The geography of music is changing a little bit as it was recently announced that Carmine Appice was reinventing the band Cactus after the departure of bassist Pete Bremy and retirement from touring duties by founding guitarist Jim McCarty. Read the full statement and inside scoop below. I’ll return at the close with some thoughts.
The Press Release:
Coming off a very successful US tour and the release of its first studio album in 10 years, Black Dawn, the time has come for founding member and world renown drummer Carmine Appice to re-energize and rebuild Cactus. The band was once heralded by critics as America’s answer to Led Zeppelin.
Appice announced today two new members to the legendary band’s line-up: bassist Jimmy Caputo and guitarist Paul Warren. Caputo replaces bassist Pete Bremy, who has left Cactus to pursue other projects. Warren, best known as lead guitarist for Rod Stewart, Tina Turner and Joe Cocker, will be the band’s new guitarist for touring, taking over for founding member Jim McCarty. McCarty remains a writing and recording member of Cactus but unfortunately is unable to tour with the band due to health reasons. Lead vocalist extraordinare Jimmy Kunes and harmonica wizard Randy Pratt, both of whom joined when the band re-grouped in 2006 remain in the line-up.
“Nearly five decades after I formed this band, the time has come to re-invent Cactus once again,” says Appice, who also still drums for Vanilla Fudge, The Appice Brothers, and The Platinum Rock All Stars. Adds Appice: “The music remains the same and Cactus is still a ‘hot and sweaty’ band. The level, quality and consistence of the band’s musicianship is as strong as ever.”
“I saw the original Cactus live a few times, and they absolutely killed it,” says guitarist Paul Warren. “That was one of the great bands of the era, and they are still a great band, today. I am excited, and honored, to play with such an historic band!” Warren, who has his own successful solo band, is a native of Detroit and who considers Jim McCarty as one of his biggest musical influences. “”Filling in for Jim McCarty will be a challenge. Not only is he a founding member of the band, he is a brilliant guitarist and one of the best to ever come out of Detroit. Jimmy could never be replaced. I plan to honor and pay homage to his work with Cactus while still bringing some of my own ‘Detroit attitude’ to the legendary music of this band.”
Bassist Jimmy Caputo has worked in a myriad of national touring acts including The Appice Brothers Drum Wars show, which also includes both Carmine and his brother Vinny.
Cactus returned in 2016 with Black Dawn, a new studio album, its first in almost 10 years. Featuring the blistering riff-rock that the band built its reputation upon, Black Dawn is a classic Cactus album with a fresh new energy that the band has not had since its heyday in the early 1970s. The new line up of Cactus and the release of the Black Dawn CD will land just days ahead of the band’s first string of European dates in 4 years upcoming in May 2017.
The band has had a long and turbulent history. Formed in 1970 from the ashes of The Vanilla Fudge by Carmine Appice and Tim Bogert. the initial line up also featured McCarty and vocalist Rusty Day. (Appice and Bogert had originally planned a new band with Jeff Beck which was put off until 1973 because of Beck’s near fatal car crash in 1969). Jim McCarty had come from Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels and was playing with The Buddy Miles Express. Tim and Carmine also found vocalist Day in The Amboy Dukes with Ted Nugent. Together, the four musicians formed Cactus, named after the peyote cactus, which provided a key ingredient in mind-altering drugs.
While Cactus saw success from the start and soon built a loyal fan base, by early 1973 the band had collapsed mainly due to lack of real support from its label and the fact that Beck was now ready play with Carmine and Tim. It would not be until 2006, three decades after the tragic death of Rusty Day that the group reformed with Pratt and Kunes to record CACTUS V and play Sweden Rock. When Tim Bogert was forced into retirement due to complications after a serious motorcycle accident, Pete Bremy joined on bass in both in Cactus and Vanilla Fudge.
Now, with Jimmy Caputo and Paul Warren onboard, Cactus embarks on a new and exciting musical journey – just as powerful as before – and bound to be just as successful…one way or another.
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PiercingMetal Thoughts: I’m going to admit that I was a bit of a latecomer to the mighty Cactus and I didn’t listen to them back in the day but one of our fellow website scribes was rather schooled in their tunes and guided me to their path several years ago. I’ve been both a fan and a supporter in the music media scene ever since. Fortunately, I’ve met all of the guys on numerous occasions at their shows since they ALWAYS stick around to meet the people who came out to see them and it really is a testimony to their resolve. As a former drummer, I can honestly say that the work of Carmine Appice on the drums is just hypnotizing and this band was one that I greatly enjoyed seeing each and every time they paid a visit to the B.B. King Blues Club. They say that in life the only constant is change and that very much applies to the music scene and the bands that entertain us. I am sure going to miss seeing Jim and Pete up there on the stage playing these songs but I welcome Jimmy and Paul with a thumbs up and I look forward to seeing them kicking some a$$ on the stage soon. Closing up I am curious what you readers who have seen Cactus before think about the news. You can let me know in the comments section below. Welcome to the band lads, and for those who still need a copy of the smoking “Black Dawn” album, you can order it below on Amazon.com
Official Websites: http://cactusrocks.net/