Probably my favorite thing to do when wandering in the stores of NYC or watching movies is silently Shazaming the unknown songs playing over the airwaves. However, there was a time when technology like Shazam did not exist and people had to remember to look up, which was often a difficult process, the music we discovered that day. For example, back in my freshman year in college, while home in Buffalo NY, I went out to see the film Across The Universe with my family.
For those of you who have not seen the epic film, it is truly is something entertaining to watch. It tells a story through the music and lyrics of The Beatles. Throughout the tale we are also introduced to characters that represent tributes to musicians like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin along with cameos from legendary musicians of the time like Joe Cocker. I remember clearly being transfixed by one of the actresses in the film, whom I later learned was actually a professional musician in her own right. This spectacular woman is Dana Fuchs. Dana unleashed a powerful voice like no other and had audiences shocked. Once we got back home that night, I quickly downloaded the entire album and Dana became a staple in my music world.
Dana’s rendition of Helter Skelter was the hook for me. Once I heard her take on that classic song, she won me over as an instant fan. Since then, I have been an active follower and have loved her music. Recently, I was given a rare treat to listen to her new acoustic album, ‘Broken Down: Acoustic Sessions,’ set to drop on December 15th. For those of you who have never heard of Dana, listen to this album first before perusing her impressive discography. This acoustic arrangement is the perfect introduction to her breadth of talent and gives true weight to her astonishing voice. Below you will find two of my favorites from this outstanding new issue.
Almost Home is the ideal starting point here. Almost Home will give you the softer side of it all where the listener can truly hear the vocals at hand. With its presentation of the harmonica and the fueling of the guitar, Dana’s voice shines through straightaway. What starts off as somber and soft praise elevates to the signature raspy power of Ms. Fuchs. Her depth into the song reverberates through the headphones and the listener is compelled to feeling everything involved. Listeners cannot help but give in to it all. The wailing of her voice seals the deal. There is nobody else out there that can let free a fury like her voice while holding true to the sensations of the music.
Probably the next best thing on ‘Broken Down’ is Dana’s soulfully scratchy rendition of Bobby Bland’s Ain’t No Love In The Heart of the City. Transitioning to a loud passionate tune, the listener can hear a new side of Dana. Again, get ready to jump right into the power of the lyrics that are amplified by Ms. Fuch’s singing. This is Dana at her loudest and it is joyously welcomed. I love hearing the full range of her screams. She is simply not faking it when she hits those high yells. There is an intense focus and drive with each note that is honoring the song’s message. Your foot is thumping all along with the guitar as she continues to addresses us.
‘Broken Down’ just keeps getting better and better. I encourage you all to give this album a listen come November 10th and better yet, start exploring Dana Fuch’s musical library to get a taste of her genius. I, for one, remain spell bounded by her music and voice. Oh, she is not hard on the eyes either my friends, a perfect beauty to behold. On these fall days in the city, Dana Fuchs is just what we need.