It seems like only yesterday that guitarist Samantha Fish was in the Paste Studio to perform the intoxicating garage soul off her 2017 album Chills & Fever. Actually, it was April, and Fish has already returned with a new full-length album, Belle of the West, which came out Nov. 3.
Where Chills & Fever strove for vintage R&B on a set of covers recorded in Detroit (with help from members of local heroes The Detroit Cobras), Belle of the West finds the Kansas City-born singer back in roosty blues mode. In fact, she actually recorded Belle of the West first, then came back to it after Chills won her a glowing response.
“To me, this is a natural progression,” Fish says. “It’s a storytelling record by a girl who grew up in the Midwest. It’s a personal album. I really focused on the songwriting and the vocals and the melodies and the emotion, and on bringing another dimension to what I do. I wasn’t interested in shredding on guitar, although we did end up doing a few heavier things. I love the Mississippi style of the blues; there’s something very soulful and very real about that style of music, so this was a chance to immerse myself in that. It’s definitely a song record and an emotional record, and I’m really excited to play these songs live.”
Fish recorded Belle of the West at Zebra Ranch Studios in the North Hills of Mississippi with producer Luther Dickinson, of North Mississippi Allstars fame), with whom she’d worked on her 2015 album Wild Heart. The studio team included some of the region’s finest musicians, including Tikyra Jackson, Amy LaVere, Lightnin’ Malcolm, Lillie Mae, Jimbo Mathus, Trina Raimey and Shardé Thomas, granddaughter of the legendary Southern bluesman Otha Turner.
Watch Samantha Fish perform LIVE at Paste Studio Monday at 5 p.m. EST.