Steve Forbert w/ Sarah Borges - 11/20
at City Winery New York City
- 10:00pm (Estimated End Time)
From the comparative essay of the new disc’s title song, “Compromised” (complete with catchy chorus and signature harmonica solo), to the exasperated advice for “everyman” on the album closer, “Whatever, Man,” Steve Forbert leaves no stone unturned in his exploration of life, love, turmoil and survival.
After years with local bands, Steve Forbert left his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi in his early 20s and headed for the Big Apple in search of recording deals and larger audiences. He started out playing for change at Grand Central Station and hitting every open mic night he could before eventually moving into the club scene at infamous spots like New York City’s CBGB’s. At a time when rootsy rock was fading in favor of punk-edged bands such as the Ramones, Talking Heads, and Blondie, Forbert’s folk-pop “Romeo’s Tune” hit #11 on the charts and brought him into the international spotlight. Critics and the public embraced his melodic and lyrical styles, a more traditional sound among the post-disco punk and rock of the late ’70s and early ’80s. Always following his own instincts, Forbert says, “I’ve never been interested in changing what I do to fit popular style and needs.”
And that’s the motto he has lived by since the release of his debut album, Alive on Arrival, in 1978. Rolling Stone contributing editor David Wild recently wrote that “now or then, you would have been hard-pressed to find a debut effort that was simultaneously as fresh and accomplished as Alive on Arrival. It was like a great novel by a young author who somehow managed to split the difference between Mark Twain and J. D. Salinger.”
Change is something that takes a little getting used to. If you need proof of this, ask the soulful singer-songwriter Sarah Borges. After a long and successful stint with her band, The Broken Singles, 2011 marked the band’s breakup and Sarah embarking on a solo career. Whether it be through performances or her writing, Massachusetts native Borges has learned to dazzle – and do it well. That ability can be heard all over her 2014 Radio Sweetheart album, as well as her follow-up, 2016’s Good and Dirty EP. She attributes that ability to a very eclectic sound, which she comes by naturally, she says, “I would say that my sound is straight up rock and roll, but it’s the sum total of what my record collection looks like. The new record is certainly more Americana than the last record was. It’s also more rock than the last record. I would say that it’s a version of the live shows – a lot of loud guitars and loud singing. You can certainly dance to it.”
For Good and Dirty EP, Borges received some all-star help in the producer’s chair. “I got to work with Eric “Roscoe” Ambel who has such a great track record – Steve Earle, Bottle Rockets, Joan Jett. I had met him through some mutual friends. He’s producing and playing guitar on it.” As the release date of the album beckons, look for Sarah Borges to be in her natural habitat. “We’re going to be on the road a lot. I was on tour with the Broken Singles for about eight years, then I stopped to have my son. The music business has changed so much since then, but one thing that hasn’t changed is people still go out and hear live music. I’m going to continue to do that, because that’s what I know how to do.”