I went to see Davina and the Vagabonds at Halling Recital Hall (MSU) Tuesday night, and please now consider me an unofficial member of the band's street team. What an amazing performance. Lots of energy, unique sound, and an incredibly dynamic personality behind the piano.
Davina Sowers fronts the group and has a voice that's hard to describe. I've said before it's like a cross between British pop singer Duffy and Billie Holiday. That's as close as I can get. It's powerful, but controlled, and almost sounds like a trumpet at times. The New Orleans style jazz and blues band has two horn players, which provide the heart of the music along with Sowers' voice. Every song has a horn solo, and during one song, Sowers sang patterns the trumpet would mimick. Her voice could almost be mistaken for a dueling brass instrument.
Halling was nearly full. Just a few people shy of the capacity at 340. It's shocking to think the band performs at the Wine Cafe, which doesn't have a stage or many tables in the main area to support seating. The band is at the cafe again April 1. I'll definitely have to check that out.