Tom Landa didn’t find his sound — it found him.
His band, The Paperboys, blends everything from folk and roots to bluegrass and country to Irish and Latin.
“When I listen to music at home, I don’t just listen to one style,” he said. “I think I would get bored very easily if I was just listening to one style of music. It’s a reflection of what I listen to and who we are as people in the band. People have different backgrounds in the band — where they’re from, where they were born and also their musical backgrounds.”
That’s what makes it exciting, he said. It helps that the band is from Vancouver, British Columbia, a city with a multitude of backgrounds and cultures.
The Paperboys got started in 1992. About a dozen releases, tours all over North America and Europe, a Juno Award and two West Coast Music Awards have followed.
This summer’s tour includes a July 27 stop at Icicle Creek Center for the Arts in Leavenworth. This will be the band’s fourth time at the venue.
“I think we’ve done well there and it’s just a beautiful setting,” Landa said. “It’s a nice summer event, and it’s kind of becoming a tradition for us to play there. I think just the elements are right. People like to come see us outdoors in the summer. They travel from Seattle and different parts to come to Leavenworth and see us play there. It’s kind of like a mini folk festival.”
He said concert-goers can expect music from several different releases and lots of dancing and singing. It’ll be a family-friendly event with crowd engagement.
Along with Landa on vocals and guitar are his wife, Kalissa, on vocals and fiddle, Brad Gillard on banjo, Ronnie Swirl on bass, Sam Esecson on drums, Jen Davidson on saxophone, Nick La Riviere on trombone and Geoffrey Kelly on flute. Sometimes they play with a smaller band.
“We’ve added more layers and more elements,” Landa said. “When the band first started, we were predominately a folk and roots rock band, mixing Irish and folk and rock. Now, we have a horn section and we incorporate more styles of music. I think it’s just evolved. I think we’ve become better arrangers, better songwriters, better performers.”
He said he got into music as a teenager and moved from Ontario to British Columbia with the intent of forming a band.
Love has sustained The Paperboys for 27 years, he said.
“We still love to get in the van and drive to all these different cities and these different communities and play music for people,” he said. “Our job is a lot of travel, and you get to see new places and meet different people and get to know different cultures. I would say that and just the love of the music is a combination of what keeps us going.”