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Samantha Fish & Jesse Dayton - The Death Wish Tour
TempleLive, Fort Smith, Arkansas, July 21, 2023
Samantha Fish continues to be a durable talent whose flavor of the blues has proven popular. On her latest release, Death Wish Blues (Rounder Records, 2023), she joins forces with Texan Jesse Dayton: a collection of songs defining the state of the blues in the 2020s. The Death Wish Tour recently made a stop at TempleLive in Fort Smith, Arkansas where they managed to turn up the heat in a place known as “Hell on the Border.”
While the majority of the performance was dedicated to the new recording, all of which was performed. The title track of the album seethed with menace and humidity while “Lover on the Side”, “Dangerous People” and the in-your-face “Supadupabad” received the most positive fan attention. The cover songs were provocative and included spirited takes on the MC5’s “Kick Out The Jams,” Junior Parker’s “I Feel So Good,” and Vince Taylor & The Playboys’ “Brand New Cadillac.”
The cover songs provided the show’s centerpieces. Fish and Dayton donned acoustic guitars for the Townes Van Zandt song “I’ll Be Here In The Morning” Dayton‘s own shuffle “Baby’s Long Gone.” Here Dayton had the guitar advantage over Fish with his deep Texas groove and “high lonesome” tone reminiscent of Charlie McCoy’s playing on Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row.”
The show centerpiece was a molten performance of Screamin’ Jay Hawkin’s “I Put A Spell On You.” Fish demonstrated her absolute mastery of the dramatic. Through patience, skill, and craftsmanship, Fish guided the minor-key blues through a slowly paced simmer to a corrosive coda of roiling magma.
Yes, Samantha Fish can always be counted on to deliver a well-paced and programmed show. The addition of Dayton added just the seasoning to keep things interesting.
If the evening had a downside, it was the disrespectful treatment my wife experienced from the tour manager at the artist merchandise desk after the show. She requested an autograph and photograph with the artists but the tour manager denied her those after insulting her (and after we had already spent a considerable amount of money at the merchandise tables), telling her, “...we were lucky to get to get to see the artists at all after the show.”
One. Ted Gioia, in his substack, The Honest Broker1, pointed out,
“Success in the music business is all about selling physical objects. This is an unexpected situation—and runs counter to everything we’ve been told.
The Internet supposedly killed physical music media more than two decades ago. After iTunes was launched in 2001, there was no looking back. At first the music industry pivoted to digital downloads, and then everybody in the business jumped on the streaming bandwagon.
But it’s now 2023, and streaming platforms still aren’t profitable. However, Bandcamp [who sells the same artist merchandise available after live shows] is—and now we know why.
It’s all about tangible items.”
Two. The average age of those attending the Samantha Fish & Jesse Dayton show that night was approximately 55 years old. I am 10 years older than that, and I expect much more than the treatment my wife received from the staff of the artists or record companies.
Considering the amount of money made on the merchandise sold after a show, the artist should too.
Setlist: Kick Out the Jams (MC5 cover); Deathwish; Feels So Good (Junior Parker cover); Hello Stranger; (Barbara Lewis cover) Brand New Cadillac (Vince Taylor & The Playboys cover); Settle for Less; Bulletproof (Samanthaha Fish cover); Down in the Mud; No Apology; Trauma; I'll Be Here in the Morning (Townes van Zandt cover); Baby's Long Gone (Jesse Dayton cover); Lover on the Side; Dangerous People; Supadupabad; Flooded Love; Rippin' and Runnin'; I Put a Spell on You (Screamin’ Jay Hawkins cover); 7 and 7 Is (Love cover); Riders. Encore: Know My Heart; Goin' Down South.
Musicians: Samantha Fish: guitars, lead vocals; Jesse Dayton: guitars, lead vocals; Ron Johnson: bass; Jamie Douglas; Mickey Finn: keyboards.
Gioia, T. (2023, May 31). An Analysis of 47 Million Transactions Tells an Amazing Story about the Music Business. The Honest Broker. https://www.honest-broker.com/p/an-analysis-of-47-million-transactions