Samantha Fish: Wild Heart Review

Wild Heart is the latest release from blues musician Samantha Fish. In this far-reaching work, Fish gives the listener a taste of outlaw country, carefully meted out amidst a smattering of blues-inspired tracks. The album begins suddenly with the shouting narrative and droning guitar of “Road Runner,” placing the listener alongside Fish on a long highway ride atop king-seated hogs, swigging Jack from the bottle and screeching through a painted canyon. Almost as though sensing the listener’s silent prediction, the record slams on the brakes and throws the tone in reverse with the contemplative, slow-swaying “Place to Fall,” a track that drips with the wistful lament for another chance to choose, but a track that nevertheless still features Fish’s gently-grated belt.

“Blame it on the Moon” starts with a wiggling slide of the guitar and finds Fish dropping the volume just a tad before allowing the rhythm to gallop in the song’s second act. Throwing opening the swinging doors with one hand on the belt buckle is the bar tune that feels as though it’s trafficked many a sticky floor, “Highway’s Holding Me Now.” “Go Home” is a finger-plucked, acoustic meditation on the realization of one’s own past and the challenge of a difficult, uncertain future. The next track, “Jim Lee Blues Pt. 1” is a slightly amped-up cover of the Charley Patton delta blues tune.

“Turn it Up” twists all the knobs to the right as Fish takes the album back to the power country angle and “Show Me” reinforces this ascension with a powerful drum intro and an ‘I’ve had enough’ lyrical focus. “Lost Myself” slows the album down with a bright-stringed introduction that amounts to a black and white fade-in on grey skies and wet asphalt. The album’s title track has a thumping guitar line and accent-laden cymbal crashes that sets Fish up to take the stage in a song that is hard to classify as either a ballad or an anthem, but that certainly shares elements of both.

“Bitch on the Run” hooks a thumb into the pocket of some tight blue jeans and slaps it thigh in pace with the head-nodding rhythm: this track is Fish’s ‘Exhibit A’ for the outlaw country attitude found sprinkled throughout the album. As with the rest of the album, Fish closes the record by first capturing your heart and then breaking it with the straightforward “I’m in Love with You.” While not lyrically complex or particularly inventive, the slow beat and colorless backing gives Fish an expanse of negative space, allowing Fish to use her warmly affected voice to paint the picture of a singular romance.

The Review: 8.5/10

 Can’t Miss Tracks

– Road Runner
– Place to Fall
– Go Home
– Lost Myself
– Bitch on the Run

 The Big Hit

– Road Runner

Review by McKinnie Sizemore

Buy the album: Amazon

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