Friday, September 23, 2016

The New Cactus Band - 1973 - Son Of Cactus

The New Cactus Band
Son Of Cactus

01. It's Getting Better 03:50
02. I Can't Wait 03:27
03. Hook Line And Sinker 03:55
04. It's Just A Feelin' 04:11
05. Lady (Spend My Life With You) 04:28
06. Ragtime Suzy 02:47
07. Blue Gypsy Woman 03:21
08. Senseless Rebel 03:27
09. Man Is A Boy 03:29
10. Hold On To My Love 04:13
11. Daddy Ain't Gone 03:14

Duane Hitchings - keyboards, flute, vocals
Mike Pinera - guitar, vocals
Roland Robinson - bass, vocals
Jerry Norris - drums, vocals
Manuel Bertematti - drums, vocals

The New Cactus Band, led by Duane Hitchings, released one album (Son Of Cactus) and featured nobody of the original Cactus. Mike Pinera, formerly of Blues Image and Iron Butterfly, came in on guitar, along with Roland Robinson on bass and Jerry Norris on drums. The band then toured live in the Midwest and on the East Coast in mid 1973 with Captain Beyond drummer Bobby Caldwell and former Gregg Allman bass player Charlie Souza. The New Cactus Band soon disbanded. In the late '70s Rusty Day formed another version of Cactus in Orlando, where he had relocated. This version of Cactus featured Steve Dansby on guitar, Dan Keylon and later John Sauter on bass, Frankie Robbins and later Gary Moffatt on drums. Frankie Robbins' brother Dennis along with Dan Keylon also played with the Rockets and Jim McCarty. There are no known studio recordings from this era, though live recordings do circulate. On March 6, 1982, Rusty Day died from gunshots as a victim of a drug deal gone bad.

I own thousands of LPs, but this has always been a favorite. This LP was bashed by the critics, probably since it is NOT the original Cactus, ok, maybe they should have used a different name, (they evolved into Thee Image and cut 2 LPs under that name). This album DOES have Duane Hitchings (keyboards) who was on the last Cactus LP from 1972, "Ot & Sweaty", and the excellent work of guitarist Mike Pinera (of Blues Image and Iron Butterfly, Ramatam, Classic Rock All Stars), bassist Roland Robinson and Jerry Norris. Musically, it is a VERY STRONG and EXCELLENT LP. Not exactly like the original Cactus, but it certainly, without any doubt, stands on it's own, equally as great as any great LPs from the 70s. It shines throughout, and is one of Pinera's best LPs. Another lost LP, the self titled Steel, which is excellent, (if you can find a copy), from 2 years earlier, (Epic-1971), also has Hitchings, Robinson and Norris. Robinson was an overlooked bassist who passed on recently, who worked on these and LPs with Hendrix, Buddy Miles, Mar-keys, etc. Hitchings has worked with countless artists, Rod Stewart, Steve Perry, Buddy Miles, etc, and both him and Pinera worked and recorded w/ Alice Cooper. If you love 70s rock, you'll enjoy this. Thanks to the people who made this possible. A grossly under-rated classic!!!

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