It is definitely a Noble DAY EIGHT Bluesdoodles Advent Calendar. This is a huge thank you for the music that has inspired and motivated Bluesdoodles, with exciting albums and tours that makes the music year speed by.
Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout Tonight
The Muniis back open for gigs. The crowds outside just show how popular the venue still is and the two acts on tonight Sari Schorr and The Engine Roomopening for the mighty Walter Trout. Whenever Sari Schorr steps on a stage she brings a vibrant dramatic energy. What a voice! What a band that surrounds her! As the Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout Tonight.
Sari Schorr, the perfect act to warm up the crowded venue. Always a dramatic performer she delivered today with her unique interpretation of the blues. The music and energy are modern the story behind the numbers is true to the traditions of the blues. The set of eight tracks many from her critically acclaimed album Force of Naturecombined with classy covers. Having the sensational Innes Sibun on guitar gives the band depth and feel. Tonight he was playing a Wudtone, a guitar made by a local company. He laid on every layer of tonal quality and texture from the innovative hand-built guitar. As the crowds lapped up the virtuoso guitar playing The Engine Room ensure that Sari will always stand out from the crowd with her amazing vocal range and control. The inclusion of Led Zeppelin’s Rock and Roll gave Innes the chance to have lots of fun. This is blues jamming that will always animate an audience hungry for live music.
Sari’s own numbers have deep lyrics reflecting her own experiences and hardships. She explores the love of her Pit Bulls. Numbers about the power of addiction, opening with Ain’t Got No Money about greed, addiction to money and later on Aunt Hazel and heroin addiction. Closing the set with the Leadbelly number she has made her signature song Black Betty. As the set closed the audience was left breathless, invigorated and the magic of live music bringing us all together.
Short break and the applause was rapturous before a note was played as Walter Trout stepped onto the stage. As ever Walter the great showman held the audience in the palm of his hand as his cream Fender Strat took us into the world of Walter’s Blues. Opening with the Johnny Winter classic I’m A Bluesman, the tone, mood and vibe were set. Walter can fit more notes into a crescendo with skill and timing to makes his guitar leap out and grab your ears. Walter Trout is not about fast and furious for the sake of it. He plays with passion, control with changes in tempo and feel. He is from his heart and inner soul the consummate man of the blues. Demonstrated with a slow blues number in A minor. What a wonderful version of the mighty Albert Collin’s Cold Cold Feeling. Under Walter’s dexterous fingers he magic’s up a pure connection to the original whilst making this a pure gold classic Walter playing live moment.
Walter let the guitar do the talking as the band played, no set list this was going with the flow of the evening. With a short introduction about his latest album, We’re All In This Together with a phalanx of guest friends from the world of modern blues. Tonight the guest was Innes Sibun rather than stepping into Joe Bonamassa shoes. Now a five-piece with two lead guitarists fireworks were promised and delivered, with a waterfall of shimmering blues fire. Trout & Sibun tonight gave a spirited battle of guitars which was absolutely captivating. Superb live music. The venue was now hot with blues. As Innes left the stage he was replaced by Sari. The obvious number was Walter Trout’s Work No More. The number was on Sari’s album with Walter guesting. The chemistry between the guitar and vocals was intense. Once again Andrew Ent joined Walter on the stage the power of his vocals rocked the rafters of the Muni.
Two of the numbers tonight were influenced by women in his life, His first wife with an old number as Walter explored the songs from his vast discography spanning twenty-eight albums. The most moving number of the evening was Please Take me Home. The only number taken from Battle Scars. His heartfelt joy of being alive and how much he owes to the donor and the gritty determination of his wife Marie through the ordeal. The acoustic guitar from Andrew Elt made the number dramatic, poignant an emotional journey Walter and his family have been on.
His band was not left out as drummer Micheal Leasure was given the spotlight demonstrating what a powerhouse he is behind the music. Stepping out front was keyboardist Sammy Avila and his son Danny on Bass. The bass was deep with the strings bending under his will the Muni was rocking.
Throughout the set on every number Walter Trout was on top form, he fed off the audience and the audience gave back. This is blues that stirs your heart as everyone connects through the sound of live music.
Walter loves playing in Wales, with a few Welsh words he had the crowd roaring as he said, Cymru am byth. ( Long Live Wales). Once again as he did at the Tramshed last year he was fulsome in his praise for Wales’ forward thinking regarding Organ donation. In Wales, you have to opt out rather than opting into organ donation.
He left the stage the lights dimmed. The audience roared, taking up the chant Walter, Walter. In this heat, Walter returned to tumultuous applause for one more number. For me one of the many highlights of the evening was Prisoner of Dreams, capturing the life of a homeless woman and the words that have been washed away. No one wanted the night to end. Come back soon Walter, there will always be a warm welcome in the Valleys.
For many, the definition of Blues is playing with feeling. Tonight Walter, his band and guests all capture the feel. The River Taff flowed with the blues tonight in Pontypridd.
Bristol Lantern shining on Singing Divas Northsyde & Sari Schorr
Colston Hall, returns with the Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival. The venue is awash with music, a chance to catch up with friends and chill in the foyer with an array of free spectacular shows. Tonight The Lantern shone bright as Lorna took the vocal lead for Northsyde and their distinctive blending of blues, funk twisted with the free flow of blues jam tradition weaving in the Allman Brothers and a rocky edge.
Tonight, Lorna was resplendent in Black Top Hat and flowing wig, by the end of the set both were dispatched to the wings and the cropped urchin beauty was revealed adding a vulnerability that is counter intuitive to the strong vocals. With a collection of Northsyde defined numbers the set list played to the combined strengths of the band, Lorna up front with vocals that curl and turning lyrics into an angst-ridden journey through the melody. The grounding of the melodies are defined by the powerhouse of a rhythm section, Hayden Doyle on drums and the distinctive bass lines of Ian Mauricio. Yes, you were right left-handed Ian has the stringing on his bass upside down. Pulling the rhythm together and building complexity is the wizardry of Jules Fothergill’s guitar explosions of licks, and hooks for Lorna’s vocals to build on and exploit using her vocal range from growl to pure soprano. With an outing of Mr Sistabish from the hotly anticipated fourth album due out this Summer, we had funky Cherry Picking, and Mercy – the live track from Storytellers Daughter. Tonight melded into the music adventure Living Colour, Stevie Wonder and with Denny Ilett entering the fold adding another layer of guitar as he played with Jules they were having fun. This made Northsyde’s signature cover Whipping Post rather special for their first trip down the M4 to Bristol. The interplay between Jules and Denny was unforgettable in its majesty. What a start to a night dominated by vocals that soar above the band. Short break, and Sari Schorr and The Engine room filled the Lantern with blues that rock with the dynamic energy and power of charisma being shared across the audience so that everyone is touched by the gentle dignity that is Sari Schorr.
No gentle warm up with Sari and her band, she hit the ground running and the tension power and sheer beauty of live music just kept coming. The set list was dominated by tracks from her critically acclaimed debut album Force Of Nature. The album title perfectly describes Sari’s voice it is a true force of nature. Sari leaps into the vocals shaping and building the lyrics, every song she has a tale that you want to follow. Yes, she has confidence in the lyrics and her vocal prowess, more importantly, is her unwavering confidence and joy with the Engine Room the band that surrounds her. With Innes Sibun on guitar, we are in for a pyrotechnic display, controlled and wild and cool under the pressure of the amp blowing during the first outing of Black Betty tonight. With no guitar on stage, it was Anders Olinder’s keys that seamlessly took over with chords that filled the Lantern. The Engine Room are an organic force that works around the demands of the song and Sari, with a rhythm section that fills out the melodies with textures as the two Kevin’s collaborate, O’Rourke on drums and Jeffries in charge of the bass line.
Sari Schorr opened with Ain’t Got No Money the set continued to build and flow, with a preview of what is to come in the highly anticipated second album we heard Cat & Mouse, a highlight of the set and really whets the appetite for more Sari live and recorded. No subject is taboo for Sari, with Domestic Abuse explored without judgement with emotionally charged Damn The Reason. With Sari, the voice is an emotionally charged instrument combined with theatrical movements of hands and swirling dance steps the tension builds as though you are listening through Sari’s whole being. Heroin and addiction is explored with Aunt Hazel and we visit Oklahoma. Closing with Ordinary Life, Sari in the introduction praises her musicians, record label but above all the audiences that gives her the stage to sing from. Ordinary lives are anything but ordinary, with the melody that is gentler and at times Sari sings A Capella with a vulnerability as we are all special we are all looking to find our true potential. Sari with the Engine Room has definitely found hers we want to hear that voice perform over and over again. The interpretation of every song is special full of energy if languid with pathos and Innes guitar matches the mood wild and reflective he is always entertaining and his solo lead breaks are a feat to behold every time.
The encore, was Black Betty as we should have heard it the first time, with the stupendous Innes Sibun solo written by him and with the darkness of vocal tone Black Betty is reworked and always a Sari spectacular and now her signature number. Tonight we heard high-octane blues of the highest quality and what a voice, what a guitarist to have both in the same band takes blues-rock to a different level.
Bristol Lantern shining on Singing Divas Northsyde & Sari Schorr, once again Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival delivers music that is special.
“The song Broken Machine came first, not a deliberate album title. Broken Machine is about relationships that do not work. The whole album is my life up to getting married. It is Ash from 15-30 nothing in the album covers the now it is set in the past. That said the track seemed the perfect words of the album title as it reflected the past.” What else did Ash Wilson share read it – HERE
BD:Hi Sari hope you are well, thanks for taking the time to speak to Bluesdoodles, we spoke last year on the release of Force of Nature, and your tour now you are back in the studio and Deja Vue about to tour the UK again.
SS: Thank you for listening to me and supporting music. Everything is going so fast. I am trying to slow down and savour every moment. The reality is I am having too much fun. Last year there was so much pressure with the release of our first album. Now I am doing it all over again definitely trying to relax more and enjoy the process of making my second album. I have a good label with Manhaton and a phenomenal band so I am determined to enjoy the ride. I do believe that everything has a time and place and part of your destiny to get involved with certain projects so grabbing the pleasure of every opportunity I say “get on board, see you wherever the train goes” BD: Sounds like lyrics of a blues song. SS: Laughing, let’s get together and write a blues song you never know where it will go.
BD: Before we talk lyrics, songs and touring let’s turn to the important dogs in your life, how are they back in Brooklyn?
SS: I will tell them that Aunty Liz in Wales sends her love. BD: Othello wags his tail in delight, sending a doodle woof to your three girls. SS: They are great, not eaten any furniture for a few months. When I get the suitcase out, they think they are going as well to the dog park or store somewhere exciting, they cannot imagine I would go anywhere without them. When they see the suitcases they look sad, Sophie sat in the suitcase shivering it was horrible. I am always really homesick until I am at the airport them I am looking forward to the adventure about to unfold.
BD: What were the highlights last year on the road with the Engine Room singing your distinctive blues-rock sound.
SS: Highlights, for me it is just the feeling of being on the road with this band working hard. The band are always enthusiastic, positive and ready giving one-hundred percent. We all care about each other, we are like a string family. The highlight is sharing our music, it is brilliant to be part of making the music live it can be a challenge but I know they have got my back. When I need a boost they understand, when I am exhausted they build me up. Travelling all over the world singing along to our songs brings tremendous rewards. Innes and I smile at each other as we see people singing along. It is so fantastic and humbling to see people embracing the album it is a sign that the music has touched them. There is a video of Trish singing in her car, Black Betty connected with this through the power of social media and felt so honoured.
BD: Having performed the songs from Force Of Nature live do you have a personal favourite and why?
SS: Favourite, I love singing every track on the set list, with the exception of Black Betty that still scares the life out of me. The look of the set list varies depending on my mood, kick up the tempo with Demolition Man or cooling down the pace with Ordinary Lives. It is the diversity of the tracks that makes them so much fun to play live, they never get boring for the band to play we love them every time. BD: Why does Black Betty Scare You? SS: To do it right there is a lot of emotion, have to sing by taking it on, it is a painful song. I feel that pain when I sing my version of Black Betty. You have to go deep, I feel exhausted by the end of the performance. Innes has written a middle section, a magnificent piece of music makes me cry, for me it’s the highlight of the song. Some nights I feel that I have not got the strength to sing Black Betty, Innes says okay, then I know I can just to hear his guitar. The melody is bright, the words dark they don’t quite match that is what makes Leadbelly great. The music is accessible to people and then if they wish can delve deeper into the lyrical content. It does not require you to do that, but if you intellectually want to the lyrics take you on an emotional journey.
BD:Back in The Studio with Mike Vernon producing the sequel what is exciting you about the follow-up to the critically acclaimed Force of Nature? What does Mike as your producer add to the sound and shape of the album?
SS: This time we are in the UK recording at The Riverside studio, it is awesome, with lots of the vocals being recorded in the same booth as Robert Plant, inspirational. Logistically it was easier to bring Mike from Spain. Majority has been recorded. The sound is a continuation, development from Force of Nature. It has been awesome recording as a live album in the studio true Engine Room sound. I am off to Germany to write a couple of songs. We have no working title it is just The Album, we keep listening to the eight tracks already done and cannot decide which one it should be the title track! Every time we listen we say this one, no this one we will get there. We wrote the majority of the songs together when we spent time together in Spain the sound is more representative of The Engine Room sound, showing what the band is capable off. Those boys are fierce.
BD: What does Mike bring, is he part of the band or more of an overseer knitting the sound together? SS: Both he can step back, and be an integral part of the band. When searching how to treat a certain section of a song, example the keyboard groove, Mike will conduct, singing the part shaping the groove as a member of the band. On other occasions he will give an overview. He is the kindest most patient man, he never gets rattled he gives us plenty of room always. Then when we are struggling he will throw in an idea, what if you approached it this way. Mike has no ego, which is amazing when you consider what he has done and who he has worked with over the decades. He could have a big ego, be really demanding but no he is the most giving, generous of producers creating an open creative environment everyone can relax in. I always feel I am in the best hands, allowing us to experiment, push the boundaries. Mike is quick to tell us when we go too far bringing us back and preventing us from doing anything too obvious.
BD: Will you be showcasing songs from the new album as part of the 2017 set list. Are they different from Force of Nature if so how?
SS: Sadly, not yet, may do one in the sound check of this tour. The problem is someone will record and put up on You Tube before the record comes out.
BD: Last time we finished with what your dream band would be this time – what are you listening to and what Sari Schorr track would you liked covered and by whom?
SS: It has to be Robert Plant, which track after some consideration Ain’t Got No Money. I would so love to do a duet with him as well. At the moment I am loving my label mates King King, the music is so uplifting, it inspires me and I adore Alan he is such a great talent.
Blues Joins The Jazz Party in Bristol Festival 2017
From the 16th – 19th March Colston Hall is buzzing with lovers of live music with a mix of Jazz and a sprinkling of shimmering Blues.
People flock to the Lantern, Main Hall and while they wait can sip a coffee, enjoy refreshment to the acts playing in the foyer. Opportunity for Bristolians to meet friends and gain a musical Spring to their ears. Did I mention dressing up in finery and Jiving it all happens over this joyous weekend.
If you think you know jazz and blues, you’re probably wrong! If you love music, you’ll love Bristol International Jazz & Blues Festival. We’ve dipped into every genre and traversed the globe to bring you a line-up dedicated to the incredible musical legacy of jazz and blues.
A Trio of Blues Acts will excite with the energy and musicianship.
Thursday 16th March – The Lantern: Colston Hall
Double Bill: Sari Schorr & The Engine Room and Northsyde
New Yorker Sari Schorr with the her Engine Room is taking the world by a storm. Her Album Force Of Nature. With a voice that jolted legendary blues producer Mike Vernon (think Mac, Clapton and Bowie) out of retirement, it’s not hard to see why. The Engine Room is a musical powerhouse featuring the legendary blues guitarist Innes Sibun.
Northsyde has a vocalist Lorna, a true singing phenomenon and a Storytellers Daughter fronting the band. Completing the Northsyde quartet guitarist, Jules Fothergill and longtime friend Left-handed Ian Mauricio’s unusual style (he strings the bass upside down) combined with Haydn Doyle’s forceful grooves give the band a sound unlike anyone else on the rock and blues circuit today. Left-handed Mauricio’s unusual style (he strings the bass upside down) combined with Doyle’s forceful grooves give the band a sound unlike anyone else on the rock and blues circuit today. Bluesdoodles loved Story Tellers Daughter.
Robben Ford five-time Grammy nominated stage and studio legend back to his earliest roots as a performer, playing blues on hs current album Into The Sun; showcasing his distinctive guitar style that ensures Robben stands out from the crowd this weekend in Bristol.
What a stunning combination the voice of Mud Morganfield the first-born son of Muddy Waters – undisputed King of Blues – was naturally drawn to music from an early age but it wasn’t until three years after his father’s death that he decided to pursue it as a career. He’s been wowing audiences worldwide with his charismatic brand of Chicago blues ever since. Mud is a tribute to his father’s memory and a fantastic songwriter in his own right. He’ll spend much of 2017 in the studio working on a new album, but not before doing us the honour of gracing our stage with his talent.
The guitar of Kirk Fletcher, creating licks, riffs and lead breaks infused with blues and darkened with soul. Raised on gospel and R&B, but equally influenced by the likes of Hendrix and Steely Dan, a rich mix of sounds informs the depth and quality of tone you can hear in both his guitar and his voice today.
Kirk spent three years as lead guitarist for legendary blues-rock band The Fabulous Thunderbirds before going solo and has now released one live and three studio albums with a fourth hotly anticipated and on its way. We’re extremely excited to welcome him.
“Kirk is hands-down one of the best blues guitarists in the world.”Joe Bonamassa
Sari Schorr Force of Nature returns in 2017 to Britain. This will delight the phalanx of fans she has made with the release of Sari Schorr & The Engine Room’s critically acclaimed debut album “A Force of Nature“. The Sari Schorr & The Engine Room played a number of festivals and venues during 2016 and now Sari is pleased to announce her upcoming 2017 UK Tour dates as follows:
“We’re really looking forward to coming back to the UK to perform songs from the new album to our lovely British blues fans,” says Sari. “British blues audiences are the best. They are very passionate about their music.”
Sari Schorr Force of Nature Returns in 2017 Back touring the UK with her band The Engine Room featuring Innes Sibun delighting her fans at a venue near you. They will definitely sweep you up in a blues force of Nature. The music makes you laugh, cry, smile and above all wraps you in a warmth of a Force of Nature that is good to you.
Buy your tickets now via Bands In Town – http://bandsintown.com/SariSchorr
Pick of the Albums Reviewed – 2016:
July – Sept 2016
Bluesdoodles listens to music recorded and live from across the genres. Bluesdoodles reviews all albums received with an open-mind and will always look for the elements that make the music stand out from the crowd!. The albums we award 10 doodle paws too, for us have a special connection, and acknowledge like all reviewers our scoring is subjective. Between 1st July and 30th September 2016 Bluesdoodles listened to numerous albums and reviewed 27 albums that reflect the depth and breadth of music being recorded in studios around the world. Remember albums not included on the lists are still excellent; definitely worth listening to and purchasing especially go see music live at venues near you support music and the artists who travel the roads so we can hear music full of passion and the special ingredient of a live performance.
This is the third quarter of 2016 and all of these will be in with a shout for the Bluesdoodles Dozen of 2016.