Arts News

Blame Sally has Utah and queer ties

Among the headliners and performers at this year’s Utah Arts Festival, the Bay-area band Blame Sally is perhaps the most unique.

Unlike most other recently-formed touring groups that just signed a large record deal, Blame Sally is made up of four women and one man in their 40s and 50s. Three of the women, Pamela Delgado, Jeri Jones and Renee Harcourt identify as queer and the other, Monica Pasqual is a Salt Lake City native.

The group’s haunting lyrics and intricate music has started to climb charts and can now be heard in Starbucks coffee shops around the world. The group is touring the country and has recently returned from a European tour. Blame Sally will be performing on the Festival Stage at the UAF on Sunday, June 26 at 8 p.m.

“We’re really pleased with the direction the band is heading and all the support we’re getting from our fans,” Delgado said. “It just feels right: our progress, our music, everything.”

The band’s shows are high-energy romps that are exciting and moving all at the same time. Expect the band to play some of their best hits, but most of the music will revolve around their latest album, Speeding Ticket and a Valentine.

“I think the latest album really does show that we’re a walking contradiction,” Pasqual said. “Most bands that start these long-ass tours are in their 20s and don’t have much to leave behind. We’re in our 40s and 50s and we all left behind a lot.”

The group plays different styles of folk music ranging from songs with a Latin beat to heart-wrenching ballads. Much like the Beatles, there are no lead singers, lead writers or superstars of the band. Everyone contributes to the writing and the performing. They take turns moving around the vocals and the group is a cooperative effort.

“All our songs come from our life stories. They’re part of who we are and what we have all done,” Delgado said. “It only works because we all have so much trust in each other and respect for everyone in the band. Sometimes we have to set aside differences, but in the end we all have to trust that suggestions aren’t personal attacks.”

The group formed more than a decade ago as a fun and joint effort for everyone to have a good time, Pasqual said. But one song led to another. One small concert led to another and before any of them knew what was happening, a record deal was signed and an international tour was formed.

Blame Sally has been progressively touring larger and larger venues and gaining more fans. There’s just no stopping the group as they tackle political issues, heartache and life’s struggles through their crystal-clear voices and memorable music. And while there are three members of the band who identify as lesbians, sexuality is not the key issue of the music.

“It’s an important part of who we are, but sexuality is not the only defining characteristic of our music,” Pasqual said. “It is just such a non-issue for us and while it does surface in our music, it doesn’t surface any more than other important factors of our lives.”

The group has performed in Salt Lake City before, but the band members are excited to come back, Pasqual said.

“I have so many friends in the area and I am so excited to see everyone,” Pasqual said.

“The Salt Lake City crowds are as intimate and energetic as anywhere else in the nation and it is such a fun place to perform,” Delgado added.

For more information about the group, go to BlameSally.com.

Photo of Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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