MUSIC BOX: Dirty Birds late night at The Trap

By on February 24, 2015

Soul queen Arleigh Kincheloe, a.k.a. Sister Sparrow, commands the stage with body language that is both sly and stirring, coupled with a boundless voice that draws you into her infectious smolder. Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds is a powerful ensemble, trimmed in the last couple of years from an eight-piece to a sextet featuring Arleigh’s brother, Jackson, on harmonica, backed by a tight conglomeration of guitar, bass, trumpet and baritone sax.

Jamming the Fight EP from fall of 2013, there’s a heavy sense of funky Memphis soul adorned by a raspy vocal style that can push the limits to an Aretha Franklin-inspired sound. Or, you can just lay back and let this ultra-talented band turn the energy to 11 through epic song arrangements. In the live setting, the band can also dig into heavy blues-rock with the harp at the forefront of pushing the explosive energy to over-the-top, or kick-back into a comforting R&B smoothness.

If you saw the Dirty Birds at JacksonHoleLive or Targhee Fest in the last couple of years, you know exactly what this band is capable of. One thing you can expect is a full-on dance party. That’s the scene they have created at Bonnaroo, Mountain Jam, Austin City Limits Fest and Jazz Fest. Confine this energy in The Trap Bar and you have an intimate, high-altitude party for the ages. This is one of the few late shows at Grand Targhee this winter, so take some turns, après-ski, then nap, and then dance your ass off.

Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds 9 p.m. on Thursday in the Trap Bar at Grand Targhee Resort. $15 advance, $20 door. GrandTarghee.com.

One of the few late shows this winter at the Trap Bar will be a high-energy dance party with Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds this Thursday. (Photo credit: Sister Sparrow)

One of the few late shows this winter at the Trap Bar will be a high-energy dance party with Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds this Thursday. (Photo credit: Sister Sparrow)

West Coast triple hop

The underground movement of DIY-minded, independent emcees in the Bay Area has somewhat faded since Zion I arose from the scene nearly 20 years ago. Though lacking the mainstream success they sought, mixing spiritualism with hip-hop and trip-hop beats while focusing on positivity in their lyrics has created a cult following for the duo. MC Zumbi and DJ/producer Amp Live have remained not only socially conscious, but wide reaching in their choice of collaborations – Linkin Park (on Park’s 2002 album Reanimation), Macklemore (who appeared on Zion I’s 2010 album Atomic Clock), and embarking on tours with electronic bass producer Bassnectar and reggae band Rebelution have all expanded their reach. Over the course of eight albums, going in all different musical directions has been a mixed blessing for Zion I.

“It keeps people interested and on their toes,” Amp Live told SFGate.com in October. “But the way humans operate, they’re more comfortable with the stuff they know. I think it always helps if you make good music.”

Zumbi added, “I’m an African-American male in Oakland, California, and I don’t necessarily fit in anywhere I go. So I try to maintain my unique perspective, but also be universal at the same time. Be a human being first, but also be aware of my community. These are the things I try to say in my music.”

Sharing the bill are bilingual Panamanian hip-hop/reggae duo Los Rakas as well as Locksmith, who is one half of underground duo The Frontline and first gained notoriety as a battle rapper through MTV’s MC Freestyle Championship.

Zion I, Los Rakas, and Locksmith, 9 p.m. on Thursday at the Pink Garter Theatre. $17-$19. www.pinkgartertheatre.com.

Zion 1 joins joins Locksmith and the bilingual Panamanian duo, Los Rakas on Thursday. (Photo credit: ZION I)

Zion 1 joins joins Locksmith and the bilingual Panamanian duo, Los Rakas on Thursday. (Photo credit: ZION I)

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About Aaron Davis

Aaron Davis is a decade-long writer of Music Box, a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, member of Screen Door Porch and Boondocks, founder/host of Songwriter’s Alley, and co-founder of The WYOmericana Caravan.

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