Samantha Fish: Black Wind Howlin’ Review

One might recall Samantha Fish as the winner of the 2012 Blues Music Awards’ Best New Artist Debut category for her 2011 breakout album Runaway. Perhaps her name rings a bell from the work she put into the Girls With Guitars trio alongside Cassie Taylor and Dani Wilde. Even still, blues fans will likely remember the young Kansas City star from the vocals she contributed to Devon Allman’s cover of the Tom Petty-Stevie Nicks classic “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” for Allman’s 2013 album Turquoise. Whatever the connection, Fish fans will be excited to learn that the release of her sophomore album Black Wind Howlin’ is just around the corner.

Produced by Royal Southern Brotherhood co-founder Mike Zito and featuring the talents of Paul Thorn, Johnny Sansone, Bo Thomas, and Royal Southern Brotherhood band mates Charlie Wooton and Yonrico Scott, Black Wind Howlin’ is chock-full of talent from some of modern blues’ best. Fish earned writing credits on 11 of the album’s 12 tracks, but for “Who’s Been Talking?” she offers a nod to Howlin’ Wolf in a harmonica-heavy track that sounds more like a classic itself than a tribute. Meanwhile, several of Fish’s original tracks provide snapshots of Fish’s own vast range of influences and experiences. “Got mouths to feed, my word to keep / I’m on the run with miles to go,” Fish sings on the jaunty “Miles to Go,” a lyric that reflects the timeless lifestyle of the touring musician. The album’s title track similarly samples the narrative tradition of classic blues as Fish sings of repentance and retribution, a style she revisits on the country-tinged “Last September.”

“Lay It Down” jumps in as the record’s runaway hit, a song with a dependable rocking beat that inspires a sweetly simple guitar lick and strong vocal bursts from Fish. With a discreet reference to Runaway woven into the lyrics, “Lay It Down” stands as evidence of Fish’s continued songwriting prowess and vocal skill as one of blues’ recognized rising talents. In a pleasant close to the summer season, Black Wind Howlin’ will be available in the U.S. on September 10 and throughout Europe on September 20.

The Review: 7.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Miles to Go
– Sucker Born
– Lay It Down

The Big Hit

– Lay It Down

Review by Meghan Roos

Buy the album: Amazon | iTunes

4 thoughts on “Samantha Fish: Black Wind Howlin’ Review

  • I’ve only listened to the samples on iTunes, but I’d say this album is deserving of a 10/10, not a 7.5/10. Samantha has quickly risen to the top of not just my favorite female blues artists, but one of my favorite blues artists period. Can’t wait for the album to come out.

  • I’ve been blessed to discover Samantha over a year ago, and I can sincerely say she is one of the brightest artists to come along in a very long time. She has paid her dues, and deserves all the recognition she gets, and then some. I was finally able to see her live at the Zoo Bar in Lincoln, NE, and I could not recommend her any higher. She tears it up. I can’t wait to see her again, and I can’t wait for the new album! Much respect to Ms. Fish!!!

  • I’ve seen Samantha Fish up-close-and-personal (thanks, Paul Benjamin) at the Time Out Pub in Rockland – first with “Girls with Guitars,” then solo. And I’ve seen her on the big stage at the North Atlantic Blues Festival (thanks again, Paul Benjamin!). She plays and sings with passion, maturity and skill beyond her years… and she connects with the audience. This is a great blues-rock album!! 11 on a scale of 1-to-10!

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