The Cactus Blossoms

The Grey Eagle and Worthwhile Sounds Present

The Cactus Blossoms

Andy Ferrell

Sun, July 16, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$15.00 - $18.00

This event is all ages


The Cactus Blossoms
The Cactus Blossoms
Our new album, You’re Dreaming, didn’t happen overnight. It is the culmination of several years of songwriting and the kindness of thousands of miles and friends. A cast of characters, experiences, and personal perspectives set in simple rhymes and sung in harmony to paint a picture in your mind.

When my brother and I started making music as The Cactus Blossoms there wasn’t a big plan. We cut our teeth performing some well known and obscure country songs that were popular or unpopular pre-1960, partly out of curiosity and deep appreciation, but mostly because it was fun. Early on, we were offered a residency at the Turf Club in St. Paul, Minnesota, so we got a band together and it became our weekly “practice-in-public” where we would pull out every song we could think of, no matter how well we knew it. It was our first chance to play all night and do whatever we wanted. Over the course of our year and a half at the Turf Club our repertoire had snowballed into an amalgam of original songs and a bunch of gut wrenching, “tongue-in-cheek” heartbreakers, that were 30 years older than us. Not everyone could tell what was new and what was old, and it didn’t really matter. They just seemed to enjoy it. That’s how the wheel got going and gave the illusion of spin
ning backwards. We weren’t born in the wrong era. We just got into some music from a different era and happened to make it our own.

Every step of the way we’ve had the good fortune of being offered an opportunity that seems just beyond what we’re ready for. It always stretches us out and makes us feel lucky as hell. When JD McPherson called us up and said he was interested in producing our record it was the latest in a series of serendipitous events that have brought us to where we are today. We had opened for him at a hometown gig in Minneapolis a few months earlier and had met him briefly, but could never have imagined then that within a year we would be recording a new album with his help and criss-crossing America on tour with his band. He’s got the singing voice of an angel, a connoisseur’s taste, the boundless creative energy of a child, a scholar’s mind, and he can hear like a wolf. This guy was the guy. He wanted to do something sparse and rhythmic with simple melodic arrangements and it lined up perfectly with the direction our new songs were leading us.

We wanted to record live with the best rhythm section we could find, which led us to Chicago where JD enlisted the amazing talents of drummer/engineer Alex Hall, guitarist Joel Paterson, and Beau Sample on upright bass. Three musicians who practice their respective crafts to genius proportions and bring it all to the studio. At the start of our first recording session we barely knew these guys and they barely knew our music. Alex was setting up microphones and running cables while the rest of us were drinking coffee and cracking jokes to wake up. Within a couple hours we had cut the first song for the album, “Queen Of Them All”, and we knew we were in the right place at the right time.

Jack & Page
The Cactus Blossoms
October 2015
Andy Ferrell
Andy Ferrell
The new album from North Carolina roots songwriter Andy Ferrell, At Home and In Nashville, is aptly named, for it points to a long lineage of artists traveling between their homes in rural Appalachia and the neon lights of country music’s capital, Nashville, Tennessee. Born in Boone, NC, Ferrell grew up in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the birthplace of Appalachian traditional music and the home of the great Doc Watson. Growing up in Watson’s shadow, and with a folk guitarist for a father, Appalachian roots play a large role in Ferrell’s music. What’s surprising about his new album is how far he has reached beyond these roots. On this album he focuses on country songwriting with a bittersweet edge, much like his heroes Hank Williams and Townes Van Zandt. Recording the album between Nashville and Boone, he blends old-time roots and folk songwriting with a more polished country sound that verges at times on Paul Simon-esque balladry. Sweet pedal steel rings through his sound, mixed in with rich vocal harmonies and songs that look to the hard truths of a working man’s life as much as to the vagaries of love.

At Home and In Nashville takes its name from the split nature of the album, in which the first half was recorded in Nashville’s Quad Studios with a full band and the second half was recorded in front of a live audience at The Jones House in Boone, North Carolina. Both of these settings show a different side of Andy Ferrell. As a confident bandleader, his folk songs nestle deeply into country settings in the first half. From the rolling blues of the opening song to the dancehall swagger of “Nobody to Answer To” or the barroom balladry of “Photographs and Letters,” Ferrell’s songwriting blends easily with the polish of a band of Nashville session leaders. For the second half, Ferrell delves deeper into his Appalachian folk roots, seasoned with a pinch of Woody Guthrie populism. Highlights like “Run Billy Run,” a pitch-perfect take on the old outlaw songs, and “The Price of Freedom,” a sadly knowing story about an old drifter, show that Ferrell’s a folk songwriter with an uncanny eye for stories new and old.

There’s a sense of travel in Ferrell’s new album, not least for it having been made between two states. He’s the kind of artist that needs to be in a constant state of motion. “I almost always have to be traveling to write good songs,” Ferrell admits. “It doesn't matter where, anything other than being in the town I live in usually works.” Time spent travelling cross-country and to Mexico have been productive moments for him, birthing some of his best songs. As if flashing by the windows of a moving train, At Home and in Nashville tells the stories of lovers lost, places left behind, and brighter futures ahead. Ultimately, it’s the story of a young man coming into his own as a songwriter on the road of life.
Venue Information:
The Grey Eagle
185 Clingman Ave
Asheville, NC, 28801