The Paperboys play Kelowna’s Rotary Centre for the Arts Jan. 27. Björn Friedrich photo

Freewheeling folk-rock favourites light up the Rotary Centre stage

The Paperboys share 25 years of music magic with Kelowna audiences Jan. 27

After a quarter century of performing and recording, not every song a band writes can stay in rotation. So as he planned The Paperboys’ 25th anniversary tour, lead singer Tom Landa had fun dusting off a few treasures to rediscover and share with audiences.

While music from the Vancouver band’s latest CD, Score, will highlight the Jan. 27 appearance at Kelowna’s Rotary Centre for the Arts, “it’s a little bit of a retrospective look back,” Landa says. Listening to the earlier tunes, exploring the lyrics and recalling the inspiration for the songs, “you realize just how much you’ve grown as an artist … and then the nostalgia kicks in. It’s been nice to revisit in that sense.”

A band to see live

Now, nine albums in, The Paperboys bring their freewheeling blend of influences – from Celtic and bluegrass, to Mexican son jarocho, brass bands and Canadian roots – to the Kelowna stage.

“In the 25 years we’ve been together, we’ve been on stage for 100 to 150 shows a year, so on stage is where we feel most comfortable,” Landa reflects.

No wonder the band has become a festival favourite, playing at Bumbershoot, Vancouver Folk Fest, Tonder Festival, Folk Im Schloss, Trowbridge, Warwick Folk Festival, The Queen Elizabeth Theatre and The Kennedy Centre among others.

On stage, Landa and Geoffrey Kelly share the emcee role, and true to folk tradition, share with audiences stories about the history of the songs, sprinkled with humour and the invitation to sing along.

Musical connections run deep

Those kind of connections are at the core of The Paperboys’ music.

“What means more to me than anything else is to receive letters, emails or hear stories from people who tell me that our songs helped them through a tough time, or that they used one of our songs for their wedding, or that an album of ours was the soundtrack of their summer. At the end of the day, accolades are nice, but they are nothing compared to connecting with people,” Landa says.

Enjoy the show!

The Paperboys appear at the Rotary Centre of the Arts Saturday, Jan. 27. Tickets are $25/adult, $20/member or group of six or more, and $15/student, with valid ID.

“This will be our first time at the Rotary Centre with The Paperboys, so I’m really excited,” Landa says. “I think it’s a really special space – it sounds really good and the sightlines are really good.”

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