(photo Joan Hathaway)
It's happening...Radio Sweetheart is being printed RIGHT NOW, and will be shipped to all of the amazing donors who made it possible in the next month or so. Thank you so much for your patience, I know it's been a long wait, but I think it's worth it. The album will be available in the online store as soon as it's here.
With the release of the new record I'm preparing to hit the road, shows in MA, CT, VA and PA, lots of them with the fabulous Girls, Guns and Glory. I'm also headed to the annual South by Southwest music conference in Austin, TX this March. I'll be working to showcase the record at an event that's always been a success for me. Both of the labels I've signed to have seen me first at SXSW, and I've made so many great band friends that I'll keep for life.
This year is a little different; now that I'm a mama and I've been away from the scene for a couple of years I'm taking a different approach to touring. In other words, the family is hitting the road to Texas together. And that's where you come in. I'm headed to Texas with my son, Elliott, my husband and musical partner, Lyle Brewer, and my mum. We'll be flying there and back, staying for a week, and doing our darndest to get this thing off the ground.
I've started a Pledge Music campaign to defray our costs. The link is below, and you can read more about what we're doing there as well. Givers can expect two new songs, an online concert, and some other goodies. Our goal is $2000, which is the minimum we'd need for the four of us to stay, play and eat for the week.
In closing, with both the release of Radio Sweetheart and the trip to SXSW, I'm hoping to strike that balance between being someone's parent and being a musician. I guess I'm trying to make us both proud:)
Here's a great article penned by Chad Berndtson about the state of me, now:
Sarah Borges Mixes Motherhood and Music - Patriot Ledger, 5/11/13
Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles had a hell of a run, with hard-charging shows, a slew of snappy country-rock albums, and well-earned national attention to show for the roughly seven years they spent together.
At some point, however, the realities of a hardworking, low-earning touring band in a sputtering economy became just that – realities – and so did other needs, from stability to family commitments, enter the picture.
“I think we all hit a place where it was time to stop. We ran out of money. Everyone was living on peanut butter sandwiches,” Borges told The Patriot Ledger in a recent catch-up chat. “We’d gotten nice write-ups in the New York Times and Rolling Stone, and I don’t know if we could have broken through if we’d kept going. But it just wasn’t sustainable, emotionally or financially. Two of the [Broken Singles] are 10 years older than me and had things they wanted to do. We all parted the best of friends.”
To a casual observer who knew Taunton-bred Borges only as a road warrior – and the steadily mounting critical buzz she’d garnered over several strong albums and tours – the end of 2010 looked like a hiatus. In reality, she’d kept on, only with far different priorities to hold her: she married Broken Singles guitarist Lyle Brewer in September 2010, and then the following summer of 2011, gave birth to son Elliott, now nearly 2.
“August 2010 was our last tour as the Broken Singles,” she recalls. “Lyle and I had our wedding and enjoyed that time of life for a bit, and then being pregnant was a whole other crazy experience. I did play right up until the month I had my son, intermittently, and then stopped. But then again, we started making the new record when Elliott was three months old. I did want to keep up some kind of continuum.”
Borges’ live dates have become more frequent again. Though the Broken Singles no longer perform – save for the occasional reunion, usually around Thanksgiving – she is playing full-band shows, including May 18 at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge and June 8 at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River with a band consisting of drummer Mike Piehl, bassist Kimon Kirk and guitarist Russell Chudnofsky, all local scene regulars and longtime associates.
In between, she’ll be mixing in solo dates – including an opening slot for Dave Alvin and the Guilty Ones at Johnny D’s in Somerville June 6 – and also a stray show or two with a new group called No Love, a local indie-rock collective in which Borges is more team member than frontwoman.
It’s so hard to have come from doing something where you were a gang,” she said. “We were all best friends and we did it for so many years, and it was such a high-intensity situation. I mean, I know the people I’m playing with now well, but in that [band] situation, you’re so familiar with each other that you know what they eat for breakfast and whether or not they’re wearing clean socks.”
“Boston has a strong music community,” Borges notes. “It’s not like the middle of America where there might be two or three venues in the town and people aren’t willing to come out. Some of the places in Boston have come and gone, but the stalwarts are still here. Still, if you go away for a little bit, you always wonder if people will still care if you come back.”
Borges discovered not long after she returned to regular music that her fans were definitely still out there. She raised about $15,000 as part of a crowd-funding campaign for the first new album since the Broken Singles disbanded, a collection of newer songs called Radio Sweetheart.
“So much of my confidence was gone, and I was wondering if I was even relevant, and something like that makes you feel relevant pretty quick,” he said. “Recording the album was a very loving experience. I’d bring Elliott in and nurse him between takes, and it was a mix of stuff: Broken Singles songs that didn’t make the cut originally, or newbies.”
Radio Sweetheart was cut at Woolly Mammoth Sound, the Waltham studio owned by Dave Minehan of The Neighborhoods, and presiding was Steve Berlin, best-known for his 30-plus years playing sax and keyboards in Los Lobos, but nearly as prolific a producer in a variety of genres.
“We didn’t know him well, but he came to a show in Portland [Oregon],” Borges said of Berlin’s involvement. “It’s not like we spent all night talking or anything but we did click and he said I’d love to do it, so not long into the process he flew to Boston. He’s such a cool presence. He’s the horn player primarily in Los Lobos but is really in touch with drums and keys and everything.”
But it’s there in the story of Radio Sweetheart where things have stalled. The fans who contributed to Borges’ recording have received digital copies of the album, but as of this writing, Borges doesn’t have a label and isn’t distributing the album.
“We are in limbo right now,” she admits. “I want to try and do the record some justice for all the people who so kindly gave, and to me, that means finding the right label to put it out and then promote it doing all the things I don’t necessarily know how to do. It’s hard. So many labels have closed or are closing, and we’ve been through so many near-misses with this: ‘yes, they’re into it, and now they’re not.’ Probably 10 to 15 labels have said ‘maybe’ and then passed on it. Worst case scenario I’ll find a way to put it out myself and work really hard behind it.”
The Radio Sweetheart story continues, but Borges has no problem prioritizing.
“I have a kid who needs my time and if I’m on the road in a band for eight weeks at a time, he’s not getting it,” she says. “A lot of labels want four months of touring booked ahead of time to support a release, but that’s no longer something I’m willing to do or something I feel is totally necessary anymore. I know how to do targeted touring at this point. We’ll make it work somehow.”
Borges says home needs have also weighed on Brewer, who’s spent the better part of the last two years on tour with the Ryan Montbleau Band.
“Lyle has missed a lot of days with Elliott, and he’s out there doing what he does and doing his job, but I think he also feels like he wants to be present,” she says. “Ryan is awesome and there have been some great opportunities and family trips with those guys. It’s been a great mix. I think [Lyle] will ease out of it gently and shift to focus on family and solo stuff.”
In the midst of it all, Borges has still found time to be part of No Love, whose cast includes a number of her favorite local collaborators and harkens back, she says, to the music she loved when she was 18.
“We have a couple of Boston shows and we’re thinking about making a record,” she says. “It’s definitely not going to be for all of my fans, but this is for the love of the stuff we listened to at that time. And we all have five kids between us, so we get it.”
Read more: MUSIC PREVIEW: Sarah Borges mixes motherhood and music - Quincy, MA - The Patriot Ledger http://www.patriotledger.com/entertainment/x464928326/MUSIC-PREVIEW-Sarah-Borges-mixes-motherhood-and-music#ixzz2Tyj9MoL1
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