Samantha Fish burst onto the international blues scene when she won for Best New Artist at the Blues Music Awards in 2012, but many of us knew about the young blues guitarist/singer from Kansas City before that. With performances like she gave at Sioux Falls JazzFest on Friday (July 18) the buzz around her is growing every day. Fish opened for George Thorogood and though Thorogood put on a great show, there were many in the crowd that felt Fish and her band were better.

When you see her play literally a handful of guitars in her set (including her signature Delaney Guitar, plus a cigar box and yes, a gas can guitar!) you're impressed with her ability and blown away when you find out she's only been playing for about ten years. The 25-year old commands the stage and rips up blues licks that you wouldn't expect to see and hear from an attractive young player wearing a short tube dress and spiked pink high heels. Once the show gets started Fish kicks off the heels and proceeds to kick ass!

From tracks from her latest release "Black Wind Howlin'" like 'Go To Hell' and the title track, her songwriting and singing are getting better and better with each release, but it's really the stage show that has her gaining fans and accolades as she tours relentlessly with her fantastic rhythm section of Scot Sutherland on bass and Go-Go Ray on drums. One minute she is slowing down and doing a haunting cover of Howlin' Wolf's "I Put A Spell On You", or pulling out an acoustic guitar and standing alone on the stage covering the Rolling Stones' "Dead Flowers", the next she's got a slide and the gas can guitar making even the staunchest guitar critics in the crowd sit up and take notice until everyone is raising the horns in the air for their encore of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs".

Thousands became Fish fans in Sioux Falls at JazzFest and anxiously await the next chance we get to see her and her band live. Until then, check out the video that Sam and I did live in the park before her set, plus a few videos from her show and a photo gallery.

Some people have commented that she was their favorite on our Facebook page while others have seen the videos and lamented that they were sorry they missed it live. They won't make that mistake again. She's smart, can play the guitar with the best female players anywhere, she's attractive, has a fantastic band and a seasoned stage presence. In my opinion, we got a chance to see a smoking set from an artist that will one day be talked about in the same breath as Bonnie Raitt. Fish is well on her way to being a household name.