By Anna Young
After spending more than a decade perfecting their music, local band New Middle Class will take the stage Saturday night at the Putnam Arts Council as they celebrate the release of their second album.
Yorktown residents Mike and Barbara Borok met nearly 40 years ago and fell in love to the sound of music after Barbara happened to sit in on an audition for the bassist in Mike’s band. Not long after, Barbara, who had never publicly performed, joined the band as a vocalist.
Soon after, the pair wed and moved to Yorktown where their focus shifted to work, raising their two daughters and the suburban life. But music still ran through their veins, and in 1992 they formed New Middle Class, releasing their first self-titled album.
“I think during that time I was starting to write better songs,” said Mike Borok, a songwriter, guitarist and vocalist. “The songs were more interesting and also more emotional.”
With tracks receiving radio play worldwide and top honors at national and international songwriting contests, the duo continued to release tunes and perform gigs in the midst of their busy lives.
“It’s just who we are,” said Barbara, who works in the Peekskill City School District. “When we’re performing together we’re both really listening to each other and it’s a really cool experience to just feel that other person when you’re singing and when it’s going really well we’re just really connected.”
“When Barbara sings it’s beautiful, exciting and moving, and she can really communicate the meaning of the songs,” Mike said.
The musical duo will debut their long-awaited second album, “What’s That Thing,” and treat music lovers to a special two-hour concert this Saturday evening. Also appearing with be special musical guests Dan Pelletier and Wendy Cody.
The album, which was recorded and produced at their home studio, explores a range of musical styles and genres that gives each song its own character and unique sound.
“We’ve been saving up all of our best songs for this album,” Mike said. “People listen to the music and then they listen to the song and figure out what’s it about. So to me, it’s got to sound good, but we were trying to do that the best that we could.”
Local music fans might recognize the couple from performances in various coffee shops or local venues, including the John C. Hart Memorial Library and the Putnam County 4-H Fair. They have also performed at national music festivals including the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas, the Lake County Folk Festival in Chicago and the South Florida Folk Festival.
While it may have taken more than a decade for the Borok’s to create their newest album, with Mike, a former software developer, enjoying retirement and fully dedicating himself to his music, he anticipates their next album, “Arguing with God,” will be released this fall.
But it most certainly won’t be their last album, the duo assured.
“There are all these other songs we have to get out there because we have a lot of new stuff that’s really good,” Barbara said. “After we release our third album there has to be another one coming out the following year because they’re just really good songs.”
New Middle Class will perform their new album “What’s That Thing?” at 8 p.m. this Saturday, June 16 at the Putnam Arts Council, located at 521 Kennicut Hill Rd. in Mahopac. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10; reservations are recommended. For more information, call 845-803-8622 or visit www.newmiddleclass.com.
Songs are available for purchase on all major digital distributors, including iTunes and Amazon.