As rock phenoms go, Sarah Borges has never been easy to pin down.
Since bursting onto the national scene in 2005 as the lead singer of the Broken Singles, she hasn’t allowed a speck of dust to settle on her sound or her story. Instead, the Massachusetts native has just kept on moving and shaking.
She’s gone from frontwoman to solo act, to frontwoman again. She’s deftly navigated the weird road that winds from emerging artist to veteran performer. She’s made seven records and racked up countless touring miles. She’s collected shiny things, including an Americana Music Award nomination, multiple Boston Music Awards, and song credits on TV shows Sons of Anarchy and The Night Shift.
Bands like Los Strait Jackets and Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys have brought her out on the road with them. Cowboy laureates Steve Berlin and Dave Alvin have lined up to collaborate with her.
Sarah Borges and The Broken Singles perform at the Oats Park Arts Center’s Barkley Theatre on Saturday. The box office, Art Bar and galleries open at 7 p.m., with the performance beginning at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $17 for members, $20 for nonmembers and are available at Jeff’s Copy Express, ITT at Naval Air Station Fallon or from the Churchill Arts Center by calling 775-423-1440 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
A free Conversation with the artist begins at 3 p.m., also at the Oats Park Arts Center.
There’s never been much daylight between Sarah and re-invention. Even as she’s weathered the inevitable ups and downs in an industry that’s perpetually imploding, she’s stayed the course, creating an impressive body of work one album at a time, personal plot twists and genres be damned.
“Critics have always loved Sarah, but that doesn’t mean they’ve figured out what to do with her,” said Binky, her longtime bassist and best friend of 15 years.
He has a point. Conduct even a quick Google search, and you’ll find that she’s been dubbed everything — from an Americana darling to a roots rocker to a cowpunk to the next Sheryl Crow — by tastemakers as diverse as The New York Times and SiriusXM Outlaw Country Radio.
Borges’s unbridled joy at making music two decades into a storied career comes through loud and clear in her latest long player, aptly titled “Love’s Middle Name.” Her third studio record with the Broken Singles, it’s a muscular 10-song cycle that pulses with gritty, unfettered emotion. As the kids like to say, this record has all the feels.
On “House on a Hill,” Sarah pines for a blue-eyed ex and the home they once shared. But instead of being a maudlin affair, the album’s centerpiece track grabs listeners with raw vocals and a wring-out-your-heart chorus over a no-nonsense drumbeat and driving guitars. On the headshaking “Lucky Rocks,” she bewitches the object of her desire with love spells and sweet somethings, like “Lay here down with me for a while/Tell me a story or a secret/Tell me a lie.” On the hard-charging “Headed Down Tonight,” she’s more than a little bit dangerous, summoning her hookup to follow her off the beaten path into the woods.
After their Fallon debut, Sarah Borges and The Broken Singles will spend the next six weeks on the East Coast playing at nine different venues in seven states.