The Cactus Blossoms – artists to know (United States of Americana from The Current)

The Cactus Blossoms – artists to know (United States of Americana from The Current)

Hi, I’m Bill DeVille, host of United States
of Americana. Thanksgiving is coming up fast, and it’s a
time when a lot of people head home for the holiday. That’s one of the reasons why this
week, I’m talking about some hometown boys, my friends, your friends, The Cactus Blossoms. Brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum form
the nucleus of this fantastic band. They cut their teeth playing weekly of gigs at the
Turf Club for several years right here in St. Paul. They gathered a loyal and ever-growing
audience with their sibling harmonies and their fondness for classic country and early
rock and roll, drawing comparisons to “brother” acts like the Everly Brothers and the Louvins. In 2013, the Cactus Blossoms released an album,
“Live at the Turf Club,” collecting some of their original songs as well as a number of
their favorite covers. Meanwhile, they befriended JD McPherson, who helped produce the Cactus
Blossoms’ 2016 full-length studio album, “You’re Dreaming.” The album was recorded in Chicago
with a bunch of JD’s pals, and it includes songs like the rocking “Stoplight Kisses”
and “Clown Collector,” plus some of their signature ballads like “Mississippi,” and
“Powder Blue.” I remember when the Cactus Blossoms were in the studio, they told me that it took
about 18 months to make the album — or as Page put it, “Longer than it takes to make a baby.” (laughing) Joking aside, Jack said, “It was a great experience working with JD” on the record. The Cactus Blossoms continued to grow their
audience, touring with JD as well as with artists like Lucius and even Kacey Musgraves. In 2017, the Cactus Blossoms even appeared on David Lynch’s series, “Twin Peaks,” exposing
the brothers to an even larger audience. Their latest album, “Easy Way,” came out on
March 1 of this year, and I was lucky enough to have the band stop in our studio to perform
songs from the album ahead of its release. (The Cactus Blossoms performing) I got a time machine Bought it off TV Was a commercial break… This time, Page and Jack produced the album
themselves, still working with JD McPherson’s friends in a Chicago studio, but also enlisting
the help of Dan Auerbach, who enjoys some co-writing credits on this album. Maybe influenced a bit by Auerbach, “Easy
Way” features a slightly grittier guitar sound, but Jack Torrey didn’t see it being as dramatic
as that. He told me, “It’s just kind of growing in its own direction and evolving with our
own interests … it’s a slow change; I can see how it could seem like a quick one, but
I think that’s because we need to put albums out more [frequently] than every three years.” What was also cool is that during that session,
I got to talk to Page and Jack’s other brother — Tyler Burkum — and I got to try out
Tyler’s doubleneck guitar! That was pretty cool. Like a lot of us, the Cactus Blossoms also
like to come home for the holidays. They’ll play a show on Saturday, Nov. 30 — that’s
the Saturday after Thanksgiving — at First Avenue in Minneapolis. I tell you what — the Cactus Blossoms’ music
is something we can all be thankful for. You can hear music like the Cactus Blossoms
on my show, United States of Americana, heard Sundays from 8 till 10 a.m. Central
on The Current.

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