Following her triumphant 'Faster' UK tour in October 2022, American guitarist and singer songwriter Samantha Fish announces her return to the UK for a 9-date UK tour in October 2023.
Samantha will perform songs from her 2021 album ‘Faster’, which includes the singles Twisted Ambition, All Ice, No Whiskey, Better Be Lonely and Faster.
‘Faster’ is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed ‘Kill or Be Kind’, and marks Samantha’s first collaboration with producer Martin Kierszenbaum (Lady Gaga, Sting), who co-wrote eight of the album’s 12 new songs and helped the genre-defying guitarist, singer, and songwriter to re-define her sound and venture into new sonic territory.
Samantha will also perform songs from her extensive back catalogue including the radio smash single Bulletproof, from her 2019 breakthrough album ‘Kill Or Be Kind’.
“Samantha’s masterful guitar playing spanned across multiple genres including blues, country, rock, and funk. This combined with her amazing voice, her body rocking, and head banging, and tossing around her Marilyn Monroe-style blonde locks made for a jaw-dropping experience.”
“As Samantha Fish throws her last plectrum into the audience and walks off stage, I am left mouth wide open as to what I have just witnessed. Where has the last 90 minutes gone? Can I rewind and do it all over again?”
“Striding on to the stage, dressed all in red leather this ‘Scarlet lady’ had a point to prove and she was taking no prisoners.”
“Samantha’s bluesy vocals entwined with stunning guitar skills makes for an intoxicating mix that ranks her high among contemporary artists.”
After launching her recording career in 2009, Samantha established herself as a rising star in the contemporary blues world. The charismatic singer-guitarist-songwriter has earned a reputation as a rising guitar hero and powerful live performer, while releasing a series of acclaimed albums that have shown her restless creative spirit consistently pushing her in new, exciting, and often unexpected musical directions…
The New York Times called Fish, “An impressive blues guitarist who sings with sweet power,” and “One of the genre’s most promising young talents.” Her hometown paper, the Kansas City Star wrote: “Samantha Fish has kicked down the door of the patriarchal blues club and displays more imagination and creativity than some blues veterans exhibit over the course of their careers.”
Samantha believes her musical future is an open road. “I’m never going be a traditional blues artist, because that’s not who I am,” she says. “But it’s all the Blues for me. When Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf came out, what they were doing didn’t sound like anything that had been done in Blues before. You’ve got to keep that kind of fire and spirit. I’m never going to do Muddy Waters better than Muddy Waters, so I try to be who I am, and in doing that, I find my best voice.”
Over the course of her career as an award-winning artist, singer/songwriter/guitarist Samantha Fish has brought extraordinary power to her self-expression, capturing her inner world in combustible riffs, visceral rhythms, and spine-tingling vocal work. On her new album Faster, she joins forces with super producer Martin Kierszenbaum (Lady Gaga, Sting) and imbues even more intensity into her electrifying brand of blues/rock-and-roll. With Fish accompanied by legendary drummer Josh Freese (Guns N’ Roses, Nine Inch Nails, The Replacements) and bassist Diego Navaira of The Last Bandoleros, the result is a singular body of work both irresistibly galvanizing and emotionally raw.
The follow-up to 2019’s Kill or Be Kind (Fish’s Rounder Records debut), Faster came to life at the famed Village Studios in Los Angeles, where she and Kierszenbaum uncovered new possibilities in her captivating sound. “Kansas City played a major part in bringing us together: I was born and raised in KC and Martin has some familial ties. Shortly after being introduced last year, we had a conversation about making an album,” she recalls. “His track record was perfect for what I wanted to do with this album, which was to expand into different genres while retaining the roots I’d built in the blues world.” Revealing her affinity for North Mississippi blues heroes like R.L. Burnside and wildly inventive iconoclasts like Prince, the album ultimately embodies an unbridled energy true to its emotional core. “The whole record has a theme of taking charge and taking the reins, in a relationship or in life in general,” says Fish. “I really thought that after 2020 I’d end up with a really dismal, bleak album, but instead, we came up with something that’s fun and sexy and so empowering.”
Faster opens on its spellbinding title track, a fiercely stomping number whose vocal hook states her intentions to “make your heartbeat faster.” Immediately making good on that promise, Fish next unleashes the restless urgency of “All Ice No Whiskey,” a pop-perfect powerhouse she considers something of a dare. “‘All Ice No Whiskey’ is a way of telling someone they don’t have any of that substance I’m looking for—sort of like, ‘Come back when you’ve got something interesting for me,’” Fish says. That defiant spirit also infuses “Better Be Lonely,” a fantastically loose and freewheeling track graced with a frenetic guitar solo. “That song’s about putting someone on ice, where you’re telling them: ‘I don’t want you right now, but when I am ready to have you, you better be there,” says Fish. Another bold statement of self-possession, “Twisted Ambition” brings mercurial rhythms and jagged guitar work to Fish’s refusal to let others define her. “It’s about flipping the roles of power—taking control and confronting a world that tries to put you in your place,” she notes.
While Faster never fails to showcase the gritty vitality of Fish’s musicianship, much of the album journeys into elegantly eclectic sonic terrain. One of Faster’s most vulnerable moments, “Crowd Control” unfolds in delicate beats and shimmering keyboard tones, forming a dreamy backdrop to Fish’s self-reflection. “It’s about confronting your demons – separating the version of yourself that you portray to the world from who you actually are. At its core, it’s about expressing vulnerability,” Fish explains. “When I wrote it, it felt like a true rootsy, Americana song. Martin added keys and modern synth textures that really brought it back around to this plaintive mood.” Featuring a guest spot from rapper/singer/songwriter Tech N9ne, “Loud” drifts from doo-wop reverie to guitar-fuelled frenzy, riding that tension to glorious effect. “Tech N9ne is by far one of the biggest artists to come out of KC, and one of the biggest self-made artists in the world,” says Fish. “He was perfect for ‘Loud,’ which is a song about speaking your truth as loud as you can. It’s about saying to the person you’re with: ‘I want you, but I want your ugliness and all. So don’t ever be afraid to speak your mind and speak your heart.’” And on “Hypnotic,” Fish lays down a mesmerizing piece of R&B-pop, telegraphing unfettered desire in her seductive vocal delivery and lushly textured grooves. “‘Hypnotic’ is about putting somebody under a spell,” she says. “There’ve been times in my life when I haven’t felt all that in control in a relationship, and this song was my chance to become that person.”
For the final track to Faster, Fish selected the album’s most tender song, a gorgeously stark and slow-burning ballad called “All the Words.” “It’s about letting a relationship go because that’s what’s best for everyone, even though it’s a horribly painful experience,” says Fish. “When we recorded it, it was just me on guitar, Diego on bass, Martin playing the grand piano. It’s a song I hold very close, and it felt right to make it as raw as possible.”
Throughout Faster, Fish threads her song writing with the kind of nuanced storytelling and ultra-vivid detail that comes from carefully honing her craft. “Because we usually tour so much, most of my albums have been written in hotels between shows,” she says. “This was the first time I’ve ever had the opportunity to just sit in one place and pour everything that was happening around me into songs.” Growing up in Missouri, Fish first found her love of song writing in her late teens, mining inspiration from the likes of Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen. Having taken up guitar at age 15, she soon began seeking out gigs by cold-calling countless local bars. “I used to open the phone book and call up every place in Kansas City, even if they didn’t have live shows,” she remembers. “I had maybe a three percent success rate, but eventually I started filling up my calendar—if you put on a good enough show, word of mouth gets around.” Over the years, Fish has maintained her reputation as a phenomenal live act and repeatedly turned out critically acclaimed albums, in addition to earning an ever-growing number of accolades.
For Fish, one of the greatest joys of making music is the powerful exchange of energy at her incendiary live shows. “I fell in love with music from going to shows, and I know how cathartic it can be. It heals your heart,” she says. “Anytime I play live, I just want to want to make people forget about everything else in the world and feel that same joy that I feel on stage.” And in the process of creating Faster, Fish experienced a similar exhilaration—a sustained head rush that’s entirely palpable in every track on the album. “There’s such a transformation that can happen in the studio when you really own that freedom to be creative,” she says. “I feel so charged up in those moments, like I can be whoever I want to be. It’s just me and these incredible musicians trying to make a piece of art that speaks for itself and contributes something new to the world. It’s never hard to feel inspired or empowered when that’s the mission.”
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