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Cactus

The Birth Of Cactus - 1970

Review by Gary Hill

Cactus never became the household name a lot of other bands that played similar blues heavy hard rock did, but they certainly should have. This live disc of their very first gig shows that they were tastefully raw, high energy and just plain great. The recording quality might not be perfect (although for the time period, it's quite good), but the performance more than makes up for it. This is intense stuff.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
One Way... Or Another
Pounding in heavy and fuzz-laden, this feels a little like early Black Sabbath as it gets underway. This turns into quite a potent hard rocking jam. I love the bass work on this screamer. I'm reminded at times of early Grand Funk Railroad on this. This instrumental is a great opener.
Sweet Sixteen
This is a straight-ahead hard rocker. That said, there is still some fierce jamming on the instrumental section later in the tune. This is another screaming hot rocker. It's high energy, tastefully raw and so cool.
No Need to Worry
I standard blues jam, they turn in a raw and turbo-charged performance that's anything but standard. This includes harmonica and plenty of fuzz-drenched guitar.
Medley: Let Me Swim / Big Mama Boogie / Oleo
The first part of this medley is a driving and raw hard rocking number. They turn it into more pure blues complete with harmonica for the second section. The cut gets more rocking for a time, but then drops to a full harmonica solo movement. From there we get more screaming hot raw hard-rocking sound. The rhythm section gets a workout further down the road. 
Feel So Good
While not a big change, this is another powerhouse raw rocker. Again I'm reminded of early GFR to some degree. This track includes a drum solo.
Parchman Farm
Even fiercer and rawer, this is a serious screamer. It includes some fiery harmonica playing and lots of smoking hot jamming.
 
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