by B.J. Huchtemann
Davina & The Vagabonds from the Minneapolis area hit local stages twice this week. They are one of my favorite new bands on the touring scene. Pronounced Dah-VEE-na, this sassy keyboard player and singer-songwriter is making the jump from Twin Cities mainstay to national touring artist. The band emphasizes piano, vocals and some swingin’ horns. Davina & The Vagabonds are part jazzy swing, part retro New Orleans R&B and all fun. They mix excellent originals with cover tunes done up with Davina’s unique twists. She can belt or purr with equal parts soul and sass. The Star Tribune writes she is the “hardest working blues woman in Minnesota ... two things remain constant ... her throaty but cushiony voice ... that’s part Bonnie Raitt, Etta James and a little Amy Winehouse and her band’s rollicking New Orleans’ flavor.”
The City Pages writes “Davina takes ‘retro’ back even further than (Amy) Winehouse and her Phil Specter reminiscing. She beckons an age when bad girls wore red lipstick and pin curls. Her music may be adorned with exceptional groaning trumpets, rat-a-tatting drum rolls and staccato piano lines, but…she’s in a league of her own.”
Davina & The Vagabonds release their new CD Black Cloud (Roustabout Records) on June 21, but the band may have some copies at their coming gigs. Catch Davina & The Vagabonds at 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 4, as part of the 2nd Annual Lincoln BBQ & Blues Fest. Famous Dave’s hosts the event in their parking lot at Southpointe Pavillions, 27th Street and Pine Lake Road. Also performing are the Chicago Rhythm & Blues Kings (7 p.m.) and The Blues Orchestra featuring Honeyboy Turner (5 p.m.). See SouthPointeShopping.com.
|Davina! Photo courtesy of davinaandthevagabonds.com|
Next Thursday, Davina & The Vagabonds heats up the 21st Saloon. Catch them from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 9.
More 21st Saloon Blues
This Thursday, June 2, popular Kansas City band Trampled Under Foot takes the stage the 21st Saloon. Trampled Under Foot is a trio of siblings who put on a crowd-pleasing show with plenty of heart. They were recently featured on the cover of the March/April issue of Blues Revue magazine and have a new CD out. In the article, Janiva Magness is quoted talking about the night when Trampled Under Foot won the Blues Foundation’s 2008 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. “That little girl sent me on a trip,” she raves of vocalist Danielle Schnebelen. “I haven’t seen anyone do what she just did since the first time I saw Etta James in Phoenix open for Martha Reeves and James Brown.”
Not only did the band win the prestigious IBC, but guitarist Nick Schnebelen that night received the Albert King Award for Most Promising Guitarist.
Their new CD is The Wrong Side of the Blues and it’s already getting lots of buzz. Hear clips and find out more about the band at tufkc.com.
On Thursday, June 16, powerhouse band The Nighthawks takes the stage. The Nighthawks have been going strong since 1972 and just took home the 2011 Blues Music Award for Band of the Year. Based in Washington, D.C., this hard-driving group is a favorite of blues harmonica fans. Visit nighthawks.com for more on the band’s story and sound.
The Thursday series is set to continue through the summer. Guitar star Popa Chubby plays on June 23. Hoodoo favorite Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat plugs in with their guitar-driven Texas blues on June 30.
All the Thursday blues shows are 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Soaring Wings Wine & Blues
Soaring Wings Vineyard south of Springfield hosts their annual Wine & Blues Festival on June 4, 5-9:30 p.m. Admission is $15 for those 21 and up, $10 for ages 12-20, those under 12 are admitted free. The event showcases International Blues Challenge finalists. Hear Nebraska Blues Challenge finalists Elwin James & The Way Outs (5:30 p.m.), Kansas City’s Shannon & The Rhythm Kings (7 p.m.), and Iowa band The Candymakers (8:30 p.m.) See SoaringWingsWine.com.
Dancing In The Streets
Remember next weekend, June 10-11, as music takes to the streets with The Summer Arts Festival in Omaha and Lincoln’s Celebrate Lincoln. Check GoLincolnGo.com for Celebrate Lincoln details.
See SummerArts.org for details on this year’s Summer Arts Festival. It’s located downtown on Farnam Street from 10th to 15th Streets and features some great roots and blues. Omaha’s own All Young Girls Are Machine Guns plays the main stage at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 10. Crowd pleasing blues man Zac Harmon plays t 7 p.m. on Friday. Lil’ Brian Terry & The Zydeco Travelers close things out on Saturday, June 11, at 9 p.m.
The next Sunday Roadhouse is on Wednesday, June 8, when Chatham County Line brings their bluegrass-based roots music to The Waiting Room for a 7:30 show. See SundayRoadhouse.com.
Check ZooBar.com for what’s up at the Zoo this week. Remember that the Zoo Bar 38th Anniversary is scheduled for July 5-9, with an outdoor stage on July 8 and 9 featuring headliners Dave Alvin, Kelley Hunt, The Stone River Boys, The Derailers, a Self-Righteous Brothers reunion and more
You can visit OmahaBlues.com for detailed list of metro show compiled by the Blues Society of Omaha.
When you can’t find the Hoodoo column in print please check HoodooRootsBlues.blogspot.com.
Rollin’ on the River
In late-breaking news, the rising Missouri River flood waters are going to change up lots of events planned for the riverfront’s Lewis & Clark Landing as well as the Anchor Inn. It’s likely that Playing With Fire on July 16 will be relocated, according to organizer Jeff Davis, with details to come.
Watch playingwithfireomaha.net The water issues on the Landing will doubtless impact the Omaha Riverfront Jazz & Blues Festival (OmahaJazzandBlues.com) scheduled for July 8 and 9 as well as indie-rock event Maha scheduled for August 13 (MahaMusicFestival.com).
Also watch for updates on the Kris Lager Band’s planned HULLABALOO Music and Camping Festival scheduled for August 5-7 at the Anchor Inn www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=196325187072306)