Paul Lamb & The King Snakes – Hole In The Wall | Album Review

paullambcdPaul Lamb & The King Snakes – Hole In The Wall

Secret Records

www.secretrecordslimited.com

www.paullamb.com

15 songs time-56:14

With close to forty years in the British blues game under his belt, Paul Lamb offers up his latest record showing no signs of slowing up or running out of ideas. Although some of the membership of The King Snakes has changed over the passing years, the current line-up keeps Lamb’s dedication to the blues idiom as strong as ever. His son Ryan has recently assumed lead guitar chores and although he isn’t quite the “hot shot” as previous players he adds his own style with versatility. Paul and his mates manage to stick to traditional-styled blues without sounding dated or stale.

The title track, a song from Sonny Terry And Brownie McGhee’s repertoire serves as a gospel-y homage to the duo. Sonny’s “whoopin'” harmonica style is one that Paul often references. The original funky and soul-tinged “Sometime Tomorrow” features some catchy guitar playing and Chad Strentz’ usual well-suited, gritty vocals. “Jump Little Judy” shows off some energetic jump blues, what could well be considered the band’s signature sound over the years. Paul’s harmonica playing serves the song as he stays away from “showboating”. “A Better Place To Be” is slow, deliberate and country-churchy with fine acoustic and electric guitar. The Nicole Johnson Singers reinforce the religious feel at songs end.

“The Pillow(Part 2)” feels like a walk down a Mississippi country road with some chugging and whoopin’ harmonica. Motown-meets-the blues on the Smokey Robinson “chestnut” “You Really Got A Hold On Me” and the meeting id satisfactory. “Send For Me” receives a mellow treatment. “Way Down Low” has a Memphis-hipness to it much like a Charlie Musselwhite song.

Paul gets his slow harmonica showcase on “Mr. Lamb’s Groove Walk”, a change of pace from most band’s high-speed instrumental workouts. “Stranger Blues” is taken at an extra lonesome pace with harmonica the sole accompaniment. Late blues-rocker Gary Moore’s “Still Got The Blues For You” is given a mellow rendition.

The dedication and true love for the blues idiom shows through and the combination of blues knowledge and musical skill touches everything these guys do.

As a long time follower of their music, my only regret is that they have never graced our country with their presence.

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