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Tom Lavin and Legendary Powder Blues on their way to Kamloops

The iconic band will kick off its 45th anniversary tour at Sagebrush Theatre on Feb. 11
tom-lavin-and-powder-blues
Tom Lavin and the Legendary Powder Blues will play Kamloops' Sagebrush Theatre on Feb. 11. Ticket information is at kamloopslive.com.

Vancouver-based band Tom Lavin and the Legendary Powder Blues are preparing for their 45th anniversary tour, which will begin in Kamloops at Sagebrush Theatre on Feb. 11, followed by a show the next night in Kelowna.

Ticket information is online at kamloopslive.com.

For more than four decades, Powder Blues has been Canada’s leading blues band, with a mix of swing, blues, jazz, rock and roll and R&B. Over the years, the band has toured non-stop through Canada, the United States and overseas.

Powder Blues’ 1979 debut album, Uncut, was ignored by major record labels, which claimed there was no market for the blues. Undiscouraged, the band sold it off stage and sent it to radio stations, where it gained popularity. After selling 30,000 copies in a few weeks, record labels then competed to distribute the album. To date Powder Blues have sold more than one-million records worldwide.

The Juno Award-winning band has headlined the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, won the Blues Foundation Award in Memphis and toured the U.S. and Europe with legends such as Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, James Brown, Albert Collins and Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Lavin wrote 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 worked with local bands and blues legends, Lavin moved to Vancouver, gigging the nightclub scene. That led to work as a studio musician, a songwriter, a band leader, a record producer and a film composer.

Lavin has won BCMIA awards for guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer of the year, a Juno Award award for best new band and the American W.C. Handy Award. He has more than a dozen gold and platinum records for his work with Powder Blues, Prism, April Wine, Long John Baldry, Amos Garrett and many others.

Powder Blues are history

The National Canadian Museum of History has completed an acquisition of Powder Blues artifacts that will become a part of the museum’s permanent collection.

“We are incredibly honoured that the National Canadian Museum of History has chosen to preserve our legacy,” Lavin said. “It is our hope the display will convey some of the joy, passion and energy that we have shared with and received from our great audiences over the past 44 years. It’s satisfying to know that these items will be protected and shared for years to come. I could not have asked for a more perfect home than this great and respected museum in Gatineau.”

Items include a rare, transparent blue vinyl LP of the band’s first release in 1979, Uncut, the “million-mile guitar case,” Lavin’s custom blue D’Angelico New Yorker archtop guitar, the original manuscript for Lavin’s travelogue of the band’s 1990 tour of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, numerous historical photos and a Canadian Recording Industry Association Double Platinum Award. Much of the collection has never or rarely been seen by the public.

The Canadian Museum of History is a national museum of anthropology, Canadian history, cultural studies and ethnology in Gatineau, Que. The purpose of the museum is to promote the heritage of Canada, as well as support related research.

For more information on the band that was formed in 1978, go online to powderblues.net.