At first glance, 24-year old Samantha Fish could be a model, with her midwestern good looks. But strap a guitar on her and watch out! Fish commands the stage like a seasoned veteran.

Fish and her band were scheduled to play Old Skoolz (921 E. 8th Street) here in Sioux Falls in February. They encountered weather problems (stuck in a blizzard!) getting out of Canada had to postpone the show. The new date is Tuesday April 9.

Fish says she grew up listening to classic rock that her parents were playing like the Rolling Stones and Tom Petty, and didn't really discover the Blues until she was 17 or 18. It was then, as a still novice guitar player, she wanted to get out and jam with other musicians. With KC having such a great tradition for the Blues, and includes contemporaries like Trampled Under Foot and Levee Town, Fish had plenty of musicians to play with!

She says the Blues made an immediate emotional connection for her and she wanted to know more. Fish says the first artist whose music 'spoke' to her was Stevie Ray Vaughan. But her classic rock roots show through again with her reference to AC/DC as "just a really rockin' blues band!" From there, she started digging back into the roots and found herself influenced by legends like Skip James, Robert Johnson and RL Burnside.

She started writing songs at that time too, and again harkening back to her classic rock upbringing by listing Tom Petty as one of her songwriting influences along with Tom Waits and one of my personal favorites: John Hiatt.

Fish was asked to name some of her vocal heroes. Not surprisingly, Bonnie Raitt was the first she mentioned, but she also learns a lot from more contemporary female singers like Sheryl Crow and Grace Potter. But she made sure to mention the guys too like Freddie King, Curtis Salgado, Tab Benoit, and the man that produced her debut album "Runaway" and is doing the same for her new album which will be out this year on Ruf Records, Mike Zito. You've heard me sing the praises of Zito many times over the years, both for his solo records and for his work in the Royal Southern Brotherhood.

And one of Sam jamming with another of my favorite female guitar players, Ana Popovic