Sarah Borges & The Broken Singles – Pour House (Raleigh, NC)
Three songs. Thats all it took for Sarah Borges to establish an easy rapport with the 50 or so folks at the Pour House, and for her and the three-piece Broken Singles to make it clear they were offering late-Friday-night energy early on a Thursday night. Its so darn warm, Borges observed at that point, seeming to make eye contact with everybody in the room. Were from Boston, where people are mean and cold. She spent the next hour and a half proving to be the exception to the rule.
Those first tone-setting songs All This Weight Streetwise Man, and Same Old 45 (the best song ever to reference a Looking Glass tune) were all from Silver City, Borges confident, occasionally swaggering debut from last year. Over the course of the evening, she and the band hit seven of the records other nine cuts, ranging from the murder ballad Six Feet Deep and the catchy ideal-world hit Daniel Lee to the short but potent Miss Mary, which worked up a near-rockabilly froth. The shows centerpiece was Ring In The Shape Of A Heart, a sultry number so impressive that its chorus sports two different lines good enough to build a song around.
Somewhat surprisingly, they skipped one of the albums highlights, Teenage Fanclubs Mellow Doubt. But the covers they did tackle reflected an equally adventurous spirit, not to mention a hell of a record collection: Charley Prides Just Between You And Me, Xs Come Back To Me, Gillian Welchs Honey Now, Sam Cookes Bring It On Home To Me, Bob Dylans Outlaw Blues, and the nugget of the night, Stop And Think It Over, from Oblivians/Reigning Sound member Greg Cartwrights old band the Compulsive Gamblers.
Two new originals that were rolled out, the infectious instant new best friend The Day We Met and the sinisterly rocking Diablito, were enough to make one impatient for the next record.
One last cover closed the night, an encore featuring Hank Ballards Open Up Your Back Door, complete with 100 percent audience participation. Frankly, Im not typically up for such things, but had Borges requested that we all clasp hands and sing Kumbaya, I would have been reaching right and left and clearing my throat.
Even more entertaining than the interaction between the stage and the crowd was the onstage interplay between the relatively statuesque Borges and the comparatively, and charmingly, garden gnome-esque Binky, the bassist from Jake Brennans Confidence Men. (Rounding out the Broken Singles are Mike Castellana, a hero all night alternating on pedal steel and electric lead, and drummer Rob Dulaney, another Confidence Man.) Borges and Binky even took it offstage, dancing and dueling the Dylan cover down to a guitar and bass whisper.
Did yall have a good time? Borges asked when it was over, just as un-Boston-like as can be. Yep.