While it may at first seem a bit soon to see another Cactus DVD following on 2007's Live, we Cactophiles have a much different attitude: "Bring it on, bubba, the more the merrier!!!!" This band never got the respect it deserved in its own time, so the prospect of ever more music from 'em is nothing short of mouthwatering. And, from the very first intro solo, Jim McCarty is dead on it, pealing off rock 'n roll licks with deadly precision. Then toss Carmine Appice and Tim Bogert behind him—both with more group involvements over the last several decades than you shake a monkey at—and you have three of the founding four in your face. Next drag in blues belter Jimmy Kunes from Savoy Brown, who more than a few times reminds of Jerry LaCroix (Edgar Winter's White Trash), along with Randy Pratt on harp, and now we've all the makings of a Cactaroosian blowout.
Which is precisely what's received. This is heavy bluesrock delivered with stomp and stripped down raw-nitude—blunt, bad-ass, and driving. These guys don't need no steen-king ballads, just testosteronic pounders, and the audience couldn't agree more. Forget all that stuff McCarty did with the chartrockin' Rockets, he was just paying' the bills; Cactus is the real deal. The Rockets rarely lit up like this (except perhaps when compin' covers), but Cactus smokes 24/7/365. In fact, none other than the stratospheric Les Paul was so impressed by McCarty that he recorded the guy's 69 Freedom Special song in 2005 and won a Grammy for it, which bounced back quite well for both players.
This vid shows Cactus on fire, and the further the DVD progresses, the heavier and more jammin' it all gets. McCarty just last year quit the group to re-join fellow Rockets compeer John Badanjek in a new ensemble, the Hell Drivers, so if you want a slice of Cactus in all its glory, dis is da place, LaRue! Grab it while the gittin's good. Survey Big Jim intensely concentrating on his axe and licks, see Kunes prowling the stage, and join in with a crowd in hooting 'n hollering'. More, see why this band was once named "the American Led Zeppelin". Too high praise? Maybe, maybe not, but should you desire to gainsay any portion of what I contend, feel free…first talk to the blokes in Van Halen, however, a group upon whom Cactus was a definitive influence.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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