Dana Fuchs hadn’t played in her home town since the summer of 2013, she and music partner Jon Diamond decided they wanted to give a special musical holiday gift to their New York City fans. The ambiance of recently opened music venue SubCulture was in keeping with both the spiritual and celebratory aspects of the season, so was ideal for this intimate acoustic performance from two very talented musicians.
The twelve song set list included nine from the new album Bliss Avenue, with a generous helping of stage stories and a surprise or two as well. Ms. Fuchs began to connect with the 200+ attendees when she told the story of how she and Jon came up with the album of songs. She explained that it’s “not just blues, it’s not just rock, it’s not just country and, it’s certainly not pop, but it’s a combination.”
The music began with “Bliss Avenue,” a deeply empathetic song about being in self-destructive relationships and learning how to get out of them. Jon Diamond’s vamping acoustic rhythms and harmonica fills allowed Dana Fuchs to launch right into her signature searing vocalizations on how she “got nobody and no place to call home.”
Another stand out in this stellar musical evening was the melodic anthem “Rodents In The Attic”, a commentary on how to cope with the craziness in today’s world. This acoustic rendition featured a healthy helping of lilting harmonica solos from Diamond and percussion from Fuchs to go along with her soulful vocals.
The musical surprise of the evening came when Fuchs played guitar for the very fist time on stage on the country-ish ballad, “Nothin’ on My Mind,” as Diamond somehow got his electric guitar to sound very much like a pedal steel guitar.
“Walkin’ in the Sun” was the lone cover song in the set and was a fitting tribute to one of Dana Fuchs’ musical mentors, Chaka Kahn.
If you haven’t been fortunate enough to see one of Dana Fuchs’s performances first hand, get your hands on the recorded versions of her music, until the next time she is in your part of the world. Then, by all means, go to the show.
-Howard B. Leibowitz