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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Ruf Records artist: Dana Fuchs - Songs From The Road - New Release Review - CD/DVD

I just received the newest release, Songs From The Road from Dana Fuchs and it's quite dynamic. Recorded Live at Highline Ballroon in New York City, Fuchs opens with Bliss Avenue. Fuchs hits the stage hard with a dramatic vocal entrance and a stinging tele solo from Jon Diamond really turned my head. Next up is Handful Too Many, a track showing a lot of commercial potential with a pinch of country and warm backing from Elaine Caswell, Nicki Richards and Bettie Sussman (The Screaming Sirens). Livin' On Sunday is a really cool track with a funky revival back beat. The "Screaming Sirens" really give it that extra edge and may be one of my favorite tracks on the release. How Did Things Get This Way really has a Stones feel and Fuch's "Pearl" like vocals shine through. Diamond is again hitting the frets hard this time on Les Paul but this track is a hard driven rocker. R&B track So Hard To Move is a really nice ballad and both the solid bass work of Jack Dailey and keys from Pete Levin are instrumental in making the track so easily controlled by Fuchs. Another powerful tele solo by Diamond ices this cake. Summersong is another R&B number with sweet backing vocals from The Screaming Sirens. I would be totally amiss if I didn't mention how cool Dailey's Jazz Bass looks with it's 50 year old black worn finish. Set It On Fire is a pop rocker with solid commercial potential. Tell Me I'm Not Drinking is a strong acoustic number featuring Fuchs and Sirens on rich vocal harmonies and Diamond on acoustic guitar. Another acoustic number, Sad Salvation, features Fuchs on a quiet country ballad backed by Diamond on vocal and acoustic and Matt Beck with nice crying tele backing and a real sweet slide solo. Kicking it back up into country rock mode, Love To Beg has a taste of Skynyrd but built on more of a pop ballad bass. Diamond again wields his mighty axe where it isn't as much about speed as about intensity. Very nice. Rodents In The Attic has a real country western rhythm emphasized by Joe Dailey's drum patterns. Fuch's shows absolute comfort and composure on this track. Getting down more into a honky tonk feel, Nothin' On My Mind, gives Levin to show his country chops and Diamond twangs his tele as well. Very nice! Vagabond Wind actually reminds me a little bit of Macy Gray (a real compliment) but of course with the biting vocal style more akin to Joplin. A very strong track, this is my favorite tune on the release. Long Long Game is a basic country rock track with well blended instrumentals throughout. Diamonds solos on this track are a bit more progressive on this track but Fuchs, maintains front and center with her dynamic personality. Keep On Walkin' gets back into a funky rock feel with Fuchs getting tight with the Sirens and Diamond taking a short crisp solo. On Otis Redding's soul classic, I've Been Loving You, Fuchs may best show the qualities of her vocal skills and Diamond lays down some of the beefiest guitar riffs on the release. This is the hottest track on the release... smokin! Wrapping the release is John Lennon's Don't Let Me Down. You do have to wonder how one would close a set after that last track and Fuchs pulls out the perfect track in this rock classic. Using Lennon's basic arrangement but with solid organ work from Levin, a great bass line from Dailey, Diamond throws a stiff guitar solo, warm vocals from the Sirens and some of the most tame vocals on the release, you feel a closure with this set. Very nice.

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