Doin’ It Right at the Sagebrush

On Saturday February 11 Tom Lavin and the Legendary Powder Blues band brought their show to Kamloops to open their 45th Anniversary Tour. The Sagebrush Theatre appeared to be sold out. The predominately gray-haired audience got their money’s worth from the aged but talented band. As the Powder Blues press kit put it “The mix of swing, blues, jazz, rock & roll and r & b has an appeal so wide that people from seven to seventy 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 feel-good music that makes folks dance and shout.” That pretty much sums it up!

The only drawback was that there was no dance floor at the Sagebrush. Still the audience partied in their seats and enjoyed the performance. The first set included some blues and r&b standards and an early song, “Sweet Little Girl,” that garnered the band attention on FM radio. The second set was full of their most popular songs including, “Boppin’ With the Blues,” “Hear That Guitar Ring,” “Personal Manager,” and “Buzzard Luck.”

The encores included “Doin’ It Right.” In the second set noted jazz musician, Campbell Ryga, who now resides in Kamloops, added his reed to the already impressive horn section that was lead by sax player Bill Runge.

Band-leader Lavin told a few stories of incidents that happened at past concerts. He also explained the history of the band and some of his dealings with record company executives who claimed blues didn’t sell. Tom Lavin gave a great performance on guitar and vocals and was a ball of fire on stage. The other six members of the band also performed magnificently. The band was rewarded with a standing ovation which had been preceded by many long rounds of applause after each song.

If the kickoff to the Tom Lavin and the Legendary Powder Blues 45th Anniversary Tour was any indication, it is going to be quite a year for the Powder Blues.

Photo credits: Graham Bartsch and Jim Dupuis

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