Hailing from the Genya Ravan / Marge Raymond / Lynn Carey / Even-a-Bit-of-Tina School of The Gin Bottle (hey, not everyone drinks whiskey!) hardtack blues, Dana Fuchs, as Tina has said of herself, nevah evah does anything nice 'n easy, and, boys, lemme warn ya not to mess with her when she bellies up to the bar. Best to be able go home with one's face intact, I always say. Thus, Love to Beg comes on rather strong, and those provocative snapshots of her in dishabille are a metaphor for the rougher side of life she wallows in.
Fuchs is the girl Eric Nederlander picked to play Janis Joplin in the long-running Love, Janis off-Broadway musical. I doubt anyone would mistake Joplin for Betty Crocker, so the casting was apt. Likewise, Dana was 'Sadie' in Julie Taymor's Across the Universe, and her soundtrack vocals captured the CD platinum status. Not exactly a newbie, the woman has toured with Gov't Mule, Joe Cocker, Bob Weir, and some rather impressive blokes. Oh, and for lovers of obscure gems, Kenny 'Loose Goose' Aaronson, he of the beloved but hideously obscure Dust (70s), plays a little bass and does a smidgeon of production above and beyond a rock solid home band. Now, that's an impressive porridge!
Wallowing in swampy nightshade, Fuchs maintains a smoky fire everywhere in this disc, ballads and love songs included (Keepsake, etc.), everything underwritten in a position halfway between purgatory and the Bible, Southern style, greasy, barbecued in passion. Jon Diamond plays a highly chords-dominated guitar with bayou stank and Chuck Berry motive force, a bit of lightened-up Billy Gibbons crawling around the perimeter, with cuts like Drive doing exactly what they say. My favorite track, however, is Summersong, a song Aretha, Ronnie Spector, Ms. Turner, and Bonnie Tyler (or her sonic sister Kim Carnes) would give their eyeteeth for, a cut glowing with 70s top o' the charts traits. Maaaaaan, listening to it, I get all warm and gooey over just how cool so much of that old material was…and how delicious it still can be.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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