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House Shows Take Singer-Songwriter Trevor Borden on Tour

David Mendoza

Texas singer-songwriter Trevor Borden has always been at home on the road and in wide open spaces. The only catch is that those wide open spaces were once the Masai Mara and the Serengeti Plain, places that exist only in the imaginations of most of us.

Trevor Borden playing, "The Baby in the Lilac."

Credit Geoff Jensen

Borden was born in Nairobi and grew up in East Africa, to American parents. But his musical interest began when he was living in Lisbon, Portugal, and played in punk rock bands. And then he came to southern California to go to college, and that's when his music started to evolve.

He now lives in Texas with his wife, but spends a lot of time on the road, playing mostly house shows, which is what brought him to Milwaukee earlier this summer. Borden prefers these kinds of intimate shows, because they make him feel like part of the community. "You get to be in a new city but with a local family and you kind of get this new experience that you wouldn't get if you're just passing through," he says. 

Trevor Borden playing, "We All Want to Believe."

Borden says his current life in Texas is very different from his upbringing in East Africa, where the nearest gas station was a four-hour drive. "Life is extreme. There's extreme drought, there's extreme rains, there's flooding. You can't leave the house because you can't drive anywhere because you'll get stuck in the mud," says Borden. "There's an extreme, very tangible, palpable existence there. You can feel alive; you can feel alive and it's right there, and there's no filters."

Trevor Borden playing, "Purple."

Joy Powers hosts and produces Lake Effect. She joined WUWM January 2016 as a producer for Lake Effect.