By Fred Mills
Since exploding onto the scene more than a decade ago, Davina and the Vagabonds have grown from a down-and-dirty blues band into one of the most exciting acoustic ensembles on the international stage. This high-energy quintet has established itself with a stellar live show, a professional look, and good old-fashioned hard work. They used to average over 300 shows a year in their hometown of Minneapolis/St. Paul but now have an ambitious full-time U.S. and international schedule. On June 9 you can see them live at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center as part of the LIVE! In Roswell series.
With influences ranging from Fats Domino and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Aretha Franklin and Tom Waits, the band draws from the last 100 years of American music, and is converting audiences one show at a time. So much more than just a blues act, Davina’s shows are filled with New Orleans charm, Memphis soul swagger, dark theatrical moments that evoke Kurt Weill, and tender gospel passages.
Davina’s voice and stage presence defy categorization; she has been compared to Etta James, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday, and Betty Boop, but comparisons don’t suffice. That is some great company, which underscores the fact that Sowers is a true original.
“Davina and The Vagabonds… They dare to be different.” Said John Hadley in Downbeat Magazine. “Davina zips to near impossible heights in a divine declaration of romance.”
One of the keys to Davina’s success is the band’s irresistible live show and their latest album Nicollet and Tenth was recorded over two nights at a club show in Minneapolis. Like its predecessors, 2014’s Sunshine and 2011’s Black Cloud, Nicollet and Tenth is the latest chapter in Davina and the Vagabonds’ new spin on an old sound mission. This show takes place at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, located at 950 Forrest Street in Roswell. For tickets and additional info visit www.roswellgov.com/cac.