July 31--Singer and songwriter Samantha Fish says she's in "a rebellious stage," and her forthcoming album, "Black Wind Howlin'," is proof.
The 24-year-old artist, who hails from Kansas City, Mo., will release her second album under Ruf Records on Sept. 10.
Her first album, "Runaway," garnered rave reviews, radio airplay and a 2012 Blues Music Award for Best New Artist Debut, and while the eclectic debut with its riff-driven blues, smoky jazz and '70s-style hard rock was all-appealing, it was not all Fish.
"It had a lot of different vibes and feels," she says. "Some of them were me, and some of them weren't."
However, the sophomore album exudes the artist's confidence and "rocks front to back, balls to the walls," Fish says.
"The overriding theme seems to be 'I'm not going to take your (BS) anymore,' " she says. "It's not about a man who broke my heart or anything. Most of it is about getting over the kid stuff."
"Black Wind Howlin'," produced by Mike Zito, features rock songs with a hard blues edge, although Fish does back off for one slide-guitar ballad ("Over You") and a redemptive country song ("Last September").
Fish penned every song on the album except for Howlin' Wolf's "Who's Been Talkin'" and "Go to Hell," a collaborative piece she wrote with Zito.
This summer, Fish and the rest of her no-frills electric trio -- drummer Go-Go Ray and bassist Chris Alexander -- are playing festivals, outdoor events, clubs and theaters throughout the Northwest. She'll play at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, at Alex's Plaza Restaurant, 35 N. Main St., Ashland. The cover charge is $3.
Fish says she grew up on a steady diet of rock 'n' roll that included The Rolling Stones and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, but her interest in blues piqued in her early teens after she attended the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Arkansas.
"They played this four-count, groovy, swamp-stomp kinda thing that I really connected with, and I fell in love with the raw, visceral side of blues," she says.
Fish taught herself to play, and as soon as she could manage the technicality of the Mississippi foothill music that she loved, she started looking for opportunities to play.
"I used to deliver pizzas when I was 18 and 19 years old," she recalls. "I would bring pizzas to this club in Kansas City. It was kind of my way of getting into the club without paying a cover or having a parent with me."
Vito, a blues guitar master, played there regularly, heard her perform and later recommended her to the Girls with Guitars outfit, a booking agent and a record label.
Girls with Guitars was a temporary but popular project with Cassie Taylor and Dani Wilde. Together they released an album and toured extensively, creating quite a buzz in the blues world.
"Girls with Guitars helped me jump up a couple rungs in the ladder," Fish says. "It gave me a platform to stand up and do my thing. That's all you can do is ask for a platform to get up and show people what you can do. Thank God, people liked me."
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