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Jack Torrey and Page Burkum are The Cactus Blossoms, brothers from Minnesota who deftly apply the sounds and approaches of early country and rock n’ roll into moving contemporary songs.

The singer/songwriter duo recently released Easy Way, the followup to their 2016 debut You’re Dreaming. On the new record, they expand on the intimate acoustic sound of their first album with an electric production reminiscent of 60s Nashville and Los Angeles as heard in artists like Roy Orbison, The Byrds, and Duane Eddy.

To fill out the new sonic palette in their live sets, The Cactus Blossoms added eldest brother Tyler Burkum on guitar, cousin Phillip Hicks on bass, and another set of brothers, Jake Hanson and Jeremy Hanson, on guitar and drums.

I caught up with them near the start of their tour at the Bowery Ballroom in New York to see how they created this amalgam of old and new music.

The Cactus Blossoms (brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum) perform at Bowery Ballroom to promote their new album, Easy Way.

Bassist Phillip Hicks (right) helps Tyler Burkum troubleshoot an amp issue during soundcheck.

 

Eldest brother Tyler Burkum’s Jerry Jones double-neck baritone fills in the layered vintage sounds on the new record.

Page and Jack work out the setlist for the night’s show in the green room.

The band kills some time before going onstage.

The band performs a song, “Adios Maria,” from their first album, as the encore.

This photoessay is the fifth installment in On The Road, a series of visual essays that explores the creative lives of notable musicians, onstage and off.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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