Review: Paul Lamb & Chad Strentz – Goin’ Down This Road
Posted on: Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Paul Lamb & Chad Strentz – Goin’ Down This Road
British harmonica maestro Paul Lamb, together with long-time band member, singer and guitarist Chad Strentz, have recently toured as a duo, and I was lucky enough to catch the show in Liverpool. For all who have seen the gigs here is a ‘take home’ memory of those nights, a CD, “Goin’ Down This Road” . . . featuring a generous 15 songs, many of them featuring in the live shows.
The album is virtually all-acoustic and contains a mix of pure blues, some soul and jazz flavours and more . . . with covers from the likes of Big Bill Broonzy, Roosevelt Sykes, Sonny Boy Williamson, Ray Charles, Lloyd Price to name but a few. The music is ‘book-ended’ by a couple of Lamb/Strentz originals, and of course, a nod to Paul Lamb’s hero and inspiration, the great Sonny Terry.
As befits one of the finest harmonica players anywhere, Paul Lamb is in sparkling form throughout; aided and abetted by Chad Strentz’s soulful vocal, which shines on the likes of the traditional “Careless Love”, and the Solomon Burke tune “Don’t You Feel Like Cryin'”. The duo revisit the title track of the last live Paul Lamb & The Kingsnakes release, with a fine version of Joe South’s classic, “The Games People Play”.
Other standouts are a beautiful arrangement of Gershwin’s “Summertime” – here re-christened “Summertyne” as a homage to Paul Lamb’s North East roots, and it features some glorious chromatic harmonica; and also a dip into the Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller) chestnut “Fattenin’ Frogs For Snakes”. The afore-mentioned ‘doff of the cap’ to harmonica legend Sonny Terry comes in the form of Paul Lamb’s “Hootin’ And Tootin'”, with once again, playing of the highest calibre.
Chad Strentz, as well as providing most of the vocals, plays some really nice acoustic guitar throughout, and he shines especially on Ray Charles “Take These Chains”, and the evergreen “Lawdy Miss Clawdy”, here attributed to Lloyd Price. Years of playing in Paul Lamb & The King Snakes mean the duo have a keen understanding and almost telepathic understanding of each other, which is evident throughout “Goin’ Down This Road”.
The live show was an absolute joy . . . and so is this debut duo CD . . . highly recommended to all blues lovers in the house!