Sari Schorr

 

A Force Of Nature is, by far, one of the most long-awaited debut albums worldwide for a music artist. This goes not just for blues or blues/rock lovers but also for those who really understand and appreciate broad talent in its full expression.

When the New Yorker blues/rock singer Sari Schorr bumped into veteran producer Mike Vernon in 2015 (John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers, Ten Years After, Fleetwood Mac amongst the many superstars Vernon has produced throughout his career), she realised immediately that she had found the perfect match in understanding and enhancing her full potential.

The outcome, A Force Of Nature is a record that it's not just a play on words on Schorr's superior talent as a singer/songwriter and as a performer but also the best possible proof that Sari Schorr can be vocally challenged in any music genres and be able to pull it off anytime through her great artistry.

This debut album is a full display of the artistic artillery and the eclectic personality of this wonderful artist. Vernon's expert producing hand wisely allows total freedom and trust not just to the amazing array of tonalities that Sari Schorr is able to reach but also to her songwriting style.

A Force Of Nature is a record that catapults the listener in a musical journey of funk, blues and late 60's/early 70's psychedelic rock. The whole splendidly led by Schorr's powerful voice and supported by a number of highly skilled studio musicians, which includes guest guitarists of the calibre of Walter Trout, Innes Sibun and Oli Brown.

Lyrically, the album showcases at times themes about social responsibility very close to the heart of the American artist, such as physical abuses (Damn The Reason), prostitution (Demolition Man) or drug abuses (Aunt Hazel). In every occasion, even when it comes to sing songs not written by Schorr herself but by other artists, such as Work No More (written by Walter Trout) or in that outstanding version of the Lead Belly's classic Black Betty, Sari Schorr's delivery is impressive and convincing. A natural raconteur true and true.

To pick one or two songs from the album's setlist would be an injustice, because each song tells a unique story on its own, either musically or lyrically. As A Force Of Nature opens with the thunderous 60's bluesy sound of Ain't Got No Money, a lyrically dry "j'accuse" to the cynicism of capitalism in general, by the same account it closes with a simple and delicate statement to the importance of gratitude in life with the song Ordinary Life. The latter features, once again, another demonstration of the fabulous diversity of Schorr's singing style.

Many have labelled Sari Schorr, through the years, as a highly talented blues/rock interpreter. Through this debut album, the American artist has brilliantly proved that she is much more than that. There is a new shining star in the music galaxy. Her name is Sari Schorr.

 

 

Giovanni "Gio" Pilato

 

A Force Of Nature is due to be released worldwide 2nd September 2016 in Europe and 16th September 2016 in the United States via Amazon

"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"

Gary Hoey Dust Bones

 

The blues/rock world is living a second youth, in 2016. This year, despite the sad loss of many famous worldwide music giants, is offering one of the most prolific moments in the history of the genre, through the release of many wonderful and eclectic records.

One of such records is, without a doubt, Gary Hoey's new album Dust & Bones, the 20th of his extraordinary career and the first to be released via Mascot Label Group.

For the debut with his new label, the American Guitar Virtuoso could have not chosen to record a better album than Dust & Bones. The album is the sum of the class, craftmanship and ability of an artist that, throughout his career, has never stopped to challenge himself, musically speaking.

Gary Hoey has always been and still is one of the most loved and appreciated rock guitarists worldwide. Now, through his previous record Deja Blues and especially with Dust & Bones, the American artist can be deservely labelled as one of the best blues guitarist too.

The new album showcases in full all the different sides of Hoey's artistry and his profound respect for some of the most inspirational guitarists of this century. The Guitar Maestro manages cleverly and brilliantly to incorporate elements of hard rock, blues, 70's rock and hillibilly in a kaleidoscopic music package with flawless results.

To find one highlight above all the tracks of the album is almost an impossible task. The title-track of the record is, perhaps, the most radio-friendly song of the album, craftly built on a solid wall of sound created by Hoey and his band.

When it comes to play blues, Hoey doesn't pull any string and push resolutely on the accelerator, spicing even further tracks like the opening Boxcar Blues, Back Up Against The Wall and Steamroller (the latter openly dedicated to Johnny Winter) with his distinctive rock touch.

The definition of rock, as genre, for Gary Hoey is not just related to one or two decades of music history or to one inspirational artist only. Through his delightful guitar solos, one can hear influences coming from artists like Joe Satriani or Gov't Mule, like in the tune Ghost Of Yesterday or ZZ Top and Cream, like in that splendid rock song that is Born To Love You. The whole array of influences is cemented together by the incredible artistry of Hoey that, on Dust & Bones, reaches the absolute peak of his music career.

Even when the tempo slows down a notch, like in that tender rock ballad that is Coming Home, where the wonderful Lita Ford makes a Special Guest appearance, the American artist showcases his maturity by penning a wonderful tune, enriched by excellent bridges and choruses. This is a song that has all the credentials to become one of the singles extracted from this splendid album.

Where everyone may expect, given Dust & Bone's structure, a powerful and fast-tempoed tune to close the album, Hoey surprises once again everybody by playing the only instrumental of the album, Soul Surfer. The tune is an ethereal journey through dreamy atmospheres that echoes memories of the best periods of artists like Ry Cooder and Carlos Santana but executed with the unique artistry and usual brilliancy of Hoey's guitar.

Dust & Bones is a true electric guitar songbook and the pinnacle of the career of an artist that has perfected, through the years, his artistic repertoire through hard work and an immense talent. It's an album to be played loud wherever you are and to be loved anytime, like it deserves.

 

 

Giovanni "Gio" Pilato

 

 

Dust & Bones is due to be released worldwide on 29th July 2016 via Mascot Label Group

"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"

Blue Skies

Where the warmth of a country like Australia meets the passionate sound of rock and the mysticism of the blues. That is the place where you will be able to find Matty T Wall, a young and highly talented guitarist and singer/songwriter from Perth.

Through his debut album, Blue Skies, Wall beautifully embraces the traditions of the Delta Blues and the 70's psychedelic sound, in a unique music combo that makes possible not just to magnify Wall's guitar artistry but also his deeply soulful singing style. The ten tracks included in Blue Skies are an intense journey into several decades of music history, played in an unconventional and highly entertaining way.

There is everything that a true music fan could possibly ask, in this record. The album's title-track is an elegant rock ballad with hints of roots, with some truly excellent songwriting from the Australian young prodigy. Broken Heart Tattoo is a tune that fuses together elements of jazz, rock and blues, which provide an excellent sound carpet to Wall's storytelling Parlato style on this track. Scorcher is a majestic scat-blues instrumental number, in which the ability of Wall and his band match stylistically the magnitude of 70's bands like The Allman Brothers Band or The Cream.

One of the most interesting aspects of Matty T Wall's music style consists in the way his songs take off into unexpected directions, during their executions. An example for all is the overwhelming cover version of Hendrix's Voodoo Chile, in which Wall and his band provide a slower and alternative but nevertheless highly hypnotic version of one of rock's most favourite anthems of all time.

Matty Wall is, undoubtedly, one of the most inspired musicians of this generation. Smile, which is the other instrumental included in Blue Skies, showcases in full Wall's ability and versatility as a guitar player. The dreaming sound coming by the overlapping of acoustic and electric guitars is a work of art and it is one of those tunes to be chosen as the perfect soundtrack for an evening stroll on a beach, admiring the sunset, anywhere in the world.

One of the secrets of the success of Wall's special music alchemy on his debut album goes also to the craftmanship of his wonderful band. Jasper Miller on drums and Stephen Walker are an irresistible Rhythm Section, whose abilities shine throughout the whole album. A deserved mention on Blue Skies goes also to Gordon Cant on organ, whose improvisations on Voodoo Chile are absolutely tremendous.

Knowing the love and appreciation of Matty T Wall for blues, it's no big surprise that he decided to choose a Robert Johnson's tune, Hellhound On My Trail, as the closing track of his album. Yet again, Wall nails his version of this song to perfection. The number starts with the sound of pouring rain coming down, then slowly an acoustic guitar opens up the tune to a folk-esque tempo, until the beating and daunting drums of Jasper Miller comes in, adding an almost dark and mysterious aura to another very inspired cover version.

Matty T Wall has not pulled any strings at all in his debut album. Blue Skies is an instinctive record made of great songs with inspired songwriting, enormous respect for the masters of blues, excellent vocals, showing Wall's mesmerising talent as a guitar player. You better watch out for this artist. You will be hearing extraordinary music from him for a very long, long time.

 

Giovanni "Gio" Pilato

 

 

Blue Skies is out now and available via Amazon

 

 

"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"

the chris rolling squad

 

After a short stint with The Heavy Manic Souls, the French guitarist and singer/songwriter Chris Rolling has created a new project called The Chris Rolling Squad, releasing a self-titled EP that is a true love letter to the 70's rock.

The five tracks included in this mini album are a homage to the sound of bands like Cream, Motorhead and Ramones, just to mention fews. The Chris Rolling Squad, as a power trio, is an authentic steam train throughout the whole record. Their ability and craftmanship shine either when they are wild, fast and furious, like on the Motorheads-esque My Redemption, (in BBR's opinion the true highlight of the EP) or in the closing track Janet Says Go Go Go, a cover of the 90's Swedish band Indian Red.

Even when the tempo goes a bit more bluesy, like on the track Vampire Blues, the band is solid and their execution of the song smooth and precise. Chris Rolling's commanding and powerful guitar sound dictates the tempo with great authority to the whole band, which, together with Rolling on guitar, include a really impressive rhythm section made by Brice Duval on bass and Romain Cauneau on drums.

It's a tasty, energetic and highly entertaining debut for the French trio. If this is the shape of things to come, we may expect some more music brilliancy coming from this band in years to come.

 

Giovanni "Gio" Pilato

 

The Chris Rolling Squad EP is available to be purchased on the band's website

 

 

"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"

Alive In Amsterdam

It gets always very difficult to review a live album, doesn't matter who the artist in question or the band may be. The reason is because, often, such type of releases are targeted to boost the revenue of artists and record labels, without having those elements that a live recording should have, like energy, passion and commitment to music.

Luckily, there are artists like Walter Trout that distance themselves from this kind of concept because they truly believe in the message of music and what music gives to them and to the fans.

ALive In Amsterdam is not just the celebration of a Tour that for Trout meant the return to make and play music but also his return to form. The health issues that troubled the American guitarist for quite some time have long gone and this live album proves indeed that Trout is, again, on full force.

There were no better places for Walter Trout and his band than Amsterdam in Netherland and the Le Carre' Theatre to record this live album, due to the long-lasting love relationship that the Dutch fans have with Trout and his music.

The two-hours plus new live recording from Walter Trout is like a family album, where one can see how people's lives move on and develop through music. Age has never been an issue neither for the American guitarist and singer/songwriter nor for his band, because they sound as strong as ever. Sammy Avila on keys, Michael Leasure on drums and Johnny Griparic on bass, added to Trout's incredible talent, constitute one of the most solid music machines worldwide. In addition, the Evergreen Maverick from Huntingdon Beach can even afford to have two highly skilled extra guitarists on this Tour, such as his oldest son Jon and the Dutch singer and guitarist Andrew Elt, to make this live show sound even more powerful.

There is obviously a lot of material coming from Trout's most recent album, Battle Scars, included in ALive In Amsterdam. Among those tracks, two in particular, which come half a way of the show, Haunted By The Night and Fly Away, are real killers. Trout and his boys have never sounded better than this before on stage. The sound is explosive, at times pleasantly erratic, thanks to the sonic dissonance coming from that master of keyboards that is Sammy Avila. The Rhythm Section of Griparic and Leasure is as strong and pulsating as it can possibly be.

Walter Trout's enormous talent on guitar has always been undisputed but his voice is reaching now new highs too. It's deep, almost raucous and booming at times and gentle and emotional  other times. Like in the crowd-pleasers Marie's Mood and the closing The Love That We Once Knew, where Trout shows his gentle side, when it comes to love for his wife Marie and for life in general.

ALive In Amsterdam is not just a record for fans of Trout's music. It's a musical tale of a man and an artist that has been given a second chance in life and doesn't want to miss a moment to create and play music for himself and for people. The very same people that helped him and stood by his side when it mattered and showed their love and affection in many ways.  ALive In Amsterdam is the best payback in music that Trout could possibly give to those fans and friends. Welcome back, Walter Trout, mission accomplished. Once again.  

 

Giovanni "Gio" Pilato 

ALive In Amsterdam is out now and is available via Mascot Label Group

"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"

Take Me High

 

It would be hugely easy for an artist, especially in the current music business, to stick on his/her tried-and-true formula. This is something that the young gunslinger Laurence Jones wouldn't consider even for a moment.

Take Me High, the British guitarist's new record soon to be released in Uk later this month and in August in the United States, is an album that catapults Laurence Jones right in the olympus of the most versatile, creative and talented music artists worldwide.

This is a studio record that has been entirely recorded live by Jones and his band with outstanding results, without the help of any trickeries at all. Undoubtedly, the expert guidance of Mike Vernon, one of the most renowned producers in the music world has been beneficial on the artistic approach taken by Laurence Jones during the recording of Take Me High.

The outcome captures perfectly the artistic maturity of a musician which, despite the relative young age, is able to spread his wings with equal majesty in whatever Jones put his hands on and we are not just referring to his well-known ability on guitar.

Jones unveils finally, through his new record, all the music genres that he loves the most and really matter to him. His rhytmh section is more powerful than ever, through the addition of Phil Wilson on drums on a line-up that counts already an "Ace Of Bass"  like Roger Inniss, adding to the British artist's sound even more dynamism than in any of Jones' previous albums.

One of the most welcomed surprises on Take Me High is the definite Funk approach present on some of the tracks on the album. The opening one-two, Got No Place To Go and Something's Changed is fresh, vibrant and the additional support of Bob Fridzema as studio musician on keyboards offers the opportunity to Laurence Jones to exalt even further the magnitude of his talent on guitar.

There is also another important element that shines throughout the whole of Take Me High and it's the depth and quality of the guitarist's vocals. A clear example of Jones' talent on many levels and one of the many highlights of the album is Thinking About Tomorrow, a love song that encapsulates perfectly the level of artistic perfection reached by Laurence Jones through this new record.

The young Guitar Virtuoso is virtually unstoppable, on this album. Take Me High, the title-track, is vintage Laurence Jones. His unmistakable Bluesy slap on guitar serves as the perfect intro to an intense and excellently executed tune. To help Jones in this beautiful musical delivery, once again his rhythm section is absolutely spot on and the musical chemistry between Inniss and Jones is first class.

The record closes in an equally high standard as it opens. On The Price I Pay, Jones get the best helping hand he can hope for by having on harmonica a master like Paul Jones as Special Guest. The outcome is an authentic triumph of a musical fusion containing clear funky extractions combined with the sound and the melody of the Mississippi Delta Blues. That's what happen when two Jones work together.

The closing track is the only cover of the album and it is Stevie Wonder's classic Higher Ground, penned once again very skillfully by Jones and his band with the outstanding contribution on vocals by Reuben Richards.

Sometimes album titles may be slightly deceiving, when it comes to describe the music package included in a record. In Laurence Jones' case, Take Me High explains exactly what a music lover can get by purchasing this album, which is not just the best album of his career to date but also one of the highest music expressions of 2016.

 

 

Giovanni "Gio" Pilato

 

Take Me High is due to be released on 22nd July in United Kingdom and in August Worldwide. The album can be purchased via Amazon 

"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"

Dave Hanson

When Bluebird Reviews heard for the first time Blind Faith, the EP released by the British singer/songwriter Dave Hanson later last year, we had the clear feeling that the forthcoming full-length debut album of Hanson might have been an extraordinary one.

Almost Horizontal is an album that tells a lot about the talent and the potential of the young and talented artist from Leeds. It's a record that allows Hanson to explore music genres very close to the heart of the English artist but executed in a way that makes Hanson's sound to be always distinctly recognisable.

Joanna, the album's opener, it's a clearly winning track. Catchy and upbeat, Joanna is a flawless tune, with excellently balanced bridges and choruses throughout a song that deserves to be blasted on any radios worldwide.

There are some true moments of brilliancy in Almost Horizontal. Hanson showcases not just his great ability as a guitarist but also a very inspired songwriting style, with lyrics that may carry, at times, profound thoughts as in songs like Devil or elements of humour, as in the funny Por Favor Senor.

Musically, the album is truly impeccable. Dave Hanson, through the support also of a large group of highly skilled studio musicians, balances cleverly through the whole record rootsy atmospheres with touches here and there of reggae, glam, rumba, R&B and 90's British rock, making Almost Horizontal feeling like a relaxing walk in a park on a sunny day.

The closing track, Make Hay, is a delicate, acoustic tune, in which the slide guitar of Martin Harley, one of the many excellent musicians present on this record, fly in the air as light as a feather.

The artistic promises arising from Hanson's EP Blind Faith have been fully accomplished in Almost Horizontal. A splendid debut album by one of the most clever and talented contemporary Troubadour with a brilliant future ahead of him.

 

 

Giovanni "Gio" Pilato

Almost Horizontal is out now and available via Six String Social Records

"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"

"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"

Remember to support your favorite artists through buying their products.
A good place to start is searching BestBuy.com and Amazon.com.