Magazine article Guitar Player

Samantha Fish: My Life in Five Riffs

Magazine article Guitar Player

Samantha Fish: My Life in Five Riffs

Article excerpt

BLUES AND AMERICANA chameleon Samantha Fish picked drums as her first instrument but found her true passion when she switched to guitar. Digging backward from the classic rock she heard at home led her to discover the Delta blues and the Mississippi hill country scene. Along the way, she developed a knack for blurring genre lines when she isn't knocking them down. Here are the five riffs that changed her life.

"SHAKE 'EM ON DOWN"

MISSISSIPPI FRED McDOWELL

"I had just started playing guitar, and I was at the crossroads where I was finding everything that I loved about guitar had come from the blues in one way or another. I think the North Mississippi style bridged the gap for me between rock and roll and this rough, raucous, raw sound. It's colored everything I've done from here. Trying to get my thumb and my fingers going at the same time--it's kind of like hybrid picking. That's where I get that, trying to keep that bass going at the same time as the melody."

"AMERICAN GIRL"

TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS

"I listened to the radio a lot, and one of my favorite bands was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and that was probably because my parents listened to them a lot, too. But 'American Girl' was always my anthem. I went crazy trying to figure out the guitar solo. Mike Campbell is one of the most tasteful guitar players and has written some of the most iconic lines. And this song is full of really cool riffs."

"SAME OLD BLUES"

FREDDIE KING

"What I loved about Freddie King when I started getting into blues music was that there is this conversation going on between his vocals and his guitar playing. …

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