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The Cactus Blossoms take their show back out on the road following annual Turf Club residency

The band is poised to head out on a national tour in support of their new album, “One Day."
Credit: The Missing Piece Group
The Cactus Blossoms

MINNEAPOLIS — “It's hard to believe how much time has passed.”

Jack Torrey and Page Burkum, the pair of brothers who make up The Cactus Blossoms, are on the cusp of wrapping their January residency at St. Paul’s Turf Club. The now-annual gig started around 2011 after another local venue passed on them.

“We brought our CD to Nye’s Polynaise because Molly Mahr was going to end her residency there,” Torrey said. 

He said Mahr suggested the new band try to take her place, but Nye’s ultimately turned them down. Torrey said that’s when they went to the Turf, which he described as a seemingly “impossible thing” at the time.

“The rest is history.”

The history of The Cactus Blossoms begins and meets back up with the present on the west side of the Mississippi River, where the brothers grew up and continue to live now. They recalled gigging around at local favorites like Dusty’s and Palmer’s in the early days as a band, with the occasional trip out of town.

“We probably played more barns in 2012 than any other band in Minnesota,” Torrey said. 

Now, 10 years on, the brothers are poised to head out on a national tour in support of their new album, “One Day,” bringing closure to the project they had envisioned before its sudden sidelining due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had planned on recording an album in 2020, and then everything kind of got thrown up in the air,” Torrey said.

He said it wasn’t until about a year ago that they felt safe enough to come back together to start finishing and demoing the songs. Burkum said those songs were finally able to come to fruition with a little help from their friends.

“I’m in no way comparing us to them at all, but I liked hearing about Paul McCartney talking about how he and John Lennon would do that [write songs] back in the day. Whenever they would hit a block, instead of sitting on it…you just hand it off to your friend and see what they do,” Burkum said.

The band, the essence of classic country cool, is known for serenading listeners with celestial harmonies — almost certainly unachievable for crooners who don’t share genes. The brothers say to expect more of their signature sound on “One Day,” but also to anticipate some variety. 

“I kind of like just rolling with everything that’s naturally coming to us,” Burkum said. “And not really trying to have too much of a style in mind, or some box that we’re staying perfectly within.”

Their first out-of-box single, “Everybody,” was released earlier this year, in collaboration with Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis.

"Super cool person, incredible musician, and I just feel really lucky to get to meet people like that," Torrey said.

Burkum said the band has also been able to work with some of their other favorite artists recently, including Lucius and Nick Lowe. 

“People that we were really blown away by,” Burkum said. “Like our friend JD McPherson. We love his band. And we’ve had to open for Lucius and Kacey Musgraves…it’s very lucky to get those opportunities.”

The bandmates even got the chance to make their acting debut — playing themselves — after recording their album, “You’re Dreaming,” in 2017. In a twist of fate, the brothers said they landed a cameo in the third episode of the revival of cult favorite “Twin Peaks.”

“We actually joked, ‘Maybe David Lynch will use some of this music on something,” Burkum said.

A year later, they were playing crowd-favorite “Mississippi” on the television series’ set.

“We’re like, ‘Oh, my God,’” Torrey said. “‘There’s a whole song on ‘Twin Peaks.’ This is insane.’”

Fast-forwarding to 2022, the brothers say they’re excited to get back out on the road after shutting their operations down with the rest of the world in early 2020. After their last hometown Turf show Monday, they’ll head to Boulder, Colorado to start a nationwide tour through June. 

“Tell your friends in whatever state they live in that we’re probably coming to them,” Burkum said. “We’re looking forward to it.”

“Keep getting out there, people, as safely as you are comfortable with…and wear a good mask,” Torrey added. “Stuff needs to keep happening and people need to keep playing music and making art.”

“One Day” is out Feb. 12, which you can pre-order here.

Kansas Plates will open the last show of The Cactus Blossoms’ 2022 Turf Club residency on Monday, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m.

Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours is required for entry. To get your tickets, click here.

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