Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Album Review: Samantha Fish & Jesse Dayton - Death Wish Blues

Samantha Fish & Jesse Dayton
Death Wish Blues
***and1/2 out of *****

The first collaborative album from blues guitarists Samantha Fish and Jesse Dayton finds the duo trading lead vocals around swirling layers of distorted/clean six strings and tales of woe as Death Wish Blues flow out into the air. 

Both artists have consistently put their spin on various shades of the blues throughout their separate recording careers and now come together to share a vision that was produced by Jon Spencer of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Fans of both artists will find a lot to like on these rollicking tracks as both Fish and Dayton push themselves, redefining what the blues means to each of them. 

The stage is set immediately with the title track as the rawkin' blues are delivered with distorted, loud as hell, guitars with Fish taking over leads vocals, putting a sexy spin on the torment. Dayton jumps to lead vocals on the spirited and slightly funky "Down In The Mud" as both tracks get in, punch hard with a strong guitar riff/solo and then move out. When things get more extended, such as on the travelogue tune "Riders", or the album closing traditional "Know My Heart" things can drag a bit as the duo work best in short, quirky, high energy bursts.   

Both "No Apology" and "Settle For Less" feel like an outtakes from Fish's last album, the excellent pop leaning Faster while "Flooded Love" is flowing down Texas backroads at midnight blues rock from Dayton. The duet twang of "Lover on the Side" gets playful but it is when the duo twists the blues to the point of breaking that things become the most interesting. 

"Trauma" is a new breed of heavy metal disco blues that spins out of control from Dayton with squiggly electro blasts and a dance ready beat, while the poppy "Dangerous People" finds Fish tossing her cards out onto the dancefloor with abandon. Both would make traditional blues artists shake their heads, but that is what makes this pairing interesting, as is the oddball spoken word vamp "Supadupabad" a weird romp.  

Nothing is sacred on Death Wish Blues as two guitar slingers/singers throw out the playbook and call audibles throughout the twelve songs, singing off of each other and riffing with the best of them.  
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1 comment:

  1. I was hoping this record would be better than it actually is…given how great Fish is, it’s really kinda boring..