Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *
Even in the current political and social climate it is easy to fall in love with America; there is something beautiful, a passion that unifies in the most unexpected places and raises the ghosts of all that once passed. This passion does not require a flag to be raised, a declaration of faith with hand on heart as if stopping from beating to fast from the opinionated wealth and abundance that is there to trick the passer-by into thinking that all is rosy in the garden founded and fought over for centuries. It is though in the spirit of the person, the Belle of the West, that makes America such a proposition of glory.
The American trilogy, the feeling of a world once inhabited by the words of Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, the notorious outlaw Belle Starr or even the down at heel pool player, gambling his last dollar on the outcome, these are the people that have popularised the thoughts across the decades. Forget the politicians, the law makers for a while, any country is made up on the words and music of those who see the positive, even when it soaked in the damnation of the past.
Samantha Fish is charismatic;, a musician who is not afraid to move rapidly away from what she has succeeded at before, a woman to whom pioneer is a compliment and one who holds true to her ethos and integrity. Belle of the West is the integrity held open; it is the unashamed power of the story-teller that has spent numerous hours taking apart her soul and relinquishing all that has been.
“Re-examine all that you have been told…dismiss all that insults your soul” as the great American writer once wrote; such is the power of songs such as the brutally gorgeous Blood In The Water, Don’t Say You Love Me, Poor Black Mattie, Daughters and American Dream, that all you have known about Samantha Fish suddenly becomes a bigger conversation. The only insult to the soul being of those who refuse to see the picture, stark but full of life, the walk through the soul of a woman who is unrepentant for her love of the song.
A magnificent album by Samantha Fish, the one it seems she has been working towards all her life.
Ian D. Hall