It wasn’t that long ago that I was one of those people. You know, those people who say dismissively “Oh, I listen to most everything except for rap and country”.
Then the Cactus Blossoms came into my life. Well, “came into my life” might be slightly misleading. To be honest, I stalked them at least a little. As a die-hard fan of the Minneapolis based Jack Klatt and the Cat Swingers, I went on a quest to discover Jack Klatt’s compatriots. I assumed they’d have to be good.
I was oh-so right.
When I say The Cactus Blossoms are Western and Country, put from your mind the modern pop-country drama queens and kings. Rather, I’m talking about Jimmie Rodgers, Gene Autry, steel guitars and fiddles. While this is serious music, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Forget about pop-country tweeny love songs or serious ballads about how the refrigerator broke and the dog ran away.
This album boasts expert craftsmanship, from the myriad instruments to the brilliance of the song writing. The music is dominated by the lead singers perfect harmony, steel guitars, and a particularly beautifully played fiddle. The album boasts 10 albums, 8 of which are apparently originals. To be honest, the whole album just feels so…cohesive that I’m surprised they all aren’t written by the same hand. The Cactus Blossoms truly have song writing prowess.
This certainly isn’t a “let’s rock the fuck out” album. You’re not going to fly into manic dancing. But if you’re anything like me, when it comes on randomly after several days of not listening to it, an audible “ah” will escape your lips as you realize that this is just the perfect song for right now. Just like it always is.
Find The Cactus Blossoms at their bandcamp page, where you can enjoy their music and pick up an album while you’re at it. You know you want to.
What to Expect
Singing cowboy style old-school Western. Fiddles, steel guitar, and talented musicians remaking an iconic American musical style that deserves to be revived.
What to Take Away
While the idea of “Western Music” often makes people wrinkle their noses, it shouldn’t. I’m the first in line of this guilt-train.
What to Drink with it
There’s been a lot of whiskey drinking round Sound and Tonic, and that’s not letting up this week. Find your nearest bottle of whiskey. Pour a shot or two into a glass. Drink it warm.
It’s a tie. “Adios Maria” is beautiful. The ballad is exactly what I expect from an old singing cowboy. The heavy fiddle influence doesn’t hurt – I’m a huge sucker for any instrument played with a bow. The singing is also just so damn spot on.
Alternatively, “Cold Foot Boogie” is so absurdly 1970s western-Hawaiian kitsch that it made me laugh out loud, and ultimately caused me to purchase the album. The steel guitar is instant nostalgia.