Samantha Fish

As an artist, singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Samantha Fish has earned numerous accolades for her unique self-expression, which she channels through explosive riffs, visceral rhythms, and spine-tingling vocals. Her talent has been recognized by none other than Eric Clapton, who invited her to perform at his Crossroads 2023 in Los Angeles. This summer, Fish is set to embark on a thrilling journey, first joining SLASH on his S.E.R.P.E.N.T. tour, then taking part in the Experience Hendrix Tour. She will return to the U.K. this Fall, before wrapping up the year with the Bulletproof tour, where she will showcase songs from her extensive repertoire.

Samantha’s latest effort for Rounder Records, Death Wish Blues (2023,) was a collaboration with renegade rocker Jesse Dayton. The album was nominated for a 2024 GRAMMY® – Best Contemporary Blues Album and was #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart for three consecutive weeks. 

Before Death Wish Blues, Samantha Fish released the highly acclaimed Faster (2021). This album marked a new chapter in her musical journey, showcasing her admiration for North Mississippi blues legends like R.L. Burnside and innovative mavericks like Prince. Faster followed her 2019 debut with Rounder Records, Kill or Be Kind (2019,) which was produced by Grammy winner Scott Billington. Each of these albums has contributed to Samantha Fish’s growing reputation as a musical force to be reckoned with. 

Known first and foremost for her fretwork, Fish’s secret weapon is her astute and nuanced storytelling and ultra-vivid detail from carefully honing her craft. “Because I 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 songwriting in her late teens, mining inspiration from Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen. She took up the guitar at age 15 and began seeking 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, earning an ever-growing number of accolades. 

For Fish, one of the greatest joys of making music is the robust 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 make people forget about everything else in the world and feel that same joy that I feel on stage.” And in the studio, Fish experiences a similar exhilaration—a sustained head rush that’s entirely palpable in every track she records. “There’s such a transformation that can happen in the studio when you 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.”

Photo: Daniel Sanda

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