Black Wind Howlin'
Samantha has already appeared here at Marshtowers earlier this year, when I picked out her guest vocals as one of the highlights on Devon Allman's Turquoise album. She is also one third of the Girls With Guitars trio, another of whom is Dani Wilde (Dani's Juice Me Up was reviewed here back in 2012). So having touched on a little of Samantha's history already, I was keen to find out more about her own music.
Mikes to Go
Go to Hell
Who's Been Talking
Lay it Down
Let's Have Some Fun
Black Wind Howlin'
Miles to Go hits the ground like a cheetah running: ''12 hours to Reno, 10 hours til the next show; Got mouths to feed, my word to keep; On the run, with miles to go...'' It's a big, bold sound, topped off by a powerful voice that sets the scene for most of what is to follow - a large slice of high-energy rock/blues.
Kick Around keeps the pace and features the ubiquitous Mike Zito (he produced the record and adds vocals and guitars; he was also a guest artist on Magic Honey, reviewed yesterday). Indeed, the first four tracks are all riff-heavy rockers with anger-tinged vocals. Sucker Born - highlighting the exemplary harmonica of Jumpin' Johnny Sansome - is the pick of the opening quartet.
There's a timely change of pace on Over You, bringing a much more soulful aspect from Samantha's voice. Who's Been Talking is the most bluesy offering of the 12 (and, written Chester Burnett, the only song without a writing credit for Samantha; Go to Hell is a shared credit with Mike Zito, but the rest are all her own work).
The tempo goes up again for the second half of the album and stays there until the very surprising switch to Americana for Last September which demonstrates another welcome string to Ms Fish's bow. Bo Thomas's fiddle lifts the song in all the right places and brings the album to a very satisfying conclusion. Actually, I would like to hear more in the style of Last September, which I think adds a great extra dimension to the album.
In addition to Samantha's powerful vocals and guitar, there are the following personnel:
Yonrico Scott - drums and percussion
Charlie Wooton - bass guitars
Mike Zito - guitar and vocals
Paul Thorn - vocals
Johnny Sansome - harmonica
Bo Thomas - fiddle
Stand out tracks: Sucker Born; Over You; Last September.
Black Wind Howlin' will be released in the UK on 23 September 2013.
For further details, head for Samantha's official website.