For the March Artist Spotlight, we are highlighting Arleigh Kincheloe, singer with Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds. Sister Sparrow has released a new LP, GOLD, and will feature songs from it at the upcoming show in Nashville on April 12th at Exit/In.
Also, the band is including an awesome, packed giveaway for this month including two tickets to the Exit/In show, autographed CD, poster, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds koozie, and a car magnet. Enter for that giveaway here.
Arleigh, thanks for joining us on the NowPlayingNashville blog.
Tell us about the beginning of Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds and how the band formed.
I started writing songs when I was 18 and began playing them with my brother Jackson at our house parties in the Catskills. We knew we wanted to start a band, so we moved to NYC and sought help from our cousin, Bram to source some musicians. Shortly after beginning rehearsals I got us a gig at Rockwood Music Hall on the lower east side of Manhattan. The club liked us enough to give us a weekly residency, and from there we grew our set and our fan base every week.
What/Who inspired you as an artist?
I grew up singing with my parents’ band, so they were my biggest influencers in my childhood. And from them I learned about Bonnie Raitt, Little Feat, Emmylou Harris and The Band, who remain some of my favorite artists. As a teen I found soul music and was/am greatly inspired by Nina Simone, Etta James and Aretha Franklin.
Since 2011, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds have played upwards of 150+ shows each year across the U.S. and Canada. You’ve played some pretty incredible music festivals like Jazz Fest, ACL, Firefly and Bonnaroo.
Which festival is your favorite and why?
I love Mountain Jam because it’s the first festival I ever attended as a teenager. We’ve been lucky enough to get to play it a few times, and will again this summer. It’s sort of a hometown festival, so it gives me a lot of joy to be able to play.
You’ve recently released a new LP, GOLD, which is available in-stores now and at Grimey’s here in Nashville. You’ve taken the traditional soulful sound of The Dirty Birds and combined it with a folk, rock and pop flair.
What can fans expect from this new LP?
I approached this record completely differently than any other I’ve done. Our other albums were done in more of a live setting, with all of us set up in one room. But on Gold I wanted to take the reins and do more of a solo thing on the production side. I worked closely with a producer, Carter Matschullat, and crafted this record over the course of 6 months. The Dirty Birds came in and played on it as well, so it still has elements of our sound as a band. I explored different production elements and sounds and really pushed my comfort zone, which was so exciting to do.
Get a taste of the new powerful vocals of Arleigh on the new LP by listening to “Gold,” the title track, below in the official video. The first LP released on the new album in 2018 was “Ghost.”
Side Note: Songs from this LP can be heard locally on Lightning 100.
So did being a new Mom inspire you to write this LP?
Absolutely. Becoming a mom completely changes one’s perspective of the world. So naturally it changed the way I did everything. Some of the songs are directly inspired by my son, and the whole project was fueled by my newfound courage.
Describe life on the road for you as a new Mom?
It’s hard! We used to bring my son with us when he was under a year old, and that was difficult but at least he was with me. Now that he’s older, it is very tough to be away from him for even a few days. I find myself feeling really torn, but I know it’ll be good for him to see his mom doing what she loves.
Fun Facts About Sister Sparrow:
Animals: We have a 15 year old Boxer/Dalmatian lady dog named Kona. She has also toured with us!
Favorite Hobby: Ping pong.
Best New Mom Advice: Sleep when you can. And don’t throw away all the food they throw on the floor. 30 second rule!
Favorite Thing to Do in Nashville: Pancake pantry!
Learn more about Sister Sparrow at SisterSparrow.com.
Follow Sister Sparrow on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Soundcloud.
About Sister Sparrow
Known far and wide as the impossibly big voiced leader of acclaimed soul collective Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, singer Arleigh Kincheloe has made an astonishing leap forward with Sister Sparrow’s new LP, GOLD. Produced by Carter Matschullat (Chef’Special, Secret Weapons), the album sees Sister Sparrow taking the classic brass-fueled Dirty Birds sound and turning it into something altogether new: a soul-blasted contemporary sound both timeless yet utterly now.
For nearly a decade, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds have been hailed for their explosive brand of modern soul, equally celebrated for their three studio albums and electrifying live performances. Kincheloe grew up amongst an intensely musical family in upstate New York’s Catskill Mountains, co-founding Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds with her brother Jackson at just 18. The band based itself in Brooklyn and soon earned a rep as one of the hardest working outfits anywhere in the world, playing upwards of 150 shows each year including headline dates, sold out residencies, and top festivals. “Sister Sparrow, Arleigh Kincheloe’s nom de disque, is a soul queen,” raved The Washington Post, while The Baltimore Sun simply noted, “Arleigh Kincheloe has one of the biggest voices in the business. Prepare to be blown away.”