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Sarah Borges

Idioma disponible: inglés
Firebrand singer and songwriter Sarah Borges has become a star on the Americana scene for her passionate, gently gritty mixture of country, blues, and roots rock. As a vocalist, she possesses a full-bodied instrument that expresses a worldly outlook with a touch of weary vulnerability, while her songs deal with the hard edges of working-class life and the joy and pain that come with relationships. The complex balance of ingredients in her music was present on her 2005 debut Silver City, while her backing band the Broken Singles demonstrated how well they meshed with her songs on 2009's The Stars Are Out. The themes of resilience on Borges' music were especially apt on 2022's Together Alone, a solo album created during a time of major transition in her life. Sarah Borges was born in 1978 and was raised in Taunton, Massachusetts, roughly 40 miles south of Boston. She grew up with a keen interest in music and the performing arts, and majored in musical theater at Boston's Emerson College. During her downtime from studying, Borges played with several indie rock bands, and she developed a passion for the Los Angeles band X, whose sound merged the rough edges of punk with the melodic twang of country and rockabilly. X was her gateway into country and roots music, and she absorbed a rich variety of influences, including Wanda Jackson, Bob Wills, Mahalia Jackson, Merle Haggard, and Bob Dylan. Borges took up songwriting, penning tunes that concerned strong women living through tough times. By 2004, she was touring regularly, and an appearance at that year's South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas, wowed those in attendance. One of the people who caught her set ran a small label called Blue Corn Music, and he immediately offered to sign Borges to a record deal. Her debut album, Silver City, was issued by Blue Corn in 2005. The album earned positive reviews from the alt-country press, and Borges toured heavily in support, forming a road band she called the Broken Singles that was anchored by Binky, a longtime friend who played bass. As Silver City was impressing critics and fans, the venerable roots music label Sugar Hill approached Borges, and signed on to release her next album. 2007's Diamonds in the Dark, credited to Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles, featured nine original songs and covers from Tom Waits, Greg Cartwright, and X. 2009's The Stars Are Out was a tougher and more rock-oriented effort divided half-and-half between Borges' originals and numbers from the likes of NRBQ, Any Trouble, and the Magnetic Fields. The album helped Borges earn a nomination for Best Emerging Artist from the Americana Music Association. Borges and her band set out to document the power of their live show with their next release, a digital concert album titled Live Singles that arrived in 2010. After a three-year layoff from recording, during which Borges and Sugar Hill parted ways, she launched a crowdfunding campaign to finance her next album. The campaign was a success, and 2013's Radio Sweetheart, issued as a solo effort by Lonesome Day Records, was produced by Los Lobos sax man Steve Berlin and engineered by Dave Minehan, who played guitar with the Neighborhoods and the Replacements. Borges worked with another guitarist of note, Eric "Roscoe" Ambel, for her next release, the 2016 EP Good and Dirty, with Ambel playing guitar and keyboards as well as producing the sessions. A new edition of the Broken Singles joined Borges in the studio for the recording of 2018's Love's Middle Name, which saw her returning to Blue Corn Music for distribution. It was her first album written and recorded after she got clean and sober, and more challenges would await her when she made her next record. When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down live music in America in March 2020, Borges, a divorced mother raising a son, had to scramble when she no longer had money coming in from live work. She took a part-time job as a delivery driver for a courier service, and devoted her time at home to writing new material. When she had enough songs for an album, she joined forces with Ambel for a series of makeshift recording sessions. Borges would record her guitar and vocals in her bedroom, and send the tracks to Ambel, who built arrangements around the tunes using performances forwarded to him by musical colleagues around the country. The experiment worked, and Blue Corn issued Together Alone in February 2022.
© Mark Deming /TiVo
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