DVD: Cactus: Live, Loud And Proud
Born in 1969 by drummer Carmine Appice and Tim Bogert of Vanilla Fudge fame with guitarist Jim McCarty (from Mitch Ryder’s Detroit Wheels), Cactus lasted five albums strong into the mid 70’s. Cactus Live, Loud and Proud sees the band return to heavy blues form…once again.
Original members Appice, Bogert and McCarty are joined by Savoy Brown vocalist Jimmy Kunes for 2 different NYC dates recorded here. The first of the thirteen tunes, “Let Me Swim,” is a fine rock blues tune, but things start kicking for me second song in, the roiling “Long Tall Sally,” with Kunes really showing off his growl. These first few tunes are from a concert the band played on a bigger stage as opposed to almost all of the rest, filmed from, B.B. King’s on 42nd Street.
By the time we are into the solos mid way into the DVD, “Oleo” (bass solo by Bogert illustrating what a talent the guy is) and “Evil” (Appice’s drum work out) the band is grooving well. No wonder that the next song “The Groover” smokes, featuring some great slide playing by McCarty, followed by what I feel is the best two tunes here “Part Of The Game,” with the band tighter than possible (Appice’s feet alone are amazing) and then McCarty wailing through the loud and bad-ass “Rock and Roll Children.” Cactus Live Loud And Proud is great prickly loud stuff from a great American band.