Fischer's Fab Five

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Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds play The Basement Friday, Sept. 21.
By ThisWeek Community News  • 

1) Two terrific ladies of Americana will play the Midland Theatre in Newark in the coming days.

Ohio native Lisa Biales brings her acoustic folk-blues to the Stage Door Cabaret Series Thursday and Friday, Sept. 20-21. These concerts are club-style, with tables set on the Midland stage.

Tickets are $29.

One of The Beat’s favorite country singers, Kathy Mattea is a honey-voiced mezzo-soprano who can offer up a heart-rending ballad or foot-stomping send-up with equal aplomb.

Her recent work has explored Celtic and Appalachian styles.

Mattea plays the Midland Thursday, Sept. 27. Tickets are $65-$25.


2) Movement inspired by the music of Patsy Cline, Sammy Davis Jr. and Duke Ellington is, The Beat figures, a good thing.

BalletMet Columbus’ The American Songbook, Sept. 21 through Oct. 7 at its Performance Space, celebrates this music in a club-like atmosphere.

Popular collaborator Amy Seiwart sets the company premiere of her Dear Miss Cline, and the company brings back Sammy from a recent program.

The performance also includes a world premiere of a work by Stella Kane featuring music by Ellington, Harold Arlen, Cole Porter and more. The Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus joins in the fun for this one.

Tickets start at $20. Visit

3) While we’d like to feed the notion that The Beat knows all this stuff about all these bands, the harsh truth is we do a good bit of research when we come across something with which we are not already familiar.

It didn’t take long for us to decide we liked Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, as the first YouTube video we pulled up featured a funky, groovy riff with bass, guitar and horns (including harmonica) and, not long thereafter, the beyond-her-years Janis Joplin-meets-Etta James voice of 25-year-old singer Arleigh Kincheloe. However, if the deal needed yet to be sealed, an extended trombone solo did the trick.

The band renders old-time funk/R&B with fire and old-time torch blues with ice.

SS&TDB play The Basement Friday, Sept. 21. Hollis Brown opens. Tickets are $12/$15. Visit

4) Need more birds after Sister Sparrow and the dirty kind?

Check out indie chamber folk outfit Paper Bird, low-fi minimalist folk equal parts throwback and modern, at the Rumba Cafe Saturday, Sept. 22. Tickets are $10.

5) Tennessee has become a hotbed for non-country/roots/Christian artists in the past couple years, and the state continues to surprise with glam-punk trio Cheap Time.

Touring in support of its latest effort, Wallpaper Music, Cheap Time plays Double Happiness Saturday, Sept. 22.