Red House Records is announcing the release date for SUGAR DROPS, the first album for the label from Davina and the Vagabonds. They are sharing the track “Little Miss Moonshine,” which is premiering today at MPR radio’s The Current. Listen to the track HERE.
The album marks the first time singer/songwriter/pianist Davina Sowers entered a proper studio to record an album. The Minneapolis-based artist holed up in Nashville’s Compass Sound Studio with producer (and Compass Records co-founder) Garry West, along with her trumpeter, string arranger and husband, Zack Lozier, and a rotating cast of powerhouse players including Todd Phillips (David Grisman, Robbie Fulks) on bass, Doug Lancio (Patty Griffin, John Hiatt, Tom Jones) on guitar and Reese Wynans (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Bonamassa) on Hammond B3.
Davina says of the debut track, “My songs always begin with an emotion, so it started out as an ‘I see you and I see through you’ song. I do what I do because I am who I am, not because I wanna make a buck or because it’s the next cool trend. There’s nothing smellier than dishonest music and fake people. Even if you’re doing music from eras past and paying homage to music that you, yourself have been influenced by, it needs to come from the heart and from your own truth. Then, through the process of writing it, I started reflecting, and I ended up giving advice to these types of people and having a little empathy; it was hard when I started out, too. You can get lost in what you think others want and it’s not necessarily who you are.
“At the end of the day though, it still needs to be your work and your words.”
Sugar Drops is distillation of bluesy barroom baritone and bravado, graveyard jazz grooves, and noir-ish confessional lyricism backed by boisterous piano, guitar, and strings. Eclectic, engaging and instilled with a deep respect and knowledge for the Great American Songbook, SUGAR DROPS is the actualization of longstanding intent for Davina.
“It represents about 100 years of Americana; I did exactly what I wanted to do,” she says.
Davina grew up in Altoona, PA, which she now describes as “awesome in the industrial era, but horrible for high school.” She developed a heavy drug habit in high school, which morphed into heroin dependency, left her homeless, sent her in and out of jail, and brought on all manner of trouble. Kicking dope on the streets, she “got clean, started the band, and worked [her] ass off every day since.”
Davina and the band are constantly on the road, touring throughout the world they’ve earned feverish acclaim from the Chicago Tribune, NPR, and more in addition to performing on BBC’s international favorite late-night program Later…with Jools Holland and appearing on PBS’s Bluegrass Underground.
For more info, visit davinaandthevagabonds.com.
Below are tour dates for Davina and the Vagabonds:
MAY17 St. Charles, IL – Club Arcada
MAY18 Phoenix, AZ – Musical Instrument Museum – MIM
MAY31 Bellevue, WA – Bellevue Jazz and Blues Festival
JUN 1 Milwaukee, WI – Shank Hall
JUN 2 Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon
JUN 5 Pittsburgh, PA – Club Cafe
JUN 6 Roanoke, VA – The Spot on Kirk
JUN 7 North Bethesda, MD – AMP by Strathmore
JUN 8 Williamsburg, VA – My Tenacity! Festival
JUN 13 Tampa, FL – The Attic at Rock Brothers
JUN 14 Delray Beach FL – Arts Garage
JUN 21 Sioux Falls, SD – Levitt at The Falls
JUN 22 Elkhart Indiana – Elkhart Jazz Festival
JUN 25 Saskatoon SK – Saskatchewan Jazz Fest– B’wayTheatre
JUN 27 Edmonton, AB – Edmonton International Jazz Festival
JUN 28 Vancouver, BC – Vancouver International Jazz Festival
JUN 29 Victoria, BC – Victoria International JazzFest
JUL12 – JUL 18 Edinburgh, Scotland – Edinburgh Jazz Festival
JUL 20 Brooklyn, NY – On Stage at Kingsborough
JUL 24 New York, NY – The Iridium
JUL 25 Southbury, CT – Riverview Cinema and Playhouse
JUL 26 Old Lyme CT – The Side Door
JUL 27 Hiram, ME – Ossipee Valley Music Festival
JUL 28 Shirley MA – The Bull Run
AUG 5 Minneapolis, MN – Guthrie Thtr. ALBUM RELEASE SHOW
AUG 8 Santa Fe, NM – Santa Fe Bandstand
AUG10 Colorado Springs, CO – Music on The Mesa
AUG16 – 17 Gainesville, GA – The Arts Council Smithgall Arts Center
SEP 7 Jerusalem, Israel – Ganei Tikva Cultural Center
SEP 9 Herzliya, Israel – Jerusalem Theater
SEP 10 Modiin, Israel – Zappa Club
SEP 11 Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel – Azrieli Mall
SEP 12 Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel – Tel Aviv Museum of Art
SEP 13 Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel – Tel Aviv Museum of Art
SEP 16 Budapest, Hungary – MomKult
SEP 18 – 19 Paris, France – Duc des Lombards
SEP 20 Czech Republic – Jazz Dock
SEP 21 Vienna, Austria – Porgy & Bess
OCT 12 Red Wing, MN – Sheldon Theatre
NOV 9 Porto Alegre – Barra Shopping Sul
NOV 12 São Paulo, Brazil – Teatro Opus