Samantha Fish has a new album “Belle Of The West” on Ruf Records with a release date in the UK on 17th November. This also ties in with her UK tour which starts on 20th November. More information on the album and tour dates are available from http://www.samanthafish.com/
If you are in Edinburgh, Samantha Fish will be playing at Stramash in The Cowgate on Monday 27th November as part of The Edinburgh Blues Club’s ongoing live performance programme. Full details on this show at http://www.edinburgh-blues.uk/event/samantha-fish/
Tour and show plugs out of the way, down to the album itself, and I am pleased to say that this album is for me one of the real surprises of this year and nothing like what I expected from Samantha Fish. Having built up an impressive career as a “blues” writer and performance artist for herself very quickly (since 2009), I was expecting pretty much more of the same on this album, and although there is still that very early blues sound to some of the songs, this album clearly shows that Samantha Fish is growing and diversifying as both a performer and a writer. Many of the songs on this album have classic country /Americana sounds to them that, with some of the backing musicians on some tracks, are also taking us into a far more folk sound with some of the instruments played. All of this may or may not please some “blues purists”, but for me, “Belle of The West” has quickly become one of my favourite albums of 2017.
Although it may not be obvious at first musically, blues and country to me always share so many common roots together. They are both the music and stories of the underclass of society whether they be black, white, or any colour in between; economic and social injustices know no racial boundaries and the ease with which all the musical genres on this album blend into one another so easily only highlights their common origins. Samantha Fish may have built her career so far on being a blues artist, but obviously realises that it is possible to stay true to those musical roots and explore other music at the same time. I hope with this album that Samantha Fish’s fans are ready to go on this musical journey with her and not pigeon hole Samantha into one musical genre as there is obviously far more than that to this artist.
If I was to try and pick a few favourites from this album then “Need You More”, “Don’t Say That You Love Me”, “Belle of The West” and “No Angels” would certainly be there.
Some classic blues sounds on this album of course take us right back to those very basic and early years where the sound, beat and the feeling were everything (before the sound got at time over-produced) but fair warning to any “purists” out there –“WARNING - THIS ALBUM CONTAINS SOME COUNTRY AND OTHER MUSICAL GENRE SOUNDS”. That for me is the strength of this album though, so don’t let that put you off in the slightest, be brave, take the chance and listen to some great music from one of the rising stars of today - Samantha Fish.
SAMANTHA FISH – BELLE OF THE WEST
1. American Dream
2. Blood in the Water
3. Need You More
6. Don’t Say That You Love Me
7. Belle of the West
8. Poor Black Mattie (Lighnon Malcolm)
9. No Angels
10. Nearing Home (feat. Lille Mae)
11. Gone for Good
Samantha Fish – Vocals, Guitar
Luther Dickinson – Guitar, Mandolin
Lightnin’ Malcolm – Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Jimbo Mathus – Fender Rhodes, Harmonica, Vocals
Amy LaVere – Upright Bass, Vocals
Lillie Mae – Violin, Vocals
Tikyra Jackson – Drums, Vocals
Sharde Thomas – Fife, Drums, Vocals
Trina Raimey – Drums
Review by Tom King