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Thursday, December 18

Review & Photos: The Pimps of Joytime w/ Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds - Bowery Ballroom - 12/12/14

The Pimps of Joytime joined forces with Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds this past weekend for two shows at the Bowery Ballroom on Friday and Saturday evening. The intimate venue seemed to be the perfect setting for these bands to connect with the audience and deliver top notch shows from start to finish.  
Kicking the evening off was The Jason Spooner Band out of Portland, Maine. Although I wasn’t fortunate enough to catch more than a song or two, Jason’s soulful vocals were a much welcomed sound as we entered the venue. The band seemed completely at home on the stage as they delivered their own style of Roots and Folk Rock to the NY City crowd.  This was my first time ever seeing this act and although it was brief, it was more than enough to have me seeking out my next opportunity to do so. 
After a very brief break Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds took to the stage to close out yet another successful tour in front of a hometown crowd.  A powerful baritone solo echoed through the venue before the full band exploded into song getting the evening started in proper fashion. The band who’s built perfectly to blow the roof off of any building seemed to play off the intimacy of the venue delivering an overall slower more soulful performance this evening. Working their way through their ever-growing musical catalog from beautiful ballads where lead singer Arleigh's voice seemed to cut straight to the heart, to horn heavy rocked out dance tunes leaving little doubt this band can do it all.  At one point they even paid tribute to a personal favorite of mine Tom Petty, offering up a nicely done cover while creating a venue wide sing along. The band also treated those in attendance to two new songs, both of which will be found on their upcoming studio release, which they are currently working on. These tunes fit nicely into the bands current catalog and were a good sign of things to come moving forward.
Closing out the evening as well as their tour, The Pimps of Joytime took to the stage with authority. This band is playing as well as they ever have and it was as clear as the joy on the faces in the crowd.  Taking advantage of the intimacy of the venue much like the acts before them only with a slightly different approach. It seemed as if the band set their sights on reaching each member of the audience one by one, creating a full venue dance party. And that is exactly what happened throughout their performance. Weaving in and out of musical styles the band displayed their undeniable talent effortlessly over the course of one set that I for one wished could have went all night. From high energy EDM infused moments to pure soul dripping funk the band just kept on jamming. This performance was one of the best I have seen from this band, easily attracting those who had not seen them before to come back time and time again.

 Ending on a high note at times seems hard for some performers, however that was not the case this evening. Bringing out Jackson from Sister Sparrow for a tune that concluded with a mind bending harmonica duel showcasing both musicians’ natural playing abilities. This surely would have ended the evening on a high note but the band wasn’t quite done there. They finished it all off by keeping Jackson right where he was and bringing up the Dirty Birds horn section as well as Sister Sparrow herself for one final musical throw down. Putting a final exclamation point on a powerful non-stop musical dance party. 
This was a well-rounded evening of music offering fans a little bit of everything, resulting in an evening of musical bliss. Two bands on the rise joining together to end their respective tours on a high note in New York City. Regardless of your taste in music, both of these bands are truly passionate musicians who give their all with each and every performance, leaving you excitedly waiting for their next show. If you haven’t yet had the privilege of seeing either of these bands perform I would highly recommend doing so at your earliest convenience. 
Words: Chason Heins
Photos: Mike Geller 
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