“Water isn’t wine, brass isn’t gold, one day you’ll account for all the lies that you told,” sings Blame Sally’s Monica Pasqual on her San Francisco ensemble’s anti-Bush calling card, “If You Tell a Lie.” Even though the man in question is now packing his executive bags, the song can still be found lurking on Neil Young’s Living With War Web site. While sharing Young’s virtual stage with the likes of Pearl Jam, Kris Kristofferson, and Steve Earle is obviously something to be proud of, it’s also an experience that Pasqual is quite humbled by.
“I was the writer of that song, so for me it was really moving,” she offered via phone from Salt Lake City. “I wrote the song the day of George Bush’s first inauguration, and [we performed it] at the height of his popularity, in places like Utah and Colorado and Texas where people really appreciated that we were finally saying something that for a long time was not allowed to be said.”
While their musical message might not always be political, it never fails to be purposeful-something that undoubtedly stems from the forces that drive Blame Sally. The band is a musical union of four ladies (Pam Delgado, Renee Harcourt, Jeri Jones, and Pasqual), each of whom brings a strong and unique musical perspective to the group’s unified songwriting voice.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with really, really wonderful musicians throughout my whole career,” explained Pasqual, “but there is something beyond the music with Blame Sally that seems to touch people. I think this is truly an example of the sum of the parts far exceeding the whole. There is just something within the dynamic between the four of us that reaches out to people in the most remarkable way.”
Blame Sally have been reaching out to people for more than nine years, releasing one live and two studio albums and touring everywhere from the Festiva Musica in Sardinia, Italy, to Santa Barbara’s legendary (and sorely missed) Shobefest. Not too shabby for a band whose foundations lay in the pure enjoyment of playing together.
“The rule was that if we played a gig it had to be fun,” laughed Pasqual. “Either that, or it paid really well. And hopefully it would be both! That’s what we have tried to stick to and it has seemed to work.”