KEXP at CMJ, Day 3: DeVotchKa

photos by Brittney Bush Bollay

A band that can fuse Romani, Greek, Slavic, Bolero, Mariachi, American-punk and folk roots is impressive. When that band hails from Denver, Colorado: It’s really impressive. DeVotchKa — Nick Urata (vocals, theremin, guitar, bouzouki, piano and trumpet), Jeanie Schroder (vocals, sousaphone, double bass), Tom Hagerman (violin, accordion and piano) and Shawn King (percussion and trumpet) — has a background as unique as its emotionally driven sound. To wit: a drummer raised by Lithuanian polka musicians; a singer who once played brass tuba in a Civil War re-enactment band; a violinist who has named his instrument Juan Pablo and considers it an extension and alter-ego of himself; and an electric guitarist whose grandparents (a Sicilian and a Gypsy) had an arranged marriage. Somehow, the quartet colorfully comes together as one, which many discovered when the band scored the indie hit Little Miss Sunshine, and their songs were prominently featured during the 2007 Oscar telecast. DeVotchKa will soon release its fifth studio album, and their fans could not be more eagerly awaiting their return.

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