SAMANTHA FISH & JESSE DAYTON – Death Wish Blues (2023)
“Death Wish Blues” is the first album from SAMANTHA FISH & JESSE DAYTON, a match made in bluesy rock n’ roll heaven for fans of muscular, fuzzy rock n’ roll with bluesy and at times Americana undertones… a genuine “something for everyone’ body of work.
Dayton and Fish put together a band comprised of keyboardist Mickey Finn, drummer Aaron Johnston and Kendall Wind on bass guitar. Most of the album was recorded the old fashioned way with everyone in the studio playing together creating a musical stew comprised of everything from blues and soul to funk and classic rock.
The album was produced by Jon Spencer of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, who has the gift of inspiring the best of the artists that he works with, even if it breaks the rules.
‘Deathwish’ opens the album with its bluesy up-tempo rhythm, hooky groove with Fish delivering the vocals, with distorted fuzz on the chorus. It’s a wonderful start, which gets even better when the guitars kick in. ‘Down in the Mud’ allows Dayton to shine and this one has a real funky, undertone as does the groove-heavy ‘Riders’, which was released as one of the singles previously released. This is a real out and out duet with Samantha & Jesse swapping vocal duties. It’s a foot tapper, with another undeniable hook before hitting us with a cracking chorus & guitarwork – one of my album highlights (and there are many).
‘Settle for Less’ slows things up a bit but sucks us into a false sense of security as it once again drives on with Fish back in front of the mic and again those catchy riffs just pull you in for maximum enjoyment. Dayton hits the front on ‘Trauma’ for a rock n’ roller with a nice punchy mid-section. Hints of country blues vibes lace the wonderful ‘No Apology’ and here Fish gets to show the softer side of her vocals in another song that sits forward, helping to add another dimension to the album. It’s soulful and warm and a real diverse inclusion that works well.
‘Flooded Love’ reminds me of Duane Eddie’s ‘Peter Gunn’ with both Fish & Dayton lending their vocals to this one – with a mid section that oozes groove. ‘Lover on the Side’ is a rock n’ roll hillbilly jive that comes straight from the dance halls of the 50’s – humorous & fun, it breaks the album up and again sits up as one of my favourites. The guitar solos are almost dual-like in their delivery. ‘Rippin and Runnin’ takes us south with a classic blues start… foot tapping blues… it’s a steam locomotive rhythm that’s delivered by bassist Kendall Wind, keyboardist Mickey Finn, and drummer Aaron Johnston.
‘Dangerous People’ keeps you on the front foot before we hit the penultimate track – funk-laden, fast paced and addictive ‘Supadupabad’ is just that. Fuzzy, funky and fun, it sound almost jam-like in its delivery, which is explained by the fact that most of the album was recorded ‘live’ in the studio. Saving the best till last, ‘You Know my Heart’ is a country wonder where both artists deliver a real gem showing an undeniable chemistry they have created.
”Death Wish Blues” is a blues, country-heavy infused rock n’ roll treasure best served loud. Bring on more collaborations & live shows from these two.
01 – Deathwish
02 – Down In The Mud
03 – Riders
04 – Settle For Less
05 – Trauma
06 – No Apology
07 – Flooded Love
08 – Lover On The Side
09 – Rippin’ And Runnin’
10 – Dangerous People
11 – Supadupabad
12 – Know My Heart
Samantha Fish – Vocals, Guitar, Junkyard Percussion
Jesse Dayton – Vocals, Guitar, Baritone Guitar, Tambourine
Kendall Wind – Bass
Mickey Finn – Keyboards
Aaron Johnston – Drums