Davina & the Vagabonds keep the sounds of the '30s alive, playing old-fashioned New Orleans jazz and blues in the 21st century.
Based in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, the international touring group debuted with Live @ the Times in 2008 before releasing their first studio LP, Black Cloud, in 2011. They went on to appear on Billboard's jazz and blues charts.
With a wry wink in her vocal delivery, Pennsylvania native Davina Sowers may occasionally mirror the phrasing of Billie Holiday, but her group plays this music as retro good times. Sowers (vocals, piano), Matt Blake (bass), Dan Eikmeier (trumpet), Ben Link (trombone), and Connor McRae (drums) formed Davina & the Vagabonds in Minneapolis in 2006. Over the next few years, the group gigged regularly, building a reputation for their slyly updated nostalgia. Featuring the lineup of Sowers, Eikmeier, McRae, Michael Carvale (bass/cello), and Darren Sterud (trombone), their first studio album, Black Cloud, appeared on Roustabout Records in 2011. The follow-up, 2014's Sunshine, bolstered the group's reputation, charting at 13 on Billboard's blues chart. They welcomed back Link on trombone, with upright bassist Andrew Burns replacing Carvale. In 2016, they reached number 11 on the Billboard jazz chart with their third full-length, Nicollet and Tenth, which featured Greg Byers on bass.
Davina & the Vagabonds' first album to be recorded outside of the North Star State, the Garry West-produced Sugar Drops was tracked at Nashville's Compass Sound Studio with Sowers, her husband Zack Lozier (trumpet), Reese Wynans (keys), Doug Lancio (guitar), and Todd Phillips (bass). It arrived on Red House Records in 2019. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Marcy Donelson, Rovi