Friday, January 5, 2018

Ruf Records artist: Samantha Fish - Belle Of The West - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Belle Of The West, from Samantha Fish and it may be her best effort yet. Opening with American Dream you have an immediate sense that this isn't a typical Samantha Fish release. Produced by Luther Dickinson, this release is in a whole new strata. Laden with fife and drums by Sharde Thomas, and with Trina Raimey and Tikyra Jackson on drums, this track has a distinct Mississippi feel. Blood In The Water showcases Fish's lead vocal and harmonies with Amy LaVere who also plays bass. A swampy track with sparse but distinct guitar work and eerie violin work by Lillie Mae, this is a cool track. Cowtown has a distinct country sound with a certain blues flavor. Addition of Fender Rhodes by Jimbo Mathus gives a nice texture and Fish sounds more comfortable both vocally and with guitar work in this "new" style. I also really like the heaviness of the drums on this track which really punch it right. Very nice. Don't Say You Love Me may be my favorite track on the release with absolute sassy vocal sound. I really love the guitar tone on this one too...excellent! Title track, Belle Of The West is a terrific, country (real country) TexMex flavored track with deep roots. I am hesitant to give Dickinson credit for someone else's work, but when he touches something he can bring out the best in people and whatever caused it, this is really good! RL Burnside's Poor Black Mattie is another terrific track with vocals shared with LM. Keeping the Mississippi sound, adding harmonica, and mandolin, really deep. No Angels balances between pop and country blues maintaining it's solid roots and developing a solid boogie. Vocal duet with Lillie Mae, Nearing Home is a warm blues ballad with healthy country roots. It's hard to describe, but easy to listen to. Very nice. Wrapping the release is Gone For Good, a primarily acoustic foot stomper with rhythmic guitar, slide and light percussion under soulful vocals by Fish. I really like this release and suggest you get this one for your permanent collection.

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