Dana Fuchs warns that we’re on Borrowed Time

Dana Fuchs warns that we’re on Borrowed Time

Dana Fuchs warns that we’re on Borrowed Time a wonderful album packed to the gills with quality performances from Dana and her talented band that provide plenty of rock, roll as well as the blues with added soul and a bit of country for variety and texture.

Bluesdoodles rating: 4 Doodle Paws – a wonderful album packed to the gills with quality performances from Dana and her talented band that provide plenty of rock, roll as well as the blues with added soul and a bit of country for variety and texture.

If you have to ‘pay your dues, to sing the blues’, then Dana Fuchs has paid in spades. Yet despite so many family tragedies and life seemingly skewering her at every turn, she continues to use these experiences to colour and inform her music and, hopefully cathartically, feed the emotions into such striking blues, rock and soul music, which we lucky listeners benefit from. The good news is that, in between albums(!), she has become a proud mother and her joy has also had an influence. So they are not all heart wrenching; they are always filled with hope and love. Her previous albums have demonstrated an emotive and hypnotic vocal style that suits the songs she writes so well, surrounding herself with capable musicians to enhance her unique (despite all of the Joplin etc. comparisons) vocal styles.

After the last album (the brilliant Love Lives On) was released on her own label the latest, called Borrowed Time, sees her returning to the Ruf Records stable. I am particularly happy to report that the guitar genius Jon Diamond remains on board too and delivers a stellar performance alongside the talented band, all of whom provide Dana with the perfect complementary accompaniment to her exquisite vocals.

Opening with the rocking Double Down On Wrong, we are immediately reminded why the blues community love this lady so much…the gentle guitar intro builds to the superb, almost Purplish riff and, the justified, biting political critique in the lyrics is delivered with power, clarity and shivers! Jon Diamond shows that he hasn’t lost his touch either as he delivers a sparkling and reflective solo of crystal quality…sorry Jon, end of gem puns. Next up is a gentle, bluesy with countrified touches song called Blue Mist Road: hints of gospel also appear in the lyrical phrasing and supreme vocal delivery and, when it builds and turns southern rock, with a great solo from Jon, it slightly echoes a song about a very different road but remains all original, all very lovely.

The heart-wrenching Call My Name pulls in some soul as the emotional vocals tell a tale of displacement and the band provides a southern rock, restrained acoustic backing that suits the story. The short acoustic solo is inspired and the church like keys add to the atmosphere. Save Me moves to funk, blues, soul and rock with a heady mix and bounce that draws you in as Dana delivers yet again…the bass line is brilliant and worth singling out, as is another stellar, picked guitar solo with a great tone. Curtain Close opens with a Beatle-esque phased guitar before the blues and soul take hold with both guitarists playing rhythms that are complex and totally fitting. The chorus includes the phrase “heart and soul” and Dana certainly puts both into the delivery and then the phased guitar returns for a clever solo and it and the vocals have a cry together at the close.

Hard Road opens with a delicious slinky slide and then hits the rock ’n’ roll button hard in a Faces/Stones way and a nice chorus we can all join in with when Dana tours (?) the album. The slide glistens in the background throughout and then makes room for a solid, clever play on the melodies, picked solo. The title track, Borrowed Time, is a bouncy warning to the whole planet…acoustic rock but without cliche and the added benefit of Dana’s vocal and a neat electric guitar solo that is lamentably short…ah well! Nothing You Own starts off like Love Hurts (the Nazareth version) and builds nicely via the wash of keys, subtle bass and Dana’s pouring emotion into every syllable. The clever bending technique and volume use on the guitar solo is revelatory.

Not Another Second On You lifts the tempo with another true rock ’n’ roll song that is immediate and needs a few listens to appreciate the musicianship on display behind the smoky vocals…the central section is brilliant as Jon and Kenny exchange guitar phrases with aplomb. Lonely Lie is as country as you can get without disappearing into the setting sun on a horse…Jon plays suitably exclamatory harp as Dana pronounces the lyrics a la Dolly. It shouldn’t work when I think about that description, but the acoustic strumming, the harp work and the cover wordplay make it work.

Last To Know is more lovely rock ’n’ roll with motifs from a few classics mixed anew in a great piece that is simply irresistible. Another starring role from the bass and a wah solo to lift yet higher. The final track, Star, wraps it up with a superb rock song that sounds like the whole band were having a great time…you will too. Loads of wonderful wah guitar, lovely chord work, bass and drums pinning it all down for Dana to proclaim “you’re gonna be a star”…well, if there’s any justice, this album will make that very thing happen for Dana.

The whole album is packed with quality and the sort of clear production I love…it means that I can concentrate on individual elements each time I listen and get even more satisfaction than just listening. A fabulous vocalist backed by a seriously talented band that has room to share their skills adds up to a very powerful album indeed.

Dana Fuchs warns that we’re on Borrowed Time

Track listing:
Double Down On Wrong
Blue Mist Road
Call My Name
Save Me
Curtain Close
Hard Road
Borrowed Time
Nothing You Own
Not Another Second On You
Lonely Lie
Last To Know

Dana Fuchs: Lead Vocals, Tambourine
Jon Diamond: Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals, Harmonica
Kenny Tudrick: Electric & Acoustic Guitar
Jordan Champion: Keyboards
Jack Daley: Bass
Todd Glass: Drums

Produced by Bobby Harlow

Connect with Dana Fuchs across SOCIAL MEDIA
Official Website
Apple Music

(iTunes, as if I needed reminding, proved how good Dana Fuchs is as it went onto her Love Lives On and Love to beg albums before the excellent lockdown album from British guitarist Danny Beardsley and his acoustic version of his own debut album, Blood From a Stone.)

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