Davina and the Vagabonds perform in The Current studio

Davina and the Vagabonds perform "Sugar Moon" live in The Current studio. (MPR)
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Davina and the Vagabonds perform live in The Current studio (full session and interview)
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  • Davina and the Vagabonds perform live in The Current studio (full session and interview) 19:43
  • Davina and the Vagabonds - Sunshine (Live on The Current) 03:14
  • Davina and the Vagabonds - Sugar Moon (Live on The Current) 04:08
  • Davina and the Vagabonds - Red Shoes (Live on The Current) 02:47

"I'm never going to cry no more," sings Davina Sowers on "Sunshine," a New Orleans-influenced, triumphant jazz song from her band, Davina and the Vagabonds. As she continues to perform, though, she betrays the vulnerability behind her music; her voice quavers and wails, and as polished as the group's sound is, raw emotion lies under the luster.

Celebrating the March 25 release of their new live album Nicollet and Tenth, Davina and the Vagabonds (Sowers on vocals/piano; Matt Blake on upright bass; Ben Link on trombone; Zack Lozier on trumpet; Connor McRae Hammergren on drums) stopped into the studio to share three songs, each of them heartfelt and colorful.

The band is known for their traveling lifestyle, having spent countless nights performing around the world. They're called the Vagabonds due to Sowers's traveling mindset; "I was quite an adventurous young lady," she said, "being on my own at a very young age [and] hitchhiking all over the U.S. So I thought it really suited me more than anything."

That said, the Dakota Jazz Club has been something of a home base for Davina and her band. "I owe any type of success in the Twin Cities to the Dakota," she said. "We got to grow there." Fittingly, the new album was recorded at the jazz club, and its title is directly borrowed from the Dakota's intersection.

This weekend, Davina and the Vagabonds will return to the Dakota for six shows over four days, performing at both 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. show on April 21, 22, and 24.

Songs Performed

"Sunshine"
"Sugar Moon"
"Red Shoes"

"Sunshine" and "Red Shoes" are off Davina and the Vagabonds' new live album, Nicollet and Tenth, out now via Roustabout Records. "Sugar Moon" is off 2011's Black Cloud.

Hosted by Andrea Swensson
Produced by Andrea Swensson
Engineered by Mike DeMark
Web feature by Cecilia Johnson
Visuals by Nate Ryan

6 Photos

  • Davina and the Vagabonds
    Davina and the Vagabonds perform live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Davina and the Vagabonds
    Matt Blake of Davina and the Vagabonds performing live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Davina and the Vagabonds
    Davina Sowers of Davina and the Vagabonds performing live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Davina and the Vagabonds
    Ben Link of Davina and the Vagabonds performing live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Davina and the Vagabonds
    Connor McRae Hammergren of Davina and the Vagabonds performing live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Davina and the Vagabonds
    Davina Sowers of Davina and the Vagabonds performing live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)