b. 9 July 1955, Blyth, Northumberland, England. Lamb’s initial interest in blues came from listening to John Mayall’s records; he then discovered the music of Sonny Terry, in whose style he thoroughly immersed himself for 12 years. He played in folk clubs and in 1975 was successful in a harmonica championship held in Germany. Around 1980, he began playing amplified harmonica, initially in Walter Horton’s style, and as a member of the Blues Burglars he recorded for the Red Lightnin’ label in 1986.
Shortly afterwards, Lamb moved to London and formed his own band. In 1990, 1991 and 1992 Paul Lamb And The King Snakes were voted UK Blues Band of the Year, and Lamb himself received the Instrumentalist of the Year award which he won for a further five years, well into the 90s. The classic line-up of the King Snakes came together in 1992 and featured Martin Deegan (drums), Chad Strentz (vocal/guitar), Jim Mercer (bass), and the weathered-looking but highly accomplished guitarist John Whitehill (b. 11 February 1952, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England). Earlier members included Alan Savage and Daniel Strittmatter (drums), Dave Stevens (bass), and Johnny D. (vocals, guitar).
Lamb may never receive mass acceptance, but the King Snakes are one of the most exciting bands playing white-boy Chicago blues to have appeared for many years. Lamb’s playing has been heard in the stage musical Tommy, in television advertisements for Nissan cars, and in the television dramas Spender and Crocodile Shoes. He recorded a top 40 single ‘Harmonica Man’ for Pete Waterman’s PWL Records in 1994 under the name Bravado. The many awards Lamb has received from magazines such as Blueprint represent a worthy recognition of Lamb’s unrivalled position at the forefront of British blues. Blues & Rhythm magazine aptly described the band as ‘lazily cocksure and coolly aggressive’.