Band Review-Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds

This weekend’s radio program has a very interesting title. When we post the playlist in a few days, you’ll know exactly what I mean. It might read like a 70s romance novel, but there’s a specific reason we went with it. What does that have to do with the band review, or Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds specifically? Actually everything.

Most of the time, we don’t ask ourselves questions about what draws us to certain things. It could be a particular restaurant or entree, it could be why we choose to go rent/buy one movie over another in the same category (or even with the same actors). Or it could be what initially attracts us to a band. Sometimes that inclination has to do with a suggestion from a friend or colleague. That’s always cool. But for me, I’ve found that I can be intrigued by something seemingly insignificant that draws me to check out a band or an album. That initial taste can lead to me further listening to the band/album, or not at all.

In the case of Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, it was a combinations of different types of intrigue that lured me in. And once I had a taste, I had to dine on the whole enchilada. With a name like that, and an album cover like this, it’s hard to pass up sampling. It creates a curiosity that’s only natural. “I wonder what that sounds like,” was the thought I had.

The track listing is where I can really feel enticed or turned off. It’s curiosity and it’s natural to read a song name and want to listen to it just because….the name was interesting. When the song ends up being cool too, I remember it better and want to put it on the radio show. I’m sure I just gave something about myself away there, but that’s alright. The first track from SS&DBs that lured me in was Make It Rain. It helped that it was the first track. I immediately loved the Blues Traveler-with- a-sultry-female-lead sound. The horns added a rock-ska flair that is very unique and unexpected.

From there I moved down the track listing to Another Ride. I prefer to not just listen to track after track when sampling a band. This is not the way many people check a band out, but it is how I do it. I want to be fired up about 3 songs on an album before I’ll invest the time in the whole thing cover to cover. When I say fired up, I mean that I’m really digging these songs and am going to be promoting the band and album beyond the radio show and its platforms. The listening experience is a great thing. But the real cost is time, and for something to be worth your time it has to show it. Another Ride does that. Building on the established uniqueness of the sound, the melody flows well and the chorus is catchy. The instrumentation adds the right pop and sweetness.

But the upbeat rock-jazz-blend has now flowed with two faster-paced songs. That third track that sells the whole listening experience for me needs to give me something else, something different. Hollow Bones is that difference. The intrigue of the track name, the style of the track, and how it allows both the band members some different opportunities in presentation and lead singer Arleigh Kincheloe to show off her vocal talents and range.

Last week we featured the first two mentioned songs. This week, Hollow Bones will be on display. The final track on the album is a 7 minute tune called Horse To Water. I love longer songs. Most of the time a longer tune is a chance for the band to have fun, experiment, or tell an interesting story and not try to limit the feel or focus. A 7 minute song is not written to market to radio stations (at least not terrestrial ones). This means many people won’t hear it except for fans of the artist and those who stumble upon it on iTunes (or media like this). That unique aspect draws me to it. Horse To Water is more of a ballad, a slower paced emotional song. It has a Rachael Yamagata feel to it in its sadness and movement. But it completes the whole album.

So there you go, 4 reasons to check out the whole album Pound Of Dirt from Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds. It’s worth your time, your energy, and certainly worth adding to your personal music library. Check it out this weekend on our radio program.

By the by, you can hear an archived program of our show online. Click here to listen. We want to provide our radio program online to you to dine on at your leisure. Help us find the best way to do that. Please take our survey here and share your thoughts. Thanks.

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Host of the syndicated radio program The Appetizer heard on public radio across Texas and online from our Listen Now link; enjoys conversations, music, food, art, storytelling, and people. Connect with me. Would love to hear from you.

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