Blues Underground Network

Samantha Fish "Black Wind Howlin'" (USA)

 I was not even halfway through Samantha Fish's thrilling sophomore release "Black Wind Howlin'", before I came to a conclusion that held true to the end and that was that this album is nothing less than Crazy Good. You heard me, Crazy Good, not Good or even Really Good, but Crazy Good, the kind of Good where you can't even believe how good it is.

But really lets just put it all into perspective and remember whom we are dealing with, that being Samantha Fish, a brilliant young Guitarist, Vocalist, and Songwriter whom really lit up the musical horizon back in 2011, when her first assignment for Ruf Records, a label she had just recently joined, was to perform on the 2011 album "Girls With Guitars" alongside two other female musical heavyweights Cassie Taylor, the daughter of Otis Taylor, and Dani Wilde. That album was further promoted by way of Ruf Records famous Blues Caravan Tour throughout Europe and the USA.

Not one to rest on her laurels, she struck again in 2011 with her debut release for Ruf Records called "Runaway" which garnered numerous rave reviews and accolades, as well as, being chosen "Best New Artist Debut" in 2012, at the Blues Music Awards. "Black Wind Howlin'" marks Samantha Fish's second release for Ruf Records and there is no reason not to believe that the awards and accolades will once again come pouring in.

"Black Wind Howlin'" contains twelve very potent and powerful Tracks which run the gamut with full on Blues Rock, as well as, Americana, Roots, and even a little Country. Samantha Fish, once again shows off her amazing song-writing skills with the penning of ten Tracks herself and co-writing one with Mike Zito, whom also performs on and produced "Black Wind Howlin'". For the one cover, Howlin' Wolf's "Who's Been Talkin'" was chosen.

Samantha Fish wasted no time showing off her full throttle Blues Rocking style with the opener "Miles To Go". This was a great opener, really catching my attention and showing me a brilliant sound not often heard.

As amazingly as Samantha Fish is able to thrill us with full throttle Blues Rock, she is also able to completely mesmerize us with a few of the slower Tracks on "Black Wind Howlin'", which included, "Over You" a wonderful slow Slide Guitar number, "Lets Have Some Fun" a wonderful solo acoustic number, and the closer "Last September" a song with a nice Country edge which featured the great Fiddle work of Bo Thomas.

Track 3, "Go To Hell", is the co-written Fish/Zito song and starts off with a hypnotic primevil drum beat that continues throughout. This one not only has Fish singing but also features the Vocals of Paul Thomas, of which the two of them playfully trade off on the lyrics, throughout.

One of many favorites, on "Black Wind Howlin'", was Track nine "Heartbreaker", another killer Blues Rockin' number that, as throughout the album continued to display Samantha Fish's amazing talents as a Singer, Guitarists, and Songwriter.

Fans of Howlin' Wolf will certainly be more than pleased with how well Wolf's "Who's Been Talking" was covered. Of special note was the great Harp work from Johnny Sansone.

Visions of Jimi Hendrix dancin' in our heads, comes by way of the title Track "Black Wind Howlin'", the longest Track on the album clocking in at just under seven minutes of which most of it is Samantha Fish just Killin' it on Guitar. Another great Track and another one of my favorites.

"Black Wind Howlin'" is something you don't hear everyday, especially from a female fronted band. The stuff on this beauty was just as powerful and at times as subtle as any of the great stuff released this year, and above all, at times it was brilliantly unique and refreshing.

You will certainly hear a lot about Samantha Fish and "Black Wind Howlin'", especially come award season as this is only one of a very few of the very best of 2013.

5***** for "Black Wind Howlin'"... Thoroughly Enjoyed and Highly Recommended...

Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)


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