Sarah Borges - Good and Dirty
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Good and Dirty (MRI, 2016)

Sarah Borges

Reviewed by Brian Baker

Sarah Borges spent a good many years road dogging with her longtime band, the Broken Singles - a brilliantly effective display vehicle for her tough-but-tender songcraft - before taking a much needed hiatus to start a family and reflect on her journey to date. With the Broken Singles shelved after a game but ultimately unsuccessful run for the brass ring, Borges went the solo route in every conceivable way; she separated from her husband, Singles guitarist Lyle Brewer, and released the sedate but excellent roots rock gem, "Radio Sweetheart," in 2014, produced by Los Lobos saxophonist Steve Berlin.

There were moments on "Radio Sweetheart" that hinted at Borges' inherent spark to hit the gas and go - particularly "Mind on Me" and the freewheeling "Record on Repeat" - and that ember has been fanned to a four-alarm inferno on her brief, but blistering five-track follow-up, "Good and Dirty." Produced by Eric Roscoe Ambel and featuring his shamblingly perfect band, "Good and Dirty" pummels and careens with the unfettered abandon of Sheryl Crow time tunneling in order to front Sticky Fingers era Rolling Stones or a similarly vintaged Faces.

The proceedings snap to attention with the swaggering rootsy psych squeal of the aptly titled "Tendency to Riot," continues with the loping asskick of "Caught by the Rain" and hits an impossible crescendo with the propulsive and all-too-short "Band Girlfriend." Borges brings it down just a notch on the Lucinda Williams/Grace Potter-flavored power balladry of "Lucky Us," then brings it home with the Beach-Boys-on-Stones-and-steroids bash and pop of "Purple GTO." Sarah Borges has given us half of a great record on "Good and Dirty," so press "repeat" and, as Rockpile implored us so long ago, play that fast thing one more time.

CDs by Sarah Borges

Love's Middle Name, 2018 Good and Dirty, 2016 Radio Sweetheart, 2014

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