John Prine once said, “Bob Dylan opened the door when there was no door, and then left it open for others to come through.” When Jack Torrey and Page Burkum, aka Minnesota band The Cactus Blossoms, found that door, they walked right through it. "Dylan’s music was a friend and guide to me in those early years and has continued to be an artistic home base for me and Page,” Torrey says. "His songwriting on the Nashville Skyline and New Morning albums are such departure from his mid-60s rock’n’roll poetry, and they really comfortably fit into our wheelhouse without us having to imitate his unique style."
On their upcoming EP, If Not For You (Bob Dylan Vol. 1), out September 30 on all streaming platforms, The Cactus Blossoms reimagine four songs from the Bob Dylan songbook. Vol. 1 draws from Dylan’s early catalog and filters his work through the lens of the brothers’ signature harmonies and lush arrangements, adding new layers to these familiar classics. The band shared the first single, "Tell Me That It Isn't True," from Dylan's influential 1969 Nashville Skyline album, with The Boot, which writes, "The track's thoughtful production allow each element, including the stirring piano lines and acoustic guitar, to perfectly anchor Burkum and Torrey's heartfelt vocals."
LISTEN/STREAM "TELL ME THAT IT ISN'T TRUE" HERE
PRE-SAVE IF NOT FOR YOU (BOB DYLAN SONGS VOL. 1) HERE
"I’ve always liked the raw emotion of the song… you don’t know if he’s just jealous and delusional or if she’s really seeing someone else," Jack Torrey tells The Boot. "That vagueness and earnest attitude in the lyrics feels universal somehow."
"When we were finishing up our One Day album we were itching to get back in the studio and keep the creativity flowing,” Torrey says. "We had recorded a version of "Went to See The Gypsy” a while back and we were thinking about doing an EP of other people’s songs, but then it just made sense to stick with all Dylan tunes. He’s written a million songs and he’s always been an inspiration for us. So many of Bob Dylan’s songs are filled with wonderful phrasing that doesn’t really lend itself to harmony singing, so we got together and started singing some of his songs to see which ones we could bend into our world,” Torrey says.
The Cactus Blossoms are currently on tour, including select dates with Wilco. You can expect to hear some of the Dylan covers in their set along with favorites from their acclaimed recent album, One Day.
If Not For You (Bob Dylan Songs Vol. 1) tracklist:
1. If Not For You
2. To Ramona
3. Went To See The Gypsy
4. Tell Me That It Isn't True
9/9/22 - Madison, WI - The Sylvee *
9/10/22 - River Falls, WI - Tattersall Distillery
9/11/22 - Fargo, ND - Fargo Brewing *
9/12/22 - Sioux Falls, SD - Washington Pavilion *
9/16/22 - Fridley, MN - Forgotten Star Brewing
9/28/22 - Somerville, MA - Somerville Theatre **
9/29/22 - South Burlington, VT - Higher Ground **
10/1/22 - Fairfield, CT - StageOne **
10/3/22 - Sellersville, PA - Sellersville Theater **
10/4/22 - Vienna, VA - Jammin’ Java **
10/5/22 - Washington, DC - The Kennedy Center
10/6/22 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle - Backroom **
10/7/22 - Charlotte, NC - The Evening Muse **
10/8/22 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl **
10/13/22 - Stoughton, WI - Stoughton Opera House
10/15/22 - Mankato, MN - Hooligans
10/16/22 - Brooklyn Center, MN - MN Monthly Rhythm & Brews
11/26/22 - Viroqua, WI - Historic Temple Theatre
2/23/23 - Bellevue, WA - Wintergrass Music Festival
2/24/23 - Bellevue, WA - Wintergrass Music Festival
* w/ Wilco
** w/ Alexa Rose