Zak Borden & The Lizzies

Zak Borden & The Lizzies


Lonesome soundcapes ... driving twisty instrumentals. Pays homage to roots music of the south injecting it with rythmic turns and subtle hints at newer acoustic forms. Original songs in the spirit of Townes Van Zandt, Buddy Miller and Gillian Welch.


Zak Borden is a picker, songwriter and singer of American roots music. He has clocked tens of thousands of road miles as a sideman in the US and Europe and worked with leading purveyors of traditional and contemporary acoustic music. His songs are the lonesome, longing kind...the sort that comes from the fertile ground somewhere between homesteading and highway travel. Zak's voice dips from high tenor to a rich low baritone. New groove laden mandolin instrumentals are offered up with fire and sass as they pull at tradition.

Zak was born amidst the folk music scare in Cambridge, Mass where he was exposed to all kinds of roots music. His uncle played in New Mexico's Last Mile Ramblers (with Junior Brown). His sister plays banjo, a cousin that tours the world rockin', His grandfather built guitars and fiddles and his songwriting aunt worked and played at the renowned Longview Recording Studios. But things became critical at 16, when one midnight in July he witnessed two members of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys playing on the other words...Zak had no choice.

Zak has proved to be a very versatile player having worked with Rocker Casey Neill, bluegrass Grammy nominee and Prairie Home Companion veteran Kate MacKenzie, the late Scottish fiddler Johnny Cunningham, Hanz Araki, Songwriter Willy Mason, Martin Hayes... But his musical world was promptly expanded when he teamed up with Jazz bass legend Buell Neidlinger (Cecil Taylor, David Grisman) with whom he studied and performed in a later incarnation of the cult favorite "Buellgrass".

Zak is currently performing with:
-ZAK BORDEN & THE LIZZIES (Mike Grigoni-dobro, Matt Weiner - upright bass, Paul Elliot - fiddle)
-WILLY MASON (Indie/roots songwriter)
-KATYA CHOROVER TRIO (Soulful folk roots)
Guit, mando, 3 part harmonies with Andy Stoller (Tracy Chapman, Warren Zevon) on bass.
-BUELL & HIS STRINGLICKERS- Featuring the legendary Buell Neidlinger - cello, Dave Keenan - viola, Ruthie Dornfeld - violin, Paul Elliot - fiddle, zb -mando.


Selected Discography:

As Leader:
ZAK BORDEN (acoustic Americana, Bluegrass)
'Whistles and Steam' -- (1999 Tradical Records)

As Guest:

DARREN SMITH (Indie, Alt. Country)
'Last Drive' (2006, Crafty Records)

WILLY MASON (indie rock):
'Live at the Showbox' (2006, Grandma's Basement)

'When The Ocean Gets Rough'
(Astralwerks/EMI/Virgin) Due out March, 2007
Features Roseanne Cash, J.D. Foster, Nina Violet others. Produced by Doug Easley (Wilco, Sonic Youth)

'The Bootlegger's Daughter' (2007, Skinny Dennis)

As member:
CASEY NEILL TRIO (Irish Americana power trio)
'Skree' -- (1998 Appleseed)
Played and arranged.
'Portland West' -- (2002 Appleseed)
Played and arranged. Mandolin, Lead and Harmony Vocals

'Riff Raff' -- (1995 Mock Turtle)
Mandolin, harmonica.
'Casey Neill' -- (1997 Appleseed)
Co-produced and played mandolin, octave mandolin and cuica. Features Martin Hayes, Cary Black, others.
Where Have all the Flowers Gone -- (1999 Appleseed)
Pete Seeger Tribute Compilation. Features Bruce Springsteen,Indigo Girls, Ani DiFranco, others. Track also features Martin Hayes.
'Memory Against Forgetting' -- (Due out Jan 2005 on Amy Ray's Daemon Records)
Brooklyn Bridge' -- (Due out 2007)
Harmony vocals, harmonica. Also Features Johnny Cunningham, John Wesley Harding, Erin McKeown.

HANZ ARAKI (trad. Irish songs and instrumentals)
'Six of One Five of the Other' -- (2004)
Mandolin, Guitar. Played and Arranged

'Little Fires' (Due early 2007)

HOLLY FIGUEROA (Americana, Folk)

'Gifts and Burdens' (Cake Records, due 2007)

WITH KATYA CHOROVER (Soulful new roots songwriter)
Played on all 3 of her records.
'How This Feels' -- (1993 Cat and the Moon)
Mandolin, harmony vocals.
'The Clearing' -- (1998 Cat and the Moon)
Harmony vocals, mandolin also features Michael Grey, Paul Benoit, others.
'Off the Map' -- (2001 Cat and the Moon)
Mandolin also features Jessica Lurie, Joe Trump, others.

JEMIMA JAMES (Alt-Country Diva)
'Slaughterhouse of Love' -- ('99)
Mandolin on four tracks. Also features David Hamburger.

TIMOTHY HULL (Great songwriter with Euro/Celtic spin)
'Brambleland' -- (1999 Busker Pop)

'Dreamers Everywhere' - (2005, Butterfly Sound)

EVA TREE (Folk, Jazz)
'Sail Away' (2006)

Set List

Selections from solo project and new takes on trad and standards of old-time and bluegrass.