The Paperboys a globe-trotting sextet that perform Celtic reels, traditional Mexican folk, fiddle tunes, New Orleans brass band music, classic pop songs, bluegrass and even the odd philosophical waltz in a single set.
The Paperboys, sometimes referred to as the “Los Lobos of Canada”, have played an estimated 4,300 concerts since their formation in 1993.
At the heart of The Paperboys is a trio of gifted songwriters and musicians: founder Tom Landa, a fedora-wearing singer, guitarist and bandleader who immigrated to Canada from Mexico as a teenager; Kalissa Landa, a lifelong violinist and singer with a preternatural sense of melody; and Spirit of the West flautist, guitarist and singer Geoffrey Kelly, who was already a Canadian music icon when he boarded the P’boys bus in 1997.
Far from being a jam band, The Paperboys reinvent their show every time they take the stage. Once the band agrees on an opening song, there is no longer a setlist. The song ends, the audience reacts, Landa reads the room, and the journey begins. Every evening. The world has changed seismically since 1992, but the Paperboys’ fan base has remained loyal and grown.
Although the Paperboys are best known for their live shows, they also have another ace up their sleeve: an extensive and impressive discography. The band has released 10 albums – including the Juno Award-winning “Molinos” – and has received critical acclaim from MOJO Magazine and Roots Magazine. The Paperboys have won the West Coast Music Award twice, composed scores for two films and were nominated for the Leo Award for Best Original Song in the Hong Kong/Canada film Lunch With Charles.
Although the band has continually been admired and praised by alternative media and national radio stations NPR and CBC, commercial success has so far eluded them… Undaunted, the Paperboys have remained in constant motion and have distinguished themselves through their eye-catching live show and their proud DIY -Spirit built a cult following.
Even the pandemic couldn’t silence the Paperboys. Tom and Kalissa maintained a warm connection with their fans by posting their now legendary Slipper Sessions online, in which they performed beautiful, stripped-down versions of their repertoire, with their children and cats sometimes wandering around on the sidelines of the videos.