Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sister Sparrow And The Dirty Birds - Pound of Dirt (2012), Out Today

Rockwood Music Hall , 6/27/09

One of the hottest bands I ever saw play at Rockwood Music Hall has a new album out today. I'm talking about Sister Sparrow And The Dirty Birds.

Pound of Dirt

If you've never seen Sister Sparrow And The Dirty Birds live, they play an unstoppable mix of rock, soul, jazz, and blues. On the surface these they might seem like Tower of Power with an awesome female lead singer, but their music is totally original, as you'll hear when you listen to this album. But to really get the complete picture, you've got to get to a show. Here they are with a live version of "Make It Rain", the track that opens Pound of Dirt.This was recorded in front of a sold out crowd at Sullivan Hall in NYC, on September 23, 2011.

Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds are ably led by front-woman Arleigh Kincheloe (Sister Sparrow). With a beautiful voice, so powerful it almost doesn't seem like it could come from such a small package, Arleigh has vocal chops and dance moves that will so dazzle you, that you won't be able to take your eyes off her.

Rockwood Music Hall , 6/27/09

Pound of Dirtis Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds' second album. Their self-titled debut album was released in 2010. They are a nine piece band (Sister Sparrow and eight Dirty Birds). When they play the original Rockwood, it's hard to believe they can fit on the stage. Here's the lineup, go see them, please.

Arleigh Kincheloe – vocals
Jackson Kincheloe – harmonica
Bram Kincheloe – drums
Sasha Brown – guitar
Aidan Carroll – bass
JJ Byars – alto saxophone
Phil Rodriguez – trumpet
Ryan Snow – trombone
Johnny Butler – baritone sax

Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds' Website
Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds' Facebook

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Marie Hines - Perfect Kiss (2012), Heartcrash EP Due Tuesday


Saturday Video Fun: "Perfect Kiss" by Marie Hines is my new favorite county song (and video).

Marie Hines is a singer-songwriter out of Nashville, originally from Spartanburg, South Carolina. Marie is part of Music City Unsigned, which is a community of independent artists working in Nashville. "Perfect Kiss" is the totally irresistible single that comes out on Tuesday as part of the five track Heartcrash EP.


Marie wrote all five songs on the EP. Her band includes piano, guitar, bass, and drums, along with some pedal steel, violin, viola, and cello. Eric Kinny arranged and produced the EP with consummate skill, he also played piano on two of the songs.

"Perfect Kiss" is typical of Marie's songwriting. One of the great joys of music for me has always been finding a great singer-songwriter, and Marie is such an artist. Her singing and musicianship are impeccable, and there is a considerable amount of magic in her songwriting. She writes from the heart, with all the emotion and passion intact. These qualities were all evident on her debut album, Worth The Fight(2010) which established Marie as one of Nashville's finest new singer-songwriters. She also has a live album, The Living Room Sessions(2011).

Worth The Fight

The Living Room Sessions

In addition to cooking up great songs, Marie is also a cupcake baker of some renown. She describes that when she is recording, she brings a plate of cupcakes to the studio with a different flavor every day. You can find some of her cupcake recipes on her blog. Finally, for a bonus video this week we have one that that goes behind the scenes of the "Perfect Kiss" video. If you watch closely, you can see Marie with a plate of cupcakes on the video shoot. Enjoy. (Photos courtesy of Marie Hines.)

Marie Hines' Website
Marie Hines' Facebook
Marie Hines' Blog

Saturday, February 18, 2012

New U.K. Singer Jessie Ware - Running (2012) & Jessie Ware & Sampha - Valentine (2011)

Saturday Video Fun: Jessie Ware, a new British singer with a warm and soulful voice will release her new single, "Running" on March 26th. Michael Cragg in the Guardian said "Jessie Ware makes the step from featured vocalist to solo artist. Expect pop stardom to follow." "Running" is only Jessie's second solo track ever. Check out the video, directed by Kate Moross.

Since 2010 Jessie has been getting major positive reaction singing on other people's records in London, such as this one that she did last year with Sampha, "Valentine".

Jessi released her first single at the end of last November and got an extremely favorable response. It's called "Strangest Feeling" and this isn't so much a video as it is an audio track on Youtube.

Here's the Guardian article from Wednesday (2/15/12).

If you read yesterday's New Band of the Day, then you'll know about Jessie Ware, one of those singers beloved of a variety of producers. The south Londoner added her velvet croon to two tracks on SBTRKT's excellent self-titled album, as well as forming the soulful core of Joker's frantic The Vision (Let Me Breathe). This time last year also saw the release of Valentine – a gorgeous sigh of a duet with Sampha available only on heart-shaped vinyl. Buzz tracks and guest appearances are all very well, but Ware's also started making inroads on a solo career – and so far so good. Last year's Strangest Feeling was one of the year's best singles, while Running is a collaboration with producer Julio Bashmore and the Invisible's Dave Okumu. Like south London's answer to Sade, Ware moves from breathy to impassioned over a slow-burn mix of echoey drums and guitar. For the video – premiered here exclusively – she performs in an empty bar, which is probably not something she'll be doing when success beckons.

Jessie Ware's Facebook
Jessie Ware's Soundcloud

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Saturday Video Fun: Gabrielle Aplin - So Young, So Talented - Home (2011) & Never Fade (2011) & On Your Knees (2010)

The Power of Youtube: Gabrielle Aplin is a singer-songwriter from Bath, England who has used Youtube and her talent for music to build a following and music career without any record label in sight. She posted her first videos to Youtube at age fifteen. Most of her videos were cover songs recorded at home. By sixteen she was attracting a significant audience with covers like "The Liar and the Lighter" (You Me At Six), which now has well over 500,000 views. Her website describes her as:

At nineteen, Gabrielle Aplin is the self-taught; self promoted singing, piano and guitar playing internet sensation. With beautiful vocals and a raw talent for song writing, Gabrielle is evolving as the most in demand online music artist.

This is no overstatement. Now nineteen and in college, Gabrielle has released three EPs, all of which are available here in the US at Amazon and iTunes. She has sold out her last several tours of the UK and she was just booked to open for Gotye on his tour of Europe that begins next week.

So far, Gabrielle has posted 106 videos, her Youtube channel has 42,488 subscribers, and her videos have a combined total of 7,836,016 views. Here's one more.

Gabrielle Aplin's Website
Gabrielle Aplin's Facebook

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Saturday Video Fun: Celebrating the Release of Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan (2012)

Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan

This week Amnesty International released Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan, to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both Bob Dylan's career and the Amnesty Organization. As a socially conscious crusader for human rights, Dylan was a great fit. The album is a sprawlng tribute of 73 tracks filling four CDs with artists covering Bob Dylan's songs and the proceeds go to support Amnesty International.

There are many major and well-known names as well as plenty of unknown artists but the one thing they all have in common is a love for the man, his music, and his message. Thomas E. Davis of Seattle summed up Dylan's influence nicely in his Amazon review.

As for Bob Dylan, few artists have been offered accolades to match those laid at his feet. He's among the greatest poets of our age, a transformational figure in the history of music. There's not a singer or songwriter alive who doesn't owe a debt to his wit and wisdom, and thousands cover his inspiring, compassionate songs every day.

For starters we have "Tangled Up in Blue" from what is arguably Dylan's last great album (maybe his best), Blood on the Tracks, from 1975. This live version is from the Renaldo & Clara movie, filmed on the Rolling Thunder Revue tour of 1975.

Since Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan is all about cover versions, next up is a favorite Dylan cover by Eric Clapton, also from 1975.

Next we have "Hurricane" from Desire (1976), the follow-up album to Blood on the Tracks. The song was about a boxer named Ruben "Hurricane" Carter who was believed to be not guilty of the murder he was incarcerated for. This live performance comes from 1975.

Finally, for a bonus video we go all the way back to 1965 for one of the first ever music videos, "Subterranean Homesick Blues".