When Blame Sally took the stage at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall on April 29 and 30, the quartet showcased tunes from Speeding Ticket and a Valentine, the Bay Area band’s fifth album. As has often been noted about Blame Sally, this all-female outfit boasts not only strong compositional and vocal skills, but serious instrumental chops as well. “I don’t think there are that many well-known women singer-songwriters who are that good on their instruments,” says Monica Pasqual (piano, accordion and vocals, second from right above). “Ani DiFranco, Bonnie Raitt or Tori Amos, yeah, but they’re often backed up by men. So people do get surprised when they see four women playing really well. It crosses a lot of gender and age stereotypes, too; people who are just into music all really relate to that.”
Seymour Duncan stompboxes were in full force both on stage and on the new album. According to Jeri Jones, the band’s multi-instrumentalist guitarist (far left above), “I used the Shape Shifter tap tremolo on “Bird in Hand” and a couple others. I’m using the Déjà Vu delay at the end of “Throw Me a Bone” in live performance to emulate the reverse guitar on the record. I’m also featuring the Twin Tube Blue on a number of live songs. I use it for a gain and bass boost on almost everything I play slide on live and then to kick up the lead sound on “Bone,” “Severland,” and a couple others. Our guest keyboardist, Julie Wolf (Indigo Girls, Dar Williams, Bruce Cockburn) heard it yesterday in rehearsal and flipped out over the tone.”
Again, Monica Pasqual points out. “If we were coming out and our music sucked, or it was not vital-sounding, I don’t think that people would be like, ‘Oh, cool, they’re in their forties,’ or whatever.” “But they’re digging what we’re doing, and they’re seeing that it’s fresh and that it has life and originality.”
Life and originality: who could ask more out of music?