Monday, October 13, 2014

CONCERT REVIEW: Samantha Fish / 10.9.14 (Guest Post)

@ Lou’s Blues
Indialantic, FL (10.9.14)

"Guest Contributor" 
Michelle Wilson returns 
with firsthand review 
of yet another high-
octane concert event.

I feel blessed to live in an area where intimate venue settings that promote rising stars still exist, and that’s exactly what I got on a Thursday night in Brevard County, Florida. Brevard Music Group and Lou’s Blues Upstairs collaborated to present up-and-coming blues singer / songwriter / guitarist Samantha Fish  and she rocked the house.

Yes, Lou’s Blues was the place to be as this funky, gritty chick rocker engaged and delighted fans with her storytelling skills, accomplished vocals and impeccable guitar prowess.

Following in the footsteps of such notable female slide guitarists as Bonnie Raitt, Nancy Wilson of Heart and Susan Tedeschi of Tedeschi Trucks Band, Fish brought her unique style of blues-infused rock with just a touch of country to Lou’s. The poised, stylish 20-something-year-old Kansas City native and Ruf Records artist is the real deal, playing acoustic, electric, slide and Dobro guitar, and credits John Hiatt, Tom Waits, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Angus Young and Freddie King as some of her early influences. With three records released since 2011 that all were produced by former Royal Southern Brotherhood guitarist Mike Zito, Fish won the 2012 Blues Music Awards Best New Artist category, and her sound continues to entice new fans. In 2013, Fish appeared on Devon Allman’s solo debut for Ruf Records, Turquoise, recording a cover with him of Tom Petty’s classic, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” RSB’s bassist, Charlie Wooten and drummer, Yonrico Scott, along with Zito, all contribute to Fish’s latest release, 2013’s Black Wind Howlin’. Eleven of the twelve tracks feature material written or co-written by Fish. 

Samantha Fish, Go-Go Ray and Scot Sutherland.
Kicking it off promptly at 8pm, Fish was backed by Des Moines, Iowa’s Scot Sutherland, a bassist who has worked with the likes of Pinetop Perkins, Tommy Castro, Debbie Davies and most recently, Mike Zito and The Wheel, and he was nominated by the Blues Foundation for a 2013 Blues Music Award for Bassist of the Year. Also joining her on stage was award-winning Kansas City drummer Go-Go Ray, who has been a professional drummer for 30 years.

Showcasing Black Wind Howlin’, Fish kept the audience hooked all night with such cuts as “Foolin’ Me,” “Lay It Down,” “Miles to Go” (featuring her custom-crafted Stogie Box Blues cigar box guitar — see the link below for more information about her equipment), “Sucker Born” and an incredible version of “Go to Hell” (co-written with Mike Zito), Howlin’ Wolf's “Who’s Been Talkin’,” and the title cut itself. Known for mixing it up with covers, Fish also included “Killing Floor,” a Howlin’ Wolf-penned song, “Jim Lee Blues Part 1,” an old-time Charley Patton classic and “Dead Flowers” from the Rolling Stones, one of my favorite covers that she performs.

Samantha Fish's "weapons of choice."
Samantha Fish rockin' the "oil can."
Michelle Wilson and Samantha Fish.
Paying homage to one of her great influences, Fish nailed “Tennessee Plate” from John Hiatt.  Also thrown into the set was an original from her forthcoming album, which highlights her custom-made oil-can guitar finesse. Closing it out around 9:45pm with a searing guitar solo during Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs,” Fish ended the night in stellar fashion and graciously partook in a meet-and-greet to shake hands, sign autographs and pose for pictures.

When I think about how young Fish is, I am even more impressed by her remarkable skill and utmost professionalism, not to mention her genuine affability and downright charm. And let’s face it  in a world dominated by male players, it is refreshing to see a female artist who has the whole package  and Sam Fish certainly does! With a new album tentatively scheduled for a March release, I look forward to her entertaining Central Florida again in the near future. 

-Michelle Wilson
(October 2014)



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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great review on Samantha Fish. Rina Marie