Shari Puorto review…March 17, 2016…

SHARI PUORTO

MY OBSESSION

LITTLE LIGHTNING PRODUCTIONS

IT’S A DAMN SHAME–HOME OF THE BLUES–SIX MONTHS SOBER–SUGAR DADDY–MY OBSESSION–OLD SILO ROAD–WORKIN’ THE ROOM–BETTER LEFT UNSAID–WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH THE WORLD–ALL ABOUT YOU–TURNED TO STONE–WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN

Current Los Angeles resident Shari Puorto has one of “those” voices–one that can go from sultry-sexy to funky to bluesy and back again, without missing a stroke.  She got her inclination to sing from her dad’s classic soul and blues record collection, and her latest album,  “My Obsession,” features eleven originals that let her mighty voice shine thru!

The backing band ain’t no slouch, either.  Tony Braunagel doubles down as drummer and producer, and his Phantom Blues partner, Mike Finnigan, is on B-3 and piano, as are Barry Goldberg and Jim Pugh.  On guitars we have Johnny Lee Schell, Jimmy Vivino, Steve Fister, and Johnny Hawthorn, with Bob Glaub on the bass.

Mike’s organ intro kicks off the scratchy groove of “It’s A Damn Shame,” as Shari laments a lover who “couldn’t get outta your own way!”  Johnny Hawthorn lays down some mean slide on Shari’s tale of proudly being “Six Months Sober and no longer addicted to YOU!”  She wistfully looks back on life and love along the “Old Silo Road,” and closes the set with a sanctified read of “When A Man Loves A Woman.”

We had a ton of favorites, starting with the title cut.  As one can easily glean from a look at the CD cover,  Shari’s “My Obsession” would be SHOES, the higher the heel the better!  This one was co-written by Jimmy Vivino, and he’s on that strong guitar throughout.  “Sugar Daddy” is four minutes of pure carnal pleasure, as Shari’s sexy voice weaves its spell.   “Workin’ The Room” follows a similar theme, but this one rocks the house, thanks in part to Barry Goldberg on the 88’s!  And, a slide-fueled tale of “seven rooms of misery and seven rooms of gloom” welcome you into the “Home Of The Blues!”

Shari Puorto and her soulful and impassioned vocals bring this material to life, and her backing corps of musicians are sure to make “My Obsession” your obsession when you give it a spin!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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