Powder Blues returns to city after decade of absence

“There’s deep blues when you’re really depressed and then there’s powder blues”

Tom Lavin and the Powder Blues are scheduled to perform at the Barking Parrot on Nov. 14

Tom Lavin and the Powder Blues are scheduled to perform at the Barking Parrot on Nov. 14

Tom Lavin believes blues to be the most sincere form of North American music, and when played live, his music takes on new meaning at every performance.

“There’s deep blues when you’re really depressed and then there’s powder blues,” said Lavin, who will be performing in Penticton on Saturday. “I look at our music as cathartic, this was not a music to get bummed out about, this is the music to be happy about. It’s sort of about looking up, we’ve always played very happy music.”

Since their inception, Lavin said the Powder Blue have always kept a busy tour schedule, performing at casinos and festivals around Canada and the United States, and they even performed for a sold out crowd at Massey Hall in Toronto last year.

By keeping the band constantly active, Lavin has amassed a sizeable repertoire of his ideal style of blues.

“We have wonderful soloists in the band so we get to stretch out a little bit and be creative with our live show,” he said. “At the same time, people are really interested to hear the tunes they’re familiar with so we make it a point to play all of our best known tunes every night.”

Lavin is approaching his 38th year as leader of the Legendary Powder Blues, and last time they were in Penticton, the band was in its 20s.  He said writing new music is a continually ongoing process, and with so many records under their belt, it’s often tough to play all of the music requested by the crowd. Whatever the selection though, Lavin’s music is always easy to get into.

“I never wanted a band that you could dance to, I wanted a band that you had a hard time not dancing to, and I think that’s what we’ve managed to do.”

Lavin plans to continue making music until he’s no longer physically able.

“I don’t do this because I have to, I do it because I love to.”

The show in Penticton takes place at the Barking Parrot on Nov. 14 beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $45 and are available at Wentworth Music. Must be drinking age to attend.