John D. Lamb
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John D. Lamb

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Review of A Novel Day"

After years on the local scene as singer-songwriter and television show host, John D. Lamb steps out with his first CD offering. This Collection showcases what Lamb has been offering his audiences for years now: solid guitar rock wrapped in country and R&B that deliver his words directly, without a great deal of adornment. It's a less-is-more approach that serves him well.
Lamb is a rock storyteller who weaves his fables from the stuff of everyday life. He fills his tales with characters you know and have probably been at one time or another. And as we all know, in these lives of great ordinariness, extraordinary things happen, or are at least dreamt about.
Lamb's strength as a writer lies in his ability to distill relationships to their bare essence. On the discs' opener, "You Threw Me," as an acoustic wash of stringed instruments weaves an atmospheric country tapestry, Lamb sings "I'm searching for the girl I admire/Falling back on my wicked ways/I'm burning with misguided desire/before I leave I've got to say/The way we kiss, I could've sworn we had some fusion/Love was bliss, your love for me was all an illusion." He wrestles with the question, yet he already has the answer when he returns (in the next verse) to the woman he loves for forgiveness. He cops to everything as Kathy Kosins' voice shores up his courage to ask for another chance, and Michael King's electric lead underlines his guilt and misery.
Other tracks are jangling rockers. "Don't Make Me Laugh" contains perhaps the record's greatest verse: "Sing for your supper, suffer the fools/Love one another , and follow the rules/You don't roll over/You can't be through/Don't make me laugh so soon." As the backing vocals and lead guitar wind through and float above the mix, Lamb spins a tale of love and woe full of true irony and forlorn humor.
...Lamb has given us a slice of life in which we find common ground, but is anything but commonplace.
Thom Jurek, Metro Times Detroit, Michigan



- Detroit's Metro Times


"Another review of A Novel Day"

The Listening Room ***
John D. Lamb's resonant voice and upbeat tempos grow more appealing with each listening of this new recording. His songs have the kind of down-home flavor, familiarity and humor reminiscent of Larry McMurtry. Even his love songs are delivered with a wink, as in "Che Penzi?," where he laments, "How do you keep your grades so stable/When you drink me under the table." In the past few years, Lamb has built a fan base around Michigan and Ohio, even among area musicians, some of whom appear on this record. ...The sound is easy going country with slide guitars, chiming instrumentation and arrangements as inviting as a swinging door.
Nicole M. Robertson/The Oakland Press
- The Oakland Press, Michigan


"A short review of A Novel Day"

...John D. Lamb out of Royal Oak borrows from many influences on his debut, "A Novel Day." The cascade of sounds illuminate every track as individual moody works of art. A truly positive and moving record.
Scott Baker/Entertainment Editor
- The Delta Collegiate


"Bob Talbert's Column"

Detroit Free Press/Wednesday, January 24. 1996 Feature Page/Bob Talbert
Ex-grocery packer Lamb out with hot CD
Music on my mind today...
...A new Schoolkids' Records CD, "A Novel Day," by singer-guitarist John D. Lamb of Royal Oak, arrived with a letter from Lamb: "I never did thank you fore asking me to 'take a bow' for my 'Ferndale Tonight' variety show a couple of years ago. Thanks. I graduated from Farmington Harrison High in '76 just ahead of your daughter, Dafna, and often ran into her in the music department. My real name is D'Agnillo - translated: 'of Lamb.' "Packed your groceries a couple times at what used to be Chatham Supermarket. I was a journalism major at CMU and gave it up when I realized how much work it would take to land a regular column like yours. I've been reading you daily for over 20 years and have longed to present you with something worthy of mention. Well, here it is."

Worthy of mention? More than that, John. I'd been waiting for that CD. Your long history of playing 200 shows a year throughout Michigan and Ohio has built a great following.
I've heard from your fans about your great show, the wide variety of folk, country and rock, and the great original storytelling songs you write and sing. I was primed. And I wasn't disappointed.
I love "A Novel Day" - every cut. So do a lot of people with ears I respect. Just got a note from noted psychic-musician

Bob Thibodeau of Mayflower metaphysical Bookshop in Berkley:
"John D. Lamb's 'A Novel Day' produced by Michael King. Here's an album you'll like immediately, and it will grow on you the more you listen to it. Easy listening, beautiful arrangements and love tunes, rock-a-billy country-western bop, slow Tex-Mex matador ballad, upbeat, downbeat, slow and steady songs with meaning and purpose you can listen closely to or let play in the background. Lamb is another John Hiatt in the birthing! Any live audience will testify to that."
Lamb's CD was recorded at the Tempermill in Ferndale and Mission Studio in Birmingham with some of the best musicians in town: Bugs Beddow, Michele Ramo, Larry Frantangelo, Susan Calloway, Kathy Kosins, Doug Koernke, James Rasmussen, Stephen Grant Wood, Michael King, Peter A. Soave, Lance Larson, Chris Codish and Sal D'Agnillo.


The CD is available at Harmony House, Repeat the Beat, Record World and Schoolkids' Records. Many cuts from it deserve local and national airplay. Hope that happens when it's released nationally Feb. 5. When Lamb's really big, I'm going to tell folks I knew right off that he would be a star from the way he packed my groceries with such rhythm.

- The Detroit Free Press


"Wexton blurb"

Singer-songwriter John D. Lamb has spent most of his life in Michigan, but he writes songs as if he's spent his whole life on the road - which, I suppose, isn't surprising considering his busy touring schedule. A tireless performer, Lamb spends quite a bit of time trekking around the state and nearby areas, continuously winning new fans with his brand of Midwestern roots rock. His brand-new CD "A Novel Day" (Schoolkids' Records) demonstrates Lamb's finesse with simple, evocative and catchy songcrafting. The songs range from quiet meditations on broken relationships ("You Threw Me") and deferred dreams ("Matador") to bouncy, countrified pop ("I Want You Bad," "Don't Sound Sound") and straight-up roots rock ("Comin' Undone"). His songs speak with a Hemingwayesque world-weary romanticism, particularly in "Matador," which is something of an informal tribute to Papa.
Lisa Wexton/Metro Times - The Metro Times, Detroit


"Artist of the Week"

Friday, April 25, 2003
ROYAL OAK -- Singer-songwriter John D. Lamb began performing while studying journalism at Central Michigan University.
These days, he earns a living as musician, performing three to five nights a week in Metro Detroit either as a solo artist or with his band, the John D. Lamb Band.
"The band is a really good bar band and show band, and I don't mind calling it a bar band," Lamb says. "Each of us has our separate projects that make us feel creative and artistic."
Lamb's other projects include his nonprofit organization, Springfed Arts, which sponsors the yearly Lamb's Retreat for Songwriters in November at the Birchwood Inn in Harbor Springs. Singers and songwriters from around the country take part in the retreat's workshops, jams and performances, which offer an opportunity to learn from other artists.
"It's all about developing this community of songwriters," Lamb says. "So often, we write in solitude and we think nobody appreciates what we're doing, until we get together."
He also runs Walloon Writer's Retreat, a gathering for creative writers. Now in it's fifth year, this project was started with the help of Oscar-winning filmmaker and author Michael Moore and his wife, Kathleen Moore.
The songwriters' retreat isn't all Lamb does to help local singer songwriters. Once a month on a Sunday, Lamb invites five or six songwriters to perform at what he calls Lamb's Songwriter's Showcase. The event is free and takes place at Memphis Smoke in Royal Oak.
Name: John D. Lamb.
Lineup: Lamb plays guitar and sings solo and with his band. The band includes drummer Stephen Grant Wood and bass player Oni Werth. Lamb and Wood also perform as an acoustic guitar duo.
Sound: At a Lamb’s solo/singer-songwriter shows he will spin a tale of love and woe full of true irony and forlorn humor. His band is not exactly classic rock, but not quite cutting edge. Lamb describes his music as "Great Lakes Rock and Roll." The band performs everything from Iggy Pop to Frank Sinatra and from Elvis to Glen Campbell.
Releases: "Live in the Barn" CD (2002); "A Novel Day" CD (1995, Schooolkids Records); "Live at Legs" cassette (1990, Whirled Records, out of print).
For more information on Lamb's Songwriter's Retreat, visit www.springfed.org or www.jdlamb.com.
Melody Baetens is a free-lance writer. You can reach her at melodybaetens@yahoo.com.

- Detroit News


Discography

Feel That (Mezzanotte Records) released November, 2006
Live in the Barn (Mezzanotte Records) 2002
A Novel Day (Schoolkids Records) 1996
Live at Legs (Whirled Records) 1991

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

John D. Lamb performs solo and with a band. He tours extensively through Michigan and other parts Midwest. Lamb was recognized by the Metro Times as Detroit’s "Best Rock Songwriter" and is a winner of WRIF-FM’s Local Riffs contest.
As executive director of the nonprofit organization Springfed Arts, Lamb presents the well-known Lamb’s Retreat for Songwriters. In addition to bringing in some of acoustic music’s top songwriters as faculty members, Lamb has given out over 400 individual songwriting assignments to musicians throughout the U.S.A.
His retreat for poets and writers, the Walloon Writers’ Retreat, shares the reputation for quality and creativity enjoyed by the long-running songwriters’ retreat.
In the early 90’s, Lamb produced and hosted a music-based variety show called Ferndale Tonight on cable television. Whether he’s singing songs with his guitar, interviewing prominent guests or moderating provocative panel discussions in front of live audiences, John manages to entertain.