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New Middle Class | New Middle Class

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United States - New York

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Pop: Folky Pop Folk: Modern Folk Moods: Mood: Quirky
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New Middle Class

by New Middle Class

Hook-laden, passionately clever folk/pop; great vocals and harmonies. "Adventurously original songwriting, full of warmth, wit and truly delightful and surprising turns of phrase." 1st Place (folk), 3rd Place (pop) Mid-Atlantic Song Contest.
Genre: Pop: Folky Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. I Was Born
3:24 $0.99
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2. Buy One, Get One Free
4:02 $0.99
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3. Cradle
4:09 $0.99
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4. She's Cool
4:01 $0.99
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5. Television Sky
4:12 $0.99
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6. Dan & Joe (and Sometimes Mo')
3:51 $0.99
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7. Red River Flood
4:03 $0.99
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8. I'm Talking To You
3:07 $0.99
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9. Misery Loves Company
4:59 $0.99
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10. Into My Life
2:18 $0.99
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11. Give It Back
3:42 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
NEW NEWS! We were just selected as finalists in the 2006 South Florida Folk Festival Songwriters Contest and are looking forward to playing there on Jan 14 & 15.

"Cradle" was the Grand Prize winner ( !!! ) in the 2003 "Bringing Music To Life" Songwriting Contest and Concert, honoring songs of political and social significance. We performed "Cradle" twice at the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival in Kerrville, Texas on May 31st (once at the finalists' concert and again on the main stage Saturday night); the concert was recorded and will be released on CD. This event, which benefits charities chosen by the three top winners, was organized by Noel Paul Stookey, of Peter, Paul and Mary. Finalists were selected from over 280 entries worldwide by a panel of judges including Len Chandler, Holly Near, Tom Chapin, Christine Lavin, Tom Paxton, Mary Travers, Judy Collins and Peter Yarrow. Since we won the Grand Prize, the Foundation will give $1000 to the organization we choose...probably the Natural Resources Defense Council. Oh, yeah, and we also got a really nice glass trophy for our mantle - looks just like the ones on the big award shows on TV. (BTW a listening sample of "Cradle" is available at NewMiddleClass.com - link on left)

New Middle Class is Barbara Borok (lead vocal) and Mike Borok (guitar/vocal). Their many songwriter awards include, most recently, Grand Prize at the 2003 Music to Life Songwriting Contest at the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas. Intertwined musically and romantically for too many years, they sing about relationships and current events gone awry, sensible footwear, compulsive shopping, the origin of the universe, and desserts.

Their songs are adventurously original, and walk a razor thin line between the funny and the serious. New Middle Class seduces you with catchy melodies, driving rhythms, distinctive vocals and harmonies, and delightfully unexpected twists and turns of the lyrics.

Check out the Song-O-Matic, our truly amazing automatic songwriting tool where you can write a song with New Middle Class - get to Song-O-Matic from our New Middle Class link on the left.

New Middle Class (Barbara and Mike Borok) continues to climb the glamorous ladder of singer/songwriter success with the release of their self titled CD, which enjoys national airplay and:

2006 Finalists - South Florida Folk Festival Song Competition
2005 Finalists - Avalon Rising Star Contest (the "clothing optional" festival - now that was fun!)
2003 1st Place - Music To Life Contest - Kerrville Folk Festival
2002 Southwest/SE Regional Folk Alliance Formal Showcase Artist
2002 Just Plain Folks Lyrics Contest Finalist
2001 John Lennon International Song Contest Honorable Mention
2001 Mid-Atlantic Song Contest Finalist - Gospel/Inspirational
2000 South Florida Folk Festival Finalist
2000 Great American Song Contest Honorable Mention
2000 American Songwriter Magazine Lyric Contest - 1st Runner-up
2000 Unisong Song Contest Finalist
1st place (Folk) and 3rd place (Pop) in the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest
2nd place - Lake County (Chicago) Folk Festival
Finalists - 2000 South Florida Folk Festival Song Competition
Honorable Mention -Great American Song Contest 2000
Winners New Jersey Folk Festival's New Folk Showcase
Winners WWUH-FM (University of Hartford) Folk Next Door Contest

New Middle Class plays contemporary folk, with highly original lyrics that often walk the line between funny and serious. CD instrumentation consists of acoustic and electric guitars, drums and bass, plus keyboard, mandolin, violin/viola, tabla, dumbek, congas, harmonica etc as needed.

Guest musicians on the CD include guitarist Marc Shulman (Suzanne Vega, Cliff Eberhardt, Jewel) and drummer Gary Burke (Joe Jackson, Graham Parker).

New Middle Class doesn't play your typical love songs. Barbara and Mike speak with voices of different characters as they sing about relationships, television, sensible footwear and more. Fast Folk says: "Great melodic songs, full of warmth, wit and truly delightful and surprising turns of phrase."

Mike (guitar/vocal) and Barbara (lead vocal) have been intertwined musically and romantically for many years. Described as "intelligent fun," New Middle Class plays in clubs and coffeehouses in the Northeast region ... in between working a day job, raising a family, yard work, and recording their second CD.

New Middle Class is also one third of SongLand, along with Dan Pelletier and Joe Giacoio. "Edge of your seat performances and skillful songwriting so rife with nip-and-tuck and derring-do, it makes all others seem namby pamby by comparison."

New Middle Class appears on two compilation CDs: Fast Folk #805 and The Folk Next Door 4, and two of their songs were winners of WHUD-FM's New Music Preview.

Reviews and Quotes:
Five stars (highest rating): "Expertly-crafted pop and exquisite harmonies are the cornerstone of New Middle Class' new self-titled CD...Barbara and Mike Borok show off their unique, often tongue-in-cheek talents...a thoroughly enjoyable release from start to finish."
- Rhythm and News Magazine

"Did you ever notice how folk and punk have common themes? Specifically, I'm talking about righteous indignation and (usually political) fist waving. Well, the married team of Barbara and Mike have lots to comment about on this nearly concept album, covering a lifetime. The punk/folk correlation comes in songs like "Buy One, Get One Free" ("It was a shopping spree/When I realized/That the merchandise was consuming me") and "Into My Life" ("You've taken your knife/And cut your way into my life."). But I don't want to give the wrong impression: Barbara and Mike, though having a somewhat cynical view of life, are really good singer/songwriters who use the formula to stretch its usual boundaries by playing from the inside track. Barbara's vocals are sweet and inviting (as with Mike, who mostly backs and occasionally fronts), and the songs are smart and catchy. And, what's more, they make you think (especially my fave cut, "Cradle")."
-Robert Barry Francos, Shredding Paper #12 March 2002

"The quality of the writing and performance here is self evident. This classy duo clearly knows how to make a song work on all levels...The vocals here are superb...Here are some lovely personal stories, some social commentary, even some disturbing concepts...it's easy to understand why these songs win awards." -Sound Bytes

"Their self-titled debut CD captures all the personality, energy and creativity that makes their live performances so enjoyable...Hooky and tastefully produced enough to be commercial, but probably too intelligent and perhaps a little too unique for the masses. Of course I could be wrong." - Carla Ulbrich

"A rare indie gem that holds its own with the majors."
- Kenny Weissberg, KXST-FM, San Diego, CA

"Your CD is one of the best I've heard this year (and maybe last year too) ... You've done a great job for your first release! I particularly appreciate the sense of humor in many of your songs."
- Steve Stiert, co-producer of HVmusic.com (Hudson Valley Music)

"Barbara's vocals are passionate - heartfelt without becoming overly dramatic or sweet. And, in my opinion, Mike Borok is one of the finest songwriters writing anywhere today."
- HVMA Newsletter

"Thoughtful and original...Outstanding songwriting. Adventurous, highly creative lyrics. Great melody and production touches. I really admire this level of artistic songwriting. Bravo!"
- The Great American Song Contest 2000

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Reviews


to write a review

Carla Ulbrich

Hooky and tastefully produced enough to be commercial, but probably too intellig
In case you are not familiar with the acoustic duo New Middle Class, they are Mike and Barbara Borok of Jefferson Valley, NY (Hudson Valley area). Barbara is usually the lead vocalist, an earthy soprano with a great range and a strong expressive voice. Mike is the guitarist, main songwriter and harmony vocalist.

If you have seen NMC live, you know that they are energetic, lively performers, they write intelligent lyrics, choosing their words deliberately, and they are full of personality.

What a relief - their self-titled debut CD captures all the personality, energy and creativity that makes their live performances so enjoyable. And NMC have obviously given as much meticulous care to this project as they do their songwriting and live performances, from the choice of songs to the quality of performance to the striking photos inside the booklet.

They have chosen 11 songs, all NMC originals. The arrangements and mixes left the duo up front, so it almost feels like they’re in the room, even if you’re listening on a cheap portable player like mine.

Highlights of the album include: “I Was Born” opens the CD with a three and a half minute romp through Narcissism; “Buy One Get One Free” is an ear-tickling Middle Eastern sounding arrangement lamenting the seduction of the shopping mall; “She’s Cool” features Mike on lead vocals - a fun tune about a nearly unapproachably hip chick. In “Television Sky,” two people sitting and fantasizing in front of the TV meet via TV magic. “Dan & Joe (and Sometimes Mo’)” is an inside joke, but NMC are hip enough to realize that, and they put the explanation in the liner notes. It’s an inside joke worth getting inside.

Hooky and tastefully produced enough to be commercial, but probably too intelligent and perhaps a little too unique for the masses. Of course I could be wrong.
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David Broida

Good listening and recommended.
The New Middle Class has a new self-titled album on CD, and it's fresh and refreshing, good to listen to, and good for you, too. The songs are crisp, clear, straight-forward, and easy to understand, and there's a positive outlook on life. The New Middle Class is Mike and Barbara Borok + friends accompanying, and the album starts out with "I Was Born", a good way to begin, with a little tribute to parents - "--a lovely girl who danced till dawn; with a handsome man in a uniform". I like the rhyme.

"Cradle" is another good song - like some others here, with its roots in family. It points to a parents' desire to protect their kids. And
relationships get some attention, too, with "I'm Talking To You", that has this line: "I can't stand not know where I stand--", + "Don't be so remote; devote some time to me".

The New Middle Class comes out of the music-rich Hudson River Valley north of New York City, and one of the players they've garnered to lend support is Marc Shulman, an amazing guitarist who's played with Patty Larkin and others (Jewel?), I believe.

Good listening and recommended.

David Broida

Folk Music (www.escribe.com/music/folkmusic)
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