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450 Franklin Street, Rocky Mount VA 24151 - 540-484-8277

Samantha Fish on the Landing Pad Stage

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Samantha Fish on the Landing Pad Stage
Saturday, December 12, 2015 9:00 PM
Harvester Performance Center, Rocky Mount, VA
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Show Details
  • Ticket Price: $22.00
  • Door Time: 8:00 PM
  • Show Type: Blues
Performing Artists (Click on Artist for Reviews and Previews)
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But it was another venue, some years earlier, that set Samantha on her musical path. The songwriter recalls her first musical taste as the classic rock of The Rolling Stones and Tom Petty, alongside contemporary artists like Sheryl Crow and The Black Crowes, but after several underage clandestine visits to the Knuckleheads Saloon blues club in her native Kansas City, she followed the thread from modern masters like Zito and Tab Benoit, through fallen ’80s heroes like Stevie Ray Vaughan, right back to the pre-war Delta masters. “I fell in love with it,” she told Premier Guitar of her growing passion for the form, “and started doing my homework by listening to the old guys like Son House and Skip James.”
Soon enough, appreciation for the blues had spilled over into application, and by the age of 18, Samantha had settled on a searing lead guitar style that expressed her own voice rather than mimicking the clichéd blues licks note-for-note. Home practice didn’t scratch the itch, and she broke into a dues-paying period on the Kansas City jam circuit: an apprenticeship at the sharp end that tightened her musical chops, polished her stagecraft and gave her the grit to overcome occasional skepticism about her age, hair tone and gender. “I always hated the idea of the gimmick,” she told Premier Guitar. “People come out just because you are a girl, but then you have so much more to prove once you get them in the door.”
But Samantha got them in – and kept them in – and after an early live recording from Knuckleheads found its way into the hands of label supremo Thomas Ruf, the young bandleader’s trajectory was changed from dreamer to signed artist. Fish’s first appointment for the label was to join Cassie Taylor and Dani Wilde on the 2011 Girls With Guitars album: a whip-cracking three-female release that the trio doused with added rocket fuel on Ruf’s famous Blues Caravan tour of Europe and the US that year. “I don’t get that whole competitive thing, especially when I play with the girls,” insisted Samantha. “When you start trying to get over the top of somebody, you lose what makes it great. That’s when you lose the musical aspect of it.”
With her name buzzing on the blues scene and the iron hot, Samantha struck again that same year with Runaway, her solo debut on Ruf. With ten hot tracks – of which nine were originals – and production once again from Zito, this was a debut album that announced the depth of this newcomer’s talent, mixing up gutsy riff-blues rockers like “Down In The Swamp” with the mellow small-hours jazz of “Feelin’ Alright,” while marinating her songwriting in the groove of the Rolling Stones and even tipping a hat to Heart. “It’s all the sounds I grew up with,” she explained, “with my own spin.”
Hitting a receptive international rock press, Runaway was hailed as a thrilling opening gambit, earning a string of rave reviews and accolades, of which the Blues Music Award (BMA) for ‘Best New Artist Debut’ in 2012 was perhaps the most auspicious. “I’m truly humbled by the recognition,” Samantha admitted. “I can barely wait to make record number two…”
So here it is. Harder, darker, bolder and better than even its revered predecessor, this is the sound of an artist on the brink of the big-time with both hands on the wheel. “I really got to do exactly what I wanted to do on Black Wind Howlin’,” says Samantha, “and I’m incredibly proud of it…”