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Cactus drummer Carmine Appice says band has really updated its sound on new album, ‘Tightrope’


Cactus, the hard-rock band co-founded in 1969 by Vanilla Fudge drummer Carmine Appice and bassist Tim Bogert, has just released a new studio album called Tightrope.

A follow-up to 2016’s Black Dawn, Tightrope is the group’s first to feature new guitarist Paul Warren and bassist Jimmy Caputo, who respectively replaced co-founder Jim McCarty and Pete Bremy in 2017. Rounding out the lineup are frontman Jimmy Kunes and harmonica player Randy Pratt, who’ve been in Cactus since the group was relaunched in 2006.

Appice, the only original Cactus member still in the band, tells ABC Audio that he thinks Tightrope features some of the best tunes the group has ever created.

“I love it. I love the songs,” Carmine declares. “I tried to create different drum tracks with each song. Not straight ahead. Something interesting. And I think everybody that participated really, really did great parts…So I think we’ve really updated the Cactus sound.”

Tightrope is made up mainly of new original songs, and boasts a diverse mix of tunes that includes heavy rock, 12-bar blues, melodic rock and atmospheric power ballads.

The album also features a cover of the 1972 Temptations chart-topper “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone.” Appice reveals that the reason Cactus brought the song into its repertoire was that Warren actually played on the original track as a teenage session guitarist.

After playing the song in concert, and getting a great reaction from fans, Carmine says the Motown classic wound up being the first track Cactus recorded for Tightrope, adding that “it came out fantastic.”

Cactus recently debuted a music video for the album’s title track that you can watch on YouTube.

Tightrope is available now on CD, as a limited-edition two-LP colored-vinyl set and digitally.

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