The authentic blues singer and genius slide-guitarist SAMANTHA FISH, raised in Missouri, whose recent show in London, we described as “hot on every level…” will release her “Kill Or Be Kind” album on 20th September 2019.
A two-song single has already been released, featuring “Watch It Die” and “Love Letters”. We described Love Letters as having: “Pin-sharp rhythms [and] defiant resistance in every breath…”
The new album was recorded at Royal Studios in Memphis and produced by three-time Grammy winner Scott Billington and mixed by two-time Grammy winner Steve Reynolds.
Assisting Fish were an impressive cast of much-in-demand Memphis studio regulars including New Orleans bassist Austin Clements, Memphis keyboardist Rick Steff, Cajun drummer Doug Belote drums, Memphis saxophonist Jim Spake, Nashville synth-player Andriu Yanovski and trumpeter Tom Clary, plus many more.
The album begins with the cigar-box shredder “Bullet Proof” which is as crunchy as a crawdad shell, but the agile guitar shines through like a diamanté tiara that’s been dug from the St. John Bayou. This is bold with the spirit of grumbling resistance.
“Kill or Be Kind” is very different… it’s an elegant electric-piano accompanied blues number, with emotion contained in each whispered word and a soulful attitude that’s reminiscent of a high-heeled Macy Gray. This really does showcase Sam’s superb voice.
“Watch It Die” is more fun and more inflatable.There’s a rippled synth riff and lots more bottleneck work. And “Dream Girl” has a tribal style back-beat and elaborately woven guitar patterns. The main ornamentation on this traditional folk song is the perfectly flawless voice that contains just a hint of regret and forfeiture. This is one of the most enjoyable and affecting songs we’ve heard in a long time and, for us, the high-water mark of the album.
The disc finishes with the mettle of “You Got It Bad” with violently bent strings, apostrophizing horns and courageous vocals that are filled with shingle ‘n’ stones…
This is an album of resolution and tenacity. For those who love the course-grained bottleneck slide, of course… But the disc is also stuffed with raspy vocals that are sweet enough to be virtuous (although you guess she will never be entirely innocent…) Yes, it’s five blues stars.