Turkuaz Returns to Ithaca with Special Guests Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds

It was business as usual in Ithaca on Thursday April, 16 and by business as usual, it meant there was a raging funk storm tearing its way through The Haunt. With both bands performing new music, fans of Sister Sparrow and Turkuaz alike were in for a treat. As in years past, The Haunt was brimming with lovers of funk, soul, and blues, none of whom were able to keep themselves from dancing.

Hot off the new release of their EP “Stereochrome,” Turkuaz is in the middle of their Stereochrome tour, taking them from Portland to Saratoga and everywhere in between, leaving not a soul unsatisfied. Released on April 14 the new album brings one backs to the very roots of funk, with hints of Parliament and Sly & the Family Stone as well as a little of Turkuaz’s own distinct brand of soul that sends shivers running down the spine. Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds also brought a hefty dose of new tunes in anticipation of their upcoming album “The Weather Below,” set to be released May 19.  

With the dance floor filling quickly, Sister Sparrow took to the stage, kicking off the show with a mixture of old crowd favorites and a couple new tunes, “Don’t Be Jealous” and “Sugar,” off their upcoming album. Though lead singer Arleigh Kincheloe may be a small woman, she has an enormous heart and a bigger voice. With vocals ranging from soft and soulful to mean and gritty, Kincheloe is the perfect match for her band that ceases to provide slow bluesy solos and hard funk rhythms. Starting off with a jam between the guitar and bass, The Haunt could not get enough as they shouted out the words to “Lasso” and its big chorus “But what do you want?” Though it started big, the song quickly transformed as a hush fell over the crowd for an almost melancholy trumpet solo leading up to a big finish. Before heading off, Greg Sanderson and Chris Brouwers, the tenor sax and trumpet players for Turuaz, joined in for Sister Sparrow’s own, “Road Trip,” which also featured one last clap and sing along by the fans.

With the crowd sufficiently warmed up and maybe even a little sweaty from over an hour of dancing, Turkuaz wasted little time in making their way to the stage. The band kicked things off with their unreleased track “Type-Lika,” followed by “Bubba Slide.” Hot off their new album, Turkuaz brought out two new tracks “Tiptoe Through the Crypto” and “It’s So Hard,” featuring dueling solos with the guitar and Sister Sparrow’s Jackson Kincheloe on harmonica. The set was nothing short of a remarkable amalgam of sexy brass solos, psychedelic guitar riffs, and the tender blues voices of singers Sammi Garrett and the band’s newest member Shira Elias.

As if Turkuaz wasn’t the quintessential old school fun band with a herd of nine members, they somehow found room for more people on the stage as they brought out four of Sister Sparrow’s finest. It only seemed fit, with 13 people crowded onto the stage, that Turkuaz ended their set with a Beatles classic, “With A Little Help From My Friends.” Bari-sax player Josh Schwartz wasn’t far off from Joe Cocker himself as he belted out every word with a fiery passion that engulfed the entire venue. With the crowd left crying for “One more song!,” Turkuaz waited several minutes, building up as much suspense as possible before returning for the encore. To close out the night, the band performed “Lookin’ Tough, Feelin’ Good,” leaving everyone with the final notes of front man Dave Brandwein’s guitar solo ringing in their ears. As usual, Turkuaz and Sister Sparrow continue to impress, bringing a much needed dose of funk and soul to Ithaca’s The Haunt once again.

Setlists
Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds
UTW, Freight, Millie, Don’t Be Jealous, Sugar, We need a love, Mama Knows, Borderline, Prison Cells, Lasso, Dr. Feelgood, You Don’t Know, Roadtrip

Turkuaz
Type, Bubba, Bijou>20 Dollar Bill, It’s So Hard>Shape, Nightswimming, Coast, Future, Lookin’ Tough, Gogo, Ballad of Castor, Chatte, With a Little Help from My Friends
Encore: Lookin’ Tough, Feelin’ Good