Cactus – V


Escapi Music
Released 2006
Rating: 3.5/5

Because of their music, Cactus was called “The American Led Zeppelin” when they first started out. During the 70’s they released 4 albums, and after that the band were put on ice. Today they have reunited and the line up is the same as then, except for the new lead singer Jimmy Kunes (ex- Savoy Brown); the original singer, Rusty Day, died in 1982.

As everyone knows, Cactus plays mean, electrified blues/rock’n’roll, and even though the gentlemen have a few years behind them they still know how to play succesful music of the highest quality. Jimmy Kunes is a find; his voice fits into the frames of the music and he lifts the material higher. Something that’s good is the harmonica they brought in with Randy Pratt (The Lizzards). His harmonica playing is only disturbing. Sure, the harmonica is maybe great in smaller proportions, but there’s way too much of it here.

Some of the tracks that stand out of the 14 on the album are “Cactus Music”, “The Groover”, “Livin For Today”, “Shine”, “Doing Time”, “Muscle And Soul” and the shorter acoustical “Blues For Mr. Day”, which is a tribute to the original singer Rusty Day. The main problem this album has is the material; it’s too equal and floats into each other and a few of them don’t leave a mark at all. The two ballads, “Nite to Days” and “Electric Blue”, are only straight up boring, and “Brother’s Keeper” as well as the funk/soul track “Jazzed” don’t fit in the album at all.

But despite all the mentioned things and the dry production the album does have its moments; they are numerous, that’s all. If you’re like me – a fan of Carmine Appice – you now that nothing much really can go wrong, and he saves the album from a sometimes impending meltdown. Together with Jim McCarty and Jimmy Kunes, they deserve credit for their strong appearances on V.

Cactus have recently been out on tour throughout Europe and America. To everyone that longs for more material from Cactus, you can look forward to a new DVD that will be released during the winter.

Carmine Appice – drums
Tim Bogart – bass
Jim McCarty – guitar
Jimmy Kunes – lead vocals
Randy Pratt – harmonica

More info about the band


Doing Time
Muscle and Soul
Cactus Music
The Groover
Hi In the City
Nite to Days
Livin For Today
Electric Blue
Brother’s Keeper
Blues For Mr. Day
Gone Train Gone