Courtesy of Sonicbids
Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds has logged about 75,000 miles across the country since about last June, including a pit stop to work with an “American Idol” judge, and the New York-based soul-funk band isn’t about to slow down.
Headed by vocalist and songwriter Arleigh Kincheloe, also known as Sister Sparrow, the eight-piece band is perhaps one of the busiest groups of touring musicians out there.
“It’s been kind of an epic journey,” Kincheloe said. “We just keep stacking miles on. And we’re not stopping any time soon, so it’s going to be kind of wild.”
Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds is set to perform at Newport Music Hall on Thursday at 8 p.m.
Even with its exhausting schedule, the band found time to enter the studio last month to record a four-song EP with famed producer and “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson before hitting the road again to continue the tour.
Kincheloe said working with Jackson was a “great experience.”
“It was amazing,” Kincheloe said. “He’s so funny and so nice, such a relaxed and chill guy. He made it really easy for us to feel comfortable and just be creative. He’s kind of the guru for us.”
The band was introduced to Jackson through its manager Michael Morrison, who had met him several years ago and stayed in touch, Kincheloe said.
“It’s a bit surreal, I would say,” Kincheloe said. “It seems kind of random. Like, what? Randy Jackson? It’s such a wonderful thing to know that somebody like that, who has seen it all, could have faith in us. It’s really encouraging.”
And with the new EP awaiting its release date, which Kincheloe said she hopes will be in June, there seems to be no end in sight for this band’s schedule.
Kincheloe said she would have it no other way.
“I can’t wait until we release the CD,” Kincheloe said. “It’s all recorded and ready to go, it just needs the post-production stuff. So I’m chomping at the bit to get that out so we can tour around that as well. We are just running around, until the end of time. We’re just perpetually out here, doing our thing.”
The EP is yet to be named, but Kincheloe said its working title, “Fight,” is starting to catch on with the band.
“The more we talk about it, the more we like that name,” Kincheloe said.
The Dirty Birds is an all-male band comprised of Kincheloe’s brother, Jackson Kincheloe, on harmonica, the Kincheloes’ cousin, Bram Kincheloe, on drums, Sasha Brown on guitar, Josh Myers on bass and Brian Graham, Ryan Snow and Phil Rodriguez making up the horn section.
“I always had the idea that I wanted a big band,” Arleigh Kincheloe said.
Arleigh Kincheloe said the audience at Thursday’s show can expect a “sweaty, high-energy, throw-down” show.
“I’m always dancing onstage. I can’t really help it,” Arleigh Kincheloe said. “So it’s a big dance party. We always try to have a good time up there.”
Thursday’s show is part of the tour in support of the album “Pound of Dirt,” which the band released in February 2012, but Arleigh Kincheloe said she and the Dirty Birds plan to play material off the band’s unreleased EP as well.
“We’ll probably try to throw all the songs in from that,” Arleigh Kincheloe said.
Allison King, a first-year in pre-health sciences, said she likes Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds’ sound.
“They’re really upbeat,” King said. “They have a really good groove to them. And I’m a band person, so I like when bands incorporate horns.”
Dylan Dunn, a first-year in exploration, agreed. He described the band’s sound as “vintage, James Brown-era” soul music.
“I like their rhythms,” Dunn said. “You can definitely feel the soul.”
Tickets are $18 in advance through Tickemaster and $20 the day of the event. Doors open at 7 p.m.