Fischer's Fab Five

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Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds play The Basement Friday, Sept. 21.

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.