Tom Lavin & the Legendary Powder Blues
For over three decades Powder Blues has been Canada’s leading blues band. The sound is a mix of swing, blues, jazz, rock & roll and r & b with an appeal so wide that people from seven to seventy often swing side by side at a Powder Blues concert. Over the years the band has toured non-stop through Canada, the United States and overseas, spreading a feel-good groove that makes people dance and shout.
Powder Blues debut album, ‘Uncut’, was shrugged off by the big record labels who told the band there was ‘no market for the blues’. Undiscouraged, the band sold it off stage and sent it to radio stations whose switchboards lit up with calls asking ‘who’s that?’ After selling 30,000 copies in a few weeks, the same record labels competed to distribute this ‘non-commercial’ product. To date Powder Blues albums have sold over a million copies worldwide.
Band highlights include winning Canada’s Juno, headlining the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, winning the Blues Foundation Award in Memphis, Tennessee and touring the US and Europe with legends like Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, James Brown, Albert Collins, James Cotton and Stevie Ray Vaughn.
Leader, Tom Lavin has written many of the band’s best-known songs including ‘Doin’ It Right’ [‘On the Wrong Side of Town’] and ‘Boppin With the Blues’. Born in Chicago where he watched and worked with local bands and ‘blues legends’, Tom moved to Vancouver gigging nightly in the downtown nightclub scene. This led to working as a studio musician and subsequently as a song writer, band leader, record producer and studio owner.
Tom has won BCMIA awards for ‘Guitarist, Singer, Songwriter and Producer of the Year’, a Juno award for ‘Best New Band’ and the American W.C. Handy award. He has over a dozen gold, and platinum records for Powder Blues, Prism, April Wine, Long John Baldry, Amos Garrett, and many others. His Blue Wave studio has gold records for Powder Blues and numerous other artists.
2013 is the band’s 35th Anniversary and they’re headlining many of Canada’s largest blues festivals including Nanaimo, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Windsor, London, Kitchener, Truro, Mt. Tremblant and many others. Their more than dozen CD titles and DVD continue to sell world-wide making Tom Lavin & the Legendary Powder Blues one of Canada’s longest-standing musical ambassadors.
The current line-up includes veterans Mike Kalanj - keyboards and vocals, Tony Marryatt - bass, Bill Runge - tenor sax, Vince Mai - trumpet and Daryl Bennett - drums.