The Cactus Blossoms, Kacy & Clayton fete eight years of 'United States of Americana'

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The Cactus Blossoms perform at United States of Americana birthday
The Cactus Blossoms perform at the United States of Americana 8th birthday celebration, held at First Avenue in Minneapolis on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. (Andy Witchger for MPR)

Stetsons and pearl snaps were in a higher-than-usual concentration at First Avenue in Minneapolis on Saturday, Nov. 25. The Current's Bill DeVille, host of the station's roots-music program, United States of Americana, was seen sporting both fashion items as he emceed the event honoring the eighth-birthday celebration of the Sunday-morning Americana show. See photos from the show

On the bill were local duo — in their full five-piece configuration — the Cactus Blossoms, who were preceded by Canadian duo, also in a fully fleshed-out format, Kacy & Clayton.

Opening the show, Kacy & Clayton played a number of tunes from their recent album, The Siren's Song, which was produced by Jeff Tweedy, as well as dipping into their back catalogue and throwing in a few covers. Frontwoman Kacy Anderson's voice invites comparisons to fellow Saskatchewan-nurtured singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. Anderson's stage banter, meanwhile, is reminiscent of the quirky and humorous repartee of Bad Bad Hats' Kerry Alexander; incidentally, at one point in the show, Anderson engaged with several audience members about the (good) hats they were wearing.

Comprising Anderson and her cousin, Clayton Linthicum, along with their rhythm section, Kacy & Clayton played a solid set of songs and likely earned new fans while energizing the audience for the Cactus Blossoms.

Typical for First Avenue, the audience in the Mainroom hooted and hollered their approval when the stage-obscuring scrim began to rise for headliners The Cactus Blossoms. As he did for Kacy & Clayton, DeVille kept his introduction short and sweet. As it was the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, DeVille seized on the theme, telling the 1,000-plus attendees, "I am so thankful for all of you."

With that, the Cactus Blossoms dived into a generous set that exceeded 90 minutes and featured fan favorites from their 2016 album You're Dreaming, plus a hearty helping of new tunes that included sing-along foot-stompers and sentimental ballads. The set also included a Waylon Jennings cover — and most poignantly — a heartfelt dedication to The Current's Bill DeVille followed by a spot-on cover of Charlie Rich's "Life Has Its Little Ups and Downs."

The Cactus Blossoms' Jack Torrey shared several times how happy the band members were to finally be home after a lengthy stretch of touring. "This place feels like home with a capital H," Torrey said.

And it appears the Cactus Blossoms will be home for a while. Just before concluding their encore, Torrey announced that the Cactus Blossoms will be playing at the Turf Club in St. Paul on every Monday night in January. "And there's five of them," Torrey enthused.

The night was a perfect celebration of United States of Americana and the genre it spotlights, providing a loving nod to the music's roots while celebrating where it is now, and where it's going from here.

Resources


Kacy & Clayton - official site

The Cactus Blossoms - official site

15 Photos

  • Kacy & Clayton perform at United States of Americana's 8th birthday
    Kacy & Clayton perform at United States of Americana's 8th birthday celebration at First Avenue. (Andy Witchger for MPR)
  • Kacy & Clayton perform at United States of Americana's 8th birthday
    Kacy Anderson of Kacy & Clayton performs at United States of Americana's 8th birthday celebration at First Avenue. (Andy Witchger for MPR)
  • Kacy & Clayton perform at United States of Americana's 8th birthday
    Clayton Linthicum of Kacy & Clayton performing at United States of Americana's 8th birthday celebration at First Avenue. (Andy Witchger for MPR)
  • Bill DeVille at United States of Americana's 8th birthday party
    Bill DeVille introduces the Cactus Blossoms at United States of Americana's 8th birthday party, held at First Avenue in Minneapolis. (Andy Witchger for MPR)
  • The Cactus Blossoms perform at United States of Americana birthday
    Page Burkum and Jack Torrey of The Cactus Blossoms perform at the United States of Americana 8th birthday celebration, held at First Avenue in Minneapolis. (Andy Witchger for MPR)
  • The Cactus Blossoms perform at United States of Americana birthday
    Jack Torrey of The Cactus Blossoms performs at the United States of Americana 8th birthday celebration, held at First Avenue in Minneapolis. (Andy Witchger for MPR)
  • The Cactus Blossoms perform at United States of Americana birthday
    Page Burkum of The Cactus Blossoms performing at the United States of Americana 8th birthday celebration, held at First Avenue in Minneapolis on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. (Andy Witchger for MPR)
  • The Cactus Blossoms perform at United States of Americana birthday
    Jack Torrey of The Cactus Blossoms performs at the United States of Americana 8th birthday celebration, held at First Avenue in Minneapolis. (Andy Witchger for MPR)
  • The Cactus Blossoms perform at United States of Americana birthday
    The Cactus Blossoms perform at the United States of Americana 8th birthday celebration, held at First Avenue in Minneapolis on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. (Andy Witchger for MPR)
  • The Cactus Blossoms perform at United States of Americana birthday
    Page Burkum of The Cactus Blossoms performs at the United States of Americana 8th birthday celebration, held at First Avenue in Minneapolis. (Andy Witchger for MPR)
  • The Cactus Blossoms perform at United States of Americana birthday
    Page Burkum and Jack Torrey of The Cactus Blossoms perform at United States of Americana birthday (Andy Witchger for MPR)
  • The Cactus Blossoms perform at United States of Americana birthday
    A haloed Jack Torrey of The Cactus Blossoms performs at the United States of Americana 8th birthday celebration, held at First Avenue in Minneapolis. (Andy Witchger for MPR)
  • The Cactus Blossoms perform at United States of Americana birthday
    Page Burkum of The Cactus Blossoms performs at the United States of Americana 8th birthday celebration, held at First Avenue in Minneapolis. (Andy Witchger for MPR)
  • The Cactus Blossoms perform at United States of Americana birthday
    Jack Torrey of The Cactus Blossoms performs at the United States of Americana 8th birthday celebration, held at First Avenue in Minneapolis. (Andy Witchger for MPR)
  • The Cactus Blossoms perform at United States of Americana birthday
    Jack Torrey of The Cactus Blossoms performs at the United States of Americana 8th birthday celebration, held at First Avenue in Minneapolis. (Andy Witchger for MPR)

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