“Oh, we’re dangerous, don’t play with us, unless you wanna get busted” so sings Samantha Fish on “Dangerous People” one of the tracks here, before she adds: “What could go wrong, I am a pipe bomb, you’re a Molotov Cocktail.”
And, thats basically the zeitgeist of “Death Wish Blues”, bottled right there.
A certain type of creative mind, it seems to me, is never satisfied. Some of them are always looking for ways to challenge themselves, push the boundaries, experience as much as they can. It is what separates artists from the rest of us. Those that do instead of write about it. These are not the sort of people who have done the same job for the last 16 years and pretty much know what they are having for dinner every night of the week (I might be speaking personally here….)
And that feeling, that crackling electricity is all over Samantha Fish and Jesse Dayton’s collaboration on “…Blues”, it is a meeting of creative minds, and likeminded souls. Over the last few years, Fish has breathed new life into the blues genre with her incredible guitar playing and soulful vocals.
Meanwhile, Dayton’s impressive resume as a collaborator with iconic artists such as Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Duff McKagan, as well as his work as a touring guitarist for punk band X and his role as a radio show host on Gimme Country, showcases his versatility and talent.
The collaboration between Fish and Dayton has been a decade in the making, as Fish explains, “I’d been wanting to do a collaborative project for a while and went to see Jesse perform in New Orleans, and right away I knew he was the guy.” Their musical chemistry is evident throughout “Riders,” and the album is a testament to their shared passion for creating music.
Produced by Jon Spencer, “Riders” carries a real primal edge (what else could you expect from him?), and the energy is palpable. The album kicks off with “Deathwish,” a lust-filled song that oozes sex appeal and groove. Fish’s vocals exude confidence as she sings, “it’s all over with his hands on her hips.” The track sets the tone for what’s to come. If you blush easily, you have been warned (I might be talking personally again …..)
“Down In The Mud” follows with its funky rhythm and harmonies between Dayton and Fish. The song showcases their ability to create a dynamic blend of styles and voices. “Riders” takes a slightly different direction, almost resembling a troubadour’s hymn to the road. “Can’t let her go,” they sing, as if to emphasise the deep connection between the artists and their love for music. I am willing to bet that music itself is the muse here.
“Settle For Less” brings a garage rock flavour reminiscent of bands like The Sonics. The raw energy and edgy guitar work make it a standout track, and if you have love for this you’ll travel (see what I did there?) to “Trauma” which follows with urgent drums and a breathless delivery.
“No Apology” slows down the pace, allowing Fish’s vocals to shine and revealing a more fragile side of her than you are used to. “Flooded Love” sees both Fish and Dayton lending their voices, while dialling up the sensuality once again.
“Lover On The Side” takes a playful and tongue-in-cheek approach as a duet. “Rippin’ And Runnin” taps into a primal energy, reminiscent of something Tyler Bryant might deliver. The rawness and the lyrics “come on baby, what you got?” capture the essence of this, and it takes a certain type to measure up, which I am not…..
“Supadupabad” on the other hand, brings a fast and funky groove as Fish moans “hit that shit.” We’ll leave it there.
The album concludes with “Know My Heart,” a tender ballad that serves as a fitting ending. The fact that it was the first song Fish and Dayton finished together adds a sentimental touch to the closing track.
This is the sort of thing that could have gone either way. It could, in other hands, have been the sort of thing that might have been more fun for the artist than the listener. Not with this pair, though, indeed, on “Death Wish Blues” there’s the full roller coaster, but even more than that, the creative urge has been sated. Probably even better than they imagined when they got together. This isn’t a musical one album stand, but instead, sounds like some kind of lasting union – of course just like a pipe bomb and a Molotov Cocktail, it could all get messy, whatever, its fun.