If you sense a slight incongruity in the title of Blame Sally’s Speeding Ticket and a Valentine, rest assured that it’s as purposeful as the life it describes is random. The album lifts its name from a line in the bridge of the hard- charging leadoff single, “Living Without You,” which describes a day, or maybe entire existence,that’s “sweet and sour at the same time/mink and a porcupine/speeding ticket and a valentine.”
The four women who make up the Bay area- based group have some experience with improbable complexities and contradictions. Almost everything about their history is contrary to conventional wisdom. For one thing, they put their individual careers aside to start Blame Sally when they were in their late 30s and 40s—the age at which bands are traditionally supposed to break up and begin solo careers. For another, this is obviously an all-woman band—“girl groups” usually being the novel province of youthful upstarts, not mature singer/songwriters. Splitting the frontperson status among each of the four members goes against the agreed-upon maxim (agreed upon by everyone but the Beatles, anyway) that every group needs a single strong focal point.
“One of the things I really enjoy about being in this band is how inspired our audiences are by us,” agrees vocalist/guitarist Renee Harcourt. “There’s a real openness and lovingness between the band members, and a lot of joy, and I think people get that when they watch us play. In addition to that, I think people find what we’re doing very inspirational, because it’s a time in your life when you’re thinking, ‘Am I doing what I really love to do?’ You start questioning your career choices around that time, along with a lot of things in your life. And we’ve been fortunate enough to be able to defy the odds and do what we love. People enjoy seeing that.
Independent to the bone with seven CDs, and with a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Folk CD in 2006, CAROLINE AIKEN has performed numerous times to benefit thousands of causes, and has played thousands of shows in her 40-plus years of touring at home and abroad.
Caroline has recorded with and shared stages with The Indigo Girls, Bonnie Raitt, and has been a guest performer at major venues with them such as San Antonio’s Majestic Theater, Denver’s Red Rocks, and Berkeley’s Greek Theater. Caroline has headlined at the Kerrville, Texas Music Festival (Main Stage since ’95), Seattle’s Bumbershoot (since ’96), Folk Life Festival (since ’76), NY’s Falcon Ridge, and Northern California’s High Sierra Music Festival.
Atlanta Magazine calls Caroline the "BEST ACOUSTIC ARTIST" (June 2003 GA MUSIC pictorial feature) and includes her full page picture next to Curtis Mayfield, Gladys Knight, The Black Crowes, the Indigo Girls, India Arie, and many more. Blue Suede News says; "Caroline tears her 12 string a whole new consciousness."
Caroline’s performances, direct and sincere, are known for emanating a high level of infectious energy, and those that have heard her perform live leave wanting more. Her genre spans many styles, from rock/blues/folk/country to piano ballads to finger style guitar picking--all accompanied by her rich and soulful voice. Caroline is an accomplished and diverse musician, being at home on both guitar and piano. Victory Music in Seattle raved about Caroline’s “sensual voice, expert guitar, [and] masterful songwriting.”