it just seems like most of the hottest new guitar
players in the blues world are women. In all due
respect to the men out there, some of the most
exciting blues artists of late include Dana Fuchs,
Fiona Boyes, Ana Popovic, Joanna Shaw Taylor, among
Add the name of Kansas City native
Samantha Fish to that list. Coming off the
strength of the excellent Ruf album Girls with
Guitars, on which she collaborated with Cassie
Taylor and Dani Wilde, Ms. Fish has now released her
excellent debut solo release, Runaway.
Produced by Mike Zito, Runaway
features nine tunes written or co-written by Fish as
well as one cover, Tom Petty's "Louisiana Rain."
Pretty impressive for a young woman just 22 years
Runaway is one of those
albums that gets better with repeated listens. The
first time through I called it a good album; the
second time I listened to it I exclaimed that it was
great! I was expecting to be wowed by Ms. Fish's
guitar work, but it's her vocal range that pulled me
in on the first cut, the rockin' "Down In The
Swamp." The title cut, "Runaway," follows, and it's
an up-tempo John Lee Hooker-sounding boogie with
some smoking guitar licks.
The tone changes on the next number,
"Today's My Day," a vintage blues on which Ms. Fish
plays mean slide guitar --- a very nice song.
Another standout is the snaky shuffling blues "Otherside
Of The Bottle."
The album closes very strongly as
Ms. Fish shows her versatility on the two final
cuts. The aforementioned "Louisiana Rain," a ballad
with a little bit of a Cajun feel to it, again
showcases Ms. Fish's tasty slide playing. "Feelin'
Alright" is something completely different --- a
late night, jazzy tune with seductive vocals from
Ms. Fish. It's a great nightcap to a satisfying meal
With Runaway and the Girls
with Guitars CD (reviewed in
last month's issue) both out this year, Samantha
Fish is quickly becoming a major player on the blues
scene. I look forward to hearing more.
--- Bill Mitchell