CACTUS JACK are Steve Simpson (lead, backing vocals, bass, mandolin),Clive Read (lead, backing vocals, guitars), Andy Iddiols (keyboards backing vocals), and Damon Sawyer (drums). Based in the south of England, the band do most of their touring in Germany, where they have built up quite a following for their style of country music, a style which lies very firmly rooted in Country/Rock.
"..... ain't nothin like PRESSURE" is their second album and contains 10 tracks of all original material, although there are actually only 9 song's, as "She Dreams Of Ontario" is re-done acoustically as the last track
In places it does tend to get a little too heavy for me, but there are some good tracks on here, like the excellent, Steve Earle-ish, "Don't Count Him Out" a song that says, just because someone is slow at picking things up, it doesn't mean we have to abandon them altogether or call them stupid. We just have to give them a little more time. This is also my favourite track on the album! I also like the lively, opening track, "This Town" a nostalgic and loyal look at the town were one was born.
As mentioned earlier, "She Dreams Of Ontario" is given two outings on the album, with a full production version and an acoustic version as the album's closer. The song tells of an abused wife finally plucking up the courage to get away, with Ontario as the destination. Both version's are good, but I think the full production version just has the edge for me.
"Crazy Now And Then" is a lively honky tonker that is sure to go down well with the line-dancers while "Billy Palmer" is a great song lyrically, but the heavy guitar riffs are just a bit too much for me. In fact, I have to say the songwriting on here is nothing short of excellent, with some great story songs in true Country tradition that would easily stand up agains't anything coming from the U.S.
Cactus Jack are certainly not for the traditional country music fan, but if your taste stretches to the harder edge of the music, then this talented outfit who, I am proud to say, come from the U.K, are well worth seeking out.
For more information contact Victor Gray at "Country On Broadway". firstname.lastname@example.org