It was the Americana Conference weekend, mid-September, 2005. There were a lot of shows I wanted to see at night, always two booked at the same time across town from one another. I'd heard a lot about Sarah Borges, but hadn't heard the CD yet, so I didn't know if she was any good. (Some people, after all, just have very talented or hard-working, expensive publicists.)
It was still early, and I was comfortable at home. But I thought Jimmy Ryan might be playing in her band, I wanted to say hi to him and see him play. She might be good, anyhow. So I got dressed and grabbed my camcorder, and went down to The Basement, a great little joint resuscitated by Grimey and Jeff, where the cool and cutting edge acts are likeliest to appear in Music City.
Grabbed the table front and off center, that way you're not shooting through or around anybody. I'd met the artist outside the club, she was very down home, great chick. She was making a set list. "Looks like a no makeup night" she was saying, running kind of close to show time. I suggested a little lipstick wouldn't do any harm. She was young and fair, long and lean, and her dress was white with blue flowers. She looked like a lot of fun--seemed pretty relaxed, all right.
Bass player was a little guy like myself with a Mustang, I like those and any short scale bass. He was very animated, so we got into it a little as the players took their places and tuned up. The house lights came down, and a hush slowly came over the crowd. I'm glad I had the camera running at the top because they put the room right on its ass in a heartbeat.
Everybody on stage had attitude, and personality. I was having a good time, great songs played passionately at the right volume. I was lucky to be in front of Mike Castellana, on steel and guitar, and he was kickin ass big time. Sarah was really sexy and very smart, excellent front person, very credible. Star quality. Somebody you could really get behind.
The band had obviously done a lot of shows together, and held the crowd closely. Near the end, Sarah asked the audience if they wanted to hear a sad song or stay up tempo, and unfortunately the party rules. But you can hear all the songs on their fabulous debut, Silver City, on Blue Corn. Here are three video clips from the show:
Later that night, the band and I ran into each other at The Mercy Lounge, up front for the Robbie Fulks show, which was unbelievable as well. We talked a little bit, and the more I heard, the better I liked her.
We're very big on this act--she is the new Americana artist to watch this year. continue