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Dana Fuchs

After building up her profile in New York's late-'90s blues circuit, singer, songwriter, and actress Dana Fuchs kickstarted her career by playing the role of Janis Joplin in an off-Broadway musical. Her innate charisma and the raw power of her voice led her to a diverse career of releasing a series of successful blues-rock albums, touring the U.S. and Europe, and appearing in the 2007 Beatles-inspired cult film Across the Universe. In the 2010s Fuchs found a steady home on the blues label Ruf Records, which released career highlights such as 2013's Bliss Avenue and 2018's Memphis soul-inspired Love Lives On. She began the next decade with her fifth studio album, 2022's Borrowed Time. Born in New Jersey in 1976, she later moved with her family to the small rural town of Wildwood, Florida. Musically inclined from a young age, she sang in a local First Baptist Gospel Choir when she was 12 and learned to play guitar during her high school years while also acting in the drama club. Problems with substance abuse led her to drop out of high school and she eventually made her way to New York City, where she tried to break into the music business. After losing her sister to suicide, she began to clean herself up and her career subsequently gained traction. In New York, she connected with Jon Diamond, a seasoned guitarist who had previously performed with Joan Osborne. Together, they formed the Dana Fuchs Band, which built up a reputation as one of the best live acts on the city's blues circuit. Her powerful voice and reputation on-stage brought her to the attention of theater director Eric Nederlander, who cast her in the lead role in his production of the Janis Joplin musical Love Janis. The show ran until 2003, after which Fuchs and Diamond issued their band's debut album, Lonely for a Lifetime. In 2006, she collaborated with musician Jack Livesey on a group of songs for the independent film Sherrybaby, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal. The following year Fuchs landed another musical role, this time in Julie Taymor's 2007 Beatles-based film Across the Universe, which was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. She and Diamond re-formed the Dana Fuchs Band for 2008's Live in NYC, recorded at B.B. King's Blues Club, after which she did tours with Ray Davies and Dickey Betts. Fuchs finally returned to the studio for her second studio album, 2011's Love to Beg, which inaugurated a record deal with German blues specialists Ruf Records. The searing and more intensely personal Bliss Avenue followed in 2013 with the live album, Songs from the Road, arriving in 2014. Released on her own Get Along Records imprint, 2015's Broken Down Acoustic Sessions saw Fuchs and Diamond stripping down her normally electrified songs to their basic acoustic elements. Along with some previously released tracks, it also contained some new material. Released in 2018, the vintage soul-inspired Love Lives On was recorded in Memphis, Tennessee. After an unexpected detour into children's music with 2019's self-released Mind the Music, Fuchs again joined the Ruf Records roster for 2022's Borrowed Time.
© Jon O'Brien & Timothy Monger /TiVo
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