Davina Sowers’ band, Davina and the Vagabonds, brings 100 years of American music and originals to audiences around the world. It’s not a nostalgia act, but the band shows off its ability to transcend the hipster “folk” bands of today.
“There are all these Millennials who are coming in, like Mumford and Sons and stuff like that,” Sowers says. “They delve into all these different eras of music. Straight Americana is a major melting pot of different types of music.
“I don’t think it’s a regression; some people do. Listen to Frank Ocean—I’m in love with his new album. It’s so R&B based. I know it’s new and all the kids like it, but they’re not reinventing the wheel. They’re taking the stuff their parents listened to—or even grandparents—and now it’s become this melting pot of stuff. I think it’s awesome.”
Davina and the Vagabonds represent a melange as well. With influences ranging from Fats Domino and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Aretha Franklin and Tom Waits, the band has converted audiences worldwide. Davina and the Vagabonds return to the Musical Instrument Museum for a third time on Wednesday, March 8.
“We did the MIM Fest when it first opened,” Sowers says. “Last year, we played the hall for the first time. I can’t wait to get out of the tundra of Minnesota. It’ll be nice to get some vitamin D and to be in such a different (atmosphere). It’s like being in a different planet.”
Sowers says she and the Vagabonds will bring a high-energy show to the MIM.
“When it comes to the performance part, we’re a family on stage,” she says. “We want people’s faces to hurt from smiling. We’re really personable. It’s a show. It’s not just about music. It’s also about entertaining. Even if I have a crappy day, two songs into our shows, and I’m over it. It’s just so nice to be able to have that type of outlet. I wish I could do that with exercising.”
Davina and the Vagabonds, Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix, 480.478.6000, mimmusictheater.themim.org, 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 8, $28.50-$38.50.