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Sari Schorr – Never Say Never


Sari Schorr – Never Say Never

The woman with the beautiful voice and just as beautiful soul is back with a new engine room and a new album, 11 songs to make you think, to make you remember your past both good and bad, to move you, to fill your heart and to live with you for a lifetime.

Before I played this album I was filled with excitement and trepidation. I have lived with her debut “Force of Nature” these past two years. It is constantly on my Ipod and in that time I have managed to see this woman play two of my favourite shows, both played in stunning old churches in Glasgow. Both shows saw tears on my cheeks purely from the power in her voice and the messages in her lyrics.

I have also managed to take a glimpse behind the blues Queen’s on stage mask and learn how humble and down to earth she is. Just like her lyrics portray this woman is full of love in a world that is less pleasant. This insight just added even more respect than I had previously and gave the songs new meaning.

So having lived with this amazing debut I now had the taste of new music and I was genuinely worried that I would be disappointed and that it would never live up to the quality of “Force of Nature” but how wrong was I?

This album is a whirlwind of blues, Jazz and Rock with some stunningly beautiful moments that Sari has taken from her own being to hand out as a gift to the world. I should have known that Sari would never put out a less than amazing album based purely on her work ethic, this woman works herself to the bone and where you and I put I a tough week at work Sari puts in more miles than an airline pilot.

She has toured extensively these last two years, from all over the USA to constant visits to Europe all the time writing and recording this album. With all those fleeting visits the album could have sounded disjointed but this is the prefect transition from that first recording.

The second album is well known to be the most difficult one and I can count on one hand how many bands have managed to better their debut but Sari has managed this with ease. I was actually stunned after my first listen and it has been on constant repeat.

Part of the reason this album works so well is the band she has built around her. She instantly found friends in Roy Martin(drums), Mr flat cap Matt Beable (bass), Ash Wilson (Guitar) and the sexy ginger Bob Fridzema (ivories). Most of all she has picked some incredibly talented musicians who have graced a huge amount of stages. I have seen them all perform in numerous bands but this album just seems like a culmination of everything they have ever done and with the most beautiful voice to front their instruments we have a whole slice of special going on.

The album opens with a greasy riff and some gorgeous blues licks, it is made perfect by a simple cymbal and organ accompaniment. As you take all this in Sari sets fire to the whole thing with that deep vocal. I am blown away with “King of Rock’n’Roll” in seconds. This is a stunning tribute to Elvis and what a way to kick of a new album.

“Thank You” is a bottle full of Blues sarcasm. It is a musical sneer for all the bad luck that comes your way and it deals with it the only way Sari knows how too…a smile and an I’ll show you attitude. Another cracking song that Ash and Bob shine on.

“Ready for Love” is a brilliant rendition of this classic, she has made it her own as she has with the likes of “Black Betty”. Somehow she can twist a song so it sounds new and fresh every time.

“Valentina” lifts the tempo, the main stay of the song may be up tempo, simple blues but Sari’s voice takes this to another level. The power is incredible.

“The New revolution” slows things down and this is that little glimpse into Sari’s view of the world. She sees the pain out there and she wants to do something about it with the only thing she has at her disposal…music. Her words are deep and her message strong.

You have heard the saying “it does what it says on the tin”, well the song “Beautiful” could not have been named anything else. This track is sublime, the lyrics, her voice, Ash’s guitar and that moment when Sari and Bob connect so perfectly. There are far too few Keyboard players that can own a song and entwine an instrument and a voice. I saw him do this many times with his former band King King and you can feel the relationship here. A stunning song.

The keys are at the fore again in “Turn the Radio on”. This is a totally different track for Sari, her voice takes on a smokey Mellisa Etheridge mood. If this song is not a worldwide hit I will be bemused. As I listen to this song I am just shaking my head at how truly stunning each track is. The production is perfect and track after track just gets better.

“Maybe I’m Fooling” has that Sari swagger, it has you dancing, singing and puts a smile on your face ten miles wide. This is classic blues and the more I hear this the pedestal that Beth Hart is on gets smaller and smaller.

“Back to LA” is more country than blues, again it has that Etheridge feel with a large chunk of The Eagles. This is obviously a song close to Sari’s heart. The woman is away from home so often that she has channeled the good, the bad and the longing into this emotionally charged number. Sari’s voice screams for attention and again we have another winner.

Now the song “Freedom” is going to have a totally different reaction being sung live in Scotland…we do not need to be asked twice to sing that word. This song smolders and burns and is as sultry as a Lily Munster stare.

The title track is left till last and if you thought it could not get any better you were wrong. This song is delicate, sensuous and tugs on the heart strings. The slowed down tempo mixed with that distant guitar and Sari with a longing in her voice. She talks about an angel’s cry but this is more like an angel’s voice as she opens her heart in this love song.

Never Say Never has easily taken the title of blues album of the year for me. This will collect awards en masse and there will never be enough awards to cover what this album deserves. This will make sure everyone stands up and takes notice. Those hard miles and long hours will be paid in kind, for each performance, each conversation and picture with fans has gone into this release. This is the proverbial blood, sweat and tears and the outcome is modern blues brilliance.

Review Ritchie Birnie


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