The Cactus Blossoms: Harmonies and country standards from the selfsame womb

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Photo by Nikki Miller

When a friend recommends a local band to check out, my reaction is usually a cheerful smile accompanied by a quiet cringe. "Okay, thanks for the recommendation, friend! Now I'm obligated to go see this band you're so convinced I will love so very much, they're probably gonna suck, and then I'm gonna hafta come up with nice things to say about them. Why, friend, do you burden me so?"

When my friend Sarah Jean texted me yesterday to say that the coolest -- and, she added, she would not say it if it were not true -- classic country in town was happening Wednesday night at the Kitty Cat Klub, I cringed. You're so untrusting, Nik. She added that they are brothers called the Cactus Blossoms, and would be opening for Jack Klatt. That they harmonize some Roger Miller and Louvin Brothers in a way she described as simultaneously fresh and traditional, and that her heart said I would love it.

Rest your weary mind, Nik. Trust Sarah Jean's heart.

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Photo by Nikki Miller

Note not that their MySpace page has only one song (a song, I learned from brother Page, that was recorded with his brother Jack on his iMac, through its internal microphone). Note not that this MySpace page boasts zero friends.

Naw, go ahead and note both. These guys have come straight out the gate with few accolades, few followers, but an incredibly polished sound. Sarah Jean's done gone and discovered a shiny little pearl for me and I'm just tickled pink. The Cactus Blossoms' harmonies are as tight as can be (think not only the Louvins but also the Everlys, and again, I'll credit my friend for her observation that to sing like that you have to have come from the same womb). Playing last night with accompaniment from a bass and a fiddle, their set list pretty much speaks for their sound. In about an hour they played a what's what of the best old country and folk/blues standards: "Lovesick Blues," "Sittin' on Top of the World," "Crazy Arms," "Brand New Heartache," "I Overlooked an Orchid," "Blue Railroad Train," "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," "You're Running Wild," and "The Moon Is High" (shoot if that ain't an impeccable play list), as well as songs made famous by Emmylou Harris and Bob Dylan.

Do they have any more upcoming shows? Who knows, but probably so. Keep an eye on that myspace page, still in its infancy. I know I will, and will be sitting with Sarah Jean in the front row for their next go'round.

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Photo by Nikki Miller
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