The youngest of six musical children, Dana was raised in a small town in rural Florida surrounded by music- her older siblings’ band playing classic rock in the garage, Ray Charles and Hank Williams on her parents’ turntable, and a big dose of 70’s and 80’s funk at school. At the age of 12 she joined the First Baptist Gospel Choir and was singing, shouting, and praising the lord every week in a small black church on the outskirts of town. At 16 she was fronting a popular local band at a roadside Holiday Inn. It was the beginning of a hunger for singing and the stage that Wildwood, Florida couldn’t possibly satiate. Soon she was headed north telling friends and family she was “going to New York to sing the blues.”
Arriving in NYC alone and broke at the age of 19, Dana soon found herself down and out on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. After the wake-up call of her older sister’s suicide (Donna was Dana’s first musical mentor), Dana pulled herself together, determined to reconnect with her passion for music and began hitting the local blues jams with a vengeance. It was at one of these jams that she met Jon Diamond, an established NYC guitarist who had toured with Joan Osborne and W.C. Handy Award winner Debbie Davies. Immediately recognizing a musical chemistry they formed the Dana Fuchs Band. Within a year the band was a feature act at NYC’s best blues clubs, often sharing the stage and performing with the likes of John Popper, James Cotton, and Taj Mahal. For another year Dana immersed herself in the blues, playing 3 long sets a night, 4 nights a week until 3 am, honing her already formidable vocal power and performance style, and building a large, loyal following.
After 2 years of working the blues circuit Dana knew it was time for a change and decided to tell her own story and create her own music. She and Jon began writing intensively, putting together a solid body of original rock songs. Soon Dana was back on the Lower East Side again, only this time on stage with the band, debuting her songs to a packed house at Arlene’s Grocery. The fan response was overwhelming. The band was soon selling out shows at The Mercury Lounge, The Stephen Talkhouse and BB King’s, sharing the bill with national acts, Little Feat, Marianne Faithfull, and Etta James.
Not long after the producers of the off-Broadway hit “Love, Janis,” hearing raves about Dana from various cast and crew members, asked her to come in for an audition. Dana went in, sang a few bars of “Piece of My Heart,” and, on the spot, was offered the role of Janis Joplin. Playing Janis 4 nights a week garnered Dana a whole new audience who were soon at the DFB’s shows listening to Dana performing her own music.
These songs can be heard on the band’s debut CD, Lonely For A Lifetime, which was released to an enthusiastic response from both press and fans. Drawing from influences ranging from ’60s Stax/Volt R&B, Lucinda Williams and The Rolling Stones, Lonely for A Lifetime, hints, lyrically, at Tom Waits and Bob Dylan, among others. Says Fuchs, “I wanted to capture a soulful and rocking vibe…but with an earthiness to it.” Vocally Dana was inspired by legendary singers including Etta James, Otis Redding, Bobby Bland, Aretha Franklin, and Mavis Staples.
Notable tracks include ‘Strung Out,” “Lonely For A Lifetime” and “Bible Baby.” Explains Fuchs, “These tracks are about addiction and religious hypocrisy, and like all of the tracks on the album deal with subjects that I have a deep personal experience with. It’s crucial to me to have a passionate connection to what I’m delivering in order to create a sincere representation of me, my life and my influences.”
Producer, co-writer, guitarist Jon Diamond says: “Dana is blessed with an incredibly warm, powerful and textured voice. Her lyrics are direct and real. And while she has really studied the great soul, rock & blues singers, she has synthesized those influences into her own unique sound and style.”