We had the good fortune of connecting with Shari Puorto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shari, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Initially starting my “business” wasn’t the way I was thinking when I wanted to have my own band and write songs. I just knew that performing and songwriting was a big part of my focus and 15 years ago it was a force that was simply taking over! I decided to ride the wave and see where it took me since I was (at the time) working for Disney in marketing but something inside was telling me to as I said, keep riding the wave. After a few years I realized that my band, my music and performing was now a business that needed to be handled as such. From hiring the right bandmates who have the same goals, to song writing, to marketing to social media, interviews, radio, etc…all these elements needed to be thought about and put in to place, if I was to take my passion and desires to the next level. And to continue in building my brand for the long haul.
Please tell us more about your career. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
What am I proud of and get excited about regarding music? Many things! Performing live with a supportive band is the best feeling and I hope to perform live until I can no longer sing. I get excited about the next show and the one after that and so on! I’m really proud that I’ve released 5 CD’s on my own. I’m proud that a large percentage of the songs on my CD’s are originals and I’m proud to have written and recorded them to share! I’ve had some amazing songwriting partners over the years and collaborating is the bet process! From writing with Barrty Goldberg (Michael Blumfield, the Rides) to Don Randi (Wrecking Crew), Alastair Greene, Johnny Hawthorne and Doug Woolverton, and many more, I’ve been blessed! I’m also very excited to announce that my co-writer, Doug Woolverton and I will be launching my long time goal of a children’s catalog of songs with original illustrations. This catalog will be featuring some of our amazing musician colleagues in the Blues/Americana genre as we teach young children through songs. Teachings like, counting, directions, shapes, etc… Our songs are not only presented in a fun interactive way, but all the while introducing them to amazing musicians. I can’t wait to tell you more about this project in the upcoming weeks! What may set me a part from others? Perhaps my perseverance and drive to keep going. There are so many obstacles when it comes to the music industry. It’s easy to give up. But I continue to keep focused as my deep passion for music and how it makes me feel. I thank my dad for this! What do I want the world to know about me and my story? A few things…if you can open your heart and mind and allow yourself to truly listen to your calling….you just may find it! I truly never thought I’d be a performer and songwriter in my early years. But looking back I can see how my path lead me here. It’s all so clear now! And I couldn’t be happier for it. Also, when you do your craft from a place of authenticity, it’s shows and people see and feel it. That means a lot to me. Here’s a small example, if I sing an original or a cover tune I will only write or pick a particular song because I can relate to it. If I can’t “sell it”, I won’t perform it because it would never come across genuine.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d take my friend first to the beach! Hermosa Beach to be exact! Small beach town, great vibe, great restaurants and bars. Depending on the time of year, taking her to a live music performance would definitely be on the list! Sadly, this year during the pandemic more restaurants and bars are closing. One of the local live hot spots, Saint Rocke just closed their doors and it was very sad for the South Bay. It was a great little venue that hosted a lot of touring bands. For now we have to rely on summer concerts and festivals until new places pop up in the beach area. I would also take her to eat at some of my favorite places in Hermosa. Here are a few: Zanes, Palmilla, Tower 12. Oh, and we love Hudson House in Redondo! Too many to list. One more is Tony’s on the Redondo Pier! You have to get a drink at the circle bar up the stairs. But don’t tell anyone it’s our local secret! Some great local places to see music is, The Standing Room, and of course the famous, Lighthouse Cafe.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Who do I want to Shoutout to? So many people! Some who have passed (ie, Etta James), but most who are present and still encouraging me and the band even through the current pandemic (2020). Most importantly, my boyfriend and amazing musician Doug Woolverton. He has taught me so much over the last few years and working with him has been so much fun! Aside from my family, I‘d love to write specific names, but in the event I leave some out (and I wouldn’t want to do that), I’ll do my best in explaining… I have to say I’ve been blessed in meeting the most amazing people/fans through music. Most of the people I meet are the ones who love and appreciate live music. My favorite people! One of my very favorite things to do is perform live! There’s nothing like it. When the band and I have finished a show and we feel great, there’s nothing greater than a fan telling us how they loved the show, or how they felt a certain way from that one particular song. This is how we connect and remain in each others lives. Again, I have crossed the patsh of some amazing supportive people who have shared our music with their friends, family, or festival promoters and that means a lot to us. Showing our fans that each and every show is just as important as the one before and always performing each song with as much passion as we feel shows them we care! And we truly do!
first photo taken by, Steve Cramer (writing photo) 2nd photo by, dirkbag.com (hands in the air performance)