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FOLK OFF | Borofsky, far right, says Girlyman has rebounded after a health scare and is back on the road right where they like to be.

Nate Borofsky, the lone male in queer-folksters Girlyman, is just fine with his role

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

The last time Girlyman toured these parts, Nate Borofsky had a chicken fried steak at the same place they were gigging: Deep Ellum’s All Good Café.

The band has changed since then, from adding a drummer to experiencing a serious health scare. What hasn’t changed is Borofsky’s position in the band: He’s the sole member putting the “man” in Girlyman.

“Oh, I’m used to it and for the most part I kind of enjoy it,” he admits. “I think if I were in an all-male situation, I’d be a little freaked out and looking for my girls.”

The trio became a quartet with the addition of J.J. Jones last year, which made Borofsky wonder: They had gotten along just fine without drums. Their signature three-part harmonies and acoustic guitars kept the band’s sound on a joyous cloud. Would drums weigh them down? Borofsky worried fans would revolt.

“Personally, I’m very surprised how natural it all has happened,” he says. “To suddenly add a new member was a change, but it felt so easy and it feels like she’s always been with us. And the feedback was so positive. Plus, we can now go much further and have a bigger sound, yet she also plays light. It’s very dynamic.”

The band may not get as big a dinner as last time, but refreshments are likely when they play the Fifth Street Coffeehouse in Fort Worth Saturday.

Although their last album, Everything’s Easy, came out back in 2009, they enjoy staying on the road, not only to support the CD, but also to make a buck. That took a detour when bandmate Doris Muramatsu was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia late last year. CML is treatable with prescription drugs and has a high survival rate, but the band still had to scrap tour dates … and their primary source of income. That was a bump, but the band is back on track — with some caution.

“Her health has been really good,” he says. “In many ways, she’s responded really well. We’ve been touring a couple of weeks on and then off, but it’s been great with her.”

As for Borofsky, he’s fine in his testosteronic role in the band and the girls don’t get in the way if he might want to mack on a cute guy in the audience.

If only he would let that happen, he sighs.

“Honestly, I just wanna go back to the hotel room after a show.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 10, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

WATCH: Brannan and Himan at The Loft

Last night’s show with Jay Brannan and Eric Himan offered a mix of oil and water. Both armed with acoustic guitars, Himan rocked the venue while Brannan soothed the almost sold-out crowd. With such a spectrum, the ovations for both were loud and blatantly appreciative.

Brannan croons like no other and he confessed onstage to being sick and vomiting the whole day prior to the show. He showed no signs of that as he sang with crystal clarity. His voice was pristine and you almost think you’re listening to a CD. He performed a healthy set also, for being so sick. “Housewife” may be his most popular song and it was well-received, but I’d have to say “Beautifully” and “Charleston,” his cover of a friend’s song, were fantastic highlights. He captured the exquisiteness of each melody nicely in both. Although his work is on the mellower side, at times the set needed a slight jolt and the ballads began to run into each other. Brannan was never tepid, but came oh-so close.

On a side note, he talked about how he loved returning to Texas as he can find really good Mexican food here. But when he cited Pappasito’s as his taco destination, we nearly choked on the ice in our drinks.

Himan, on the other hand, killed his set. With a playlist of about six songs, he took us up and down with the stirring “Protest Song” to a decent cover of Journey’s “Faithfully.” He’s a lot grittier live than he is recorded and it was a revelation. Where Brannan’s set was like a zen meditation, Himan’s bit was bombastic.

Last night was one of those special shows where the headliner met expectations nicely and the opener left a strong and exciting impression.

—  Rich Lopez