Lamb Triplets Earn Prestigious Piano Honor

(From Central Kentucky News Journal)

Blair, Laura, and Murphy Lamb are three of just 10 students selected to statewide program this summer (photo John Overby)

By John Overby
Monday, May 4, 2015 at 11:13 am

Blair Lamb was at the Lucky Vista Motel, helping her group shoot a video for a project in one of her classes. Only her mind wasn’t on the project.

She was waiting — waiting to hear if she had been accepted for the Governor’s School for the Arts program.  So, with lighting and sound equipment all around her, she couldn’t help but sit there, staring at her phone as everyone else focused on getting their movie done.

But she wasn’t alone in her misery.

Murphy Lamb had just finished up baseball practice and was watching a friend play tennis on the night of the big reveal.  Even after his mother had found out, though, he needed to see the good or bad news for himself.  “I was like, ‘Don’t tell me! Don’t tell me!” Murphy said. “I wanted to find out on my own.”

And Laura Lamb was sitting at home, but that didn’t make her wait any more bearable, especially after the unexpected happened.

“The website crashed…” Laura began.

But she wasn’t able to complete her thought before Blair, reliving the painful memory in her mind, frantically added, “The website crashed! They were half an hour late! Oh my gosh, it was awful.”


The Lamb triplets began playing piano when they were in first grade, a little over 9 years ago. Their mother, Tammy, had taken piano with a local instructor, Suellen Shaw, and her children were now following suit.

“All three of us happened to like piano, so we just stuck with it,” Laura said.

With three siblings starting a new craft at the same time and only one instrument to practice on, there were some time-management challenges at the beginning. At first, they would have designated orders in which to practice, but finding enough time to rehearse soon became second nature.

Even once that problem was solved, though, each one acknowledged they still had something they needed to adjust to in the beginning.
For Laura and Murphy, it was getting into the habit of practicing on a daily basis.

“It wasn’t just practicing,” Laura said, “but learning to start practicing well.”

“And it’s not just running through all your stuff,” Murphy added. “It’s working on everything and realizing what’s bad and knowing what you need to work on.”

Blair’s biggest challenge was discovering that not everything would come easily and becoming disciplined enough to practice when those difficulties arose.

“I remember one time in particular,” she said, “it was hard for me to get something I wasn’t good at to start with and work on it. A lot of things had come easy, but I would get frustrated when I would see a piece of music and couldn’t play it right off the bat.”

However, having three siblings starting the same instrument simultaneously accelerated the learning process, they said, because they started becoming competitive with one other.

“It probably pushed us all to be better,” Laura said.

When the trio began attending various piano festivals, though, it was often difficult for them to figure out which one had the advantage, as they would often end up receiving the same scores.

“There’s only a certain amount of spots in piano festivals for people to make it to state,” Blair said, “but there’s always more than three, so we’d all get a spot.”

According to Murphy, Shaw was the first one to realize that the three Lambs had a natural affinity for the piano.  Even though they didn’t have anyone to compare themselves to, Shaw was able to tell they were quickly progressing in their lessons.

“Pretty much from the beginning, she noticed that we were advancing quicker than most people, I think,” he said.

Blair realized she had the ability to excel at piano when she was around 11 or 12 years old. It was at this point that she and her siblings had graduated from the training books and began playing classical music and music from the romantic period.

“When we started playing the greats and we found out that we could do that, I think that’s when I knew and I think we all knew,” Blair said.
Their progress soon led them to other opportunities.


As soon as the Lambs heard about the Governor’s School for the Arts program — around the time they were in eighth grade — they were intrigued.  They liked that it wasn’t biased, as a lot of programs tend to take a certain amount of students from each district or from each school and some even favor certain schools more.  Not GSA, as they called it.

“It’s not like that at all,” Blair said. “Everybody has an equal chance, and it’s free, too, which is another thing I like about it.”

The process of being accepted into the GSA program — which runs from June 21 to July 11 this summer — is a “tedious” one, and Murphy even noted that he began training for the audition process a year in advance.

“That’s when I picked out the piece I was going to play — (George) Gershwin’s First Prelude,” he said. “I worked on it forever.”

In addition to a pre-selected piece, each GSA hopeful is also tasked with learning one in a short amount of time.

“Three weeks before the audition,” Laura said, “they send you a piece — and it’s not an easy piece — and you have to learn it so they can see how fast you learn things.”

Plus, once a candidate is at the audition, they are also required to play scales and a sight-reading they are given when they get there and take part in an interview.  However, unlike many auditions, all three Lambs said that this experience was far from a stressful one, something they expressed in unison but all in different ways.

“It was actually not very stressful at all.”

“They were so relaxing.”

“They were just really nice.”

“They were just really chill,” Murphy added, once they had all chimed in initially. “They were easy to talk to. They were just sitting at a table, and it wasn’t a big deal once I got in there.”

The real stress came after the audition, even before they knew there would be technical difficulties.

“The most nerve-wracking part for me wasn’t even the audition itself,” Blair said. “It was the period after the audition when they were deciding who got in and the night they posted it on the Internet.”

Prior to the audition, each one had prepared themselves for the possibility that they might not all make it, with only 10 spots available for this year’s program.  In fact, none of them expected that they would all three make it.

“I didn’t figure all three of us would get in,” Laura said. “We didn’t get to hear each other’s audition, so I didn’t know which one of us did the worst. I didn’t know what to expect.”

“Not that any of us is worse than the other,” Blair added, “because we all have our strengths and weaknesses, but it was really competitive. I really didn’t think they would pick three people from the same family.”

Murphy thought it was a foregone conclusion that at least one of them wouldn’t make it, although he believed that it wouldn’t even be a matter of which of the triplets was better when leaving one out.

“I thought it would come down to, ‘Why would we pick three from the same family? You know one’s worse than the other ones,’” he said, half-jokingly.

But after waiting all night — and 30 minutes extra — they soon found out the good news.

All three of them had been selected.

“I was really surprised,” Blair said, “but I was so excited when I found out.

“We all made it.”

Summertime’s Here Babe, Need Sumpin’ To Keep You Cool!

Let’s play!  Besides making a racket in some of our long-time favorite places, I’m booking some cool new summertime venues, and can’t wait to see you guys out!

Beef O’Brady’s on the corner of Ring Road and North Miles in E’town is a great beef-obradyssports-themed hangout, best known for it’s chicken wings, steak burgers, and of course, good cold beverages to quell your summertime thirst!  Family-friendly, and a pretty cool atmosphere . . . especially with good live music kickin’ in!  I’ll be there Saturday, June 8th from 9:00 p.m. to midnight, and can’t wait to get into this place and have some fun with my friends!  Y’all come out, enjoy good grub and good friends, and let’s show these folks that, for a great sports pub like Beef’s, having live music is worth the time and effort!

And what’s more summerish than ice cream?  And not just any ice cream, but premier gourmet ice cream acomfycownd desserts at The Comfy Cow!  The atmosphere in this place is awesome, and the desserts even awesomer!  Located in the eclectic, artsy, and just a little bit funky Frankfort Avenue area in Louisville (near Clifton), this family-friendly place is ALL THAT!  A locally-owned franchise, supporting local arts and culture, I promise you’ll have a smile on your face at this place!  I’m booked there Saturday, June 22nd and Saturday, August 17th from 7-10pm, and am soooo lookin’ forward to playing here!  Come hang out with me at The Comfy Cow, and enjoy summer with some live acoustic music!

Check out my Schedule page for more info and directions to both these cool venues!  Ain’t no party like a summertime party, y’all!

A Bit O’ Bull

Haven’t played around my hometown in a while, so lucky for me, my buddy Owen Grise has laid out a very gracious invitation to join him at The Bull Golf Course near Richmond, KY this Friday, August 31st, from 6p to 9p on the patio (rain or shine, it’s covered, y’all!).  Owen’s one of the finest musicians you’ll ever hear, and I do believe he knows damn near every song ever written!  C’mon out and have a little fun with us!  It’s always a great time when the two of us get together.

And if you’d rather show up in E’town, then I’ll be making a racket this Saturday, September 1st from 7:30p to 10:30p at Texas Outlaw.  Who knows, maybe I can persuade Owen to make the trek and sit in again with me!  Absolutely some of the best pulled pork BBQ I’ve ever had, cold drinks, friendly staff, and a great laid-back atmosphere.  C’mon out and kick in a nice long Memorial Day weekend with us!

And put this on your calendar as well:  The Via Colori Festival is coming up Saturday, September 8th.  A great art and music festival held in downtown Elizabethtown to support the Advocacy and Support Center, and I’ll be on the main stage there as well.  Great place to bring the kids and spend a day enjoying some awesome art and music!

Oh, and if you can’t come hang out with me while I’m making a racket, pick your favorite band at your favorite venue and GET OUT THE HOUSE AND SUPPORT LIVE MUSIC!  :-)


Rain & Blue Sky

We finally got some rain!  Nothing says “Oh yeah, it’s raining!” like BBQ, cold drinks, good company, and Live Music!

Uh, okay . . . maybe I’m reaching a little there.  Just c’mon out to Texas Outlaw BBQ in E’town tomorrow night, and I promise I’ll play some “Oh yeah, it’s raining!” songs.

How ’bout CCR’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” or “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” or maybe “Rainy Night in Georgia”?  “I Wish It Would Rain”?  Or maybe I can do some sunshine riffs like “Sunshine Go Away (Today)” or “Blue Sky” by the Allmans.  Damn, I love that song. . . should do it more often.  Think I’ll start ‘more often’ tomorrow evening.  I usually tie it in with “Little Martha” if that’s alright with y’all.  Anyway, bring it on out and have some fun with me tomorrow evening.

Oh, and don’t forget to tune in to Crescent Hill Radio tonight (Friday) from 8-9p Eastern for the Kentuckiana Blues Radio Show hosted by Gary Sampson.  Gary’s s’posed to play some good ol’ Doug Lamb blues music.  😀

And while I’m on the subject, here’s one of my fave performances of Blue Sky.  Enjoy.


Featured on Crescent Hill Radio Friday

From Gary Sampson, Prez of the KBS and host of the Kentuckiana Blues Radio Show:

“Doug Lamb will be one of the artist featured on tomorrow night’s Kentuckiana Blues Radio Show in Louisville, KY on Crescent Hill Radio ( Showtime is 8:00 to 9:00 pm. If you can’t catch the show live, it will be archived for one week starting Saturday at”

Thanks, Gary!  Y’all tune in on the air, or online if you have a chance!

Bots & Spam Posts

Hey y’all!  Sorry, but due to all the bots trying to post spam links and such on the site, I’ve disabled the ability to post hyperlinks in the comments section.

I welcome your comments, and will very rarely censor anything unless it’s blatantly ugly, nasty, and unfit for human consumption, but you just won’t be able to post hyperlinks to outside pages.  If there’s a valid link you’d like to post, feel free to shoot me an e-mail and I can allow.  I’m spending an inordinate amount of time sorting through spam without the filter in place though, so guess it’ll hafta be the exception as opposed to the rule.