Sept. 27--Arleigh Kincheloe never set out to be the only "chick" amidst a flock of seven male "birds" in soul-rock band Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds.
"It wasn't a decision like, 'I'm going to be the only lady,'" Kincheloe said. "It just kinda happened that way. There tends to be more males in this business than females, anyway. But, it works."
The 26-year-old lead singer/songwriter, along with her band, will open for rock group moe. at the Sherman Theater on Sunday, marking the band's first appearance in Stroudsburg.
Two days later, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based band, which formed in 2008, will release a four-track EP titled "Fight." Previous releases include a self-titled debut album in 2010 and a second studio album, "Pound of Dirt," in 2012.
The EP includes the first single, "The Long Way," and features production by "American Idol" top "dawg" Randy Jackson.
"He was a buddy of our current manager's from a while back," Kincheloe said. "Our manager waited until he thought we were ready, then brought some music to Randy and showed him what we were doing. Randy consulted with us and mentored us before he jumped on board to do some producing."
(Incidentally, Jackson will take on mentoring duties on the upcoming "American Idol" season, following 12 years on the judges' panel.)
As a teenager in the Catskill Mountains of New York, Kincheloe grew up in a musical family and started writing songs at age 18. Acts such as The Band, Little Feet, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris and Graham Parson "inspired me as a young person to want to play music," she said.
As she jammed with her harmonica-playing brother, Jackson, Kincheloe knew she wanted to have a big band. She and Jackson headed to New York, N.Y., to find musicians, with their cousin, drummer Bram Kincheloe, and his school buddy helping find some of the other band members.
In addition to the Kincheloe band members, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds also includes Sasha Brown on guitar, Josh Myers on bass, Phil Rodriguez on trumpet, Ryan Snow on trombone and Brian Graham on baritone sax.
The "Sister Sparrow" part of the band's name is derived from a nickname Kincheloe's older sister gave her while out on a trip, while "Dirty Birds" refers to Jackson's description of the pigeons in New York City.
The band, which began touring in April 2011, plays up to 150 shows a year and has appeared at music festivals such as SXSW and Bonnarroo. Kincheloe and her bandmates have shared the stage with the likes of Warren Haynes -- of The Allman Brothers Band and Gov't Mule -- and Donald Fagen of Steely Dan.
Looking ahead, Kincheloe said the band probably will shoot a video for the new EP's title track, "Fight." (At press time, she was unsure of the release date for the already-shot video, "The Long Way.") The band also hopes to step up from morning shows like "Good Day, New York" to late-night television, "which would be a big breakthrough for us," she said.
As the band waits for that one performance that could bolster its career, Kincheloe hopes her stage role will expand to include pianist.
"I'm at the piano when I write the songs, but not really on stage," she said. "There are so many of us on stage, but ... somewhere down the road."
IF YOU GO
.moe with Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds opening
WHEN: 7 p.m. Sunday; doors open 6 p.m.
WHERE: Sherman Theater, 524 Main St., Stroudsburg
INFORMATION: 570-420-2808, shermantheater.com
(c)2013 the Pocono Record, Stroudsburg, Pa.
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