Ahead of The Cactus Blossoms’ first headlining Mainroom show this weekend, we asked Jack Torrey of the duo a few questions. See what we found out below, and grab your tickets to him and his brother Page Burkum on the First Avenue stage on Saturday, November 26! 

Blog By Emily Hoar

Emily Hoar:
After being one of CMT’s “10 Overlooked Albums of 2011,” you were given a residency at the Turf Club. Tell us more about how that experience affected your band so early in its life. 

Jack Torrey: I had my musical debut there about 11 years ago, so I have a lot of fond feelings for the Turf Club. Our weekly gig was a blast. There was something in the air and it wasn’t just cigarette smoke and beer bubbles… it was magic. Some of the best people on earth were coming down to the shows to hang out with their friends and listen to the music. The crew behind the bar, soundboard, and door were the best part. We would lock the door, kill the lights and hang out all night sometimes.

EH: Many of your team—Alex, Joel, and Beau—are from Chicago. Are they still based in Chicago? Is it important for you that bandmates are friends, or do you prefer a more professional relationship? 

JT: We recorded with the Chicago guys and play with them occasionally, but our core crew are Minneapolis based. Andy Carroll on the bass, Chris Hepola on drums, and sometimes our oldest bro Tyler Burkum plays electric guitar with us. They will be backing us up at the First Ave show. You can’t work with friends if they’re unprofessional and you can’t work with professionals if they aren’t friendly. Having a sense of humor is required. 

EH: Country music has gone through countless identity shifts in the past 100 years from “Hillbilly Boogie”, to “Outlaw Country”, to today’s “Bro-Country”. Do you make a conscious effort to align your values/sounds to any particular movement(s)? 

JT: Genres are a pain in the ass! I don’t think we fit into any of them very well because we’re not really purists when it comes to style. Maybe we should make up a new one. 

EH: Where do you look to find good new country music?

JT: I haven’t been seeking out much new music but if you want hear some country leaning bands I’ll just mention my friends and talented folks we’ve enjoyed playing shows with this year. Caleb Klauder Country Band, Johnny Fritz, The Deslondes, Sam Outlaw … there are many more but I’ll stop there.