SARI SCHORR is one of the best contemporary blues-rock singers in the world. We described her 2016 debut album titled: “A Force of Nature” as “a mixture of controlled burning and ever-accumulating passion…”
Her highly anticipated second studio album “Never Say Never” arrives Friday 5th October.
The new album was recorded in The Grange Studios in Norfolk and features Bob Fridzema (ex-King King) on Hammond and keyboards, Ash Wilson on guitar, Mat Beable on bass and Roy Martin on drums.
We had a listen —
The album begins with a tribute to Robert Johnson the “King of Rock and Roll” — starting with a landscape full of rubble: box rhythms and squeegee guitar sounds — before the aromatic, smoky voice circles the piece like a white-tailed eagle, and offers a melody that’s potent and memorable. Sari’s voice is heady as balsam and viscous as cough syrup…
This number is as dusty as the Tallahatchie barrel-house that it evokes and as raggity as a jook crowd on a Friday night. However, as you might have guessed, it offers a genuine relationship with the principles of the early blues.
A song about sabotaging what you need most and your own capability “Thank You” has Sari snarling like a battered catamount. This steely-tough blues-rock number ain’t sentimental, just matter-of-fact and plain realistic: “Baby, thank you for nothing… because nothing’s all I got…”
“Ready for Love” [Written by Mick Ralphs, Mott the Hoople] ripples with easy grace, and has bright keys and a recognizable chug (Fall of the Peacemakers, Molly Hatchet?) So you can expect Dixie-sweet southern-rock oomph from this big number, though it retains its guitar-driven blues pedigree.
“Valentina” is an alter-ego character (created by Sari) — a creation who is perhaps better connected to the core of existence than we are, and that’s partly because overtime we become dissociated [perhaps by choice] from some simple circadian truths. And, given the subject matter, the song is surprisingly upbeat with a sing-along chorus and plenty of fizz. Here, the voice is lightly carbonated and springs into the verse like a jolt of musk ‘n’ mint. There’s also a fabulous seltzer and pineapple guitar break, at about the midway point, and lots of jostling jelly-bean rhythms.
The title-song “Never Say Never” was written by the former Small Faces/Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan at a heartbreaking moment and is a song of comfort and liberation. Gentle and rousing, with honied organ tones and full of nostalgic sweetness, this song is thoughtful & pensive though never disconsolate … and that’s because love is indestructible, even though life is fleeting. Sari is potentially more durable here than ever before: the number is delivered with skill, sensuality and unchained energy and, in fact, her vocal is reminiscent of mid-1980s Tina Turner.
If you like your blues highly polished and filled with excitement, then come witness this warming voice… a voice of maraschino and chocolate syrup… you will be amazed!
A breathtaking album…
Words: @neilmach 2018 ©
Main picture: Photo Credit © Michael Höebel