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Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Roanoke has from time to time suffered a funk allergy. Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds — a New York City band with great vocal, harmonica and horn power — has twice suffered from this city’s unwillingness to turn out for some nasty funk goodness.
Martin’s Downtown Bar & Grill may have the solution to the problem of getting folks in front of this great band.
The venue’s Martin-Fest, scheduled for Saturday, brings a variety of local, regional and national acts to its outdoor stage. And if the folks who show up are smart, they will stay for the headliner.
Sister Sparrow — aka Arleigh Kincheloe — and a seven-piece band that includes her harmonica-playing brother, Jackson Kincheloe, have played the now-defunct Growler’s American Grill. Twice, the band put on scorching shows full of original funk, rock and soul music, but few people showed up. The band was scheduled to try that room once more, but Growler’s closed as the date approached.
Martin’s picked up the show, and at a good time, too. Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds recently finished recording an EP and have otherwise been touring relentlessly. That’s the kind of seasoning you want.
The Kincheloe’s two-headed attack — Arleigh’s vocals can be gritty or smooth and often stratospheric, while Jackson plays with bluesy speed and ferocity flavored by some wild effects — has received good reviews across the country.
The rest of the band, including their drumming cousin, Bram Kincheloe, is equally talented.
Also on the bill is Cosmic Charlie, a renowned Grateful Dead tribute band from Athens, Ga.
Sol Driven Train brings American roots music with some swinging horn action out of Charleston, S.C.
Northern Virginia indie Americana act James Justin & Co. was originally scheduled along with Sol Driven Train for a Kirk Avenue Music Hall show, but Martin’s and Kirk Avenue worked together to further beef up the Martin-Fest lineup.
Tobacco Apache, a Roanoke band that is finishing up an album of its own, “Inside Job,” brings tough but melodic Americana rock, part of a developing regional sound.
Roanoke’s Shorefire plays original surf-reggae and covers, while GAK! is a 1990s-era tribute act.
Sounds like plenty enough variety for Roanokers who are shy about taking in some good old horn-kicked funk.
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