On Saturday, April 2nd, Anders Osborne and his rock n’ roll band made a rare appearance in Portland, Oregon, playing a sold out show at downtown rock club Dante’s.

Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds came out and charged the crowd’s battery with a high-energy, soulful set. Things got dirty right out of the gate, as they opened with “Dirt” from 2012 release, Pound of Dirt. The seven members of the Dirty Birds owned Dante’s small stage with confidence, and played a set that included a cover of Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel.” Arleigh Kincheloe (Sister Sparrow) was a natural in both voice and stage presence, and tackled blues, funk, and rock songs with equal voracity.

Anders Osborne and company took the stage and kicked things off with “Back On Dumaine” from 2007’s Coming Down. For this tour, Osborne enlisted Eric McFadden on guitar, Carl Dufrene on bass, Brady Blade on drums and Danny Eisenberg on keys. They all seemed happy and eager to get down to business.

Dirty Birds harmonica player Jackson Kincheloe (who happens to be the brother of Sister Sparrow herself) joined the fray for a beautifully raucous “Move Back To Mississippi” and seemed to relish the chance to jam with the Osborne crew.

The setlist was a reflection of Osborne’s well-traveled past. There was dirty rock as in the aforementioned “Move Back To Mississippi,” powerful instrumental interludes as in “Big Talk,” and the reggae grooves of “Sarah Anne.” And like the man himself, he always brought it back to New Orleans. McFadden played electric mandolin for a duet with Osborne on “Louisiana Gold” and the Dirty Bird horns come out for a couple of songs, including Bob Dylan’s “Everybody Must Get Stoned.”

When you watch Anders Osborne, you can almost see the music coursing through him. He’ll start a song and soon close his eyes, divining music from someplace outside of himself as he moves around the stage. The band happily follows along, each member adding his own flourishes as the group flows through each song’s sonic landscape.

Tender musical moments would meander and build toward the heavier side of things, smiles morphing into snarls and bobbing heads into banging heads, beads of sweat arcing through Dante’s stage lights.

Osborne came out for the encore with McFadden again on mandolin, and took the crowd home with him one last time with a beautiful “Summertime In New Orleans.” Anders Osborne is welcome to come back and play anytime. 

For those heading to New Orleans during Jazz Fest season, be sure to catch Anders Osborne at the inaugural NOLA Crawfish Fest. Osborne is a very special guest of an event that features George Porter, Jr., Jon Cleary, Nigel Hall, John “Papa” Gros, Billy Iuso & The Restless Natives, Papa Mali, Eric Lindell, and more. You can find more information about the festival via its official website.

Setlist: Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, at Dante’s, Portland, OR – 4/2/16

Set: Dirt, Catch Me If You Can, The Way You Make Me Feel (Michael Jackson), Don’t Be Jealous, Boogie Man (Aretha Franklin), Mama Knows, Love Me Like A Man, Who Are You, Bad Love

Setlist: Anders Osborne at Dante’s, Portland, OR – 4/2/16

Set: Back on Dumaine > Big Talk > Sarah Anne > Move Back To Mississippi (with Jackson Kincheloe on harmonica), Pontchartrain > Louisiana Gold (Osborne/McFadden), Everybody Must Get Stoned (with Dirty Bird horns), Stoned, Drunk, and Naked (with Dirty Bird horns) Fool’s Gold > Lafayette, Had My Reasons

E: Summertime In New Orleans (Osborne/McFadden)

A full gallery of images can be seen below, courtesy of Greg Homolka Photography: