2018 – Vizztone
By Phillip Smith; Sep. 22, 2018
Free, the latest album from Amanda Fish has a sense of earnest purity in both the writing and presentation. The music, delivered with the swagger of an outlaw poet, is a heart-stopping head-turner. Amanda not only holds court as vocalist on this terrific blues-rock record, but she also plays bass (all tracks), acoustic guitar, electric and 12-string guitar, mandolin and piano. This artist is extremely talented to say the least. Drummer Glen James backs her on all the tracks. Also appearing on this disc, are guitarists Dave Hayes, Ken Valdez, Coyote Bill and Lois Nadal, Chris Hazelton on keys, and vocalist Sara Morgan. Special guests include Alastair Greene, “Steady Rollin’” Bob Margolin, Tyler Morris, and Richard Rosenblatt
One of the most amazing songs I’ve heard this year is the blues ballad “Anymore”. Fish’s vocals are heartfelt and soulful. Hayes’ contagious guitar riff, and Hazelton’s funky keys sign, seal and deliver this wonderful track. I love the swampy southern twang of “The Ballad of Lonesome Cowboy Bill”. Like an old Marshall Tucker record, this one sets up shop with a tale to tell and a fistful of fiery guitar licks. Fish’s powerhouse vocals are nicely framed by Margolin and Morris. Alastair Greene kicks the door in and takes no prisoners with a dynamite guitar performance on “Going Down”. This is one bad-ass house-rockin’ song. The infectious driving rhythm on “Not Again” charges along like a freight train on a mission. Rosenblatt sweetly accompanies on harp, and Hays on guitar. “You Could Be” is beautifully played. It’s got such a robust sound rooted in the wonderful instrumentation of Fish on guitar and piano, Hazelton on organ, and Coyote Bill on guitar.
Amanda Fish grabs my full attention with Free. It is one hell of a spectacular listen. That’s for sure.
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