Blues Rock Powerhouse Dana Fuchs to Sioux Falls Sunday
One sentence from Dana Fuchs and you think you're talking to Janis Joplin (who ironically enough, Fuchs played the singing Joplin in the off-Broadway production of Love, Janis). Fuchs has a powerful voice that is gaining accolades around the world with the release of "Bliss Avenue" from Ruf Records.
I spent about 20 minutes talking to Dana Friday afternoon from her hotel room in Milwaukee where she's playing tonight before playing the Bayfront Blues Festival in Duluth, Minnesota Saturday and at the ICON Events Hall here in Sioux Falls, this Sunday (August 11) at 8pm (click here for ticket information)
I told her that when I hear her sing, I hear not only the blues, but rock, and even some gospel. She said that her first singing exposure was as a 12-year old singing in her predominantly African-American church choir, but that she grew up as the youngest of six kids so she remembers falling in love with Robert Plant's voice when she was a little girl (thinking that he was a she!) as her older siblings played Led Zeppelin and Rolling Stones records. Through church, she discovered Mavis Staples and once she got to New York, was turned on the the men and women that influenced her influences like Leadbelly, Etta James and Otis Redding. She was hooked and knew it was what she wanted to do.
Fuchs talked about meeting her guitarist and music partner Jon Diamond in a seedy club in the Village when she was 19 and getting up to sing with him that first night. He told her to go practice the blues. She came back three months later and her career path was set.
We talked about how many people want to classify blues as the 12 bar shuffle and 'woke up this morning' kind of lyrics, but the great thing about the blues is that there are no boundaries and no prejudice. Robert Plant and Mick Jagger are bluesmen. So is Eric Clapton. Hell, even Hank Williams Sr. was country blues in many respects. They all swim in the same water.
Fuchs' new release "Bliss Avenue" deals with dark subjects, but it's not because she's in a dark place at all. It's really about finding the light at the end of those dark tunnels that everyone goes through she says. It's a very personal record that she is extremely proud of and will show off at ICON this Sunday evening.
I asked her if she could share the stage with anyone, who would it be. Without hesitation, Fuchs said she'd love to be able to share the stage again with Warren Haynes and Gov't Mule because of his guitar playing, singing and soul. That was the cherry on top of me realizing that Dana and I are kindred spirits.
Tickets are $16 for the 8pm show this Sunday. Come on down and welcome this fantastic talent to our town. It's going to be one hell of a show. Check out these videos below and you'll see why I'm so excited for the show.