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Vagabond Opera Treks to Boise

Friday, Aug. 16 at Visual Arts Collective


Accordions were once the reserve of embarrassing relatives and Lawrence Welk marathons. Charmed by European street performers, backpacking college kids have helped propel the formerly dorky instrument to the forefront of a new-ish genre mashing Greek/Balkan/Roma/French folk music with vintage Americana, early jazz and 19th century British vaudeville.

The squeezebox is center with Vagabond Opera, a six-piece "Bohemian cabaret" based in Portland, Ore. Sporting period duds like stovepipe hats, the Vagabonds dress like they should be drinking rot-gut from Mason jars, but their sound is smooth, polished, almost show tune-y. The exuberant, theatrical songs are an attractive blend of rollicking ethno-European styles, but with an unmistakable fresh-faced feel.

With Fleet Street Klezmer Band, Storie Grubb, and Sharon and Don Murray. 9 p.m. $10. Visual Arts Collective, 3638 Osage St., Garden City, 208-424-8297,