The blues. It conjures up smokey roadhouses with older men singing in gruff voices and the crowd hanging on a single guitar note played with gut wrenching emotion. Thankfully, these days that notion is a relic from the past. Now the blues has many champions. One of them being Samantha Fish. Since winning the Best New Artist Debut at the 2012 Blues Music Awards, she’s won many more awards, released more albums, and built a reputation for an amazing live show.
In 2021 she released her latest album Faster to rave reviews. Mixing rock, contemporary R&B, and pop she has pushed the boundaries of the blues in this hit album. With the popularity of the album, Ms. Fish to the delight of her fans has toured relentlessly behind it. Finally, her tour has taken her to Orlando’s Hard Rock Live so her Florida fans can witness her in person.
With the stage lights alive and the audience excited to watch her perform, Samantha Fish clad in a red pleather outfit, and her band came out and launched into “Bulletproof” from her previous album Kill Or Be Kind. Playing the main riff with her trademark cigar box guitar slung over her shoulder and singing into a regular mic, then delivering the chorus into another mic she sounded incredible. But things really kicked up a notch when she played a vicious slide guitar solo. Now this is what live music is all about, getting to see incredible performances.
The first of several songs from Faster to be played was “Loud”. After a quick guitar switch, which would happen throughout the show, after all she is well known for her guitar prowess. She gave a lesson in song dynamics on this one. Just like the recorded version she pulled back when needed and belted things out with such force. Of course, Samantha delivered even more fiery guitar work.
In one of the more fun moments of the show, Samantha told the audience that she was having lunch at the Hard Rock Café, which is also part of the venue, a fan walked up to her and gave her a napkin with a song request for the nights show. The fan said she loved the drum work on the song but wasn’t the biggest fan of the lyrics. Laughingly she turned to Sarah Tomek her drummer and said well you got that part right and followed it up with next time we will get both right. The band then launched into “Better Be Lonely”. Judging by everyone’s reaction, the song was a big hit.
“Twisted Ambition” and “Kill Or Be Kind” off of Faster and Kill Or Be Kind respectively, were received equally as well as her other material. As with all of the other material she played, her voice was spot on, and her guitar work was otherworldly. After every solo she played, you could hear people exclaiming just how great a guitarist she is. But she may have saved the best for last. She dug deep into her catalog and performed “Black Wind Howlin’”. This straight up blues number is the perfect vehicle for her to strut her six string magic. Her soloing was inspired and the amazed looks on the audiences face told the story that they were witnessing something very special.
With nine albums under her belt and a relentless touring schedule, Samantha Fish has rightfully evolved past the next big thing stage. Her playing and singing have been honed to perfection and are a sight to behold. Whether you are a fan of the blues or not, her shows are now in the “must catch” realm. Then again, when you can sing like an angel and play like the devil like Samantha Fish it’s no surprises that her concerts are that good.
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Hard Rock Live: