Three days after she sold out the venues main stage on New Years Eve, Samantha Fish returned Friday to Knuckleheads and sold out its other room.
By TIMOTHY FINN
The Kansas City Star
Playing for an audience of about 60 in the Living Room, she delivered two hours of original songs and covers, showcasing her singing, songwriting, guitar playing and engaging personality.
Fish is classified as a blues artist, but she crosses musical borders. Her set list this evening included country songs her own Last September and a cover of Tennessee Waltz a jaunty version of Steve Millers Jet Airliner, John Hiatts Native Son, a lovely, mournful version of the Stones Dead Flowers, Tom Pettys Louisiana Rain and three Tom Waits covers: Walking Spanish Down the Hall, Heart Attack and Vine and I Dont Wanna Grow Up (hers was more like the Ramones version).
Throughout the show, she told stories and traded banter with the audience and her bandmates, filling the room with a casual and friendly vibe. She was backed by her stout and steady rhythm section: virtuoso Go Go Ray on drums and Chris Alexander, who switched from electric bass to upright throughout the set and added some nice vocal harmonies on a few songs.
Fish spent much of the evening playing rhythm and leads on acoustic guitar, but for several songs, including covers of R.L. Burnsides Poor Black Mattie and Junior Kimbroughs Nobody But You, she showed some prowess on Dobro, which she said she was playing live for the first time.
Amid those covers and others (In My Time of Dying and Charley Pattons Jim Lee Blues), she played several of her own songs: the molten and grimy Go to Hell, from her latest album, Black Wind Howlin ; Runaway, the title track to her debut album; Lets Have Some Fun, which she played solo-acoustic; Other Side of the Bottle, which she hammered out on the Dobro; and the bittersweet and soulful ballad Over You.
But this show was as much about Fish paying respect to her favorite bands, songwriters and influences as it was her own songs. So she ended with more covers, including a version of the Bands Ophelia that had a nice Bonnie Raitt vibe to it, Pettys Louisiana Rain and then Jet Airliner.
She is only in her mid-20s, but Fish displayed an impressive knowledge of and respect for music of yore and the skills and polish that should ensure her a long, bright future filling rooms of all sizes.