Blues Magazine feature on Producer and British Blues Pioneer Mike Vernon


Mike Vernon talks to The Blues Magazine about his new artist - Sari Schorr in an in-depth four-part feature. Here's the highlight:

As if that wasn’t enough to be getting on with, his most immediate concern is explosive American blues singer Sari Schorr. Vernon met her at an awards bash in Memphis earlier this year, when she sidled over to introduce herself and ask if he’d produce her new album. “It turned out she’d just finished a year-long tour with Joe Louis Walker as his Tina Turner-type singer,” Vernon recalls. “She looked exactly like the way I remember Martha Veléz did in 1972: jet-black hair parted in the middle and very exotic-looking. We got on like a house on fire, but it was only when I heard the demos that I realised what I was dealing with – she’s the most extraordinary singer, a big-voiced blues rocker.”

Perhaps more than any of Vernon’s other recent projects, the Sari Schorr album serves as a sharp reminder of his past. Aforementioned US singer Veléz, whom he produced for Blue Horizon back in 1969, is due to make a guest appearance. And more importantly, Vernon has rediscovered his enthusiasm for nurturing vital new talent.

“For the first time since the days of Blue Horizon, I broke my golden rule never to invest my own money in a project,” he says. “Sari did actually make an album in the early 90s, but her record company had their doors closed on them and it never came out. She then turned to being a songwriter. So this will be her debut album proper.”

Basic tracking was done in Spain, with Vernon bringing in members of top local combo Q & The Moonstones. Oli Brown has overdubbed some guitar too. “Guitarist Innes Sibun is putting together a band for Sari and the plan is for her to come and work in Europe next year. I’m really excited about the project – it’s sounding wonderful.”

And with praise like that coming from the man who broke the Bluesbreakers, Focus and Fleetwood Mac, who are we to argue?