Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sarah Borges Will Be At SXSW...

and so will I.

Every time I hear the opening bars of “The Day We Met”, the sparkling kick-off to one of 2007’s overlooked gems, Sarah Borges’ Diamonds in the Dark, it reminds me of Dwight Yoakam’s Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc. Etc. I can think of no higher praise. Sarah Borges and her band, The Broken Singles, seem to be channeling a freewheeling mix of early Dwight Yoakam, Lone Justice, Lucinda Williams with an almost punk-like spirit that seems missing from most of today’s female Americana artists. Neko Case, Patty Griffin, Jenny Lewis and Kelly Willis are still flying the flag and making good records, but for the most part they seem stuck in moodier, mid-tempo grooves.

It’s been a long time since a female fronted alt country record showed the spunk and had the balls of Diamonds in the Dark, and if you’ve felt the likes of Maria McKee, Lucinda Williams, Kasey Chambers, Kim Richey and Iris DeMent have let you down in recent years, do yourself a favor and check out Sarah Borges. Standout tracks are the opener “The Day We Met”, the bar-room stomp of “Stop and Think It Over”, the pseudo title track “Come Back to Me”, a cover of X’s heartbreaking elegy of a life lost and a life soldiering on, plus a faithful reading of Dolly Parton’s “False Eyelashes”, with its “a record played in my home town is my only claim to fame” hook a sad refrain that all those “still looking for that big break” artists will resignedly recognize. Did I even mention that the Borges-penned “Lord Only Knows” deserves to be a hit?

Unfortunately I missed her recent Philly appearance (the Saturday before Christmas? Don’t you people have kids and Christmas parties to tend to?) but will rectify that soon by catching her at the indie music schmoozefest/mecca, Austin’s SXSW. To tide you (and me) over, here’s her “Stop and Think It Over” video (where Borges radiates like a dream mix of Marisa Tomei and Sarah Silverman) plus two tracks – “The Day We Met” and “Lord Only Knows” – both recorded live at The Iron Horse in Northampton,MA on 9/22/07.

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