The Paperboys will be at the Sid Williams Theatre Friday

The far-reaching sound of The Paperboys

Feb. 12, Sid Williams Theatre

Mark Allan

Special the Record

The Paperboys’ sound is a great example of its sum being greater than its parts.

The Juno Award-winning band’s website refers to the “multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-generational, multi-lingual” nature of the band members.

The band’s scope has widened, said founder, frontman and primary songwriter Tom Landa in an interview preceding their Feb. 12 performance at the Sid Williams Theatre.

“I very much started this band because I loved folk and Celtic music … I’d also grown up on rock music … but it was singer/songwriter-based,” he recalled.

“And then, little by little, we started getting more diverse in our influences.”

Banjo playing introduced a touch of bluegrass and eastern European influences seeped in for the band’s second album.

“And then our musical curiosity grew … but it also became who the members ended up being.”

Landa, born in Mexico to a Mexican father and Canadian mother of Irish descent, contributes a south-of-the border style called son jarocho.

From the Veracruz area on the east coast of Mexico, son jarocho is “kind of like bluegrass and old-time music. The singers learn to sing in that amazing kind of tone, to cut above all the instruments … much in the way bluegrass does.”

Longtime Spirit of the West member Geoffrey Kelly is from Scotland and strengthens the Paperboys’ existing fondness for Celtic music with his flute playing. In fact, he introduced Landa to the Celtic sound.

Other influences the band has been known to employ include country, ska, soca, African highlife and white-boy reggae.

Fiddler Kendall Carson was replaced by Landa’s wife Kalissa Hernandez. Brad Gillard plays banjo and bass, and Sam Esecson is the drummer.

Landa said the band is constantly influenced by his musical curiosity.

“I just don’t think I would be happy making the same record over and over.”

Landa surprised fans and perhaps some band members when he added a horn section “like Van Morrison and Tower of Power.”

Trying new sounds and merging varying influences effectively is not easy, Landa admitted.

“It is a challenge, and I push myself to that challenge. So do members of the band.”

Don’t think the Paperboys play difficult, challenging music. They have a reputation for excellent live performances and being extremely danceable. Although they are primarily acoustic, they really rock at times.

They tour relentlessly, including performances Jan. 22 on Denman Island and the next day on Hornby.

They have produced 10 recordings in 11 years. Beginning with January in 1993, the Paperboys released their most recent, At Peace With One’s Ghosts, in 2014.

Their first three studio albums were nominated for Juno Awards. Molinos from 1997 won in the Roots and Traditional Album of the Year category, they earned a West Coast Music Award in the same year. Postcards got them a West Coast Music Award in 2000 and another Juno nomination.

Their 2006 release The Road to Ellenside was recorded in England’s Lakes District with engineer Mark Tucker, who worked previously with Jethro Tull and seminal Celtic rock band Fairport Convention.

Landa has fond memories of recording with renowned Victoria producer Joby Baker.

“Working with Joby has been an absolute delight. I’ve done quite a few records with him.

“He’s an absolute joy; he’s a gem of a producer.”

That’s the kind of rave review the Paperboys typically get from critics. Here’s one example:

“This acclaimed Canadian-based band serves up a heady blend of country-folk-Celtic-bluegrass-rock with a bit of traditional Mexican music thrown in for good measure. It defies labelling but, hey, who cares, it is just brilliant music!” Patrick Donaghy, Rock n Reel Magazine.

The Paperboys perform Feb. 12 at the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay as part of the Sid’s Blue Circle Series. For details and tickets, visit www.sidwilliamstheatere.com, phone 250-338-2430 or visit the Sid box office at 442 Cliffe Ave.

 

 

 

Just Posted

Comox residents question redevelopment at emotionally-charged meeting

About 40 people filled the d’Esterre House in response to a community consultation meeting.

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Valley fossil makes it to the top of the provincial list

Courtenay’s elasmosaur will be added to the official Provincial Symbols of British Columbia

New exhibition at Comox art gallery opens Feb. 19

Rainforests to prairie grasslands, a visual road trip at Pearl Ellis Gallery

Comox Valley Chamber looks back on recent achievements

Chamber of Commerce Week Feb. 18-22

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

St. George’s hosts open discussion on Jordan Peterson

Based on the overwhelming response to the January discussion night on Jordan… Continue reading

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

Most Read