Samantha Fish: Stramash, Edinburgh

ian sutherland
Words: Ian Sutherland, Pictures: Mark Holloway

5th December 2017

samantha fish

Missouri native Samantha Fish is one of the rising stars of the international blues scene. She may have looks a pop star would dream of, but it's her punchy vocal style and fiery guitar solos that have earned her a growing reputation among fans of the blues and beyond.

Recently she has really taken the old school thing to heart and followed her instincts, releasing two albums in less than a year. 'Chills And Fever' leans towards a more soulful sound while 'Belle Of The West' features more of laid back, rootsy sort of feel.

Both albums show that despite the blues label given to her, she sees no limit to the styles of music she can play. After all, one of the most popular live videos of her on YouTube is of a loud and proud version of Black Sabbath's 'War Pigs'.

samantha fish

Backed by a five-piece band including a two-piece horn section, over a ninety-minute set she stretches her talents out over all those styles with consummate ease. The title track to 'Chills And Fever' is funky and soulful while 'Blood In The Water' is drenched in atmosphere and vocals full of pain and loss.

What draws both of them together is the targeted yet incendiary soloing applied to each one. Never to the detriment of the song but the lady knows when and how to let loose on her succession of guitars and it's hugely effective.

'Either Way I Lose' shows she's no slouch in the vocal department either and lets her strong, yet somehow fragile voice have some time in the spotlight. The large crowd in Edinburgh's excellent Stramash venue lap all that up but save their biggest cheers for when she rocks out, whether it's on the buzzy rootsy sound of her box guitar or extended soloing with her fingers firing out run after stunning run.

samantha fish

Stramash is a Scots word meaning an uproar or tumult and that's something in abundance on the stage at times. Let's be clear the lady can REALLY rock when she puts her mind to it.

Added to all that musical savvy and talent is a charming, self-deprecating style of communicating with her audience which leaves a pattern behind of making you want to like the song she's introducing and then finding that it blows you away when it turns up.

This was the last show of a long tour for the award-winning guitarist and vocalist and she and her band were certainly road tight. The crowd loved her every move and this triumphant show just confirmed that her star is rising, and fast.

Someone to rival Joe Bonamassa in the future? I really don't see why not, she has all the talent in the world and deserves to be as big as Mr.B. Catch her live next tour before it happens.

samantha fish

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