Review and Photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents (https://www.dannyzeliskopresents.com/ )
Venue: Celebrity Theatre (https://celebritytheatre.com/ )
Date: Tuesday September 26th, 2023
Tour: Death Wish Blues Tour
A couple of observations about the show first. When an artist is performing, please shut up or at least lower your voice so people many rows away can’t hear your conversation. We are here to listen to the artist not you blabbering on. Second, don’t shout out mean stuff at the artist. If you don’t like them, leave, go to the bathroom or get a drink. The artists are trying to give us the best show they can and some idiot yelling out, ”Go To Hell” is just disrespectful. I have been at some shows where the lead up band is not that good or not to my liking and I just went to the bar or outside until the next act comes on. We are all there to hear the artists and enjoy the concert.
It is amazing how many great guitarists there are today. In the 60s and 70s we had Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend, Jimmy Page, Steve Hackett and Jeff Beck. In the 80s we got Randy Rhoads, Eddie Van Halen, Angus Young, Alex Lifeson, Dimebag Darrell and James Hetfield. Since the 90s we have Kurt Cobain, Slash, The Edge, Prince, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and John Petrucci just to name a few. There has also been a number of amazing female guitarists including Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Nancy Wilson, Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, Nita Strauss and Susan Tedeschi.
I can now put Samantha Fish as one of the great guitarists. She has the voice of Lady Gaga and the guitar abilities of some of the greats. Samantha crosses over between multiple genres including blues, rock and funk. Her style reminds me a lot of Eric Clapton and she is that good. It is no wonder that she was invited to Eric Clapton’s Crossroad Guitar Festival on September 24th this year.
When she performed “Bulletproof” she really showed how great a singer she is and her guitar work was outstanding. She is one of the best blues shredders I have heard in years. She also can jam with the best as she proved when Eric Johanson joined her for her encore. Their performance together reminded me of a G3 concert. It was really nice to see the fans give Samantha multiple standing ovations.
Samantha was joined by bassist Ron Johnson, drummer Jamie Douglass and keyboardist Mickey Finn. Ron laid down the bassline that pulled the music together. Mickey provided the rhythm to Samantha’s hot guitar licks. What can I say about Jamie on drums, the man is an Animal (Muppets reference). I have not seen drumming like this since I saw Taylor Hawkins. At times I expected to either see one of the drum sticks break apart or one of the drum heads break.
Samantha and Eric both came down to the merch area after the show to sign items for fans an get their photos taken with her. I really like this. It lets her fans fell like Samantha and Eric really cares about their fans. Also, their fans get a personalized memento of the show. It also helps the sale of merchandise with helps the artists tour.
As a personal note, I would love to see Samantha join in Joe Satriani’s G3 tour and if that can’t happen, how about a tour of the great female guitarists. There are a lot of truly talented female guitarist out there shredding today that could pull it off.
Samantha will be touring for the rest of the year including joining the “BIG EASY CRUISE” on November 4th. You can see if Samantha is coming to a city near you on her website. Personally, I can’t wait to see Samantha again. Hope to see you at one of her next concerts here in Phoenix.
Samantha Fish Social Media sites:
Website: : https://www.samanthafish.com/
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@samanthafish3245/featured
Photos by Fred Kuhlman 2023, All Rights Reserved
When I first heard who was opening for Samantha, I thought it was Eric Johnson and couldn’t figure out why her would be opening for her. Later I discovered it was Eric Johanson. Not knowing of Eric, I looked him up and listened to a little of his music prior to the show. Eric Johanson is a blue-rock guitarist and song writer. His style is very similar to Samantha’s and he is a very good fit as the opening act for her shows.
Eric’s guitar performance reminds me a lot of Derek Trucks. Eric pulls the sweet sounds from each of his guitars and then blasts out the power riffs that brings everyone to their feet. The majority of thew songs Eric performed tonight are from his latest album, The Deep And The Dirty.
Eric joined Samantha for her encore and together they traded off guitar licks and riffs. Together they presented an amazing dual guitar performance.
I will definitely go to Eric Johanson’s next concert when he comes back to Phoenix. If you love blues-rock singer guitarists then I highly recommend seeing Eric. Eric is still touring with Samantha and you can checkout his upcoming concerts on his website.
Eric Johanson Social Media sites:
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/ericjohanson
Photos by Fred Kuhlman 2023, All Rights Reserved
Sorry that I don’t have the Samantha’s setlist for the show. If I get it, I will update the review with the info.
Eric Johanson Setlist (Album)
Undertow (The Deep And The Dirty)
Hammer on the Stone (Below Sea Level)
Live Oak (Burn It Down)
Familiar Sound (The Deep And The Dirty)
Galaxy Girl (The Deep And The Dirty)
The Deep And The Dirty (The Deep And The Dirty)
Just Like New (The Deep And The Dirty)
She is the Song (The Deep And The Dirty)
Don’t Hold Back (The Deep And The Dirty)