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Sari Schorr and the Engine Room

Monday 7th December 2015

Surya, London

Seeing someone new can be exciting. Is this band or this musician the next big thing? Or at least one to keep an eye on? Or a nonentity puffed up by hype? On 7th December at the Surya in north London, Manhatton Records invited an audience to see their newest American artist, Sari Schorr, run through a few songs. The calibre of people there supporting New Yorker Sari was impressive. The head of the record company, the producer of Sari's upcoming album, veteran producer Mike Vernon and a band including noted guitarist Innes Sibun. Mike gave an insight into why he has chosen to work with Sari, "Sari is a great singer-songwriter, with a good attitude, professional and good looking. I met her at the Blues Awards in Memphis, she was different from the others floating around. She sent me demo's, and we met and now she has a hand-picked bunch of guys in her band."

Sari's band ran through songs including 'Ain't Got No Money', in which Sari showed that however she is financially, she has plenty of voice, singing at a penetrative, but still musical, yell. By the close of her second song, 'Demolition Man', Sari had a hardened audience of media, venue managers and DJ's, unprimed by free booze (sadly) or any other stimulants, whooping and clapping. Where the bulk of Sari's songs were pumped out loud and fast by her band, The Engine Room, 'Oklahoma' particularly showed a mellower side. In another strong song, 'Kiss Me', Sari's added a tribute to her three pitbull terriers. Innes Sibun's guitar wove some impressive solos throughout and a particular highlight was Anders Olinder, playing beautuifully on keys and organ. One song to really look forward to on the album will be the powerful 'Aunt Hazel', which has nothing to do with family relations and a lot more to do with New York and drugs.

So, how far will Sari go? Somewhere towards the top of the glass ceiling of the Blues, for certain, as she is a genuine talent. The most striking thing about Sari was her attitude. She gives her music, and the audience, everything. Even to the extent of belting out songs at 100% in her warm up when the audience consisted of her producer, the soundman, and your correspondent. Impressive.

Darren Weale

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