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Blues artist Samantha Fish rings out a banner 2013

Samantha Fish’s New Year’s Eve show at Knuckleheads caps a string of successful tours and the release of her second album. Vintage black glass rhinestone on onyx with sterling necklace, $750 from 74 Harley Street.


Samantha Fish and her band will perform Dec. 31 at Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester. Rick Gibson & the Peacemakers open. Show time is 8:30 p.m. The show is officially sold out. For more information, visit knuckleheadshonkytonk.com.


Samantha Fish will end a very busy and rewarding 2013 on a high note: headlining a show in the club that helped launch her career. She recently sat down and talked about the year that was 2013 and what the upcoming year looks like.

You’re headlining the New Year’s Eve show at Knuckleheads. That’s kind of a big deal.

It will be my first New Year’s show at Knuckleheads. I’ve always wanted to play that night. Five or six years ago, I saw Watermelon Slim play there on New Year’s and got to jam with him. I grew up inside Knuckleheads, so it’s really nice to get this chance. Frank (Hicks) doesn’t usually bring in local acts for New Year’s Eve.

The last time I played Kansas City was the CD-release show at the VooDoo Lounge in September. I’ve never gone that long without a show here.

Do you have anything special planned?

Yeah, I have a few tricks up my sleeve.

In September, you released “Black Wind Howlin’,” your second album. How has it been received?

Really well. It charted on iTunes and on Billboard, which was a real feather in my cap. And overall, it has been really well-received. Thank God, there was no sophomore slump. It was a little scary going into the studio. But people really seem to like it.

How does it sound to you these days?

Well, we recorded it a year ago, so there are some things I would change. We’ve played the songs a lot live, and we’ve changed some tempos and arrangements on some songs. So there are some times I wish we’d recorded it this year after taking the songs on the road. But I’m still really proud of it.

What have been some of the highlights of 2013?

In September, we got to do the (Sin City Soul & Blues Revival) in Las Vegas — a really cool festival. It was their first year. We toured New Zealand, which was so great. We did a wide range of places: festival, a few big rock ’n’ roll rooms and some tiny, almost cafe-sized places. It was a nice range.

We went to Europe with the Royal Southern Brotherhood and did the U.K. for a couple of weeks, then came home for a few days and went to Florida and did the (Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise) and toured all over Florida and the South. Then we came home for a couple of days and went back to Europe and toured Germany. We got home last week, and we’re about to head out for a tour of Texas.

The Blues Cruise was great. I got to play with everybody: Albert Castiglia, the Royal Southern Brotherhood, Los Lobos. It was great to jam and hang out. Touring with the RSB was great. I really got to know those guys and watch them and take in all that they do.

How many shows do you think you did?

I’m not sure. So far, more than 200. We’ll end up doing around 250.

Does touring get to be a grind?

It can be a grind. But I love playing music. And it has been kind of a challenge to get to as many places as we can and saturate the market. I want to cover so much ground.

What does 2014 look like?

January looks kind of light, but in February we’ll hit the East Coast and then the West Coast in March. It looks like we’ll be doing a lot more festivals next year, which is good. I’ll be doing a tour of Europe in the fall with Mike Zito. It’ll be a co-headlining bill so we can do bigger rooms. I’ll be going to Phoenix for the first time. We’ve never toured the Southwest. We’ll continue to work “Black Wind Howlin’” over the next nine months or so.

And I’m already thinking about the next record and how I’m going to change the band. The songs won’t be totally different, but they’ll definitely be bigger. So I’m going to start putting that in motion.

To reach Timothy Finn, call 816.234.4781 or send email to tfinn@kcstar.com.


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