Folk-rock band Blame Sally draws from a variety of musical styles, ranging from roots to reflective pop influenced by jazz, folk, gospel and classical music.
The group will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Unitarian Fellowship, 87 Fourth St., Ashland. Tickets cost $20 in advance and are available at Music Coop in Ashland and www.stclairevents.com or by calling 541-535-3562. Tickets will cost $22 at the door, $10 for teenagers, and those younger than 12 will get in free.
Who: Blame Sally
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15
Where: Unitarian Fellowship, 87 Fourth St., Ashland
Tickets: $20 in advance, $22 at the door
Blame Sally is Pam Delgado (guitar, percussion), Renee Harcourt (guitar, bass, banjo, harmonica), Jeri Jones (guitar, bass, Dobro, mandolin) and Monica Pasqual (piano, accordion, keys, melodica). Bassist Rob Strom records and tours with the group.
"Collectively, they create multihued sonic and emotional tapestries, recalling the artful romanticism of Jane Siberry, the rich folk harmonies of the Indigo Girls and the percolating soulfulness of Joy of Cooking," wrote the San Francisco Chronicle.
Founded in 2000, the women put their individual careers aside to form Blame Sally. All in their late 30s or 40s, the women bonded with a fundamental idea.
"We realized that some things that might seem liabilities were actually assets," says Pasqual in a press release. "In truth, the very thing you might be thinking you should hide or isn't going to help you is something that people are excited about."
Shortly after becoming a band, Blame Sally received airplay from a popular San Francisco Bay Area radio station. Its CD, "Severland," topped at No. 1 on XM Satellite Radio's "Starbucks Cafe" in 2007, and in 2009, they shared a bill with folk artist Joan Baez at Stern Grove Festival in San Francisco.
The group released two albums as independent recording artists: "Live No. 1" in 2001 and the eponymous "Blame Sally" in 2004, but garnered the most accolades with "Severland."
All Music Guide wrote that " 'Severland' is the quartet's strongest and most cohesive album ... the first on which they sound more like a proper band than four solo artists working collectively."
Blame Sally also turned some heads when it posted the music video "If You Tell a Lie" on Neil Young's Living With War website. The video peaked at No. 2 in downloads for six weeks and remained in the site's top 10 for months.
Blame Sally boasts strong compositional and vocal skills along with serious instrumental chops.
"I don't think there are many well-known, women singer-songwriters who are good at instruments," Pasqual says. "Ani DiFranco, Bonnie Raitt or Tori Amos, yeah, but they're often backed by men. So people are surprised when they see four women playing really well."
"Speeding Ticket and a Valentine" (2011) is Blame Sally's newest, released on Ninth Street Opus, a Berkeley-based label. After a successful collaboration with Grammy Award-nominated producer Lee Townsend on its 2009 "Night of 1000 Stars," Blame Sally opted to self-produce this time, striving to capture the edginess of its live performances.
"Blame Sally can light up a club when it launches into one of its feel-good tunes. The women put their heart and soul into every note. While they have an identifiable sound, their music defies easy categorization. They're likely to play a mellow, folk ballad as a flat-out rocker, or follow a moody pop tune with some country funk," wrote the East Bay Express.