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.
Our Rating: (5 / 5)