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Swagger and Swinging Beats

Davina and the Vagabonds
Davina and the Vagabonds

The Minneapolis-based Davina and the Vagabonds have swagger — circa 1920s swagger, the kind found in the midst of big-band jazz and the blues. It was 2011 when Davina Sowers (vocals, piano, ukulele) put out her first full-length album, Black Cloud, and she and the Vagabonds have been crashing to the top of the modern blues scene ever since, winning accolades like one of the 10 top releases of the year (Minneapolis Star Tribune). 

Sowers’ incomparable yet classic vocals are supported by a lively combination of trumpet (Zack Lozier) and trombone (Ben Link), kept in time to the swinging beats of a stand-up bass (Matt Blake) and Connor McRae Hammergreen on drums. The groups’ sound varies from slow swing to quick-paced blues, but the energy they bring to their vintage, borderline theatrical, performance never wavers. 

The Thunder Bay Blues Festival likened listening to Davina & the Vagabonds to “stepping into a wondrous musical time machine.” A mixture of classic covers and snappy originals, the Vagabonds’ music sets up a nostalgic scene of another time — one with flappers, martinis and zoot suits galore. 

Catch these cool cats 7:30 pm Sunday, April 3, at The Shedd; $14.50-$29.