The Cactus Blossoms

WXPN Presents

The Cactus Blossoms

Hurricane Hoss, Frankie Lee

Thu, April 19, 2018

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

$15.00

This event is 21 and over

All shows are 21+ Proper I.D. required for admission

The Cactus Blossoms - (Set time: 10:30 PM)
The Cactus Blossoms
Our new album, You’re Dreaming, didn’t happen overnight. It is the culmination of several years of songwriting and the kindness of thousands of miles and friends. A cast of characters, experiences, and personal perspectives set in simple rhymes and sung in harmony to paint a picture in your mind.

When my brother and I started making music as The Cactus Blossoms there wasn’t a big plan. We cut our teeth performing some well known and obscure country songs that were popular or unpopular pre-1960, partly out of curiosity and deep appreciation, but mostly because it was fun. Early on, we were offered a residency at the Turf Club in St. Paul, Minnesota, so we got a band together and it became our weekly “practice-in-public” where we would pull out every song we could think of, no matter how well we knew it. It was our first chance to play all night and do whatever we wanted. Over the course of our year and a half at the Turf Club our repertoire had snowballed into an amalgam of original songs and a bunch of gut wrenching, “tongue-in-cheek” heartbreakers, that were 30 years older than us. Not everyone could tell what was new and what was old, and it didn’t really matter. They just seemed to enjoy it. That’s how the wheel got going and gave the illusion of spin
ning backwards. We weren’t born in the wrong era. We just got into some music from a different era and happened to make it our own.

Every step of the way we’ve had the good fortune of being offered an opportunity that seems just beyond what we’re ready for. It always stretches us out and makes us feel lucky as hell. When JD McPherson called us up and said he was interested in producing our record it was the latest in a series of serendipitous events that have brought us to where we are today. We had opened for him at a hometown gig in Minneapolis a few months earlier and had met him briefly, but could never have imagined then that within a year we would be recording a new album with his help and criss-crossing America on tour with his band. He’s got the singing voice of an angel, a connoisseur’s taste, the boundless creative energy of a child, a scholar’s mind, and he can hear like a wolf. This guy was the guy. He wanted to do something sparse and rhythmic with simple melodic arrangements and it lined up perfectly with the direction our new songs were leading us.

We wanted to record live with the best rhythm section we could find, which led us to Chicago where JD enlisted the amazing talents of drummer/engineer Alex Hall, guitarist Joel Paterson, and Beau Sample on upright bass. Three musicians who practice their respective crafts to genius proportions and bring it all to the studio. At the start of our first recording session we barely knew these guys and they barely knew our music. Alex was setting up microphones and running cables while the rest of us were drinking coffee and cracking jokes to wake up. Within a couple hours we had cut the first song for the album, “Queen Of Them All”, and we knew we were in the right place at the right time.

Jack & Page
The Cactus Blossoms
October 2015
Hurricane Hoss - (Set time: 9:30 PM)
Hurricane Hoss
HURRICANE HOSS has blown through the juke joints and watering holes of America, the perfect example of a classical good-girl gone outlaw. She’s shot whiskey in the Midwestern Wilds, danced to zydeco in Louisiana, fallen in love in the Rockies, and two-stepped on top of broken hearts in Nashville. With fiddle, banjo, and guitar in tow, Hoss sings the stories of her travels and travails, as well as traditional songs of the American experience. Fans of Western Swing (ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL, THE TIME JUMPERS) and vintage country (PATSY CLINE, GLEN CAMPBELL) will easily find a place for Hoss in their ears and hearts.

Hoss’s newest album, “Shoulda Said Nothin’”, showcases award-winning fiddle playing and songwriting, as well as members of her all-star band THE PERFECT STORM.The new album in it’s entirety takes listeners on a journey through the full gamut of emotions. Tongue-in-cheek ditties like “I Should Have Said Nothing” (penned by Ross Bellenoit) and “Down the Road” poke fun at former lovers and Hoss herself; “Modena” is a love song to a home after a life on the road; “Only Mistake” and “Rocksalt and Nails” (written by Utah Phillips) tell stories of betrayal and abandonment that speak to the sweetness of Hurricane Hoss, hiding under the veneer of a Country and Western superhero.
Frankie Lee - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
Frankie Lee
Born on the banks of the Mississippi river, Lee's family later moved to Minneapolis. Following the death of his father in a motorcycle accident when he was 12, Frankie immersed himself in the city's music scene, appearing onstage with local heroes Slim Dunlap (The Replacements) and Curtiss A at the impressionable age of 14. Inheriting records and instruments from his father’s collection, Lee was - as he sees it - "taught to play guitar by a ghost”. He continues, "I was raised on stage. These guys would bring me into the clubs, sit me behind the soundboard and give me all the coca cola I could drink until they'd call me up for a song or two at the end of the night."

At the age of 20, Lee dropped out of college, re-invested his soccer scholarship funds in a Volvo Station wagon and embarked on a life-long love affair with America’s open roads. Lee’s first stop was Nashville, where he met Merle Haggard on the same day he drove into town. Lee then moved on to Austin, TX where he spent 6 years working for Townes Van Zandt’s son JT building cabinets outside of town in Buda, TX. The two became good friends and Lee played his first show at a night hosted by JT. "Austin was a Mecca for me. The scene at the time was bursting wide open with everything from Western swing cover bands to Roky Erikson's psychedelic garage rock. I was out almost every night for 6 years. There was never an excuse to stay in."

Soon after he turned 22, Lee was diagnosed with narcolepsy and was prescribed methamphetamines to counteract its effects. Over the next two years Lee struggled to find a midpoint between sleepwalking and speeding and developed a serious drug habit in the process he has since kicked. "I ran out of pills for the last time, went to bed for a week, and I haven't really woken up since," he laughs. Returning to his nomadic lifestyle, Lee spent a year living in a farm truck and on couches in Los Angeles. Eventually, he was taken in by friend and famed engineer Patrick McCarthy (U2, REM, Madonna). The move proved pivotal in Lee’s songwriting career as McCarthy taught him how to listen and record the music he was hearing in his head.


In 2010 Lee moved back from California to Minnesota to be closer to his family. In a series of diners and motels during the long drive home he penned the songs which were later released on his DIY 'Middle West' EP. Lee has spent the last 3 years working on a hog farm in rural Minnesota and developing songs for his debut album. Many of these songs reflect his change in focus from the guitar to the piano, a move necessitated by a farming accident that crushed three of the fingers on his left hand. Of his return to the landscape that is the backdrop of so many of his songs, Lee says, "I'd been gone 10 years. I decided when I got back home, to really go back home, back to the land and the people who shaped me. The people I come from are North Dakota wheat farmers. Hardworking, soft-spoken, Scandinavians who moved to the middle of nowhere with nothing, and of that place made everything they needed. There's a movement now to get back to that way of living, and if we're gonna last a while then I think that's the only way we're gonna make it."
Venue Information:
Johnny Brenda's
1201 N. Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA, 19125
http://www.johnnybrendas.com/