took over the Wareham Opera House last Friday as 24-year-old bombshell rocker Samantha Fish left it all on the stage, including her
sparkly, sky high heels.
A Kansas girl at heart, Fish’s talent reaches far beyond the Midwest. She won the Blues Music Award for Best New Artist Debut for her solo album, “Runaway,” released in 2011.
She is currently on tour for her latest release, “Black Wind Howlin’.” The tour will take her back to Europe to open for the Royal Southern Brotherhood for 14 shows this month.
When it comes to her style, there are obvious blues, rock and country influences. Fish can shred on a guitar better than most rockers. She wails into a microphone with raw power that is both beautiful and commanding.
“The blues has always been one of those genres where it reinvents itself and evolves with the music of the day,” Fish said. “I think that’s what keeps it going and what’s kept it around so long.”
She has an authentic homegrown voice that can’t be replicated or learned. Her roots and diverse influences make her music soulful, lyrics honest and roots down-home. She performed almost all original songs in her Friday night performance, mostly from her new album, but opened with one of the most defining tracks of her career thus far, “Runaway.”
“I’m getting closer with each record and each song I write,” Fish said. “It becomes a little more like what I think I’m hearing in my head and the vision of what I want for myself. It just takes some time to connect with you.”
No one could look away from the stage for the entire show, unless it was to get on the floor and dance. The crowd rooted for an encore performance.
“She was fantastic, right, a great guitar player, as well as a great vocalist,” said Walter Dodds, harmonica for the Red State Blues Band and professor of aquatic ecology. “How could she do any better?”
The room was not only filled with blues lovers, but fans who have been following Fish since her career began. One audience member in particular said he was blown away by how far she’s come and how much she continues to progress.
“She has grown so much in four or five years,” Eric Rasmussen, Manhattan resident, said. “I like the new album. It just gets better and better the older she gets. See her no matter what the cost. If you like blues music, go see her. She gets down to the heart of it. Seriously, she takes it from Robert Johnson to Stevie Ray Vaughan.”
Her musical journey has taken her to international locals and to some of the most iconic music destinations. Her latest album was recorded in the legendary Dockside Studio in Maurice, La. Dockside Studios has hosted musicians like Arcade Fire, B.B. King and Dr. John.
“The studio is right on the Bayou,” Fish said. “You walk out of the studio that’s in an old barn, and you’re right on the swamp. It’s really beautiful. Your phone doesn’t work out there. There are no distractions, and it’s nice. It’s such an incredible place— my favorite recording experience.”
“Black Wind Howlin’,” Fish’s latest album, shows how far she has taken her sound into her own hands. She takes inspiration from blues and classic rock greats while finding a way to make it her own. Tracks like “Last September,” show off more country inspired melody.
“For me, the record itself is more of a coming of age record,” Fish said. “The first one is kind of like I’m young, I’m a girl, I play guitar [and] here’s what I can do. We tried a bunch of different styles, and it’s a good record. This record was more like I’m growing up. It’s more mature. The whole mantra is ‘I’m not going to take your shit anymore.’”