Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Paul Lamb and the Detroit Breakdown UK Tour

Paul Lamb photo
Paul Lamb photo

US blues rockers Paul Lamb and the Detroit Breakdown have a growing fan-base here, and it’ll get a bit bigger soon when they hit these shores for a 13-date UK tour to make new friends.

Described as “a real band playing real music, keeping the tradition alive and the flag flying,” and their music as a “mean, low-down and compelling brew.”

Not to be confused with the British blues harmonica man of the same name - and his band The King Snakes - the American Mr. Lamb was born and brought up in Motor City, Detroit, but is no stranger to the UK, having toured here for a number of years and gained critical acclaim for his album releases. His current album is “Tales From The Gravel Road,” which was recorded in the UK, and previous releases include “Gunshot Lullaby” and “Hangin’ On For Dear Life.”

Paul explained why gigging here is such fun: “We always get a great welcome in the UK. Any chance I get to play here, I take. The UK has some of the best crowds anywhere in the world. I can’t wait……………….. My UK fan base has an ageless diversity, which is very refreshing for the genre of music that I perform.”

They previously played Glastonbury festival and toured with the likes of Peter Green, Walter Trout and many others. In recent weeks, Paul and his band toured with British blues star Joanne Shaw Taylor on her US tour. Their UK shows are part of a European tour.

So how does Paul describe their live shows: “Searing, positive energy……..” and he's promising lots of surprises and new material for the May & June UK shows.

Paul is a prolific songwriter and places great emphasis on the lyrical content of his material. “To me, the most important part of my song writing is the lyrics. I believe it is a lost art in modern music. A song is meant to be a story or an idea that can stir up awareness.

“My sound is simply what I’m trying to convey at the moment. Sometimes it is loud and aggressive, sometimes soft and loving. It’s all rock n' roll, rooted in the blues.”

So what do the blues mean to Paul: “I believe that the blues is almost a primeval form of music. The entire idea behind the music is pure emotion. There is an argument that all music is like this, but I believe blues music is emotion in its purest form.

“When you strip down to the deepest part of emotion, you can learn a lot about yourself and your true beliefs. The blues are everything to me. The music shapes the way I view the entire universe and the possibilities beyond.”

Why does the blues continue to generate such a devoted following? “Rock and blues are simple and pure forms of music. The purity of the sound and its emotion is easy to relate to at any age. It just comes down to exposure and introduction. I have found that when people of all walks of life are exposed to the music, they are fans for life. It’s not a passing fad; the music has obviously stood the test of time.”

Paul’s main influences are mainly all British. “The full list would be far too long, but the original British blues scene was the true saviour of the blues. Some of my greatest influences are Peter Green, Robin Trower, Steve Marriott, and Alvin Lee. These musicians have had a profound effect on my playing and my songwriting.”

Another treasured UK memory for Paul is when he recorded an album here; a dream come true for the US musician and artist. “I’ve played on several different recordings over the years. So many great sessions with so many different artists. I love to record. When we recorded the “Tales From The Gravel,” album in Norwich, England at La Grange studios, I really felt like I had reached another first.

“I spent my youth dreaming of traveling to another country to record, and for the first time I had accomplished that. The session was amazing and I will treasure the experience for a lifetime.”

After many years on the road, Paul has now visited many countries around the globe to perform, and has collaborated with many other artists. Along the way, he has picked up advice from many sources, and recalls one memorable comment from John Oates, one half of blue-eyed soul legends Hall and Oates, who told him of a chat with Sir Paul McCartney where Macca advised: “Never drop names.” (Do I detect a certain irony in this anecdote, folks?)

During a break from rehearsals for the forthcoming UK and European tour, Paul reflected on his career to date, his current plans and the best moments so far. “Now is definitely the most interesting time in my life. The endless travel brings constant new adventures. I have so many wonderful friends from far corners of the earth. The more friends you acquire, the more fulfilling and interesting your life becomes.

“I’ve had so many wonderful points in my career, it is tough to pick the best one. I think it’s relevant to the time and situation. I guess every time you get a “first”….. The first time I got a guitar, the first time I heard myself on a recording, and the first time I got my own hotel room! The first time I ever played in front of twenty thousand people; things like that. The list is endless."

"The worst moment in my career was when the rock n roll 'indulgences' let down some people that were very important to me. A true-life lesson…..” Sounds to me like Paul's probably got the blues.......the seeds of a future book project, perhaps?

UK Tour:
May 16th: Polish Club, Barnsley
May 17th: Cross Keys, Halifax
May 20th: The Robin 2, Bilston, Wolverhampton
May 22nd: Barrow Blues Club, Barrow-In-Furness
May 23rd: Montrose Music Festival, Montrose, Angus
May 24th: Reivers Rock & Blues Festival, Northumberland
May 25th: The Tyne Bar, Newcastle
May 27th: Welcome Inn, Whitefield, Manchester
May 29th: Duck & Drake, Leeds
May 31st: Harrogate Blues Bar, Harrogate
June 6th: The Carriers Inn, Bude
June 9th: Old School Bar & Kitchen, Truro
June 11th: The Barley Sheaf, Liskeard

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