Some bands are lucky enough to have time to rehearse before they gig whilst others might just have to rely on what they have in there head and hearts. Sari Schorr & The Engine Room certainly fall into the second category. The band only got together few days before the tour kicked off in Half Moon Putney. This is the blues after all and you don’t rehearse the blues!
The group, now powered by phenomenal Ash Wilson on lead guitar, keyboard/organ player Bob Fridzema, known from an earlier collaboration with King King and Joanne Shaw Taylor, Mat Beable on bass and Roy Martin on drums.
This was the second time I had seen Sari Schorr & The Engine Room, last year they played the Borderline, and I have to admit, the change in band members was for the good. The Borderline performance might have been funkier but the Half Moon set drifted in darker and heavier tones, allowing Sari to showcase her expressive vocals.
The New York native presented songs from her debut record with the outstanding Demolition Man and some well-known standards like Leadbelly’s Black Betty and Rock And Roll by Led Zeppelin
Her voice and Ash Wilson’s guitar improvisation reshaped the classic tunes giving them a modern sound. She is a charismatic vocalist with a big, edgy voice and a perfect blues feeling that resembles Janis Joplin. Without a doubt, she owns the stage.
Sari Schorr & The Engine Room are the band every blues and rock lover should see..and there is still a chance, as they are touring the UK until May.
Sari Schorr at Half Moon Putney, London, 16th January 2017
Words and Photography by Edyta K