I really don’t understand the people who claim that all Country is ‘cornball’ or clichéd or, worse, that is is ‘music for morons’. Much of the time it is really ordinary – as much as most Rap, or metal or Blues or R&B is ordinary and soulless – but when it is good, Country music can be one of the most uplifting and emotional experiences open to most of us.
Blame Sally are one of those artists that transcend the ordinary and make music that moves you and makes you feel the emotions that the singer is going through without the pain. Four ladies from San Francisco who have eschewed the traditional music scene and formed a band that has its own identity and uses their experience and talent in an equal form. Unlike the majority of female country bands they have no single front-person – almost like Boy-bands except that they actually do have individual talent

Just listen to ‘Mona Lisa with a Smile’: even at low volume levels you are drawn in to the sadness and the exhaustion of the singer (Pam) trapped into an existence she didn’t ask for or deserve. The gentle guitar riff and chiming piano notes, gentle repetition creating a closeness and utterly dense acoustic emphasising the emotion on display. And this is only one song – the album has 9 more crackers!

‘Big Big Bed’ has some fine metal bodied guitar and a frottoir in the background alongside some excellent multi-part harmonies and ‘Living Without You’ offers up fairly straight ahead rocking country with belting lead vocals from Renee and those harmonies. ‘Back In The Saddle’ is more like a folk song with another superb vocal from Pam, ‘Wide Open Spaces’ starts like a sixties R&B number with gorgeous Hammond organ from Julie Wolf but then the vocals take you all over the place and you are never sure if you’re rocking or emoting but you are smiling.

I’ve gotten to know this album very well in a short while and I have to say that I’m still investigating but the journey is great fun and so is the album.

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