Davina And The Vagabonds review….July 14, 2014…

DAVINA AND THE VAGABONDS

SUNSHINE

ROUSTABOUT RECORDS

SUNSHINE–FLOW–FIZZLE OUT–AWAY FROM ME–I TRY TO BE GOOD–YOU BETTER START PRAYING–RED SHOES–THROW IT TO THE WOLVES FOR LOVE–I’D RATHER DRINK MUDDY WATER–YOU MUST BE LOSING YOUR MIND–HEAVENLY DAY–UNDER LOCK AND KEY (BONUS TRACK)

Since their last album in 2011, Davina (Sowers) And The Vagabonds toured extensively throughout thirty-eight states, two Canadian provinces, and eight Europan nations.  That extensive travel took its toll, and, as such, several band members have changed since the release of “Black Cloud.”  Now, tho, all is “Sunshine,” as the new album’s title explains, featuring nine originals and three covers, showing that this group has lost none of its dedication and passion to carrying on their vintage jazz, swing, and blues style, all done acoustically.  Davina’s vocals are energetic, sassy, and, when the need arises, downright torch-y.

The upbeat, doo-wop-inspired title cut sets the tone for the rest of the album.  Her heart is now full of “Sunshine,” after the love affair that was “wrong for years” is now behind her.  “Away From Me” is that “3 AM and it’s closing time” torch song, where “the blues took you away from me and me away from you,’ its poignancy underscored by only the backing of piano and brush-stroked drums.  “I Try To Be Good” is a cute “good girl-bad girl” song, set over a minor-key rhumba beat.

Even tho she’s got on “My Red Shoes,” Davina’s staying in tonite with that special someone!  The horn section, percussion, and piano give this one a pure New Orleans groove.  And, the set closes as it began, with the optimism of Davina who begs a new lover to “take me out from Under Lock And Key.”

We had two favorites, too.  Davina does have a bluesy side, evident on the down-and-dirty classic, “I’d Rather Drink Muddy Water and sleep in a hollow log” than let her lover go!  And, she plays the “messenger” to a potential beau who’s lover is “hangin’ around with all those nasty boys uptown,” in the ragtimey, “You Better Start Praying.”

Davina has been compared to Adele, Bessie Smith, and Amy Winehouse, with her attention to detail on this new take on a vintage sound.  Decide for yourself as you enjoy Davina And The Vagabonds and “Sunshine!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society.

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