“Vancouver's Paperboys deliver more eclectic sounds than ever after 25 yearsNovember 17, 2017
Tom Landa feels he was a bit of a “late bloomer,” coming to music in his late teens, starting that Vancouver band The Paperboys at 20. You could argue he has made up for any lost time.
Twenty five years later he continues to lead one of that city’s most travelled, celebrated and influential groups. Landa won’t speak to any example they have set, but The Paperboys were among the earliest, most enduring indie bands from Vancouver to sport an eclectic mix of roots and multi-cultural sounds starting with Celtic grooves. The band that performs here at the New Moon Folk Club Friday is truly beyond category and yet recognizable at the same time.
He notes that several members of the band reflect far-flung origins, like his own Mexican roots and his wife Kalissa Landa’s Chilean heritage. This never hurts in a city where so many people come from other cultures and maybe all that makes it easier to borrow from varied sources.
“Even when it comes to Irish or Celtic, we’re not part of the tradition,” he admits. “We’re taking forms and musical traits we’ve been influenced by and knocking about with them and finding all sorts of different things. We have respect for it but we’re able to mess around with it, and to dabble with some African beats and Latin rhythms and the like, but we’re not flame keepers.”
Over the years critics and members of the band have struggled to define what the band does and one of Landa’s own descriptions “Guinness with a tequila chaser while listening to an American jukebox” works as well as any. To their early mix of Irish-Celtic, bluegrass and Mexican elements you could now add a wide range of West African. Eastern European, Caribbean, soul, funk and zydeco grooves, a taste for melodic hooks and their often raucous, rocking delivery.
As if to prove that, there’s a new compilation called Score. After nine studio albums and several live releases this 20-track anthology serves as an entertaining summary starting with the upbeat ska tune America featuring Kia Kadiri, plus other friends of The Paperboys like Alpha Yaya Diallo, former member Kendal Carson, and American string slinger John Reischman.
Not surprisingly, Landa and the band were on the road again when he took my call, this time in England. They usually make it to the U.K. two or three times each year, hitting western Europe and the U.S. in the bargain. There once was a time when The Paperboys put in as many as 200 shows a year but he says it’s down to around 130 to 150 shows now, “to make time for a home life.”
“We were a little wary bringing some of these sounds to places like Ireland years ago but they seem to appreciate that we also mix in Mexican rhythms and other elements here and there, and that we manage to incorporate their music.”
Shortly before this U.K. tour the band hosted a special extravaganza in their hometown to mark the quarter-century milestone, bringing back some past members and special guests to the stage.
While Landa is the sole survivor of the original Paperboys, their concept and material has had serious staying power for audiences, bringing them a Juno win (among three nominations) and other honours. How does he explain their longevity?
“Tenacity?,” he says with a laugh. “We work hard and our popularity has always been very grassroots. We have put out a few records through small labels like Edmonton’s Stony Plain, and Redhouse Records in the U.S. But for the most part we have remained an independent band that has stayed popular by word of mouth, and we haven’t made our living from selling records. We’re a live band that tries to make each show an event.”
While Landa admits strong dance grooves and universal themes have been the priorities in The Paperboys’ songs their repertoire isn’t devoid of occasional social commentary. He points to their 2013 song City of Chains as one notable example of that. It’s a tune about Vancouver itself, and how the vast influx of foreign capital in recent decades has made the city such an expensive place to live.
Landa was born in Mexico, of an Irish mother and Mexican father, and raised there until age 15 when his family moved to Thunder Bay, Ont. He made it to Vancouver four years later. Roots music wasn’t a huge influence early on – he was a big heavy metal fan – but he does recall exposure to indigenous Mexican sounds. It wasn’t until he took up guitar and writing songs around 16 that he started tapping into influences like Vancouver’s Spirit of the West and eventually L.A.’s Los Lobos.
It was only natural then to welcome Spirit of the West’s Geoffrey Kelly to The Paperboys in 1998, making Kelly now one of the longest members in a long, shifting set of players and a key songwriter along with Landa. The current six-member tour band includes Landa’s guitar, Kelly’s flute, Kalissa Landa on fiddle plus players on banjo, bass and drums.
Roger LevesqueEdmonton Journal (November 16, 2017)
The Paperboys at the Talbot Theatre, Whitchurch, UKNovember 4, 2017
Acclaimed Canadian folk rock band The Paperboys are making a welcome return to Whitchurch in November as guests of North Shropshire Folk. The gig takes place at the Talbot Theatre, Whitchurch Leisure and there is support by Sarah Jane Scouten from Vancouver.
The Paperboys serve up a heady blend of country-folk-celtic-bluegrass-rock with a bit of traditional Mexican music thrown in for good measure. Lead singer Tome Landa and the Paperboys are renowned for their energetic live performances and create a buzz wherever they play. Their excellent musicianship creates a sound that fills the venue and the overall effect is exhilarating.
To say their music is versatile is to put it mildly and they have successfully blended many influences that recall bands like Horslips, the Waterboys and the Pogues.
- County Times
PAPERBOYS The Bronte Centre, Rathfriland, Co.Down September 9, 2008 So how do you like your musical cocktail? If it is shaken, not stirred then catch the Paperboys if you are lucky enough to get the chance. 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! The Paperboys are renowned for their energetic live performances and have wowed festival goers the world over. They create a buzz wherever they play and it was no wonder that it was standing room only at the Bronte on a Tuesday night – a night not known for bringing out big crowds to gigs. Lead singer is Tom Landa who is the only current band member to have been there from the start. Born in Mexico to a Canadian mother of Irish ancestry – thus accounting for at lest two of his musical influences - he later moved to Canada where he founded the Paperboys in 1992. To say their music is versatile is to put it mildly and they have successfully blended many influences that for me recalled bands like Horslips (yes, I’m showing my age here), the Waterboys and the Pogues. I thought I detected a laid back country version of the Eagles somewhere in there also! For good measure throw in Trini Lopez (Trini who?) and a dollop of Los Lobos and you get the picture. Songs from the band’s fifth studio album, The Road to Ellenside, featured prominently at tonight’s gig. Tom Landa’s richly expressive vocals were backed by a combination of whistle and flute (Geoff Kelly was amazing), banjo, percussion, guitar and not to mention the jarana, a small Mexican guitar which Landa played to great effect. The excellent musicianship created a sound that filled the venue and the overall effect was exhilarating. The distinctly Celtic flavour that emerged time and time again set the overall tone for the evening. The jigs, reels and haunting whistle weaved their way around and through Landa’s strong vocals. Standout songs included the catchy California, which in another time would have earned an appearance on Top of the Pops, and La Primavera which featured the previously mentioned jarana. Fall Down with You, a lovely ballad slid effortlessly into the stand out Waiting with its whistle, swirling fiddle and banjo which nearly had us jigging and reeling around the Mourne Mountains and back! We were treated to some great covers too – notably a version of Into the Mystic which Van would have been proud of and John Prine’s brilliant anti-war song Take the Star out of the Window. Fittingly, the evening closed with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band classic, Will the Circle be Unbroken, a song about joining together different generations of musicians. The Paperboys have managed to join many different musical styles together to create their own unbroken circle. All in all a brilliant night’s entertainment and at least one new fan added to that ever growing number. Go on, treat yourself the next time the Paperboys are in town. Patrick Donaghy Rock n Reel Magazine (Nov 17, 2008) Los Paperboys (Independent)CallithumpTwo songs into this latest release and you know that Vancouver’s Paperboys have really changed their route since their early days of delivering pop-tinged Celtic roots music. The onslaught of horns on the opener Toenail Moon and the African-inflected groove of Rain On Me are a sign of what’s to come. The eagle-eyed among you will notice a subtle name change, too. The band have dropped the ‘The’ and are called ‘Los’ Paperboys for this release. Mexican Son Jarocho is featured, along with the usual country, bluegrass and Celtic sounds. Added to the mix are ska, soca, soul and reggae, and even some toasting. One thing that hasn’t changed is that the music is almost all danceable and will go down very well with their faithful fandom. A very accomplished recording, beautifully produced by Tom Landa and Joby Baker. Make sure they drop one through your letterbox soon.– By Tim Readman Tim Readmen - Penguin Eggs (Nov 16, 2009) Astonishingly eclectic folk-rock from acclaimed Canadian quintet We say : So there I am, filling my battered old Peugeot up with unleaded at the local petrol station when I overhear a bunch of interesting-looking young people talking about the gig they’re heading towards. We fall to chatting and they turn out to be The Paperboys, an acclaimed folk-rock combo from Vancouver, Canada, on a short UK tour. Before I leave the station they’ve pressed their newly-released CD into my hands and I slip it into the car CD player as I head for home. The Road To Ellenside, recorded in the heart of England’s Lake District, is their fifth album (if you include their greatest hits set) and I’m embarrassed to have to admit that I’d never even heard of them before. As soon as track one offered up its winning blend of eclectic country-folk-rock enlivened with all kinds of unlikely influences, I knew I was going to like this disc. By the time I’d got home I knew I was going to review it. That first track, the sparky, sprightly instrumental String Of Horses, blends a light funky guitar rhythm with Celtic flute and fiddle, which is immediately usurped by the Mexican flavours of La Primavera, briefly introducing me to the delights of Tom Landa’s richly expressive vocals before unexpectedly transforming itself into an Irish jig for the instrumental section. Given their playing abilities, this is a band that I can imagine being quite marvellous live, and there’s a decidedly live feel to the CD that animates soaring road ballads like California, the kind of thing that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on an early Eagles album. The band’s only female member, Kendel Carson, plays some tasty fiddle licks throughout, but she’s also a fine singer, contributing much to a lovely duet with Landa on Fall Down With You. Their latin version of Sting’s classic Fragile, set to the rhythm of a lightly-strummed jarana (eight stringed Mexican guitar) and pepped up with another of Geoffrey Kelley’s unexpectedly Irish flute solos, is worth the price of the CD in itself, but then so are the punk-jazz jig Sheep’s Ass, the sturdy South American flavoured instrumental El Baile del Puma and the Mexico meets South Africa groove of Waiting. Just when you think they can’t blindside you with any more surprises, they let Geoffrey Kelly loose on the vocals of Water Dreams, a semi-psychedelic sea shanty, which he delivers in tones that might belong to Tom Waits’ younger brother, until the track ends with two trumpet solos, one a smoky dive bar jazz improvisation and the other sounding almost like a long lost baroque composition. Bands capable of bringing this much conviction to such a diverse range of styles are rare indeed so investing in The Paperboys would be a wise move for anybody who enjoys artists like Paul Simon, Loudon Wainwright or Great Big Sea. * * * * Johny Black - Mojo, Hifi News THE PAPERBOYS Tom Landa has a penchant for strong ale, long walks in soulful landscapes, and old buildings – not to forget free-range eggs for breakfast. So when the Paperboys were on tour in England’s Lake District a couple of years ago and a fan invited the band to stay overnight in her small mansion…Well, the words just fell out of his mouth after dinner, while he was being given what he calls ‘the five-cent tour’ by the owner. “I happened to say out loud: ‘Wow! This would be an amazing place to make a record’ – because of the tall ceilings, the whole vibe of the place,” says Landa, the Paperboys leader and guitarist, interviewed in an East Side pub. “I felt our music would sound really good in there. And she turned around and said ‘Why not?’ So later that evening, having consumed much wine, we discussed the matter.” A year later the Paperboys duly returned to Ellenside, the stone mansion in the Cumbrian countryside near Ireby, bringing with them sound engineer Mark Tucker who’s worked with England’s premier folk-rock outfit Fairport Convention and a van-load of mobile recording equipment. “Ellenside is in a really incredible setting,” Landa enthuses. “We’d wake up surrounded by green hills, cows and sheep, and farmers making their way to work. A lot of the band members would go for long hikes in the countryside, and we’d congregate in the kitchen between noon and one, then work until about eight or nine, so by ten we were wrapped up and out at the pub for the last hour.” It’s a hard life being a Paperboy these days. Ellenside and its owner and host Susan Hopley are saluted in the song “Comfort and Kind”, one of several collaborations between Landa and flute and whistle man Geoffrey Kelly, with the lines Our glasses are filled with charity’s gift / By the hands of comfort and kind. Landa also takes a verse to praise the vintage bottles emptied on the first visit: I went down the stone steps to the cellar below / To blow the dust off Chablis and Merlot. Sung with soul and a hint of passion. The Road to Ellenside is the Paperboys fifth studio album. The band, which bagged a Juno award with its second release Molinos, plays an eclectic mix of roots music styles. Its main ingredients are Celtic, pop, country-rock, bluegrass, and – increasingly –Mexican folk. Landa, who was born in Mexico, is a huge fan of son jarocho from the gulf coast state and city of Vera Cruz. “Growing up in Mexico City, I was very much into rock. Traditional Mexican music was about the most uncool thing you could listen to,” says the founder and leader of the Paperboys, who headline St Patrick’s Day celebrations at the Commodore on Friday, March 17.“When I moved to Canada I was in a big hurry to fit into my new culture, so again I shied away from Mexican music.” “Oddly – or appropriately – enough, I rediscovered son jarocho thru Los Lobos, who did a record of traditional music called La Pistola y el Corazon,” Landa continues. “There were several songs of son jarocho. It was like the first time I heard Celtic music. Something in me was stirred and I couldn’t get enough. It’s been a burning interest in the last 6 years or so and in the past couple I’ve been down to Vera Cruz to study it.” To northern ears son jarocho sounds like a blend of Cajun, Cuban country music, and native-Indian fiesta music – with a strong African influence in the rhythm. It’s best-known song is “La Bamba”, a huge pop hit for Mexican-American teenage prodigy Ritchie Valens in the late ‘50s, later transmuted by The Beatles into their own hit “Twist and Shout”.The Latin presence on The Road to Ellenside is strong. The first song “La Primavera” is son-jarocho rock (cleverly intercut with an Irish jig). Landa also sings a fine cover of Sting’s “Fragile” in Spanish. And his collaboration with Kelly “El Baile del Puma” is another nod to Mexican traditions. But the Celtic world sets the tone for the album. Spirit of the West founder Kelly adds phrases from well-known jigs and reels to several songs. He’s also responsible for the story behind “The Sheep’s Ass”, a Celtic-pop instrumental whose name requires some explanation from Landa. “We’d written the tune and were playing it live but without a title. Around that time Geoffrey had gone hiking with a friend up a mountain in the Isle of Skye, in Scotland. It was a really hard slog, and after a couple of hours they could still see their car in the parking lot.” “They pressed on, and got into mist and fog. They were looking out for the cairn – the little pile of rocks that marks the summit – but could hardly see anything. Then the fog parted a bit and Geoffrey called out ‘Look! There it is, the summit cairn!’ At that point the cairn moved, and they realized they’d been looking at a sheep’s ass. He told that story one night, and I said ‘That’s our title’.” Tony Montague - The Georgia Straight What people are saying about Dilapidated Beauty so far… “Out are the jigs, reels and bodhrans that populated past Paperboys releases; in are Hammond organs, Rhodes pianos and horn section that wouldn’t be out of place on a classic Stevie Wonder record” Mike Devlin, Times Colonist. Victoria, BC. “Road songs can be the cliché of the Americana genre, but the Paperboys make a commendably original contribution with sharp, vivid lyrics and smooth harmonies on a serious dark-edged string of songs….the quietly lonesome songs that could have come from Gram Parsons” Tom Nelligan- Dirty Linen “Landa has never sounded in better voice as he delivers ballads about lost love, longing, hope, and nostalgia…the excellence of the musicianship makes Dilapidated Beauty the Paperboys strongest release to date, and the one that most reflects Landa’s breadth of vision and rapidly evolving skills as a songwriter.” Tony Montague- Georgia Straight Vancouver “The double CD Dilapidated Beauty sees the band moving more towards an Americana sound incorporating soul music and country. Featuring a great lead vocalist, stunning fiddle playing and one ex-member of Spirit of the West, The Paperboys prove that Canadian music is now a force to be reckoned with on the international stage” Venue Magazine Bristol UK “This release surely places Tom Landa in the vanguard of Canadian song writers. And rightfully so. There is so much good on Dilapidated Beauty. It is courageously adventurous, compelling and immensely enjoyable…With a bit of luck, the title track may wind up a bona fide hit. That’s the least the Paperboys deserve for such a brazen but thoroughly intriguing release.” Roddy Campbell- Penguin Eggs Magazine This CD is just plain Kick Ass. The Paperboys hale from Canada but will surely be seen throughout the USA . Dilapidated Beauty is a dynamic combination of songs. Each Genre is covered here. The Paperboys vocal and the album production are splendid. This band is a shining example of the talents involved in roots music today. Radio should queue this one up and spin it till it melts.Roots Music Report Vancouver 's Paperboys have come a long way from their first Seattle support slot seven years ago. These days they're a guaranteed club filler across the U.S. and Canada . They've won a Juno Award (the Great North's equivalent of a Grammy), tour constantly, and pack them in at festivals all across North America and Europe . And they've kept growing from their Celtic party-band beginnings. The personnel has changed, allowing songwriter and frontman Tom Landa the chance to explore a lot more ground, whether it's the Latin roots he exposed on Postcards or the Western snapshots that make up the band's ambitious new double CD, Dilapidated Beauty (Stony Plain). The first disc, subtitled "Night Driving," is fragmentary, a series of evocative rural images from places like "Omak Hotel" and "Lillooet." Disc two, "Saturday Afternoon," catches its breath, clinging to visions of home on songs like "It Takes So Long" and the achingly gorgeous "What Would I Miss," before returning to the road at the end with "Windshield Cracks." There's still a Celtic heart beating under it all, as evidenced most strongly by the instrumental "If I Could Be There," but it's muddied over here in prairie dust for a coating that verges on alt-country. Landa is rapidly developing into a world-class songwriter, and the band is keeping pace with him, spreading its wings and flying to a place where anything seems possible. The Paperboys definitely deliver. CHRIS NICKSON Seattle Weekly The Paperboys “Dilapidated Beauty” (Stompy Discs 2003) Available: Now A two CD set which is described as one disc of Eagles laced alt-country, and another of Tower of Power horns and gospel choirs, reminiscent of early Elton John and Van Morrison, is enough to strike the fear of God into anybody! But don’t be put off, there’s enough here to make up one disc of really good stuff. The Paperboys have been around for the last ten years or so, and this Vancouver based band started out as a Celtic Pop outfit, evolving to embrace Latin and Americana and Soul, collecting a Juno award on the way. The use of whistle and fiddle sometimes conjures up the spirit of The Bothy Band (no greater praise can I offer), and the Canadian sensibility, added to the Celtic sound, and the wistful vocals of lead singer Tom Landa, are a heady mix indeed. Add some slide guitar, sweet harmonies, the classic Americana rock of the title track, great original material, and enough mentions of highways and things for it to have an Americana feel, and you have an eclectic combination of rootsy acoustic music. But the division of the album into “Night Driving” and “Saturday Afternoons” would be unnecessary if the pseudo-soul band stuff was omitted altogether, leaving behind a very good album indeed. BJ - Americana UK The Paperboys "Dilapidated Beauty" (True North)This is another case of discovering a band thanks to file sharing. Yeah, it's not supporting the band that way but it makes me want to get their other releases. That's the way I see it. The Paperboys are from Vancouver, Canada and have a Celtic/folk/bluegrass sound. The first disc is entitled "Night Driving" and it's got 10 tracks of alternative country/ bluegrass that's pretty good. I don't normally like country music but I like this band. Their sound has kind of changed from the one album I heard "Molinos," but it sounds like their music is maturing. I believe this is the Paperboys' 5th album. The Night Driving title is kind of fitting because this is something I would want to listen to at night driving my car. It's not loud and it's just soothing music. Disc 2 is entitled "Saturday Afternoon" and it's more of the sound that got me into the Paperboys. It's more upbeat and catchy songs on Disc 2. Some songs are a little bit on the religious side but that's all right. I listen to reggae music and it's nothing but that so. I think with every listen, I like "Dilapidated Beauty" more and more. If you're curious, check this out.Worth Buying? If folk rock is your thing, yeah. Notable Tracks: Disc 1: "If I Could Be There" "Omak Hotel" "By The Hand of my Father" Disc 2: "Perfect Stillness" "Easy Chair" "Croked Grin" Reviewer: Bryan, Ska, Punk & Other Junk The two-CD Dilapidated Beauty finds perennial west coasters the Paperboys moving way from the celtic and into the much more roots-oriented world—and you know what? It works. Now definitely more Blue Rodeo-ish than Spirit of the West-ish (but, thanks to the strong vocals of frontman Tom Landa, still recognizably Paperboys), Dilapidated Beauty is fast becoming one of my favourite driving albums. Disc one (“Night Driving”) features well-crafted songs telling haunting stories about travel, heartbreak and the loneliness that can only come with long hours on long roads, while disc two (“Saturday Afternoons”) is a more jazzy offering featuring horns and Hammond organ and a selection of jangly tunes that’ll make you smile while you tap the wheel. Landa should be complimented on his ability to take all the usual Paperboy elements—fiddle, pennywhistle, dobro—and remake them so well. Dilapidated Beauty makes a perfect soundtrack for William Least Heat Moon’s classic road-trip novel Blue Highways—and if you don’t get either reference, I’d suggest adding both the book and this album to your collection. —John Threlfall, Monday Magazine THE PAPERBOYS: DILAPIDATED BEAUTY Stompy Discs, www.paperboys.com The best band from just over the border comes back with their strongest record yet. Last year, the Paperboys released the career retrospective, Tenure, celebrating their ten years in the business, and collecting their strongest songs with rarities and cover songs. Dilapidated Beauty, a two-disc set of killer songwriting attached to beautiful melodies, shows why this band is still around and why it is a mystery that they aren't in the big leagues. Co-writing 12 of the 18 songs with bassist Steve Mitchell and 16 songs total, Tom is writing some of his best songs to date. On this disc, he finally fully embraces the alt-country feel that has been in the mix from the beginning, and provides fuller instrumentation, allowing the songs to truly come alive. The first disc is titled Night Driving and has a slightly quieter, melancholy feel while the second disc, Saturday Afternoons, is more upbeat, with some of the songs having a full horn section behind them. Many of the songs have been part of their live shows for a while and their familiarity with the material comes through. The playing and singing is confident and the fuller sound adds shading to these songs I hadn't heard before live. For those who've followed the band, you know the lineup changes a lot. As of this recording, the Paperboys are Tom Landa, Steve Mitchell, Shannon Saunders, and Geoff Kelly. Dilapidated Beauty is a crystal clear, current snapshot of what these amazing musicians can do. Whether on a major label or not, this is a big league release and a classic recording. James Rodgers –Victory Review Seattle The Paperboys won a Juno for 1997’s Molinos — and it wasn’t a fluke. The two-disc Dilapidated Beauty set is one of those rare albums you can listen to with your parents (if your folks dig The Eagles or Jim Croce). Disc 1, aptly called Night Driving, will get you through those long, pre-dawn, head-bobbing hours on the road. Traditional three-part Gospel harmonies blend with an East Coast influence in If I Could Be There. By The Hand of My Father is a stark tale of domestic violence as seen through a child’s eyes. Night Driving’s melancholy character contrasts sharply with that of the sunny second disc, Saturday Afternoons. The dichotomy is so jarring this collection might have been released as two separate albums. Night Driving gets an A while Saturday Afternoons gets a C. Christine Leger- Uptown Magazine Winnipeg "The Paperboys are cranking it up" Mix of different musical styles goes directly into the bloodstream - 200 "highlander" resisted the cold to enjoy open air concert. BONNDORF.Courage will be rewarded. This was evident at the Paperboy's open air show at the cozy and romantic "Schloﬂgarten", where 200 "highlander" gathered on Saturday despite the bad weather forecast to let themselves be overwhelmed with the fun and joy with which the Canadians played their music. Those emerged as being masters of their trade, since they present an unmistakable musical mix to the listener's ears, which can only be grasped and pictured once it is heard - the best way to do this is live. The multicultural and ingenious mix of irish folk, mexican, latin american and celtic tunes - enriched with soul, pop, acoustic and country - is very unique and enters the bloodstream directly, at the latest after the the challenge to "clap your hands". Within a brief time, the Paperboys stirred the latter up in their audience. Ever since the first notes have been played, the urge to shake a leg is instilled. They do not have the necessity to copy the "greats" of the music scene. Much more, they fascinate with their own creations and lyrics, which not only lead singer Tom Landa performs in "Waiting" with his striking voice, the Paperboys are also very convincing with their vocal harmonies. A class of her own is of course Ashley McLeod on the fiddle, who works her instrument at a breathtaking speed and with absolute tonal security. The audience was thrilled to see how she emerged as a formidable step dancer, which ended in a wonderful intermezzo between drummer Matt Brain and this spirited stomping young lady with her excitedly teetering, blonde pony tail, who seems to effortlessly dance and fiddle at the same time for all one's worth. Not less convincing are the Paperboys' softer tunes, especially when Geoffrey Kelly sends the audience's spirits to wander through the misty highlands by playing his wooden flute. Impressive how these protagonists on stage elaborate on each other's playing and sing about simple things as life itself, as for example their restless lifes on the road in "California" or "Rain on me". The German capital must have deeply impressed the musicians on their last tour through Germany, since they wrote a song named "Goodbye Berlin". Mexican guitar songs at their best are celebrated by Brad Gillard during "La Primavera", while the virtuoso flute sound of "El baile del puma" (which was composed during a soundcheck) infatuated the audience once more. The audience benevolently accepts Geoffrey Kellys avowal to "Bonndorf is a famous city", as he praises the sizes of the old schnitz and that he wants to shoot the new movie "Black Forrest Gump" with Tom Hanks. With the open air concert of the Paperboys the "Folktreff" chairwoman Gudrun Deinzer has unerringly chosen an outstanding music group with notable international awards. The changing of the location from the public swimming pool to the "Schloﬂgarten" has proved itself as a success, since a distinctive vibe developed during the concert with this distinctive music. Bonndorf Germany, Newspaper (Jun 15, 2008) It's been said The Paperboys' music is hard to describe. Truth is, you could add rock, Son Jarocho, and world beat to that list too. Call it 'Guinness with a tequila chaser while listening to an Americana Jukebox'. Or 'a place where Irish, Mexican and Roots music collide.' Of course, this multicultural mix is hardly surprising from a bilingual band, whose founding member is Mexican-Canadian and whose players cover a range of musical backgrounds from Bluegrass to Funk to traditional Scots and Irish music. "A lot has to do with where we're from," says lead singer Tom Landa. "Vancouver is a culturally diverse place which feeds what we do and the music we make." "Yes, we cover a lot of musical territory and have a lot of influences. There is a lot I can tell you about the music. But what it isn't is something that you can easily put into a little box and say "oh, this is Celtic" or "this is folk." We are much more than that." Meanwhile, critics from Billboard to the Washington Post don't have any trouble describing the Paperboys sound. "Astonishing eclectic folk-rock from acclaimed Canadian quintet."Mojo's Jonny Black. "A mix of Eagles laced alt-country, Tower of Power horns and gospel choirs, reminiscent of early Elton John and Van Morrison."Americana UK Magazine 'One of the most exciting bands to come out of the folk-roots corner'- fRoots Magazine' "If you don't believe a jig can shred, listen to The Paperboys."Seattle Rocket And then there's the hardware. They received a Juno Award (the Canadian Grammy) for Best Roots & Traditional Album of the Year (Molinos); and Juno Award nominations for the three of their albums; two West Coast Music Awards for Best Roots Recording (Molinos, Postcards) and three more nominations in that category. Add to this list, an American Indie nomination; a Genie Award nomination for Best Musical Score for the film 'Lunch With Charles' and appearances in both that film and the movie 'Marine Life.' In 2001, the Red House Records Label invited The Paperboys to contribute a track to 'A Nod to Bob' – a 60th Birthday Compilation to honour Bob Dylan. Their dizzying rendition of 'All Along The Watchtower' was a critical favourite, consistently mentioned as one of the highlights of the album. The latest release 'The Road To Ellenside' (2006) was wholly recorded at a country manor in rural England. Ellenside was recently listed in the Top Ten critic's poll in The Village Voice, while the video for the single 'Fall Down With You' camped out in MuchMoreMusic's Top Ten for a staggering ten weeks - peaking at Number Four alongside Nickleback, Madonna, and Nelly Furtado– a feat almost unheard of by an indie band. The follow-up video for the single 'Fragile' was shot entirely on location in Morelia, Mexico and enjoyed constant rotation on video channels, not to mention thousands of hits on YouTube and other video websites. But what really sets The Paperboys apart is their live show. And for that, the only opinion that matters are the fans who routinely sell out some of the most popular and prestigious clubs throughout Canada, the U.S., Mexico and Europe. They've played everywhere from The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, to The Borderline in London. The Paperboys burn up stages at countless festivals including New York's Falconridge Festival, The Folk Alliance Festival, The Boston Folk Festival, San Francisco's Guinness Oyster Festival and Seattle's Bumbershoot. They've headlined at the UK's Warwick and Trowbridge festivals, and Denmark's Tonder and Skagen festivals. The band averages well over 150 shows a year. "We get paid for the travel time," Landa jokes, "but we play the gigs for free." Despite the accolades and sell out crowds, the Paperboys still remain philosophical about it all. "We're not saving lives," says Tom. "We're not building rockets or running for office. But every night I get to go out there and play my music with great people. I get to sing to a crowd of smiling, dancing people who know the words to every song. And I think, man, am I'm lucky. I have the best job in the world." ‘The Paperboys' energy and enthusiasm are always a delight, and if I had to pick a band to follow around on tour, I couldn't think of a better candidate.’– Rambles Cultural Arts Magazine "The most exuberant record I've heard in ages...breathtaking." Folk Roots Magazine ‘Once heard, you will cross mountains, valleys, floods and tempests to see this band wherever they play. Be ready to travel - even if they play at the ends of the earth, it will be worth the journey!’– David Shipley, CD BABY The Paperboys “Dilapidated Beauty” (Stompy Discs 2003) Available: Now THE PAPERBOYS: DILAPIDATED BEAUTY Stompy Discs, www.paperboys.com The best band from just over the border comes back with their strongest record yet. Last year, the Paperboys released the career retrospective, Tenure, celebrating their ten years in the business, and collecting their strongest songs with rarities and cover songs. Dilapidated Beauty, a two-disc set of killer songwriting attached to beautiful melodies, shows why this band is still around and why it is a mystery that they aren't in the big leagues. Co-writing 12 of the 18 songs with bassist Steve Mitchell and 16 songs total, Tom is writing some of his best songs to date. On this disc, he finally fully embraces the alt-country feel that has been in the mix from the beginning, and provides fuller instrumentation, allowing the songs to truly come alive. The first disc is titled Night Driving and has a slightly quieter, melancholy feel while the second disc, Saturday Afternoons, is more upbeat, with some of the songs having a full horn section. - The Paperboys & L’Angélus
The Black Box Belfast July 1st, 2010 Belfast celebrated Canada Day with Vancouver-based band, the Paperboys, along with a relatively new outfit on the local music scene, those Cajun kids from Louisiana, otherwise known as L’Angélus, providing back-up on the night. Such is the reputation forged by Tom Landa and his merry band of troubadours on their Irish tours over the past few years, the venue was filled to capacity for this gig. Amongst the crowd, I noticed several local singer/songwriters had managed to make their way along on a night off – always a fair indicator of the calibre of performer appearing. While many may well have turned up for the Paperboys, no one was to leave disappointed with the sheer verve and vivacity of the performance of L’Angélus. The four Rees siblings, Katie, Paige, Steve and Johnny, have been creating their own stir on the Irish music scene recently since being taken under the protective wing and guidance of local promoter, Andy Peters. From the kick-off, with the upbeat title track off their new album, ÇA C’EST BON, which received a more than favourable review in the August 2010 issue, the night just continued to rock. Treated to a programme of real quality, the audience were caught up in the band’s youthful exuberance, making their own musical contributions, while the braver souls took to dancing in the aisles as well as a particularly compact area facing the stage, creating many new steps and dance moves along the way. These moves were largely fuelled by the readily available liquid refreshment. But nobody cared? Everyone was having such a great time. The set concluded with the old Lulu number, Shout, during which Steve was very fortunate not to do himself permanent damage, such was the gusto injected into the performance. This is definitely a ‘must-see-live’ band. They really are a refreshing tonic and good for your heart. Paige, in particular has a winning smile, as well as an enthusiasm for the music that should really be bottled and marketed. And so to the Paperboys, who are always welcome around these parts but especially so on Canada Day. Tom, Geoffrey, Brad, Sam and recent recruit, the beautifully named Kalissa Hernandez, gave their usual top class, all action performance of Celtic-Mexican music blended with a drop of Bluegrass here, a sprinkling of African there, a smidgeon of Country, a soupçon of Zydeco, rounded off with a hint of Eastern European. – a volatile, but potent, mix. I read where Tom once described their music as ‘Guinness with a tequila chaser’ - very apt in my opinion, although I suspect some old rye whiskey has been slipped in too. We were treated to a fair selection from their back catalogue, including Comfort and Kind and La Primavera from the more than excellent ROAD TO ELLENSIDE, as well as the latest offering, CALLITHUMP, released in 2009. Kalissa’s solo fiddle contribution, Farewell to the West, followed up with a few quirkily titled reels, Peas and Butter and Iggy Squiggy was well received, as were her delightful harmony and backing vocals throughout. Now joined by L’Angélus, for a “session”, the small stage resounded to Iko Iko; the great Sam Cooke’s Bring it on Home to Me and Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds, before a rousing medley comprising Ring of Fire/Country Roads/Pass the Dutchie, with echoes of Musical Youth. Following a set of Irish polkas, the Cajun kids vacated the stage to well-deserved, thunderous applause leaving Tom and the Paperboys to close out the night with a slow ballad, You’re Everywhere, unfortunately not included on the latest CD, with Kalissa providing the violin backing and harmony vocals. The best was again kept until last. In the immortal words of the Pelvis, ‘it was a night/oh what a night it was it really was/such a night.’ I couldn’t have said it better myself. Cathal McLaughlin”