Blame Sally worships at the church of rock and roll

February 11, 2013

Blame SallyBy COLIN JONES

It’s not every day that you can see a rock and roll show in a San Luis Obispo church on a Friday night, is it?

Well this is SLO town, not exactly a live music mecca with clubs on every corner, so I’ll take what I can get. And it seemed like a cool thing, plus it’s always good to switch things up and exit your comfort zone.

Usually you get rewarded when you do and that was the case for me when I ventured out to see country folk rock outfit Blame Sally at the United Church of Christ last week.

These four ladies and one dude on bass hail from the Bay Area, where they formed the band in 2000, and seem as comfortable on stage as they might be in your kitchen hanging out and drinking wine.

And boy can these girls play.

For most of the show, the tight, cohesive quintet focused on material from their latest release in 2011, ‘Speeding Ticket and a Valentine.’ ‘Living without You’ is a driving ditty that offers a fresh, unsentimental take on breaking up. ”Bird in the Hand’ followed, a completely different but equally refreshing song in more traditional folk style, with a strong narrative, dreamy harmonies and even a surf guitar solo. How about that?

‘Countdown’ is an upbeat, sarcastic look keeping up in a superficial world. ‘Throw Me a Bone’ was a soft, soothing ballad about getting But their strongest song of the night was ‘Love is Our Religion,’ anthemic, melodic and unrecorded so forget about iTunes. You know it’s a keeper when there’s an immediate connection with a song you hear for the first time. With Blame Sally, everything comes around to love so who can argue with that.

A soulful cover of ‘Chain of Fools’ followed by a heartfelt rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Never Going Back Again’ elicited whoops and hollers from the older, mostly laid-back crowd. They threw in a tribute to Elton John, something about loving rock music (who doesn’t) and a Spanish a capella finale.

I’m telling you, the performance had more switchbacks than a curvy mountain road.

I know it’s a cliché but the whole is sometimes greater than the sum of its parts. Blame Sally confirmed this truism and confirmed their place in the independent music world as a songwriting and song playing powerhouse.

Sure, it took a while to get used to the whole rocking-in-a church-pew thing but musicians Pam, Renee, Jeri, Monica and Rob helped the crowd get into their comfort zone right from the get-go. The cool thing about Blame Sally is that they are not easily categorized, no one label quite fits. So if you have an open mind, which I try to keep when seeing a new, genre-bending act, it makes for a memorable show, if not a difficult review.

So if this particular write-up sucks, that’s my excuse.

Anyway, kudos to the San Luis Obispo Folk Muisc Society for bringing such great acts to the Central Coast. They, along with the SLO Blues Society, help keep the local scene alive and vibrant, which ain’t always easy. I’m not normally a cheerleader but whatever you fancy, get out and enjoy some live music, there’s a ton of talented if unheralded musicians out there.

Bands like Blame Sally will make you glad you did.

The next SLO Folks concert features Italian guitar virtuoso Beppe Gambetta on Friday, March 1 at Coalesce Bookstore.

 


2 Comments

  1. Ted Slanders says:

    “ .. and even a surf guitar solo. How about that?”

    The Hebrew-Christian God will tell you “how about that!” This is pure blaspheme allowing these Harlots of Babylon into a Christian church to begin with because all women are to remain silent in church! “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:34-35)

    As if women speaking or singing in church goes against Biblical doctrine isn’t enough, these Sister Women are playing ungodly instruments as well and using Satanic material for their songs!

    “Praise the LORD with the harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise” (Psalm 33:2, 3). Ephesians 5:19 adds, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”

    As instructed within our God’s inspired word, only spiritual hymms and songs are to be delivered through harps that are sung in His behalf, and not through Satanic Rock n’ Roll songs sung by women!

    When will pseudo-christians actually start following the doctrine of their faith as godly inspired within the scriptures? How utterly disgusting to read a story like this as if it had merit in the godly scheme of things. Truly sad.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 68 Thumb down 2

  2. r0y says:

    Great review! I did not catch the show, but probably would have had I known before hand. I like talented acts that are comfortable in smaller venues… sure, we’d all love to sell out the Colosseum, but that’d be selling out…

    Anyway, there are often great acts around here… churches, bookstores, coffee shops, etc. where some really talented folks play. One of my fondest “discoveries” was “Colcanon” playing Irish traditional and new music at one of the Mozart Festivals years back. It was at the Clark Center, and was a GREAT show! They even joked that the definition of “chamber music” had to be flexible for them to be here at the Mozart Fest…

    Something about “working artists” that keeps the art pure. Sometimes huge success has a larger cost.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 36

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