A Little Background…
Samantha Fish is an American singer songwriter and blues guitarist from Kansas City in Missouri. She has been around since 2009 and, to be honest, has just come to my attention. Shame on me! The lady has around 9 albums out showing off her various styles, covering anything from blues, rock, soul and jazz. A very versatile artist. On this show she focussed on her last 3 albums, 2 of which feature original material and one which is a covers collection. The band are stripped down from the last time she toured over here as it is down to a 4 piece with no horn section. We were even treated to 2 new songs which are going to be on her next album coming out in August.
The Gig Itself
It was quite a rocky start to the show opening, as it did with the title track of her 2015 album “Wild Heart” merging straight into “You Can’t Go” from her covers album. The segue between them was fun, lots of false endings to the first tempting you into the second.
Right from the off, the crowd was engaged with heads nodding all around. The band were tight as a gnat’s arse and her voice really soulful and full of emotion. It got better as the night wore on, which surprised the hell out of me! In fact, at one point I was reminded of Amy Winehouse during “Blood On The Water” which was stunningly beautiful with terrific harmonies. One of my favourite tracks on the night was “Daughters“. The build up , the organ solo (from keys man Phil Breen) and the guitar solos were superb. It was a real epic sounding track with the guitar at one just soaring into the sky. The interplay of both guitar and keys was perfectly executed.
There were moments where the band were having so much fun and the crowd responded in kind. During the boogie woogie little rocker “Little Baby” I could feel the floor bouncing (it is a ballroom they were playing but still…) as people jumped around and danced away. There was so much joy in the room. The solo went all 1950s rock and roll at one point as well. Talking of dancing there was plenty going on when she took us down to Mississippi on “Gone For Good“. This was a finger-picking Country Blues rocker of a song. I should also mention the rhythm section of Chris Alexander on bass and Scott Graves. They keep the whole thing together, no matter what style the music goes into.
New Songs Aired
The 2 new songs were quite different to each other with “Love Letters” being a slower track on the verses with Samantha playing slide and the chorus being more upbeat, and “Watch It Die” which she described whilst laughing as “heavy metal”. Not quite, but it is about the heaviest track I have heard from her. She was right into it and ended up on her knees during the solo whilst giving out some feedback!
Conversely to that, on both “Need You More” and “Blame It On The Moon“, she went all Country/Americana and Dick Dale on us. The first of those was simply a delightful song. It was a simple and touching track about being on the road, with your family or lover being back home. She had that correct amount of drawl vocally to make it work.
It was plainly obvious how happy Samantha Fish and the band were to be in Edinburgh with lots of smiles throughout and general friendly chat. The response from the crowd was great throughout, they didn’t need much encouragement to sing along and to clap at the appropriate moments and they were in great voice especially in the encore “Bitch On The Run” where the “right now” chorus was sung with great gusto helping to finish the night on a high.
This is where I tell myself off asking why I hadn’t checked this artist out before. As stated earlier she (and her fine band) is a versatile singer and guitarist who strides over numerous musical styles bringing her own charm to them all. Watching her on the sadder songs she pours so much emotion into her performance (in “Hello Stranger” I thought she looked close to tears as she sang) that it actually effects the listener. If you don’t know this lady yet please do yourself a favour and check her out. Samantha shines especially as a live artist and you won’t be disappointed!