Kill Or Be Kind Samantha Fish
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- 1Bulletproof (Tangle Eye Mix)05:19
- 2Kill Or Be Kind03:45
- 3Love Letters03:38
- 4Watch It Die05:00
- 5Try Not To Fall In Love With You04:04
- 7Love Your Lies02:47
- 8Dream Girl04:14
- 9She Don’t Live Around Here05:45
- 11You Got It Bad03:21
Info for Kill Or Be Kind
Samantha Fish announces “Kill Or Be Kind”. The Kansas City-born-and-bred musician flirts with tradition but pushes genre boundaries to create a sound that's distinctly her own: "She Don't Live Here Anymore", co-written by Parker Millsap, features a Memphis soul underpinning with a sustained vibrato guitar sound that edges toward country. "Love Your Lies" persuasively straddles punk, rockabilly, and soul; while "You Got It Bad (Better Than You Ever Had)" is a classic blues rocker, thick with layered guitars and a cigar box solo. She shows off her range with the sweetly wistful "Dream Girl" and the cathartic, blues saturated "Farewell My Fair Weather".
“That was my mission on this album: To really set these songs up so that they have a life of their own,” says Samantha Fish about Kill or Be Kind, her sixth solo album and her debut on Rounder Records. “Strong messages from the heart – that’s what I really set out for.” Indeed, what comes across immediately on hearing the album is the extraordinary level of songcraft on its eleven tracks, the way these songs are so smartly put together to deliver a potent emotional impact.
Anyone who has ever heard Fish’s previous albums knows that she has earned a place in the top rank of contemporary blues guitarists and that her voice can wring the soul out of a ballad and belt out a rocker with roof-shaking force. And, rest reassured, those virtues are fully in evidence on Kill or Be Kind. But each of the songs on the album does far more than simply provide a setting for Fish’s pyrotechnics. They tell captivating stories, set up by verses that deftly set the scene, choruses that lift with real feeling, and hooks that later rise up in your thoughts, even when you’re not aware that you’re thinking of music at all. It’s the kind of songwriting that emerges when raw talent is leavened by experience and aspiration, and when a committed artist genuinely has something to say. Those qualities make Kill or Be Kind a genuine artistic breakthrough for Fish.
“I think I’ve grown as a performer and as a player,” she explains. “I’ve become more respectful of the melody. You can go up and down the fret board and up and down your vocal register, but that’s not going to be as powerful as conveying a simple melody that people can really connect to and sing themselves.”
To make Kill or Be Kind, Fish chose to work at the legendary Royal Studios in Memphis, with Scott Billington as producer. “I worked at Royal before, when I made my Wild Heart album,” she says. “The soul in the walls, the vibe – you can feel it in that place. I’m such a fan of Al Green, Ann Peebles and all the classic recordings that happened there. Memphis just kept calling to me. I’ve always felt so inspired there.” As for Billington, a three-time Grammy winner, Fish appreciated both his open-mindedness and his willingness to ease her out of her comfort zone. “Scott allowed me to see the building-out process of the album all the way through, from the top to the bottom,” she says. “Bringing in background singers and synthesizers, which I’d never done on an album before, that added an extra edge. Honestly, it was a challenge. It pushed me to think about the songs differently. That trust from my producer gave me the freedom to really take some risks.”
Samantha Fish, vocals, guitars
Austin Clements, bass
Rick Steff, Fender Rhodes, Hammond B3 organ
Doug Belote, drums
Jim Spake, tenor and baritone saxophones
Tom Clary, trumpet
Andriu Yanovski, Moog synthesizer
Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph, backing vocals
Kayla Jasmine, backing vocals
Just a few months ago, very few people outside Kansas City, Missouri knew there was a young, dynamic musician named Samantha Fish getting ready to take the world by storm. In fact, it's not all that long ago that the 22-year-old singer/guitarist first discovered the blues and started paying her dues on that city's local scene. With Runaway, her solo debut, she now breaks out big time, announcing herself as a newcomer to be reckoned with.
The album's ten tracks - nine of them originals - incorporate "all the sounds I grew up with, with my own spin," says Fish, who seems to have spent her formative years in the Midwest soaking up a vast array of musical styles. Runaway features sharp-edged, riff-driven blues ("Down in the Swamp"), breakneck boogies ("Runaway"), smoky, late-night jazz ("Feelin' Alright") as well as hints of the sultry 70s hard rock of Ann and Nancy Wilson and the 4/4 ruggedness of the Rolling Stones. Throughout, Fish demonstrates astonishing range and depth as a songwriter. Her vocals are cool, confident and nothing less than beguiling.
Backing her on this eclectic collection of modern electric blues is the same crack team that first convened for the making of Girls With Guitars. That collaboration with fellow female artists Cassie Taylor and Dani Wilde, released earlier this year, already showed that Fish refuses to be intimidated, even when working with musicians more experienced than herself. "They are incredibly talented and creative, so it made for fun sessions," she says of the well-oiled studio band heard on Runaway. Jamie Little, one of the UK's most in-demand drummers, reunites with bassist Cassie Taylor to give the record plenty of rhythmic thump. Producer Mike Zito, a St. Louis native and 2010 Blues Music Award winner, adds thick, meaty electric guitar on most cuts. "Mike and I have known each other for a few years now, so he knew the sound and style I was after. He did a great job of taking ideas and giving them direction in the studio setting."
In between making these first two albums, Fish spent a month on the road with Cassie Taylor and Dani Wilde for the first leg of the year-long Blues Caravan Tour. It gave her the valuable opportunity to road-test the material heard on Runaway to a discriminating audience. With an exciting new debut album now in her back pocket, the tour continues throughout the summer and into the fall of 2011, touching down at many European and North American festivals and even taking to the seas on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise in October.
This album contains no booklet.