Paul Lamb was born two decades too late to have been in on the foundation of British blues, and a decade too late to have been part of the blues-rock boom of the 1960s that made stars of so many so young.
But that hasn't stopped him from carving out a three-decade career as a premiere blues harpist (and bandleader) with a serious following in England and around the world. Born in Newcastle in 1955, he became a blues enthusiast as a boy and began mastering the harmonica. Although British music was bursting with talented harpists by then -- including the legendary (and late) Cyril Davies, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, and Jack Bruce of Cream -- Lamb's inspiration came from someone who could be rightfully regarded as an original source, Sonny Terry. By 15 he was playing in clubs and actually managed to spend some time working with Terry himself, late in the latter's career. Lamb also played with such idols as Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, and Brownie McGhee. By the 1980s he had formed his own band, originally called the Blues Burglars, featuring Johnny Whitehill on guitar, who recorded an album for Red Lightnin'. The Blues Burglars later evolved into Paul Lamb & the King Snakes (also including Johnny Whitehill), who got a contract with Ace Records in the early '90s, resulting in a self-titled debut CD. Lamb and his band have since released half a dozen albums, principally for the Indigo label. The group has also toured extensively, and Lamb's reputation in the 1990s extended to Asia. He has also worked with Mark Knopfler and the Who, among others, and played on numerous soundtracks for the BBC, a handful of film soundtracks, and numerous commercials in England. He has also won several awards for his blues playing in the course of his career. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi