Sari Schorr Force Of Nature

Manhaton Records is pleased to announce the debut album “A Force of Nature” from one of the most exciting Blues rock singers, Sari Schorr. Released in the UK and Europe on Friday 2nd September 2016, the album is produced by the legendary Mike Vernon whose credits include Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall & the Blues Breakers, David Bowie, Savoy Brown, Chicken Shack, Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Christine McVie and Ten Years After.

In January 2015, Mike received a Keeping the Blues Alive award at the prestigious International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. The award was not the only highlight of the weekend for Mike. The second highlight occurred when Mike witnessed the performance of one of the most amazing female blues singers he’d seen in years – SARI SCHORR.

Mike was so knocked out, he came out of semi-retirement to produce her new album.  Already a consummate songwriter in her own right, with tracks on major labels, Sari has written or co-written almost all the songs on the debut album.  Released by Manhaton Records (home of Robin Trower and King King) the new album features guitarists Walter Trout (John Mayall, Canned Heat), Innes Sibun (Robert Plant), Oli Brown (RavenEye) and keyboardist John Baggott (Massive Attack, Portishead).

New York-based Sari Schorr initially gained prominence throughout the blues world after several years of touring the US and Europe with Blues legend, Joe Louis Walker and renowned guitarist, Popa Chubby. Schorr was recently inducted into the New York Blues Hall of Fame.

Sari has appeared on the Conan O’Brien Show, and has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, Asia and Australia.  She has received critical acclaim for her blustery vocals and emotionally-charged performances, and is described by many blues pundits as a modern-day hybrid of Janis Joplin and Tina Turner – a red-hot blues mama who radiates emotional intensity, connects with and inspires her audiences, and leaves a lasting impression that’s larger than life.

Sari’s new band, The Engine Room, features stunning British guitarist Innes Sibun (former Robert Planet guitarist). “The Engine Room truly is a remarkable band,” says Sari.  “Something magical happens when we’re on stage together.  We’re fuelled further by the audiences’ reaction and everything’s possible. I love touring and enjoy the privilege of meeting so many like-minded people who share our love of the Blues.”

The album delivers hard-driving Blues-Rock, influenced by the late ’60s British Blues movement.  Sari (who trained as an opera singer) mixes Blues, Rock, and Soul with concrete melodies and poetic lyrics to striking effect.  Says Sari, “I set out to write achingly honest songs about the beauty and the tragedy of the human experience.  I hope my music can be a galvanizing force to inspire, repair and unite people.  I try not to allow constraints on my writing or my performance of the songs.  Most often, I manage to trust my intuition and honestly, Mike Vernon brings out the best in the artists he works with.”

“My songs are rooted in the blues and honouring that long tradition is important to me,” reflects Sari.  “My song-writing draws heavily on contrasting melodic hooks with aching harmonies.  I spend a lot of time working over and rewriting my lyrics.  I rely heavily on imagery and enjoy using double-entendres that are entertaining to those who catch them.  My influences are many and various and include Son House, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Lead Belly, Bessie Smith, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Freddie King, Robert Johnson, B.B. King, Peter Green, Robert Plant, Martha Velez and Bob Dylan.”

Sari Schorr by Rob Blackham
SARI SCHORR // Photography Rob Blackham

“The album was written in four countries: US, UK, Spain, and Germany. Basic tracks were recorded in London and Seville.  I’m grateful to have such amazing musicians on the album, who gave so generously of their time and talents.  The album features the guitar mastery of Innes Sibun, Walter Trout and Oli Brown and stellar keyboard work by John Baggott.”

Sari mixes a passion for music and with a duty of social responsibility. She has devoted her talent and energy to music projects of a grand scale for humanitarian causes. Most notable is her work on a “Toast to Freedom” for Amnesty International, where she collaborated with many musical legends including Warren Haynes, Levon Helm, Keb Mo’, Taj Mahal, Eric Burdon and Carly Simon. Sari’s humanitarian efforts include work in Haiti and India. She founded “Matters” – a non-profit that draws attention to humanitarian causes through the arts.

Sari is a marathon runner, animal rights activist, and aspiring vegan.  She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and rescued pit bull triplets.

Sari Schorr – A Force Of Nature

Release date: 2 September 2016
Label: Manhaton Records

Bestel CD

Album Tracklist

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

Produced by Mike Vernon
Special Guests: Innes Sibun, Walter Trout and Oli Brown
A Brand New Music Production




1. Ain’t Got No Money ~ 5:21

Vocal: Sari Schorr
Guitars: Innes Sibun
Keyboards: Julián Maeso
Bass: Nani Conde
Drums: Jose Mena
Percussion: Mike Vernon

We live in a world of money junkies, suffering from “wealth addiction.” When I wrote “Ain’t Got No Money,” I was thinking specifically about the power brokers on Wall Street who use money to shape the world to their advantage.

I read an interview with a former broker who said, “$10 million, $1 million or $2 million doesn’t look so sweet when the guy next to you on the trading desk might be making more.”

Wall Street’s greed is tied to an insatiable desire for power, which explains why earning millions of dollars is never enough. I don’t think it’s healthy for a society when Wall Street gets a disproportionate amount of the money compared to other professions. Why should teachers, nurses, police officers, firefighters, physicians, scientists and so many professions that contribute to society be so undervalued?

Living in the financial capital of the world, I’m an outsider who has chosen to chase a dream rather than wealth. I’m defending that choice in this song when I say, “I made my mind up, won’t live beneath your sky. I’ll fight the battles for things money just can’t buy.”

There’s a play on words in the line, “Ain’t got no money, but you ain’t got no sense (cents).”

2. Aunt Hazel ~ 5:38

Vocal: Sari Schorr
Guitar: Innes Sibun
Rhythm Guitar: Quique Bonal
Bass: Nani Conde
Drums: Jose Mena
Percussion: Mike Vernon

“Aunt Hazel” is an urban slang for heroin. I was working with a beautiful and brilliant dog trainer for my three rescued Pit Bulls, who was known in Brooklyn as the “Pit Bull Whisperer.” Tragically, she had a secret heroin problem. She was on the verge of losing her son, her apartment, her dogs, everything. I tried to help and managed to get her into some programs to get her back on her feet. She made some progress, but it didn’t last. She just couldn’t beat it and ended up losing everything.

Personifying the drug as “Aunt Hazel” allowed me to create a sense that heroin enjoys a villainous satisfaction when its victims suffer. You feel it in the line: “Aunt Hazel’s laughing as my words get slurred.”

3. Damn the Reason ~ 5.21

Vocal: Sari Schorr
Guitars: Oli Brown
Keyboards: Julian Maeso
Bass: Nani Conde
Drums: Jose Mena
Percussion: Mike Vernon

Driving to a writing session on Long Island, I saw a girl walking on the side of the road. Stopped at a red light, I had a chance to look closely at her. She had such a lovely face, but it was filled with deep sorrow. As I drove off, I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I imagined a tragic story of her life. I pictured her being trapped in an abusive relationship.

By the time I got to the studio, I wanted to write a song about domestic violence. There’s a double meaning to the line, “Don’t want to see myself in your eyes.” Firstly, she doesn’t want to be physically close enough to this man to see her reflection in his eyes. Secondly, she doesn’t want to perceive herself as he sees her.

It’s heart-breaking, but globally, 1 in 3 women will experience violence at the hands of male partners in their lifetime.

4. Cat and Mouse ~ 4:15

Vocal: Sari Schorr
Guitars: Innes Sibun
Rhythm Guitar: Quique Bonal
Keyboards: Julián Maeso
Bass: Nani Conde
Drums: Jose Mena
Percussion: Mike Vernon

Before I met Mike Vernon, I was working with a lousy producer who was driving me insane. He was emotionally abusive and working with him was soul destroying. I desperately tried to convince the president of the NY based label to replace him, but he bitterly refused and demanded that I, “make the record with that guy or not at all.”

Things only got worse. The producer wasn’t showing up for sessions. I found out some of his problems were drug related. The label still wouldn’t relent. We missed the deadline for the album release. After a near nervous breakdown, I finally got up the courage to walk away from the album and the record deal.

I had lost so much of myself trying to make an unworkable situation work. This song is about my struggle to find myself again after the dust settled. I reveal the challenge in this line, “I’ve been around the world searching for myself, one step behind my own defence.”

5. Black Betty ~ 4:50

Vocals: Sari Schorr
Guitars: Innes Sibun
Organ: John Baggott*
Bass: Nani Conde
Drums: Jose Mena
Percussion: Mike Vernon
*Recorded at J.B.’s Home Studio, Bristol, UK.

I had the honor of being asked to perform this Lead Belly classic at the Lead Belly Fest at Carnegie Hall. The producers suggested the song, and Innes Sibun and I came up with a special arrangement. Although there are many interpretations, for me the song is about a slave, a rape and the cracking of a whip.

6. Work No More ~ 5:22

Vocal: Sari Schorr
Lead guitar: Walter Trout*
Rhythm Guitar: Innes Sibun
Organ: John Baggott**
Piano: Dave Keyes***
Bass: Nani Conde
Drums: Jose Mena
*Recorded at The Lion’s Den, Los Angeles, CA. Engineer: Eric Corne
**Recorded at J.B.’s Home Studio, Bristol, UK.
***Recorded at D.K.’s Home Studio, Sloatsburg, New York.
Walter Trout appears by kind permission of Provogue Records (Mascot Label Group USA)

This touching song is written by Walter Trout. I originally met Walter at a festival in Oklahoma and then again performing together on the Lead Belly Fest. I’ve always been a big fan of his work. He heard I was recording and graciously said he’d love to contribute to the album. He told me about the song, “Work No More” that he wrote for a woman named Irene. She meant a lot to him and had passed away. It became a clear choice for the album. It was also one of Johnny Winter’s favourite songs.

7. Demolition Man ~ 4:27

Vocal: Sari Schorr
Guitars: Innes Sibun
Organ: Julián Maeso
Piano: John Baggott*
Bass: Nani Conde
Drums: Jose Mena
Percussion: Mike Vernon
*Recorded at JB’s Home Studio, Bristol, UK

I read an article in the New York Times that Amnesty International had passed a resolution to support the decriminalization of sex work. They determined that decriminalization is the best way to reduce the risk of abuse and defend the human rights of sex workers.

Sex work is an occupation that many women, men, transgender and gender-diverse individuals voluntarily choose. Denying that prostitution is work simply infringes on an individual’s right to choose, and makes them more vulnerable to exploitation and violent abuse.

To show my support of the Amnesty resolution, I wanted to write a song about the virtues of legalized prostitution from a female perspective, which also address the unfair bias women face when soliciting sex.

The line, “I’m not the kind of woman who is gonna take a stand” not only means she won’t judge her lover, but she’s not taking a stand because she’s on her back.

8. Oklahoma ~ 5:40

Vocal: Sari Schorr
Guitar: Oli Brown
Rhythm Guitar: Quique Bonal
Keyboards: Julián Maeso
Bass: Nani Conde
Drums: Jose Mena
Percussion: Mike Vernon

I was living in Paris when I was asked to sing on an Amnesty International project called ‘Toast to Freedom’ with Warren Haynes, Eric Burdon, Keb Mo’, Taj Mahal and others. Long story short, I volunteered to produce the French side of the project and brought in high profile artists including Marianne Faithful, Jane Birkin, Arno and in the USA, Carly Simon.

We were scheduled to perform on the Tonight show with Jay Leno. Artists were flying in from all over. I was at New York’s JFK airport ready to board when I got the panicked call from the project’s producer, already in LA. There were problems with works permits for some of the international artists. We were being cancelled.

I had been on tour with Joe Louis Walker at that time. I called Joe and told him what happened. He was happy I could re-join the tour. Moments later I was rerouting my ticket from Los Angeles to Oklahoma and was onstage with the band that night. I wrote this song about my newfound appreciation of Oklahoma.

9. Letting Go ~ 3:43

Vocal: Sari Schorr
Guitar: Innes Sibun
Rhythm Guitar: Quique Bonal
Keyboards: Jesús Lavillas
Bass: Nani Conde
Drums: Jose Mena

Mike Vernon invited me to write with him and guitarist, Quique Bonal in Spain. We were working in Mike’s dining room where I noticed a photo of his beautiful wife, Natalie. She sadly passed away one year before. My attention was repeatedly drawn to the photo. Quique was gently strumming his acoustic guitar and in a flash, the entire song was in my head. This was highly unusual. Typically, I first work out a melody with a mostly nonsensical lyric. Then I spend hours, days or even months fleshing out lyrics.

The line, “Let me go, I can’t bare my heavy soul. Only shadows have open arms for me” is where we learn Natalie has passed away. This song was a gift from Natalie and I dedicate it to her.

10. Kiss Me ~ 4:21

Vocal: Sari Schorr
Guitars: Oli Brown
Organ/guitar arpeggios: Dave Keyes*
Bass: Nani Conde
Drums: Jose Mena
Percussion: Mike Vernon
*Recorded at DK’s Home Studio, Sloatsburg, New York

I love 60’s psychedelic rock. The melody and harmonics of the song were a perfect sound bed for an erotic lyric. We even snuck in a line about my 3 Pit Bulls, “A Pit Bulls’ loving eyes that I just can’t wrest.” I often write lyrics on the floor with my poetry books jumbled about and Pit Bulls crushed up against my body.

But, the song is actually about being in love with someone who is gone. That is only revealed in the last verse, “Forever might be shorter than the years gone by. Silence came boldly to answer all of my prayers.”

11. Stop! In the Name of Love ~ 4:00

Vocal: Sari Schorr
Backing vocals: Sari Schorr, Rietta Austin
Guitars: Innes Sibun
Keyboards: Jesús Lavillas
Bass: Nani Conde
Drums: Jose Mena
Percussion: Mike Vernon

Written by Holland/Dozier/Holland, and originally a No. 1 hit single on the US Billboard Hot 100 for the Supremes in 1965, Mike Vernon came up with a great remake idea for this song. At first, I wasn’t convinced I could do it justice, but I trusted Mike and just went for it.

12. Ordinary Life ~ 3:51

Vocal: Sari Schorr
Guitars: Innes Sibun, Quique Bonal
Keyboards: Jesús Lavillas
Fretless bass: Nani Conde
Drums: Jose Mena

As I get older, I realise the benefits of practicing gratitude are practically endless. Gratitude has an extraordinary power to bring us closer to happiness. I think so many of life’s challenges can be overcome through the lens of gratitude. Ordinary Life is the story of my battle between the persuasive forces of regret and gratitude.

“I’ve made my piece with loneliness, never been nobody’s wife, oh lord I’m grateful for this ordinary life.”

“Sari Schorr is a force of nature, a meteor, a comet. 
The blues speak through her. The real dirty sad funny wonderful blues, lives again! 
She’s got an amazing voice and sings with fire and grace. 
Go see her, and hear the living blues again, for the very first time.” 
- Dan Cohen

“The future of blues is in good hands. 
Sari is a gift to all of us from the Blues Gods.” 
- Blues Matters

“Dirty blues; gritty vocals, and a deep personal commitment have catapulted New Yorker, Sari Schorr, into the spotlight as one of the hottest new blues rock singers of 2016… 
She’s a major new player on the blues scene. Catch her now.” 
– Edinburgh Jazz Festival

“At times with her dark version of Black Betty, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds came to mind, Elkie Brooks at other times. She can really let go and rock as good as anyone in the business with her take on Led Zed numbers. If you get the chance to see her go for it.” 
– Tony Moore

“The bar had already been set fairly high, but Sari and the boys completely smashed it last night and took it to another level. It was a real masterclass in how to do it.” 
– Andy Lawrence



August 4-5      Notodden Blues Festival Norway
August 26       Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Rd, Maidenhead, UK 
August 27       Varenwinkel Festival, Herselt, Belgium
August 28       Seacroft Double Festival, Norfolk, UK
August 29       Great British RnB Festival, Colne, Lancashire, UK


Sept 3             Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Sept 9            Darlington RnB Club, The Forum Music Centre, Darlington, UK
Sept 5            Half Moon Putney, London, UK (Album Launch)
Sept 10           Blues Club, Devizes, Wiltshire, UK
Sept 11           Winchester Discovery Centre, Winchester, UK
Sept 14           The Tunnels, Bristol, UK
Sept 15           Southern Pavilion, Worthing Pier, West Sussex, UK
Sept 16           New Crawdaddy, Billericay Town FC Billericay, UK
Sept 17           Old Town Hall, High Street, Hemel Hempstead, UK
Sept 23           Selby Town Hall Yorkshire, UK
Sept 24           The Iron Road, Evesham, Worcestershire, UK 
Sept 25           Hope Tavern, Caistor Rd, Holton-le-Moor, Market Rasen, Lincs, UK
Sept 28           Vonnies Blues Club, Cheltenham
Sept 29           Cranleigh Arts Centre, High Street, Cranleigh, Surrey
Sept 30           B.A.R Festival, France


October 1       Hereford Blues Club, Booth Hall, Hereford, UK
October 6       Bar Brunel Bridgewater, UK
October 7       Deux Rivieres Blues Festival, Brittany, France 

Producer Mike Vernon’s first encounter with Sari Schorr

I first met Sari in Memphis in January 2015 when I went there to receive a Lifetime Award at The Blues Foundation Awards.  She introduced herself mentioning that she would love for me to produce her debut album, even though she was aware that I was in semi-retirement.

We spoke for around 10 minutes and both agreed to stay in touch.  I had a flash back.  Sari reminded me of Martha Velez, another artist I worked with back in the late 60s/early 70s.  I produced two dynamite albums for Martha on Sire Records.  The first of those, “Fiends and Angels”, became a cult release featuring an ‘all-star’ line-up that included Eric Clapton, Duster Bennett, Mitch Mitchell, Chris Wood, and a host of others.

Later that night I was due to go out on the town to check a few bands out but felt jet-lagged, so I went to bed early!  It transpired that I missed a golden opportunity to catch Sari on stage. She jammed with John Del Toro Richardson at The New Daisy Theatre on Beale.  The following morning everyone was talking about it.  I missed out on the perfect opportunity but there you go!

Sari and I continued to correspond on a regular basis. She continued to send me song demos and links for videos where she was featured mainly with Joe Louis Walker and Popa Chubby.  I gradually began to get the picture.  Sari was a great songwriter and a powerful vocalist who could command a stage with pretty much anyone else you would like to mention!  That’s when we decided to hatch a plan.

I made arrangements for her to fly to Spain so we could get to know each other better; spend time going through all her songs (and there were many) and also to work on some new ideas.  I contacted my good friend, guitarist Quique Bonal to work with us.  We spent three days together and came up with three excellent ideas.

I then made arrangements for us to go to Seville and lay down demo tracks with a top-line rhythm section featuring Nani Conde (bass), Jose Mena (drums) and Quique (guitar). When we finished the recordings, the demos sounded like masters.  At that point, we never looked back.  One year later we have “A FORCE OF NATURE”!

Ironically, I never did get the chance to see her perform live until many months after we first met.  I took a giant leap of faith and wanted to work with her based on gut instinct.  She is an artiste that has great songs; a formidable voice; a great look and an electrifying personality.  She is the consummate professional, always on time, helpful and understanding.  She delivers every time.  She’s intuitive.  I think we’re a perfect match for each other in the workplace. We’re both Scorpios and share consecutive birthdates – 20th and 21st November respectively.  There’s a few years between us though!

When I finally experienced Sari perform live, I was not disappointed.  I’ve always known that when the time was right (and that also implies when the BAND is right), she will give everything she has. It seems to be working right now. Every live show just gets better and better.

Recording the new album was nothing short of a total pleasure.  We did have logistical problems though.  She is in Brooklyn, New York, and I am based in Malaga, Spain, and the recording studio and the rhythm section are based in in Seville, Spain.  Subsequently, we had to do quite a lot of recording in the UK to get the two guitarists, Innes Sibun and Oli Brown, on board.  The efforts involved have been worth it.  This project has been, perhaps, the most rewarding of my career.

I took a huge chance.  I put my heart and soul and expertise into making an album with a singer who had been overlooked for far too long.  I put my money where my mouth is…simple as that!  I managed to get Walter Trout involved, too.  He’s now a huge fan of Sari’s work.  This is only the beginning. Believe me, there’s so much more to come.  The follow-up album will be a ‘killer’ and will feature lots of surprises.

Sari is destined to become a major star in the world of blues rock.  Between us we “have created a monster” (Lamont Dozier’s words not mine, so to speak) and the future looks bright.  I also think that the power and emotions that Sari creates during her concerts has been reproduced on the debut album.  It’s all there. In fact, I find it quite hard to listen to the entire album from start to finish.  I feel myself gasping for air.  The power of her vocals and the weight of the band are almost too much to handle!

I’m proud of this production.  I look forward to seeing her and the band as many times as possible.   I trust her implicitly and constantly watch out for her back!  I know that those feelings are reciprocated.  We could not have made this great record without that being so.  It was meant to be, plain and simple.  This is just the beginning of something truly monumental.

Website Sari Schorr :

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