Brooklyn’s Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds—Arleigh Kincheloe and her big voice backed by “a flock of eight men who masterfully lay down thundering grooves and soaring melodies”—released their first soul-funk-filled album, a self-titled affair, in 2010. And although the LP was received well, it was the group’s high-energy live shows that really got them noticed. A second album, the tight and funky Pound of Dirt (stream it below), came out in 2012. And according to the Washington Post, “Brooklyn-bred and Memphis-inspired, the nine-piece band revels in unvarnished funk, the grittier the better.” But, nevertheless, the best way to experience Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds (above, performing “Boogie Man” at this year’s Mountain Jam) is live and in person.
The Pimps of Joytime formed in 2007, and their sound, influenced by Brooklyn DJ culture, is a musical stew of rock, soul, Afrobeat, salsa, electronica, rap and infectious Latin grooves. In other words, it’s got something for everyone. Led by the charismatic, soulful Brian J—and vocalists Chauncey Yearwood and Mayteana Morales—the Brooklyn-based band has steadily played club and festival gigs, leaving smiling, sweaty people in their wake each time. Their most recent album, Janxta Funk! (stream it below), is what the Guardian calls “a no-nonsense distillation of the most infectious elements of party funk, with a welcoming approach that emphasizes peaceful good times.” And now you can cut loose in person with the Pimps of Joytime (above, doing a stripped-down version of “The Jump” for MoBoogie) and Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds when the road-tested groove machines play The Bowery Ballroom on Friday and Saturday.