Harmonica – Paul Lamb

Paul Lamb in sweatshirt March 2015

Paul in a top presented to the Exhibition

Paul Lamb of Paul Lamb and the Kingsnakes is one of the most popular, and award-winning, of British harmonica players. His career began in the hottest era, so far, of British Blues, the 1960’s.

Paul’s career has taken Paul from Newcastle to London, where to this day he continues to craft songs that refer to his roots, including the title track of his latest album, Hole In The Wall. He has graced venues worldwide and appeared at London’s Royal Albert Hall for the first time in 2014. Paul’s son, Ryan, plays guitar in the Kingsnakes.

Paul’s website says:

“Paul Lamb has spent the last thirty-some years whoopin’ and hollerin’ in clubs in his native North-East plus a later move to London, in concert and on festival stages, creating a personal synthesis of his harmonica heroes and his own unique and innate talent. His history includes representing Britain in the World Harmonica Championships, working with his particular mentor, Sonny Terry, and with any number of other blues artists who’ve visited these shores. Over the years Paul Lamb & the King Snakes have won countless awards , sold record breaking quantities of albums and been inducted into the British Blues Awards Hall of Fame alongside the likes of Peter Green and John Mayall.”

We asked Paul a couple of questions:

When did you start out?

“I started off in music when I was twelve years old, just fooling around with various instruments and then found my calling at the age of fourteen. I have always likened my career to the rungs on the ladder – I was a painter and decorator by trade when my Father told me I had to ‘get a proper job’ and enrolled me as an apprentice with the Co-op. The rungs go up and also go down, but I am still there sticking to what I believe in and giving the Blues my all.”
If you could do a highlights video of your career, what would you put in it?
“The highlights… I have many, but meeting up and playing with Sonny Terry has to be the top one. There have been many others such as Peter Green, Buddy Guy and Jimmy Rogers to add to the list. However, meeting up with all different musicians around the world is not a bad job to be in and get paid for it!”
Your son Ryan plays in your band. What is it like knowing that not only are you an active player on the British Blues scene, but you have personally contributed to the next generation of British Blues performers in this special way?
“With the Blues, like so many other types of music , it has always been handed down through the generations . I listened to and studied my heroes and then found my own style. Ryan‘s first guitarist was Magic Sam, just as Rod Piazza started off on George Harmonica Smith, Peter Green, B.B. King,  etc. I am just doing my bit for the music  and& leaving my style for others to pick up, and extremely grateful to those who do.”
You gave the exhibition some exhibits, harmonica’s and a sweatshirt.
“Well, I have two harmonicas in. One of them is a limited edition from when I used to endorse Herring Harmonicas. The other is one which I have used many, many times, a Hohner marine band, the main type of harp I use and endorse. There is also a very limited run of the Paul Lamb sweatshirt. There was only a total of 50 made, so very precious!”
We are honoured that Paul is the first curator/spokesman for the British Blues Exhibition, specialising on his instrument of choice, the harmonica, and that he has donated items for display at exhibition events.