Local Current Blog

Photos: The Cactus Blossoms kick off their Turf Club residency and the year 2018

The Cactus Blossoms in the Clown Lounge on Jan. 1, 2018, the first night of their 2018 residency. All photos by Darin Kamnetz for MPR.

Welcome to the residency bonanza of January 2018! We made it to the New Year, and with its first month comes a slew of residencies: weekly shows helmed by locals Metasota, jeremy messersmith, Charlie Parr, the Cactus Blossoms, and Andrew Broder. We’ll be posting photos and a brief recap of several of the series’ first nights.

“You’re either frozen or the sweetest people on Earth,” Jack Torrey told the Turf Club crowd knee-deep in the Cactus Blossoms‘ headlining set. “That was so quiet.”

Far from frozen, those at the Turf stood reverent and relaxed as they watched the Cactus Blossoms — brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum — cruise through their songbooks. The scene reads like a storybook Minnesota night: in which locals tromp through snowbanks and subzero chill to a down-home venue. Low-key merriment ensues.

Frankie Lee opened up the show, backed by the killer band of drummer JT Bates, guitarist Jeremy Ylvisaker, and bassist Mike Lewis (who you may know better as a featured saxophonist in Bon Iver). Lee played it loose, noodling around to cheers and applause. He crouched on the stage while Ylvisaker and Lewis, both members of rock band Alpha Consumer, played a day-old song of theirs called “Dollar Store Jesus.”

Like any Cactus Blossoms show, the night honored historic country music as well as contemporary sounds. Both Lee and the brothers covered Hank Williams, as Jan. 1 marked the anniversary of his death; Lee went with “Lost Highway,” and the brothers covered “Honky Tonkin’.” Lee opened his set with “Standin'” by Townes Van Zandt, who also passed away on a Jan. 1 of old.

Most of this month’s residencies are four shows long, but the Blossoms get a bonus; because this January holds five Mondays, they get an extra date. Here’s the full schedule and a link to tickets ($15 each):

Monday, January 1st, 2018 ft. Frankie Lee
Monday, January 8th, 2018 ft. Invisible Boy
Monday, January 15th, 2018 ft. Jack Klatt
Monday, January 22nd, 2018 ft. The Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers and Ang & The Ranch Hands
Monday, January 29th, 2018

All photos by Darin Kamnetz for MPR.

Frankie Lee

The Cactus Blossoms