Monday, June 20, 2011
Davina & the Vagabonds--"Black Clouds"
Davina & the Vagabonds have made another great cd! This is their fourth release, following "Songs From Thomas Ave." (2006), "Under Lock and Key" (2007), and "Live at the Times" (2008). The band is based in Minneapolis MN. They have been playing an energetic piano and horns based blues/root music together for 5 years. They are made up of Connor McRae on drums, Michael Carvale on bass, Daniel Elkmeier on trumpet, Ben Link on trombone, and Davina Sowers on piano and an incredible, totally unique voice. That's right--no guitar! Sowers wrote all the songs. To put it simply, this cd works to reel you in--the songs are built on a rock-solid rhythmic foundation, with an adventurous amount of horns, Davina's real good lyrics and piano and voice. Things get off to a rollicking start and finish with "Vagabond Stomp," and in between Davina & the Vagabonds take you on a wonderful musical journey. "Sugar Moon" is terrific in the same way as if Cyndi Lauper sang "This Land Is Your Land" with Ray Charles on piano. "River" might be the best song I've heard this year, and I'm not even sure it's the best song on this cd. "Pushpin" or "Crosseyed" might be even better songs--they both cause me to turn the cd player up every time I hear them. In fact, all the songs on here have that effect on me. If you are a fan of old-school gospel music, or Dixieland jazz, or old Phil Spector-ish R & B, or nearly any music of any kind, chances are that you will love this cd. If you are young or old or anything in between, you will love this cd. This is my 7 year old friend Nathaniel's favorite cd--in fact, I had to borrow it from him long enough to write this review. I was playing it last night and my wife asked me if it was blues--I honestly don't know and I'm not going to argue about it. This cd is great music, made with passion and taste.
If you go to their website http://www.davinaandthevagabonds.com you can also listen to other songs by the band.