“Live At KVIE Studios: A Concert for Public Television Volume 1”
The Berkeley, Calif., Americana band Blame Sally has been around for a good decade, but broke through in a big way with the 2011 release “Speeding Ticket and a Valentine.”
That CD debuted at No. 38 on the Billboard Heatseekers charts and made it to No. 13 on the Americana Radio charts. The band came through on a tour supporting “Valentine” at the 2011 Utah Arts Festival, playing to a large and appreciative crowd.
Now the band has followed up with a live session for the Sacramento PBS station KVIE in Sacramento, Calif. The musicians were asked to perform by PBS producer Peter Berkow on Dec. 3, 2011, in front of a live audience for a show to be presented as pledge-luring programming on the PBS network.
The band’s production credits on the record go to the band itself (Pam Delgado, Renee Harcourt, Jeri Jones, Utah native Monica Pasquel and Rob Strom), with mastering by Michael Romanowski. The end result is warm and sweet.
Out of the 13 songs released on this first volume from the program, three are new recordings for the band members. They do a stripped-down but still soulful version of the 1967 Aretha Franklin hit “Chain of Fools.” They also tackle a fairly faithful redo of the Lindsay Buckingham-penned moving-forward ballad “Never Going Back Again.” What makes the old Fleetwood Mac tune a standout are some tasty mandolin leads and the multipart vocal harmonies that this band delivers so very well.
Also new on this album is “Her Name Is a Knife,” a folk tune with bell-like guitar work by the band’s under-recognized lead player, Jones. The song reveals the bitterness of knowing exactly who the enemy is when your lover leaves: “Her name is a fist, a blow to the head/ I’m picking up my ego and I’m coughing up red/ Our love divine, our beautiful bed/ Laying in the gutter with the words you said/ Do you know how it feels? Well I don’t think that you do/ Confusing living in the moment, and running from the truth ...”
The women of Blame Sally demonstrate well with this live effort the joys a group of women — not girls — who know their craft can have on the stage. Their experience gives them the know-how to tell a story about more than puppy love or the latest fashion.
Here’s hoping Volume 2 of this program won’t be long in the offing.