new album?
AK: I think that as I’ve grown up I’ve become more confident and living this lifestyle throws you into the lion’s den. It teaches you to sink or swim. It helped me grown up pretty quickly. I was 21 when I started the band. Being on the road full time is a different kind of life overall. That has been the major driving force of the change I’ve seen. It’s a different but very unique experience that others don’t get very often. We are really lucky and thankful for this special thing we get to do.
ES: You grew up with a musically-inclined family, your mother was a singer too right? What would you say was one of the biggest lessons you learned from watching your parents?
AK: Yeah, it’s funny my dad actually still plays the drums today. Sometimes, it’s hard to quantify. But I really learned how to feel comfortable on stage. I was so young — 9 years old — when they invited me up on stage to sing with them. But I don’t remember being afraid. My dad was always telling us all these stories about how awesome it was being a musician and glorified it. It made me want to do it, but I soon found out how hard it really is. We have over 150 shows a year, and it has its up and downs, it’s not as glamorous as he always made it sound. But it was always something to aspire to, to go out on the road was the end all be all for us when we were kids. It gave us the drive to do this. It keeps us going.
ES: What is it that makes Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds unique?
AK: I think every artist sets out to be different. But I think that when I first got all the guys together, there were not that many other horn bands around, even though it seems like there are a lot now. But aside from always being ourselves, I think that with my brother playing the harmonica is really different. The way that he plays it is totally different and unique. It adds a whole other element to the band’s sound. When I asked him how he had come to use the pedals and harmonica like that, he said he did it out of necessity because that’s what he thought the band needed. He knew what we needed and had that foresight. To see it come this far and come together is amazing.
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