Review: Dana Fuchs – Bliss Avenue

Posted on: Saturday, Aug 3, 2013


Dana Fuchs – Bliss Avenue
(Ruf Records: Ruf 1191)

This is Florida-born singer Dana Fuchs’s third album. It contains twelve original tracks all written by Dana, all but one in conjunction with guitarist Jon Diamond. She is backed on the album by an excellent band of musicians comprising Diamond, Jack Daley (bass), Shawn Pelton (drums) and Glenn Patscha (Hammond, Wurlitzer, piano and keyboards), with backing vocals from Tabitha Fair and Nicki Richards.

The album opens with the slow blues title track, followed by the medium-paced rocker “How Did Things Get This Way”. “Handful Too Many” hints at Lennon and McCartney’s “Come Together” while “Livin’ On Sunday” introduces a distinctly gospel feel to the proceedings. The ballad “So Hard To Move” completes the early blues-tinged section of the album.

The rest of the album veers towards a country-based orientation. “Daddy’s Little Girl”, “Rodents In The Attic” and “Baby Loves The Life” could be broadly categorised as Americana while “Nothin’ On My Mind” conjures up shades of the Drifters’ hit, “Save The Last Dance For Me”. There follow a couple of country blues – the vibrant “Keep On Walkin’” and the slower-paced “Vagabond Wind” – before the album is completed by a helping of country rock in the form of “Long Long Game”.

Given the high-powered, passionate and sharp-edged quality of Dana Fuch’s highly impressive vocals, it is no surprise to learn that she starred as Janis Joplin in the musical, “Love, Janis”. That passion is also evident in her heartfelt lyrics. She is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with and if she could be persuaded to deliver a fully-focused, blues-based album in the future it really would whet the appetite.


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