Samantha Fish

With Support Act, Django

Singer/songwriter Samantha Fish grew up in Missouri and found her love of songwriting in her late teens, taking inspiration from Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen. She began playing the guitar at 15 and started cold-calling local bars, looking for gigs. “I used to open the phone book and call up every place in Kansas City, even if they didn’t have live shows,” she said. “I had maybe a three percent success rate, but eventually, I started filling up my calendar. If you put on a good enough show, word of mouth gets around.”

It did. By the time she was in her early 20s, she had appeared in a duet with Devon Allman on his album, Turquoise, released several albums of her own, and performed on stage with a reluctant Buddy Guy. That reluctance lasted only until she began playing.

The 33-year-old Fish has gained a reputation both for her live shows and her albums. She has won numerous awards, including Best New Artist Debut at the 2012 Blues Music Awards, Best Independent Female Blues Artist at the 2016 Independent Blues Awards, Best Stage Performance at the 2018 Independent Blues Awards and Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year at the 2018 Blues Music Awards. She has been honored for her live performances, guitar artistry, vocals and albums and she loves each aspect of her music. “I fell in love with music from going to live shows, and I know how cathartic it can be,” she said. “It heals your heart. Any time I play live, I just want to make people forget about everything else in the world and feel the same joy I feel on stage.”

For her latest album, Faster, released in 2021, she joined forces with producer Martin Kierszenbaum, who also had some familial ties to Kansas City. “His track record was perfect for what I wanted to do with this album, which was to expand into different genres while retaining the roots I’d built in the blues world,” she said. “Because we usually tour so much, most of my albums have been written in hotels between shows. This was the first opportunity I’ve had to just sit in one place and pour everything that was happening around me into songs.”

The album, which features drummer Josh Freese of Guns N’ Roses and Nine Inch Nails and bassist Diega Navaira of The Lost Bandoleros, was recorded at the famed Village Studios in Los Angeles. There are musical tips of the hats for North Mississippi blues heroes like R. L Burnside as well as to iconoclasts like Prince. “The whole record has a theme of taking charge and taking the reins, in a relationship or in life in general,” she said. “I really thought that after 2020, I’d end up with a dismal, bleak album, but instead, we came up with something that’s fun and sexy and so empowering.”

It can be a challenge for a performer who loves a live audience to find the same exhilaration in the studio. For Fish, the ability to be as creative as she wanted was freeing. “There’s such a transformation that can happen in the studio when you really own that freedom to be creative,” she said. “I feel so charged up in those moments, like I can be whoever I want to be. It’s just me and these incredible musicians, trying to make a piece of art that speaks for itself and contributes something new to the world. It’s never hard to feel inspired or empowered when that’s the mission.”

Mission accomplished.

Django is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, and multi instrumentalist. Django began singing at the early age of 6 through the influences of Elton John, Stevie Wonder, and Elvis. Years later, Django discovered guitar through musicians like Prince, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix and Freddie King. By age 15, he became the recipient of The Robert Johnson Blues Foundation New Generation Award. By 17, Django earned the support of major companies such as Fender Musical Instruments, Eminence Speakers, Dunlop Manufacturing, and Guitar Center. Django Knight’s music is available digitally worldwide on all platforms. His goal is to lead the younger generation by example through his love and passion for music.