Samantha Fish Picks Up the Pace

WARREN, Ohio – Samantha Fish isn’t teasing anymore.

The veteran guitarist jumps headfirst into the blues-backed pop she’s been flirting with on her new album, “Faster.”

Each of the dozen songs on the album, which debuted last month at the top of the blues charts, are polished to a shine. The bluesy hooks are still the foundation but they’re now layered beneath a dollop of punchy production techniques that add personality and pop-star attitude.

Samantha Fish will return to the Valley Friday when she’ll visit The Robins Theatre in Warren for an 8 p.m. concert.

The new release comes on the heels of 2019’s swaggering “Kill or be Kind” but uses it only as a jumping off point.

Like the title suggests, “Faster” comes at you, well, faster. It’s laden with Fish’s musical depth but with synthetic drum beats now in the mix.

The influence of music producer Martin Kierszenbaum (Lady Gaga, Sting) is a big reason for the punchier approach. Kierszenbaum co-wrote eight of the album’s 12 songs with Fish. He also helped the guitarist, singer and songwriter further refine her sound.

Anyone hearing “Faster” for the first time would be surprised to go back into Fish’s back catalog to hear what came before.

How bold is the new release? Rapper Tech N9ne – who, like Fish, is from Kansas City – makes an appearance on one song, “Loud.”

With Kierszenbaum’s guidance, the album has nothing but candidates to make a lot of noise on the music charts – it’s that catchy. And not just pop, but country charts.

As the name might suggest, “All Ice No Whiskey” is a blast of attitude in the vein of Miranda Lambert dressing down a phony lover. A bluesy earworm riff runs through it as the song builds to a crescendo.

The title cut is a down-low rocker while “Twisted Ambition” throbs with a chunky bass line and scratchy guitar riffs.

For a change of pace, the laid-back “Crowd Control” also connects. It’s a moment of honesty in a working woman’s life.

It’s also a perfect example of how the teamwork between the guitarist and her new producer can make a good thing even better.

In a press release, Fish says the song is about dealing with failure, vulnerability and coming to terms with the world and yourself.

“When I wrote it, it felt like a true rootsy, Americana song,” Fish said. “Martin {Kierszenbaum} added keys and modern synth textures that really brought it back around to this plaintive mood.”

Opening Friday’s concert for Fish at The Robins Theatre will be King Solomon. Tickets range from $30 to $39 and can be purchased at the theater box office, 160 E. Market St., or online at robinstheatre.com.

Pictured: Samantha Fish (Kevin King photo).

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.