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CARMINE APPICE Rebuilds Legendary Rock Band CACTUS With Powerful New All-Star Album

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Friday, May 17, 2024 @ 7:09 AM


Temple of Blues - Influences & Friends Sees Band Re-Record Blues Songs With Help From Friends

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Coming off two acclaimed studio albums (Black Dawn, Tightrope), and an energized historic live album, Birth Of Cactus, founding member and world renown drummer Carmine Appice returns with the ultimate tribute to his legendary rock band. Temple of Blues - Influences & Friends, merges the members of CACTUS with a super ensemble of guest artists, all of whom have called the group among their biggest influences. Once heralded by critics as America's answer to LED ZEPPELIN, CACTUS recorded four hard rockin' albums for Atco Records before Appice and bassist Tim Bogert left to form their own supergroup: BECK, BOGERT & APPICE.

"The music of CACTUS has always been steeped in blues tradition," says Appice, who wanted the group to re-visit its best songs within a modern rock approach to traditional blues. "We kept hearing from so many of our music celebrity friends how much Cactus influenced them and how they would love to be a guest on a CACTUS album. Even our label President, Brian Perera from Cleopatra Records, suggested to us that this album happens. So, Temple Of Blues was the logical next step."

The album is set for release on JUNE 7th 2024 as a CD and also as double vinyl album.

​Featured along with the current CACTUS band is a who's who of blues and rock icons: Guitarists Joe Bonamassa, Ted Nugent, Pat Travers, Warren Haynes, Vernon Reid, Steve Stevens, Johnny A (The Yardbirds), Ty Tabor (King's X) and bassists Billy Sheehan (Mr Big), Dug Pinnick (King's X) Tony Franklin (The Firm, Blue Murder), Phil Soussan (Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol), Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne), Kenny Aaronson (ex- Joan Jet and The Yardbirds), as well as members of Government Mule, Vixen, Rainbow, Zebra, and Whitesnake. Vocalist Dee Snider of Twisted Sister appears on the band's remake of the HOWLIN' WOLF classic "Evil", and Appice's bandmate in VANILLA FUDGE Mark Stein turns in a powerful vocal on Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally". A second version of "Guiltless Glider", appears as a bonus track with former JUDAS PRIEST vocalist, Ripper Owens. Another of Appice's musical partners, Fernando Perdomo, also appears on the new record.

Watch the new video for "Evil" on KNAC.COM HERE.

Digital album pre-order: orcd.co/cactus_templeofblues
CD and vinyl: cleorecs.com/search?q=cactus+temple+of+blues

In addition to Appice on drums on all tracks, original CACTUS guitarist Jim McCarty also appears on Temple Of Blues. Current band members vocalist/guitarist and harmonica player Jim Stapley and bassist Jim Caputo also appear on many of the tracks. Appice announced today a new member to the band's line-up: guitarist Artie Dillon will handle guitar duties for live tours and plays on one track for the new album. Founding member Jim McCarty currently contributes as a writing and recording member of CACTUS on occasion but no longer does live tours.

​The current line-up of CACTUS came together in 2021. Lead vocalist Jim Stapley comes from England and had worked with ex-FACES/WHO drummer Kenny Jones in the JONES GANG and HUMBLE PIE. "Nearly five decades after I formed this band, the time had come to re-invent CACTUS once again," says Appice, who also still drums for VANILLA FUDGE, THE APPICE BORHTERS DRUM WARS, and a hybrid tribute to former band leader, Rod Stewart. Adds Appice: "The music remains the same and CACTUS is still a 'hot and sweaty' band. The level, quality and consistence of the band's musicianship is as strong as ever."

CACTUS has had a long and turbulent history. Formed in 1970 from the ashes of VANILLA FUDGE by Carmine Appice and Tim Bogert, the initial line up also featured McCarty (from Mitch Ryder and The Buddy Miles Express) and AMBOY DUKES vocalist Rusty Day. While CACTUS saw success from the start and soon built a loyal fan base, by early 1973 the band had collapsed mainly due to lack of real support from its label and the fact that Jeff Beck was now ready play with Carmine and Tim in BBA.

The band reformed in 2006, three decades after the tragic death of Rusty Day with Randy Pratt on harp (who also appears on this album) and Jimmy Kunes vocals. When the late Tim Bogert was forced into retirement due to complications after a serious motorcycle accident, Pete Bremy joined on bass before Caputo replaced him in 2020. Now, with a powerful new line-up CACTUS and an album the marries the band with some of the biggest names in rock and blues, embarks on a new and exciting musical journey to the Temple Of Blues.

This time around, the music is just as powerful as before - and bound to be just as successful "one way or another".

"Bass player Mark "The Animal" Mendoza of Twisted Sister, turned me onto CACTUS. They were the hardest, heaviest, fastest (check out their version of "Parchman Farm" live at the Isle of Wight festival if you want proof) band of their time, setting the standard for hard rock/heavy metal bands to come! I was hooked! (Thanks, Mark!)

Cut to the early 90's and during rehearsals for our new project WIDOWMAKER, drummer Joe Franco and I play "Evil" for the 'young guns' in our band and their minds are completely blown. The next rehearsal I walked into them jamming "Evil" like they'd discovered a new form of rock! I joined in on vocals, our producer heard us laying into it and said we had to put the song on our album (Blood And Bullets). "Evil" became a staple of every live show we played over the next couple of years.

To get a call from Carmine Appice, asking me to sing this song on a CACTUS album is one of the highlights of my career. He told me I sounded more like the late great Rusty Day than anyone else he ever heard. Of course I do! You don't fuck with perfection! Thank you Rusty, Timmy, Camine and Jim for showing me the way and allowing me (Carmine and Jim) the chance to do this. I am honored to rock with such greatness." - Dee Snider, November 2023

"It was 1971, Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top, Deep Purple and Yes were my go to bands, and one day I went to visit a musician friend who played me "Long Tall Sally" by CACTUS! From the beginning Jim's guitar intro I was hooked! The riff was so heavy, and when Rusty sang the first verse my mind was blown. A Little Richard cover!!!!..the reason I play rock music was because of Little Richard! So I listened to the whole album. Great song writing, Carmine's brutal drumming, Tim's bass and Jim's guitar playing, So inspirational they were! Rusty had a special knack for writing amazing down to earth lyrics! I loved his voice! I learned to sing and play every song and I never looked back. These albums still stand the test of time!! CACTUS is one of my ALL TIME favorite bands. This is why I said "Yes" to playing on this record." - Dug Pinnick

Upcoming CACTUS Tour Dates:

  • 6/7/24 - ORLANDO FL - ORLANDO LIVE! WITH FOGHAT
  • 6/8/24 - BOCA RATON FL - FUNKY BISCUIT
  • 6/9/24 - CLEARWATER FL - RUTH ECKERD HALL WITH PAT TRAVERS & FOGHAT
  • 6/25/24 - WESTLAND MI - TOKEN LOUNGE
  • 6/27/24 - LIMA NY - FANATICS
  • 6/28/24 - NEW YORK CITY NY - IRIDIUM
Track listing:
  • "Parchman Farm" feat. Joe Bonamassa & Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big / David Lee Roth)
  • "Bro. Bill" feat. Randy Jackson (Zebra), Randy Pratt (Cactus) & Bob Daisley (Ozzy Osbourne)
  • "Guiltless Glider" feat. Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (Guns N' Roses) & Phil Soussan (Ozzy Osbourne)
  • "Evil" feat. Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) & Dug Pinnick (King's X)
  • "One Way...Or Another" feat. Dug Pinnick (King's X) & Ted Nugent
  • "Alaska" feat. Johnny A. & Tony Franklin (The Firm)
  • "No Need To Worry" feat. Warren Haynes (Gov't Mule) & Jorgen Carlsson (Gov't Mule)
  • "Oleo" feat. Steve Stevens (Billy Idol) & Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big / David Lee Roth)
  • "Big Mama Boogie" feat. Pat Travers & James Caputo (Cactus)
  • "You Can't Judge A Book By The Cover"
  • "Rock N' Roll Children" feat. Britt Lightning (Vixen), Vernon Reid (Living Colour) & Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot)
  • "Let Me Swim" feat. Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake) & Marco Mendoza (Blue Murder)
  • "Restrictions" feat. Ty Tabor (King's X) & Phil Soussan (Ozzy Osbourne)
  • "Long Tall Sally" feat. Mark Stein (Vanilla Fudge) & Fernando Perdomo
BONUS TRACK
  • "Guiltless Glider" feat. Tim "Ripper" Owens (Judas Priest)


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