Get ready for blues with Davina and the Vagabonds

Published 6:48 am Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New Orleans-style party music is on its way to Austin this weekend.

Twin Cities blues group Davina and the Vagabonds take the Paramount Theatre stage Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $12, or $8 for students, to see the band’s Austin debut. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, the box office sells two tickets for the price of one.

“You listen to them, and you love them,” said Scott Anderson, the theater’s manager of operations. “They are just really, really cool.”

Anderson met the band last summer when he, with his band Plan B, shared a stage with Davina et al at a Rochester festival.

Anderson describes the group’s music as “throwback.” “It’s older music, with a really fresh twist,” he said.

The group has received acclaim from the entertainment media in Minneapolis and St. Paul, who has compared Davina Sower’s southern voice to that of Etta James, Bonnie Rait and Amy Winehouse.

Sowers is a classically-trained pianist and vocalist who moved to Minneapolis from Key West, Fla. to pursue her career in music.

She has shared the stage with the Blues Brothers, Buddy Guy and Elvin Bishop among others.

Vagabond’s bassist and vocalist, Michael Carvale, is also a transplant to Minneapolis. Born in Trenton, N.J. he moved to Minnesota to attend The McNally School of Music in the 90s. He has received two lifetime achievement awards for his work with The Lamont Cranston Band and is also a member of the Minnesota Rock & Roll/Country Hall of Fame.

On drums is Jordan Carlson, a teacher, who has toured all over North America with a variety of bands, having played professionally since the age of 16.

Trumpeter Zack Lozier has toured internationally and has played everything from avant garde jazz, to hip hop, to polkas, specializing in New Orleans music, straight ahead jazz, R&B, blues and world music. He has studied at Milwaukee High School of the Arts as well as the University of Minnesota.

On trombone is Scott Agster, a Twin Cities teacher, composer, arranger, and musician who has performed internationally as well.

The blues band operates sans guitar, which is just one quirky concept that has called attention to this Twin Cities’ jazz club mainstay.

For more information about Davina and the Vagabonds go to www.davinaandthevagabonds.com.

The Paramount Theatre box office is open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

Davina and the Vagabonds

Saturday, Feb. 13, 7:30 p.m.

The Paramount Theatre

125 Fourth Ave. NE

Tickets: $12 for adults, $8 for students

Buy one, get one free