Samantha Fish grew up in Kansas City. She was first exposed to this music by attending the local blues club “Knuckleheads”. Her early influences include Sheryl Crow, Tom Petty, R.L. Burnside and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
In 2011 Fish joined Dani Wilde and Cassie Taylor to become “Girls With Guitars”. They released an album and toured Europe with The Ruf Records Blues Caravan. That year Fish also released her debut solo recording “Runaway” produced by Mike Zito and it won Fish a 2012 Blues Music Award for Best New Artist.
In 2013 Fish followed up with “Black Wind Howlin’” also produced by Zito. Guesting on that recording was the rhythm section of Charlie Wooten and Yonrico Scott from The Royal Southern Brotherhood.
This is Fish’s third studio recording for Ruf Records. This time Fish’s producer is Luther Dickinson of The North Mississippi All-stars and The Black Crowes. The band on this recording is Fish, vocals and guitar; Dickinson, bass, mandolin and guitars; Brady Blade, drums; and backing vocalists Shontelle Norman-Beatty and Risse Norman.
Fish has written or co-written 10 new songs for this recording. The album opens with “Road Runner”. The sound is more Americana or roots oriented than previously, perhaps similar to Lucinda Williams. “Blame It On The Moon” features Dickinson on the lap steel.
Fish’s co-writer on five of the songs is Jim McCormick whose credits include recordings by Trisha Yearwood and Keith Urban. Among those songs co-written are the title track “Wild Heart”, and “Bitch on The Run”. Fish takes a nice guitar solo on “Highways Holding Me Now”.
Among my favorites are the two covers. “Jim Lee Blues Pt. 1” from Charley Patton is given a wonderful treatment with Dickinson on mandolin. The other cover is a nice rendition of Junior Kimbrough’s “I’m in Love With You”. Guesting on both of these is guitarist Lightnin’ Malcolm.
Fish is only twenty-six years old and still maturing as an artist. If this is what we can expect from her she should be around for a very long time.