Samantha Fish & Jesse Dayton – Deathwish Blues [Purple Smoke] (LP, US)

19 May 2023 Rounder Records 1166101998 / 1166101914
Side A:01. Deathwish
02. Down In The Mud
03. Riders
04. Settle For Less
05. Trauma
06. No ApologySide B:

07. Flooded Love
08. Lover On The Side
09. Rippin’ And Runnin’
10. Dangerous People
11. Supadupabad
12. Know My Heart

“Purple Smoke” colour vinyl edition of Death Wish Blues by Samantha Fish and Jesse Dayton, recorded in New York, August 2022 produced by Jon Spencer and featuring Aaron Johnson, Kendall Wind (Bobby Lees) and Mickey Finn (Boss Hog). This version is limited to 500 copies and available exclusively from

This album was issued in the following different editions:

Death Wish Blues (CD, EUROPE)
Death Wish Blues (CD, US)
Death Wish Blues [Black] (LP, EUROPE)
Death Wish Blues [Black] (LP, US)
Death Wish Blues [Gold] (LP, US)
Death Wish Blues [Clear w/ Black/Orange Swirl] (LP, US)
Death Wish Blues [Canary Yellow] (LP, US)
Death Wish Blues [Purple Smoke] (LP, US)
Death Wish Blues [Clear Smoke] (LP, US)

1 June 2023: Billboard announces Death Wish Blues as #1 Blues Album, #4 American/Folk Albums, #17 Heatseekers Albums and #33 Current Album Sales.

10 November 2023: Death Wish Blues is nominated for a Grammy in ‘Best Contemporary Blues Album’ category.

Music videos were released for Deathwish (3 March 2023) and Riders (31 March 2023).

“The Rockpit: You recently released the wonderful ‘Stardust Sessions’ with Jesse Dayton. How was that releasing a collaborative EP? Is there plans for more from the two of you?

Samantha: Jesse and I did the EP as a lead up to a full-length album. We wrote and recorded original songs in Woodstock, New York with Jon Spencer (Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Boss Hog, etc) producing the album. It’s going to be called Death Wish Blues. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time in a collaborative sense. It’s got its own unique characterization. I really got to push myself artistically and go places that I wouldn’t normally go on my own. It was an honor to work with Jesse and Jon, they are both amazing artists. I’m really looking forward releasing it to the world.”

Full Interview:

“In August of 2022, Jesse teamed up with emergent superstar Samantha Fish, another bandleader guitar hero, to record a collaborative album of original songs penned by Dayton, Fish, and #1 songwriter Jim McCormick. Produced by the legendary Jon Spencer (of Blues Explosion fame), the record will be released in 2023 on Rounder Records and accompanied by a world tour that promises to be electrifying, teaming two wild talents together on stage for the first time.”

The following is an excerpt from a Samantha Fish interview with (December 30, 2022):

““I’m a huge fan of Jon Spencer,” Fish says. “I have been since I was a teenager. He’s a true artist. I feel like he definitely was the perfect person to bring in to make this as exciting as it is for me. I love this album.”

Fish continues to wax rhapsodic with regard to Spencer. “Any time he has a record come out, it’s like a party for your ears. You can hear, sonically, the different elements he pulls in, and the effects and the textures. And it’s all very aggressive, it’s rock and roll. And it’s experimental in a way. He brought that adventurous, experimental spirit to this. He’s a great producer, and he’s got an artistic soul.”

Spencer, known for coaxing unique sounds out of vintage gear, brought a number of older amplifiers to the recording sessions, but even more amp options awaited the team. “The studio we recorded at is in Woodstock, NY, a place called Applehead. They had everything you could imagine. I was playing through little tiny Supros from the ‘70s, I was playing through big solid state amps. My favorite was an old PA speaker from the Woodstock elementary school that they had modded and worked out a way to plug it in, and it had the coolest tone. It was not meant to be an amp, but Jon is adventurous with guitar tones.”

In addition to providing technical expertise, Spencer helped shape the album’s performances and arrangements. “This was kind of a new thing for Jesse and me. We’ve both been solo artists for so long. It was nice to have an objective third party there with such an artistic vision to help us navigate how to pull this off,” Fish says.”


“Working with Jon Spencer I think definitely colored this album in a way that is final to how it turned our. He’s got a great sense of production and songwriting. He was really, really like key in the whole sound of this upcoming record. I think it turned out better than I could have even imagined.” – Samantha Fish / (January 2023)


Talking about producers, Jon Spencer. What are a couple of things about his style, about the color and unique method that he brings to the table that you really like and that you really think had a huge influence on this recording?

I’ve always been a fan of Jon Spencer. I first started with him with the RL Burnside collaboration. I’m a big fan of the Fat Possum (record label) roster and all that. I like how he brought punk rock and blues together. I mean, that’s a lot of where my heart lies, and so to be able to work with him…he has a very, I overuse the word Zen, but he’s got a very calm energy in the studio. And we brought these demos in very, very stripped down. They really were like acoustic demos, and we had ideas. Jesse and I would kind of talk over the songs at the beginning of the session, but then we said, “hey, let’s just play the songs for them and see what they come up with.”

Because this is when you create something special, and everybody has the ability to put their voices on a song. It’s funny, because I remember one song in particular, we definitely had an idea of what we thought it would sound like. And I could see John sort of working his way around the room and talking to the keyboard player and talking to the bass player, and I’m talking to the drummer. Just kind of low key. I tell them their parts, you know, and then we start playing. And it would be totally different than what we originally thought, but it was just so much cooler. You know, he has a really cool approach. Nothing’s on the nose. He’s just got a great ear for production and sounds and textures and how to create a vibe that’s consistent throughout the album. It all feels like a very cohesive piece and I love that. It’s like everything feels like one cohesive piece of artwork.

So with songs as diverse as the 12 cuts on this album, how important is the final ordering of the track list? Who made that decision? How did you guys decide, “this is going to be the order?”

Well, I always like to leave it up to the producer, and I have little tricks and things that I think make good production orders. You learn something new from different producers every time you make a record. You know, what songs should be at the end of a vinyl sequence, just because of how vinyl is structured. Like, what’s gonna sound better when the rings are smaller at the end of a side, you know, it’s better for a ballad. I don’t know if that really matters so much, but it’s their little superstitions that I picked up. But the idea is that the album has an even flow, and then it elevates that when you finish it, you want to listen to it again, right?

I think Jesse and I kind of just talked over the sequence, and we talked it over with Jon and again, that’s when you’re collaborating, and you have this many people working together, there’s a lot of checks and balances. I think we all kind of worked on it together. What’s funny is I remember writing a sequence and then Jesse said his sequence, and they were nearly identical. I mean, they were pretty, pretty freakin close to one another. We just kind of worked it out with Jon and we worked it out with the record label. They approved it. It was a team effort.


Recorded: August 2022

Vocals / Guitar / Cigar Box Guitar / Junkyard Percussion: Samantha Fish
Vocals / Guitar / Baritone Guitar / Tambourine: Jesse Dayton

Drums: Aaron Johnston
Bass: Kendall Wind
Keys: Mickey Finn

Produced: Jon Spencer
Executive Producers: Rueben Williams and Jude Chauvin
Recorded and Mixed by Chris Bittner at Applehead
Recording & Production: Woodstock, NY
Assistant Engineer: Michael Birnbaum
Mastered by Chris Athens at Chris Athens Masters, Austin, TX
Mastering assisted by Harrison Holmes

Side A:

01. Deathwish
Run Time: 2:41

02. Down In The Mud
Run Time: 2:52

03. Riders
Run Time: 3:40

04. Settle For Less
Run Time: 3:08

05. Trauma
Run Time: 3:06

06. No Apology
Run Time: 4:16

Side B:

07. Flooded Love
Run Time: 2:39

08. Lover On The Side
Run Time: 2:48

09. Rippin’ And Runnin’
Run Time: 4:21

10. Dangerous People
Run Time: 3:31

11. Supadupabad
Run Time: 2:06

12. Know My Heart
Run Time: 3:47

“Thank you.”
[sleeve also includes complete lyrics]
Photography: Skyler Smith
Package Design: Natalia Szmidt

BARCODE: 8 888072 50882 8

A: “1166101914 A CM [handwritten] 253714E1 1414408 MRP4362/1166101914-A [machine stamped] #2 [handwritten]”
B: “ 1166101914 B CM [handwritten / upside down] 253714E2 1414410 MRP4362/1166101914-B [machine stamped] #2”