Released by: Rounder Records
Release Date: Out Now!!!
Samantha Fish: vocals, guitar, cigar box guitar;
Rick Steff: Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Hammond B3 organ;
Andriu Yanovski: Prophet X synthesizer, Moog synthesizer;
Jim Spake: tenor and baritone saxophones;
Tom Clary: trumpet;
Austin Clements: bass;
Doug Belote: drums, percussion loop;
Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph & Kayla Jasmine: backing vocals.
Kill Or Be Kind
Watch It Die
Try Not to Fall In Love With You
Love Your Lies
She Don’t Live Around Here
You Got It Bad
Samantha Fish has been swimming in the lake of blues greatness ever since she started her music odyssey with her first album ‘Live Bait’ in 2009. With ‘Kill or Be Kind’, her sixth studio album, she is most definitely a BIG fish in the ocean of soul, blues and rock.
Plugged in and ready to go, straight away it hits me that Alanis Morissette could have just landed in my cd player! The opener of ‘Bulletproof’ aims and hits the perfect blues-rock bullseye with a heavy beat and Cigar Box swagger.
‘Kill Or Be Kind’ transforms the ambience to melodic, with clear and beautiful vocals from Samantha and laid back blues beats complete with horn section and keyboards which warm you through to the bones…..think a Duffy and Stevie Wonder combo, with some Beth Hart thrown and you won’t be too far off.
With tracks such as ‘Love Letters’ leaving me stunned with its beautiful and soulful feel, followed by ‘Watch It Die’ which has a more upbeat and heavier, raunchier sound to it, it is clear that this lady from Kansas can be diverse and clever with it.
‘Try Not to Fall in Love with You’ brings us back to a more relaxed, 50’s soulful sound, perfect for those summer days in the garden. The next treat for the ears is ‘Fairweather’, a ballad which is perfect in it’s haunting simplicity and this is followed by much livelier ‘Love Your Lies’, an upbeat track with superb guitar and driving back beat.
The beautiful and folksy ‘Dream Girl’ once again brings Samantha’s stunning voice to the fore…this is actually my favourite track from the album, a delicious, neck-tingling moment.
With ‘Dirty’ and the fabulous ‘You Got It Bad’ bringing this treat to an end, I have to say this has been a real pleasure to listen to.
50’s soul is high on the list of rich influences here, but the album never slips into the mistake of rehashing nostalgia. With Ms Fish’s vocals and clean and clear musicianship, this tips a hat to old school blues, whilst still keeping the sound fresh and contemporary. Her talent for soul and also rock n roll is obvious and her enthusiasm is infectious.
SCORE: 8 out of 10
REVIEWER: Francijn Suermondt