Interview and Concert Review of Samantha Fish October 07, 2017
Schmitts Saloon, Morgantown, WV, USA
By Daniel Locke
Samantha Fish grew up in Kansas City, Missouri to a musical family with a variety of genres; including a steady diet of classic rock radio. Her father played guitar and would sometimes jam with friends at the family house. Fish started out playing drums, but at 15 switched to the guitar. Fish frequently went to the Knuckleheads Saloon (a music venue in Kansas City, Missouri.) to hear touring Blues artists. Upon turning 18, she would often join in with the musicians who were performing at Knuckleheads.
In 2009, Samantha Fish recorded the live album Live Bait as “The Samantha Fish Blues Band,” The rock-edged guitar work brought her to the attention of Ruf Records. The label featured her alongside Cassie Taylor and Dani Wilde on the 2011 release “Girls with Guitars,” which featured covers of the Rolling Stones and the Steve Miller Band, as well as other original material from the three guitarist/singer/songwriters. Later that same year, Fish released her solo debut, “Runaway,” with Ruf Records. Which was produced by mentor and frequent collaborator Mike Zito.
As time rowed on Samantha Fish had her first chart success with her sophomore LP, “Black Wind Howlin’,” also produced by Mike Zito. The record hit Billboard Heatseekers chart and reached the Top Ten of the Blues albums chart upon release in 2013. She followed it up with “Wild at Heart” in 2015. Wild heart become her first number one hit reaching Blues number spot. In 2017, she returned with her fourth studio album, “Chills & Fever,” recorded in Detroit with members of the Detroit Cobras. At the time is when I discovered Samantha Fish. I was able to do a quick interview with her and attended a concert at Schmitts Saloon on October 7, 2017 in Morgantown, WV. It was the first time I seen Fish live. Fish was Great, I could say she is the perfect guitar player. Not only a female guitarist but a guitarist of all type.
The following is the interview I conducted with Blues musician Samantha Fish.
Dan Locke (UnRated Magazine): What gear is your favorite to play with in the studio or on tour?
Samantha Fish: I love my category 5 amps and Delaney Guitars. I have a few custom builds from both of those companies and they have been so good to me over the years.
UnRated: You have a lot of guitars? At the present time how many do you have, and give me some example of you prize ones.
Samantha: I should be buying and selling, but once I get a guitar I have a tough time letting it go. You never know when you’ll need it. On the road I usually travel with 7 or 8, at home, I’ve been collecting for a few years so it’s tough to tell. My new Delaney 512 is amazing. It’s got a 339 style body to it, so it resonates and feeds back. It’s got a great tone. I love my Gibson SG, Fender Jaguar, and Koa Taylor acoustic.
UnRated: In you option which is better acoustic or electric?
Samantha: Sometimes nothing in the world feels better than ripping on an electric, but then again, the acoustic allows for other things to shine through. It forces people to really pay attention to the voice and lyrics. It’s all about application.
UnRated: Tell me about your cigar box guitar?
Samantha: It’s from a company called ‘Stogie Box Blues’. It’s got p bass pick up, and it sounds so mean. It’s really tiny, but it makes a huge noise. I’ve been given so many over the years, but that one was the first I bought for myself, and it’s my favorite.
UnRated: Any endorsement? How did you get them?
UnRated: If you could open for anyone die or alive, who would it be?
Samantha: It’s a sore subject, but Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. I grew up listening to pretty much everything he ever recorded. He defined American rock and roll.
UnRated: In the same frame of mind, if you were doing a headlining tour; also who would you have open up for you?
Samantha: I love getting my friends involved. Life on the road makes it harder to maintain relationships at times, so the idea of having your friend’s band sounds like a blast.
UnRated: If you could form a supergroup, who would be in your band?
Samantha: That’s a hard question! My supergroup would be all over the place and a stylistic nightmare. But if we were doing the whole dead or alive thing, I’d go all dead. Supergroups are expensive, and that might pay a little better.
Some of the people Samantha Fish performed with were: The Healers — Jimmy Hall, former Double Trouble keyboardist Reese Winans; Kate Moss, and Trampled Under Foot members Kris and Danielle Schnebelen which became a CD.
In addition, other great artists who Samantha Fish shared the stage are Bryant Carter with Sara Morgan and Buddy Guy.
People compare her to Bonnie Raitt or Susan Tedeschi because of the pure Blues sound. I think of Samantha Fish is more like an Ana Popović, Joanne Shaw, or Taylor Danielle Nicole. Also can do a run for the money against Orianthi or Ruyter Suys from Nashville Pussy.
And now she has got some notice with:
- Winning Best New Artist Debut – 2012 Blues Music Awards in Memphis
- Guitar World Premiere’s “CROW JANE” from Samantha Fish’s new breakthrough release from CHILLS & FEVER | February 25, 2017- “Chock full of swampy guitars, New Orleans-style horns and fronted by Fish’s powerful, blues-tinged vocals, I can’t think of a better representation of this story of regret.” Guitar World
- Huffington Post | February 25, 2017 – Feast Your Eyes On This! We are excited to announce that on Thursday, March 2nd The Huff Post will be premiering the CHILLS & FEVER video. “It was fun working with Kansas City’s Outpost Worldwide on this creative and chilling video. Samantha Fish and her friends had a blast and we all get to share.”