With her feet planted on both sides of the blues-rock divide, Dana Fuchs is one of the fiercest voices in modern-day roots music. She's equal parts soul singer and bluesy belter, funneling her own story — a tale of small-town roots, family tragedy, trials, and triumph — into the amplified anthems and haunting ballads that fill albums like Bliss Avenue and Love Lives On. With her newest project, Borrowed Time, she digs deep into her southern rock upbringing, saluting the loud, guitar-driven sounds that sound-tracked her childhood years in rural Wildwood, Florida.
Wildwood was a small place for someone with such big ideas. Raised by an outspoken family of Irish-Catholic New Yorkers, Fuchs didn't fit in with the conservative culture of her hometown, and she developed a rebellious reputation at a young age. Music helped level her out. "My first-grade teacher took me under her wing," she says of those early days in the Deep South. "I just loved music, so she took me to her Baptist church on the black side of town, where I was exposed to a lot of soul. That sound stuck with me."
Equally influential were the bands that her older siblings preferred, from British classic rockers like The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin to American acts like Lynyrd Skynyrd. This was music that sounded like home, full of gospel-sized grit and bluesy bombast. At the same time, it offered a glimpse of a larger universe that lay beyond Wildwood's borders. At a young age, Dana learned that rock & roll wasn't the story of the American South. It was the story of the modern world.
Borrowed Time explores similarly universal territory. Arriving several years after Love Lives On — her tribute to Memphis staples like Stax/Volt, Hi Records, and Sun Studios, with groove-driven soul songs that served as a backdrop for personal lyrics about her family's struggle with addiction and mental illness — the new album gazes outward, replacing the autobiographical spirit of previous records with tracks that follow other characters' paths. "This is my first time telling so many other people's stories," she admits. "Over the past two years, most people have realized there's no going back to normal. And really, do we want to? I went back to school and had a baby during the pandemic, so I hope I'm coming from a greater place of wisdom and empathy when I create music now. It was time to get out of myself and deliver songs from another person's viewpoint. We're all on this planet together, after all, living on borrowed time."