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20 Nov 2016

Sari Schorr “A Force Of Nature” 2016 US Blues Rock

Sari Schorr “A Force Of Nature” 2016 US Blues Rock...recommended...!
With a screeching guitar intro on the track “Ain’t Got no Money,” the album Force of Nature starts off like a hawk and gets better. A recent inductee into the New York Blues Hall of Fame, Sari Schorr cut her ravenous teeth in the blues scene touring with renowned blues artists such as Popa Chubby, and Joe Louis Walker. With a voice like an operatic volcano it’s easy to see why Sari Schorr has received the notoriety that she has.

The album begins with hurricane like force and follows the pattern of the storm with the eye in the middle and then even the calm after the storm, which includes my favorite track, “Ordinary Life.” The track is a welcome calm, the soothing ointment after a Band-Aid has been ripped off. The track “Aunt Hazel,” written about Schorr’s dog trainer and her addiction to heroin exemplifies the personal nature of the album.

While Schorr herself writes most of the album, the album also has a few covers done with a sparkling new style, including the Lead Belly original, “Black Betty,” which Schorr truly makes her own. As well as “Stop in the Name of Love,” which might be recognized as the number one billboard hit from the Supremes in 1965. Legendary producer Mike Vernon convinced Schorr to roll the dice on this track, and she came up with a jackpot.

Playing with several guitar players throughout the album, including Walter Trout, Innes Sibun, Oli Brown, and other accompaniments as well, the bass playing of Nani Conde, and the Drums of Jose Mena, are consistent through out the album. A deeply personal album for Schorr, Force of Nature is a hailstorm of an album sure to go down in blues history.The Review: 9/10….Review by Jeremy Schantz…… 
‘A Force Of Nature’ certainly lives up to its title, as it bottles Sari Schorr’s emotional power and passion, while The Engine Room provides the power and adrenalin.

Together they generate kind of intensity that producer Mike Vernon probably heard in the younger Clapton. The end result is an album with real vitality, freshness and spark, voiced in songs with enough emotional depth and intensity to make an enduring impact.

From Innes Sibun’s opening guitar figure and Sari’s Tina Turner style vocal on ‘Ain’t Got No Money’ to the book-ended ballad ‘Ordinary Life’, Sari’s vocal fills the room with real emotional presence and understated power. Innes Sibun provides enough big toned guitar breaks alongside tasty contributions from Oli Brown to underpin both the rock and blues elements in the music.

If New Yorker Sari has finally found her niche across the Atlantic, then her co-pilots guitarist Innes Sibun and Mike Vernon also have good reason to consider the project a rebirth.

Innes was always the explosive guitarist with a limited vocal range, while Mike Vernon – recently rescued from semi retirement – has also found a way back, and this album has his signature stamp all over it. There’s clarity, subtle dynamics and excitement, as the trio pull together something magical from their combined musical pasts to make the kind of musical statement that will surely make a splash.

On top of that there’s also a meeting of minds between Sari and Walter Trout on one of the Walter’s very best songs ‘Work No More’. It’s got the kind of observational narrative that fits perfectly with Sari own songs, while Walter pours all his soul into his solo.

Mike Vernon also throws her a wild card in the shape of the Holland/Dozier/Holland penned Supremes classic ‘Stop! In The Name Of Love’. It may be a long shot for the radio, but if the Zeppelin style bombast of the current single – a cover of Lead Belly’s ‘Black Betty’ – takes off, then you can almost feel the pieces of the jigsaw falling into place.

‘A Force Of Nature’ isn’t a perfect album – Mike Vernon almost said as much in referring to the immense potential of the follow up – but when Sari’s voice soars, the band sparks and the hooks kick in, you can feel a band shaping the blues to it’s own end.

It feels like an album on which the introductions have long been superseded by a collective intuitive feel which reaches for that little bit extra

Where Sari has spent a significant portion of her career gaining plaudits for her voice, ‘A Force Of Nature’ channels her emotional connection with the material into spacious arrangements that raise the bar.

She’s been compared to Janis Joplin and Tina Turner, but perhaps the latter is more relevant, if only because it wasn’t until Tina found the songs that truly expressed her real talent that she flourished. Such is the case here as everything fits perfectly. Sari knows when to hang back, when to push the molecules and when to lean into a groove before hitting the defining note and giving a lyric its true meaning

It’s her lyrics that set her apart from her contemporaries. On ‘Damn The Reason’ she digs deep for her meaning, while she’s not afraid to be autobiographical, as on the reflective and self affirming ‘Cat & The Mouse’. But perhaps the defining moment comes on the heartfelt ‘Letting Go’ a song about Mike‘s late wife which makes the sort of emotional connection between performer and producer to push the song to its limit.

The closing ballad ‘Ordinary Life’ might fall between the cracks of radio potential and being a live song, but it’s shot through with naked honesty as she balances out her own impulses to show that she’s capable of meditative balladry as well as blues shouting.

‘A Force Of Nature’ is a slice of polished blues-rock with just enough lightning in the bottle to crossover from blues to rock fans. The combination of Sari’s booming vocals, her heartfelt songs and the band’s intense playing is given all the headroom it needs by Mike Vernon’s organic production which allows the music to breathe as only blues can.

This is an excellent album that will surely kick start a blossoming career. ****..Review by Pete Feenstra…… 
Quoted by Blues Matters as being “a gift to all of us from the Blues Gods”, Sari Schorr finally gets to release her debut album, A Force Of Nature, on 2nd September.

Initially gaining prominence throughout the blues world after several years of touring America, Australia and Europe with blues legend, Joe Louis Walker and renowned guitarist Popa Chubby, this New Yorker is fast becoming one of the hottest new blues rock singers of 2016.

Produced by Mike Vernon and joined by The Engine Room guitarist Innes Sibun, together with Oli Brown, keyboardist John Baggott and special guest Walter Trout, this is an album which will make you press the repeat button over and over again.

Opening with gentle smoothie Ain’t Got No Money, written about the Wall Street Brokers and their insatiable greed, is not reflective of the rest of the album, because there is nothing gentle about it as it pounds to great crescendos then brings you right back down. With a voice that has been likened to Janis Joplin and Tina Turner, it is easy to see why, as the track Aunt Hazel (urban slang for Heroin) showcases her magnificent voice. This is a great track with Innes Sibun bringing the whole thing alive with his exquisite guitar work.

Having written or co-written most of the tracks, this album is very much Schorr’s own work. It has been cleverly produced by Vernon in that one track makes you rock whilst the next like Damn The Reason brings you right back down with its slow but powerful lyrics about domestic violence, and with Oli Brown’s influence it makes it one of the stand out tracks.

The lighter and pseudo funky groove of Cat And Mouse follows before giving way to a striking cover of Huddie ‘Lead Belly’ Leadbetter’s Black Betty, which is stripped right back and takes on a whole new lease of life with its special arrangement done by Sibun and Schorr.

Walter Trout’s own blues number Work No More is given the Schorr treatment and features the great man himself. Defining what it is to have lost a dear friend, Trout’s impressive six string licks sit perfectly with Schorr’s searing vocals.

Other tracks, like Demolition Man illustrate just how good her accompanying musicians are, whilst Letting Go is poignant and was touchingly written for Natalie Vernon, the late wife of Mike Vernon.

Kiss Me is like a journey back in time with its nod to psychedelic infused rock as it steps the album up a gear. A real delight is Vernon’s remake of a song that has been the sole property of The Supremes for over half a century; Stop! In The Name Of Love. To bluesify such a soul pop classic is a genius idea and it works really well as Schorr not only steals the song but becomes the firm owner of it.

From the high of that track she brings you right back down with closer and intensely slow emotional song, Ordinary Life, which just shows her vocal versatility.

Sari Schorr is no newcomer to the music industry. But it took a chance meeting with Vernon to get this near faultless album off the ground. So not only did the Blues Gods send us Schorr, they must also have engineered the meeting, and on listening to this album, we should all be saying a massive thank you….By: Kevin Cooper…… 
Ain’t Got No Money
Aunt Hazel
Damn the Reason
Cat and Mouse
Black Betty
Work No More
Demolition Man
Letting Go
Kiss Me
Stop! In The Name of Love
Ordinary Life 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..







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