Last Thursday night there was a lot of good music happening in the Boston area, but there was only one show I was interested in seeing. Friends thought I was crazy to make the 52-mile drive down to Fall River, Massachusetts and see the not-quite-famous Samantha Fish.
Although Fish has been making regular stops at Narrows Center for the Arts for several years, the Kansas City native rarely makes it inside the Boston city limits. I missed her last few tours but was determined to catch the show on the Thursday come hell or high water, and I was plenty glad that I made the effort. When I got to the Narrows more than an hour before doors, there was already a line down the street. The Narrows attracts well-educated music lovers from all over New England and most of the audience had seen Samantha Fish several times on previous stops at the venue. Samantha and her band took the stage promptly at 8 p.m., launching into several tracks from her new album Chills & Fever. Samantha plays a spicy blend of Memphis soul, delta blues and Motown R&B, and her sets often include a dose of guitar shredding rock that leaves audiences spellbound.
Whether she is playing a nasty slide on her signature guitar-box guitar, or rocking a white SG or a custom Delaney “Fish-o-caster” Samantha’s guitar pyrotechnics are what you come to see. However, Samantha also has a tremulous vocal range a and powerful voice that lends legitimacy and weight to songs like “Blame it on The Moon” and “Either Way I Lose.” Samantha’s band was in top form with the addition of Mark Levron on trumpet and saxophonist Travis Blotsky, giving a New Orleans mardi gras flare to “It’s Your Voodoo Working” and “Jim Lee Blues.”
Article and photos by JD Cohen