An Evening with The Cactus Blossoms
The Anderson Center proudly presents an evening with The Cactus Blossoms in the Tower View Barn at the Anderson Center in Red Wing, MN on Saturday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. Doors open for a social hour at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $22 day of show and $18 for Anderson Center members & youth under 18 (advance & DOS). The Barn will be set up with both seating and a dance floor. Couples and dancers are welcome, but please wear a soft sole shoe.
Blood Harmony. Whether it’s The Beach Boys, Bee Gees or First Aid Kit, that sibling vocal blend is the secret sauce in some of the most spine-tingling moments in popular music. The Cactus Blossoms – Minneapolis-based brothers Page Burkum and Jack Torrey – offer compelling evidence that this tradition is alive and well, with a deceptively unadorned musical approach that offers “creative turns of phrase, gorgeous harmonies, and an ageless sound” (NPR All Things Considered), not to mention spine tingles aplenty.
Their first two albums, 2016’s You’re Dreaming and 2019’s Easy Way, stunning and transporting collections of original songs, earned high praise from Rolling Stone and Vice Noisey, tour stints with Kacey Musgraves and Lucius, and a perfectly cast performance on the third season of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Now, their unlikely rise continues with their third album, One Day, which is being released on February 11, 2022 and is available to pre-order here.
Like much of The Cactus Blossoms’ catalog, One Day‘s lead single, the steady-cruising Hey Baby, operates on multiple levels: take it at face value and it’s a playful little track about a roadtrip in a rusty old truck. Zoom out, and there’s a deeper message about the power (or naïveté) of positive thinking. “I hope it all works out,” the brothers sing in exquisite harmony, “It always works out.”
“That idea of finding a silver lining comes up a lot on this record,” says Torrey. “It’s an acknowledgment that no matter how messed up things might be, people still want to believe in the world and find ways to feel lucky and joyful.”
While The Cactus Blossoms have drawn frequent comparisons to other musical siblings like the Everlys and Louvins over the years, One Day often suggests a more soulful, ’70s-inspired palette, hinting at times to Bobby Charles or JJ Cale with its playful Wurlitzer, breezy guitars, and lean, muscular percussion. The band’s classic country and old-school pop roots are still there, of course, but the growth and evolution underlying One Day is obvious, not only in the duo’s writing, but in their core philosophy, as well.
Lockdown hit the brothers hard. Quarantine put a sudden halt to their plans to record a new studio record, and as Minneapolis began to erupt in social and political unrest following the police killing of George Floyd, music began to seem like the least of the duo’s concerns.
“It felt like the whole world was falling apart,” says Burkum. “We had to put things on hold just so we could try to wrap our heads around everything that was happening in Minneapolis and beyond.”
As 2020 stretched on, Torrey and Burkum slowly began to regain their footing, and when it felt safe enough to get together in person, they started kicking ideas back and forth, inviting each other into their respective writing processes earlier than ever before. When it came time to record, the brothers called on longtime collaborator/engineer Alex Hall, who brought his mobile rig up from Chicago so they could cut the album quick and dirty in Burkum’s basement. They kept their circle tight for the sessions, working with their core touring band—which included both their older brother and their cousin—to capture the songs with a feel as close to the live show as possible.
“From the start, we knew we wanted to keep the instrumentation minimal and consistent across the whole album and embrace the dryness that came with recording in Page’s basement,” says Torrey. “We wanted it to sound raw.”
NOTICE: All patrons must provide proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test at the door prior to the event. Phone photos of vaccination cards will be accepted. Further precautions may be taken pending state and county health guidelines.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
Header image by JACOB BLICKENSTAFF