The Free Press, Mankato, MN

February 22, 2013

Live music: Davina and the Vagabonds at Kabob's; Sans Souci Quartet at Red Sky


The Free Press

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Kabob’s hosting Davina and the Vagabonds

Anyone who has heard Davina and the Vagabonds likely hasn’t forgotten.

There’s just nothing quite like the Minnesota five-piece whose cagey brand of soul, swing and blues does not include a guitar. It does, however, feature the incomparable vocals of Davina Sowers, whose singing has been praised as a “modern day, female version of Louis Armstrong.” National Public Radio’s Marc Silver characterized her vocal stylings as “sassy, salty, sweet ... that’s childlike at the top, husky at the bottom.”

While averaging more than 300 shows a year, Davina and the Vagabonds have earned a reputation as a hard-working, high-performing band. They play at a variety of festivals -- New Orleans Jazz Fest and Sierre Blues Festival in Switzerland, to name two -- and have earned a following in Europe as well.

The band plays at Kabob’s Skewer and Drink at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Kabob’s is located at 530 S. Front St.

Innovative bluegrass band at Red Sky tonight

Fresh off the release of its second studio album, the Sans Souci Quartet performs at the Red Sky Lounge at 9 p.m. today.

The Minnesota band popular for its innovative arrangements and dramatic takes on folk and bluegrass music released “Lemming” in the fall of 2012.

According to the band’s website: “‘Lemming’ was crafted by heartache and hard living mixed with a tinge of laughter. The album’s opening track, ‘PGOAT,’ features the unmistakable fiddle style of guest musician Ryan Young of Trampled by Turtles and wistful lyrics by the band’s mandolin player and songwriter, Eric Larson. ... Midway through the album, the quartet takes the listener on a deliberately spacey instrumental journey. ‘Spud’s Dream’ features a lonely banjo, played by Eric Roberts, that first evokes a dream world and later progresses toward a full crescendo anchored by Adam Lutz on upright bass.”

For more information about the concert, visit www.redskymankato.com. For more information about the band, visit sanssouciquartet.com.