Samantha Fish and Jesse Dayton, Death Wish Blues Photo Credit © Daniel Sanda

Fish + Dayton Push the Limits of DeathWish Blues

Death Wish Blues, SAMANTHA FISH and JESSE DAYTON‘s debut joint album, is a collection of work resulting from a common desire to push the boundaries of blues music

As one of the most influential figures on the 21st century blues scene, Fish has established herself as a multi-award-winning festival headlining artist who enthrals audiences with her ferocious yet graceful guitar playing, delivering an unrestrained brand of blues-rock that transcends all limitations of genre. 

Dayton, on the other hand, has a remarkable past that includes working on the soundtracks for Rob Zombie’s renowned horror flicks, recording with legends like Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, touring as the guitarist for landmark punk band X, and producing a number of well-received solo albums.

Death Wish Blues, produced by the great Jon Spencer of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, ultimately fuses their disparate views into a collection of songs that are both intensely emotive and tremendously explosive.

With  An almost funky bounciness the twin guitar lines trace the curves of this infectiously resilient numbeR…

Raw Ramp Music Magazine

According to Fish, the creation of Death Wish Blues was the culmination of a musical connection that was established in her hometown of Kansas City more than ten years ago: “It was always a big deal when Jesse came through town to a play a show—we first met when I was 20, and I kept up with him through the years,” Fish says of the Beaumont, Texas-bred musician. 

I’d been wanting to do a collaborative project for a while and went to see Jesse perform in New Orleans, and right away I knew he was the guy. We got together and had this vision of making something of an alt-blues record, but it turned out to be so much more exciting and layered than I ever imagined.

The follow-up to Fish and Dayton’s 2022 EP Stardust Sessions—a three-song effort featuring covers of classic tracks like Townes Van Zandt’s “I’ll Be Here In The Morning” that RAW RAMP described as “frantic rhythms, energising vocals, and blazing guitar-play…” Death Wish Blues took shape at Applehead Recording & Production in Woodstock, a studio situated on a 17-acre farm once home to The Band’s Rick Danko. 

Death Wish Blues Samantha Fish + Jesse Dayton

The two musicians teamed up with bassist Kendall Wind, keyboardist Mickey Finn, and drummer Aaron Johnston over the course of ten hectic days, recording the majority of the album live and unleashing a daring fusion of blues, soul, punk, funk, and gloriously greasy rock-and-roll.

The musical impact of each track is massively increased by Jon Spencer’s production work, continuously delving into the rule-breaking creativity that has made him a cult star. Fish and Dayton share responsibilities for vocal and guitar.

Jon’s indie-rock royalty and he’s always been ahead of the game as far as moving the blues forward,” says Dayton. “For this album we wanted to keep everything blues-based, with a lot of inspiration from people like Albert King and Magic Sam on the lead-guitar parts, but we also wanted to have fun with that and take it somewhere new and different and way outside our wheelhouse.”

One of the first songs that Fish and Dayton wrote together, the album-opening “Deathwish” (music video shared below) immediately established the free-flowing nature of their collaboration. 

Samantha sent me that melody and I went into my writing room and started coming up with some lyrics inspired by all these true-crime documentaries I’d been watching,” Dayton recalls. 

“It turned into a song about men taking advantage of women, and I knew that Samantha could really chew on those lyrics and sing them with a lot of attitude.” 

With a bumpable-boisterous and almost funky bounciness the twin guitar lines trace the curves of this infectiously resilient number, as the vocals address the unholy intent of the lyrical content. Samantha’s verse is sour-blue and pragmatically buttered while the going is very rhythmic, with warm agentship from Dayton. His solo is, perhaps predictably, swing-swang twangy (but in an entirely good way!) while Fish provisions the ultra-catchy song with melodic crop and rhythmic rhapsody!

For those who love black Cadillacs, black leather jeans, black hearts, and black clouds hanging over an afternoon. 

Pre-order the album here:

Main photo: © Daniel Sanda

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