Missouri bred singer/guitarist Samantha Fish refined her style on the Kansas City jam circuit – and later on the road (playing with Cassie Taylor and Dani Wilde) on a year-long tour. The lengthy tour polished her stagecraft and provided her the valuable opportunity to road-test the material heard on her solo debut 10-track (9 originals) album “Runaway” – to a discriminating audience.
This led to a whole host of other exciting opportunities and openings, including invitations to many European and North American festivals, an entry onto the line-up for the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise in October, and winning at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis for ‘Best New Artist Debut’ in 2012.
‘Kick Around’ has a Jagger-esque swagger to it. It’s as cocky as a rooster on the mate – and as sleazy as a hustle-bunny on a bling fling. Then the spellbinding ‘Go To Hell’ grabs the listener by his collar and looks him straight in the eyes. It’s accusatory, devilish and full of finger. And all the while, the guitar groans and writhes like a five-finger shuffle working on the moan button.
Some silvery bottle necked sentiment then digs deep into your sinuses on ‘Sucker Born’. This song has a riveting pulse that pounds away – and turns you into a jitter-wreck long before the agony of that salacious jazz guitar solo ( and the intertwining harp ) cuts in.
‘Over You’ is heartbreaking country ballad. This song offers Samantha the opportunity to explore her vocal range. This is a real swayer, sobber and cheek stinger.
Howlin’ Wolf’s ‘Who’s Been Talking’ is up next. Then ‘Lay It Down’ which is metallic and dusty. ‘Let’s Have Some Fun’ is a mix detergent tangles and low-end activity. Then ‘Heartbreaker’ zooms up and takes you by surprise. This number grabs you with its agonising grip. The steamy riff is slow and methodical. It allows Samantha’s voice to capitulate. This song is full of yield and sympathy. But – soon enough – you realise that this is a ‘bye-bye’ song.
One of the stand-out tracks ‘Foolin’ Me’ has a tantalizing beat and a gradual ascent. This must be a treat played live. The laser locked guitar-work shines like a diamond slide glimpsed in the bright light. And the chorus delves into your brain and nestles there until much later. Then it bursts out again.
Title track Black Wind Howlin’(Track 11) is quite conventional. A plodder with a black heart. And a stinking pain that cannot be shaken. It’s so smooth, oily and heartbreaking. It feels so bad. But oh! It’s so good.
The album concludes with the radio-friendly country strummer ‘Last September’. This track – complete with violin and clear-as-bell vocals – sits rather awkwardly on this deliciously dark blues album.
– © Neil_Mach August 2013 –
Check out Samantha Fish live this September – UK Dates:
Sep 25 Under The Bridge London
Sep 26 Robin 2 Wolverhampton
Sep 27 Flower Pot Derby
Sep 28 Boom Boom Club Sutton
Sep 30 The Stables Milton Keynes