Bluesdoodles have been looking forward to hearing Dana Fuchs live in U.K. since hearing and reviewing Bliss Avenue; unfortunately sad events In Dana’s life meant that was not to be at Blues on The Farm 2014. Tonight with much anticipation, my desire was granted at The Tunnels in Bristol, and I know how good she is live having heard Songs From The Road released by RUF Records in 2014. The band took their places to a small but enthusiastic crowd on a Monday night and with a blast of raw energy Dana took centre stage opening with Almost Home, with her earthy, powerful vocals filling the void in The Tunnels. She has such stage presence and instantly thanked the audience for coming out on Monday night and ‘let’s have some fun’. The act was delivered as being performed to hundreds she performed with gusto and panache and we warmed to her southern charms instantly. Her voice is a powerhouse of raw emotions that she moulds around her vocal chords, and spits them out or gently smooths the edges and delivers with a caress, her voice is an amplified Janis Joplin.
A barn-storming spine-tingling rendition of the title track Bliss Avenue followed – such a strong number that is a distillation of the very essence that is Dana Fuchs, she connects and plugs directly into your music DNA.
The music was blues that rocked with the majority of the music being co-written with guitarist Jon Diamond, they were infused with Tom Waits, Howlin Wolf, Johnny Cash and the darker side of Patsy Cline. Behind every talent vocalist there is a band that gives them the platform from which they can soar; tonight Jon on guitar, Walter Latupeirissa on Bass and drummer Piero Perelli did just that with precise and imaginative playing that added to the musically shaped story that the band developed for Dana.
There can be no argument that Dana is a true artist playing to the crowd with a smile, a story as she gives the motivation behind writing, performing the song and the intense energy that she uses to deliver the music she loves to play for an audience – Dana delivered a classy show.
The audience participation was enthusiastic they wanted to sing back to Dana the tonal shapes her voce was creating and the echo effect in the tunnels under Temple Meads Station was spell-binding. We had gospel the music that developed Dana’s power, and zest for opening up those lungs and belting out the lines as reflected in Livin’ On Sunday; this was as she said about a Rockin’ and Rolling Church; the effect was a spiritual good time we smiled and clapped united in the music.
Her delivery of Otis Redding’s Ain’t Nobody’s Fault But Mine’ was faultless, a reminder we have to be responsible for what goes wrong in our lives, tonight it was given the unique Dana Fuchs treatment a great take on a classic number that made you really listen to what the song is all about. Picking up an acoustic we had some country blues delivered with attitude that was a real contrast to the rock infused blues showing the depth and versatility of the raspy, gravel fuelled vocals.
Tonight after an encore that included Johnny Cash’s Ring Of Fire and a high voltage Rock n’ Rolling number that made sure we were left on an electrified high after the band were all given a solo we saw once again the quality of Walter’s bass playing as the fingers gathered momentum up and down the frets, that included snippets of Albatross, Helter Skelter and Going Down. Piero’s drumming was dynamic throughout, that could with a click of Dana’s hand be hushed to a beat that clicked rather than boomed in his solo the full power was unfettered. Jon, on guitar is the rock that keeps Dan’s vocal heart beating his guitar style was always complementary to the vocal range and the emotions being shared – he rocked.
If you miss her you will regret it as the music and vocals are dynamite TOUR DATES
May 13th London The Borderline
May 14th Chislehurst Beaverwood
May 15th Sutton The Boom Boom Club
May 16th Derby The Flowerpot
May 17th Lincoln Blues Festival
May 19th Wolverhampton Robin 2
May 20th Milton Keynes The Stables
Dana Fuchs – Vocalist
Jon Diamond – Guitar/Backing Vocals
Walter Latupeirissa – Bass
Piero Perelli – Drums