Coming off two acclaimed studio albums (Black DawnTightrope),and an energized historic live album, Birth Of Cactus, founding member and world-renowned drummer Carmine Appice returns with the ultimate tribute to his legendary rock band. Temple of Blues – Influences And 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 ZeppelinCactus 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 revisit 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 Pererafrom Cleopatra Records, suggested to us that this album happens. So, Temple Of Blues was the logical next step.”

Temple of Blues – Influences And Friends 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 BonamassaTed NugentPat TraversWarren HaynesVernon ReidSteve StevensJohnny A (The Yardbirds),Ty Tabor (King’s X) and bassists Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big),Doug “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 Jett and The Yardbirds),as well as members of Gov’t MuleVixenRainbowZebra 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 FudgeMark 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 Tim “Ripper” Owens. Another of Appice‘s musical partners, Fernando Perdomo, also appears on the new record.

Dee Snider said, “Bass player Mark ‘The Animal’ Mendoza of Twisted Sister, turned me on to 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!)…

…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 f-ck with perfection!”

Doug Pinnick said, “It was 1971, Led ZeppelinZZ TopDeep 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 [of] 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 songwriting, 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.”

In addition to Appice on drums on all tracks, original  Cactus guitarist Jim McCarty also appears on Temple Of Blues. Current bandmembers, 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 lineup: 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.

Track listing:

1.  Parchman Farm [feat. Joe Bonamassa & Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big / David Lee Roth)]
2.  Bro. Bill [feat. Randy Jackson (Zebra), Randy Pratt (Cactus) & Bob Daisley (Ozzy Osbourne)]
3.  Guiltless Glider [feat. Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Guns N’ Roses) & Phil Soussan (Ozzy Osbourne)]
4.  Evil [feat. Dee Snider (Twisted Sister ) & Doug Pinnick (King’s X)]
5.  One Way…Or Another [feat. Doug Pinnick (King’s X) & Ted Nugent]
6.  Alaska [feat. Johnny A. & Tony Franklin (The Firm)]
7.  No Need To Worry [feat. Warren Haynes (Gov’t Mule) & Jorgen Carlsson (Gov’t Mule)]
8.  Oleo [feat. Steve Stevens (Billy Idol) & Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big / David Lee Roth)]
9.  Big Mama Boogie [feat. Pat Travers & James Caputo (Cactus)]
10. You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover
11. Rock N’ Roll Children [feat. Britt Lightning (Vixen), Vernon Reid (Living Colour) & Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot)]
12. Let Me Swim [feat. Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake) & Marco Mendoza (Blue Murder)]
13. Restrictions [feat. Ty Tabor (King’s X) & Phil Soussan (Ozzy Osbourne)]
14. Long Tall Sally [feat. Mark Stein (Vanilla Fudge) & Fernando Perdomo]

Bonus track:

15. Guiltless Glider [feat. Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest)]

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 Brothers “Drum Wars”, and a hybrid tribute to former band leader Rod StewartAppice adds: “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 lineup 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 Beck, Bogert & Appice.

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 Kunesvocals. 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 lineup, 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.”

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