SAMANTHA FISH

SAMANTHA FISH

Kentucky Gentlemen

Sat, December 28, 2013

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$12.50 - $15.00

This event is all ages

All seating is general admission. A limited number of advance table reservations are available at The Cotillion or by phone at 316.722.4201. Nancy's Amazing Sandwiches will be here serving her Famous #8 and more! Coat Check will be available.

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SAMANTHA FISH
SAMANTHA FISH
Take cover: there’s a storm coming. With its lyrical thunderbolts, lightning-flash fretwork and ground-shaking grooves, Black Wind Howlin’ is a record to blow your roof off – and Samantha Fish has stood at the eye of the hurricane. “It has a rebellious streak,” says the bandleader of her game-changing new album, “and a prevalent theme is, ‘I’m not gonna take your sh*t anymore…’”
Released in September 2013 on Ruf Records, Black Wind Howlin’ flips a finger at the cliché of the ‘difficult second album’, firing off 12 classic tracks that chart Samantha’s evolution as songwriter, gunslinger and lyricist. “Since completing Runaway back in 2011,” she reflects of her solo debut, “I’ve been on tour pretty much non-stop. I’ve spent a lot of time writing, playing and listening to music. I feel like the themes and the sound of my music have matured. To me, it’s about the human experience from my perspective, as well as people I’ve come into contact with over the last few years.”
While lesser artists work to a template or settle into a pigeonhole, Samantha shifts her shape across the Black Wind Howlin’ tracklisting. She can be brutally rocking on cuts like the tour bus snapshot of “Miles To Go” (“Twelve hours to Reno/ten hours til the next show”), the swaggering “Sucker Born” (“Vegas left me weary, LA bled me dry/skating on fumes as I crossed the Nevada line…”) and the venomous “Go To Hell” (“Oh, this ain’t my first rodeo/You hit yourself a dead end/Your voodoo eyes, ain’t gonna cast a spell/So you can go to hell!”). “I’ve become tougher,” she notes of these head-banging moments, “and I think that was reflected in the sound we went for.”
And yet, elsewhere, backed by the versatile production of Royal Southern Brotherhood guitarist and longtime collaborator Mike Zito, you’ll find Samantha shifting gears to the aching slide-guitar balladry of “Over You” (“Echoing words, said I’d never make it on my own…”) and the redemptive country strum, “Last September” (“Don’t remember the curves of my face/Can’t feel the warmth in my embrace/Well I’m here to remind you…”).
She might stop off for a gritty cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Who’s Been Talking,” and co-wrote “Go To Hell” with Zito, but all other tracks are Samantha’s self-penned originals, and it’s a mix to keep listeners on their toes. “I wanted this record to have a modern rocking sound,” she explains of the light-footed vibe. “I also wanted it to have elements of Americana, country and roots.”
The sessions proved just as rewarding as the writing. As a seasoned road warrior who will spend much of 2013 burning tarmac, recording at Dockside Studios in Maurice, Louisiana was a rare chance for Samantha to put down roots, flanked by a first-call band that included Royal Southern Brotherhood rhythm section Yonrico Scott (drums) and Charlie Wooton (bass), back-up guitar and vocals from Zito, plus guest appearances from Johnny Sansone (harmonica), Bo Thomas (fiddle on “Last September”) and Paul Thorn (vocals on “Go To Hell”). “I had a dream team of musicians and special guests,” she recalls. “And Dockside Studios quickly became one of my favorite places on earth.”
But it was another venue, some years earlier, that set Samantha on her musical path. The songwriter recalls her first musical taste as the classic rock of The Rolling Stones and Tom Petty, alongside contemporary artists like Sheryl Crow and The Black Crowes, but after several underage clandestine visits to the Knuckleheads Saloon blues club in her native Kansas City, she followed the thread from modern masters like Zito and Tab Benoit, through fallen ’80s heroes like Stevie Ray Vaughan, right back to the pre-war Delta masters. “I fell in love with it,” she told Premier Guitar of her growing passion for the form, “and started doing my homework by listening to the old guys like Son House and Skip James.”
Soon enough, appreciation for the blues had spilled over into application, and by the age of 18, Samantha had settled on a searing lead guitar style that expressed her own voice rather than mimicking the clichéd blues licks note-for-note. Home practice didn’t scratch the itch, and she broke into a dues-paying period on the Kansas City jam circuit: an apprenticeship at the sharp end that tightened her musical chops, polished her stagecraft and gave her the grit to overcome occasional skepticism about her age, hair tone and gender. “I always hated the idea of the gimmick,” she told Premier Guitar. “People come out just because you are a girl, but then you have so much more to prove once you get them in the door.”
But Samantha got them in – and kept them in – and after an early live recording from Knuckleheads found its way into the hands of label supremo Thomas Ruf, the young bandleader’s trajectory was changed from dreamer to signed artist. Fish’s first appointment for the label was to join Cassie Taylor and Dani Wilde on the 2011 Girls With Guitars album: a whip-cracking three-female release that the trio doused with added rocket fuel on Ruf’s famous Blues Caravan tour of Europe and the US that year. “I don’t get that whole competitive thing, especially when I play with the girls,” insisted Samantha. “When you start trying to get over the top of somebody, you lose what makes it great. That’s when you lose the musical aspect of it.”
With her name buzzing on the blues scene and the iron hot, Samantha struck again that same year with Runaway, her solo debut on Ruf. With ten hot tracks – of which nine were originals – and production once again from Zito, this was a debut album that announced the depth of this newcomer’s talent, mixing up gutsy riff-blues rockers like “Down In The Swamp” with the mellow small-hours jazz of “Feelin’ Alright,” while marinating her songwriting in the groove of the Rolling Stones and even tipping a hat to Heart. “It’s all the sounds I grew up with,” she explained, “with my own spin.”
Hitting a receptive international rock press, Runaway was hailed as a thrilling opening gambit, earning a string of rave reviews and accolades, of which the Blues Music Award (BMA) for ‘Best New Artist Debut’ in 2012 was perhaps the most auspicious. “I’m truly humbled by the recognition,” Samantha admitted. “I can barely wait to make record number two…”
So here it is. Harder, darker, bolder and better than even its revered predecessor, this is the sound of an artist on the brink of the big-time with both hands on the wheel. “I really got to do exactly what I wanted to do on Black Wind Howlin’,” says Samantha, “and I’m incredibly proud of it…”
Kentucky Gentlemen
Kentucky Gentlemen
The Kentucky Gentlemen's unique brand of traditional roots music has been making waves in the midwest since the summer of 2012. Mitch King and Aaron Underwood have taken the duo format and turned it on its head, with scorching guitar riffs and heartfelt vocals that are met with the kind of rock-solid rhythm that can only be achieved when your bassist and drummer are the same person. This delicate balancing act is an enticing amalgam of homebrew tube amps, foot percussion, gritty vocals and old-school blues, and in just a year, they've mastered their craft so thoroughly that you'll have to see them with your own eyes to believe that two people can produce such a full sound.

The Kentucky Gentlemen started off with a bang in their debut performance at the Wichita Blues Society's annual blues challenge. They took the solo/duo category, winning the right to represent the WBS in Memphis at the 2013 International Blues Challenge. They capped off the summer with apperances at the Chautauqua Hills Blues Fest, the Kansas Brickyard Blues Blast, the Wichita Riverfest block party, the Spirit of Kansas Blues Festival, the Brews BBQ and Blues Fest in downtown Topeka, Blacktop Nationals motorcycle rally in Wichita, and finally, Hound Dog Blues Festival at Chandler Park in Tulsa, OK. In January, the KY Gents will be representing the Blues Society of the Ozarks in their second consecutive appearance at the 2014 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.

The Kentucky Gentlemen have shared the bill with nationally acclaimed acts including Tab Benoit, Trampled Under Foot, Albert Cummings, Hadden Sayers, Little Ed and the Blues Imperials, Albert Castiglia, Bart Walker, Brandon Santini, Samantha Fish and Nick Moss, among others. Whether you see them at your local blues bar or your favorite coffee shop, The Kentucky Gentlemen always deliver bourbon soaked blues straight to your soul.