Monday, July 8, 2013

Bliss Avenue reviewed by Harmonica Joe Poluyanskis

Bliss Avenue 
Dana Fuchs
Ruf Records 
12 tracks/47:49

Dana Fuchs' new CD, “Bliss Avenue”, is ready to be released July 9th by Ruf Records. Dana has a powerful, gritty, nasty, gravely and bluesy voice that reaches out and grabs your attention making you listen to her lyrics. She is also very capable of stretching the genres of blues, rock, country, soul and just about anything else to fit her mood and feel for the the songs she writes with Jon Diamond. Her band is very strong as they back up Dana's vocals. Diamond plays his guitar with fire and feelings for the lyrics he has written while Jack Daley adds the bass to Shawn Pelton's drum line. Glen Patscha is also featured on Hammond organ, Wurlitzer, piano and keyboard as Tabitha Fair and Nicki Richards add their rich background vocals to the mix. This all makes up for a great sounding band.

The lyrics  for “Bliss Avenue” were mostly penned by Fuchs and Diamond and have deep emotional, heartfelt and sometimes scary tones to them. One should pay attention to these words as the recording is listened to. Most of these tunes are from real life experience. Opening the CD is the title track tune, “Bliss Avenue”, which has a neat drum beat walking us into this solid rocker tune. Dana's vocals find a good place in your head as she belts out some serious lyrics of a love gone astray. She states, “got nobody, no place to call home, “oh the love that it used to be, all the love turned to lies”. Yes, this is some deep stuff that makes you listen to the words and think about them. This whole CD reflects the quality of Fuchs and Diamonds ability to write solid lyrics for the tunes they perform. The guitar work from Jon and organ background by Glenn Patscha add the balance that enrich the vocals of Dana.

“So Hard To Move” takes us to a softer but still gritty side of Fuchs as she pours her heart out over a relationship gone bad. This is one of those slow blues type tunes with meaningful lyrics which are accented by tasteful organ  from Patscha. This tune shows you a Etta James side of Dana's voice. “Nothin' On My Mind” takes us to the country music world as Jon Diamond's guitar brings a more twangy quality to his solid solos and background playing. Shawn Pelton interjects his drum line into the mix of Dana's tale of  what goes along comes along in a relationship.  “Oh you're thinking about her and she's got nothin' on her mind, and I'm thinking 'bout you but I got nothing on my mind” is really a tale about life.

As I said “Bliss Avenue” hits upon many genres pulled in different directions. This is all a good reflection of both  Dana Fuchs' and Jon Diamond's  musical ability and their feelings for the lyrics that they write. These tunes are tales of the real deals that go on in life without the whitewash. This CD is a solid example of both of their talents and is easy to listen to and enjoy. These two fine musical artist along with a really swell band have a hit with “Bliss Avenue”.

Reviewed by Harmonica Joe Poluyanskis

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