How They Speak, Southern Tour, Sweet Sheiks

A fitting tribute could go something like, ‘Time traveling musical outfit gets knees-a-knocking with woodwin, banjo, tuba, fiddle and a gal that carry a tune, strum a chord, bend a saw and rake the dickens out of a washboard. They go by… Sweet Sheiks.’

Jen Schrank leads this line from the middle with a musical cast from scruffy to dapper and everywhere in between beside her. They rustle through a slew of takes on southern roots jazz and blues music. Sweet Sheiks is Schrank’s second successful project, having founded the three piece roots band Mississippi Sawyer in 2011. Her band mates decorate various ensembles outside of the Sweet Sheiks outfit as well.

via Local Trolley

Everything but the Kitchen Sink

The whole band has musical chops in their own right. Ousia (violin) most notably campaigned with MKE indie cult favorite Ruth B8r Ginsberg. Jazz clarinet wiz Andy Spadafora sits in Dead Man’s Carnival variety show house band among other regular gigs, along with Aiden White (compound washboard, guitar).

Aaron Johnson gigs regularly as a tuba specialist. Garret Burton, formerly of the Thriftones, fingers the banjo deftly and features on vocals. When Sweet Sheiks are really going good former Wisconsin Badger tubist Matt Wallrath gets in the mix as well.

Following the Tennessee River south, Sweet Sheiks are picking up steam as they head to Louisiana, after stopping in Memphis and Birmingham. Sweek Sheiks have a couple shows left on their Southern Tour in Abita Springs at Abita Brewery (January 13) and in New Orleans at Apple Barrel Bar (January 14) before heading back north through Carbondale, IL (January 15).

Sweet Sheiks hopefully resume their regular slot Tuesday nights at the Highbury in February.

Update: Sweet Sheiks will have a monthly gig at the Jazz Estate spring of 2018.

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