$10 Cover @ the Door / Start 7:30pm / Doors 7pm
Nick Vandenberg grew up in St. Mary’s, West Virginia and has spent time in Los Angeles, CA and Chapel Hill, NC composing music for film and working as a music producer and audio engineer. Though his songs are clearly shaped by his Appalachian upbringing closer inspection reveals a wide range of influences gleaned from his musical studies including composition lessons with Bruce DeMoll, tenor saxophonist and arranger for the Glen Miller Orchestra in the 1960's, and sitar and vocal classes with Indian classical music legend Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. He has composed music for projects shown on the Nickelodeon Network and at the Sundance film festival and has toured as a member of the North Carolina based bands bands Bombadil and Blue Cactus for whom he produced the self titled 2017 debut album. He currently lives in Boston, MA.
Modern cosmic country duo Blue Cactus supplements their twang with soaring, space-rock-inspired guitars, while rich harmonies steeped in twang keep their tunes rooted on solid honky tonk ground. Based out of Chapel Hill, NC, Blue Cactus is led by long-time collaborators Steph Stewart and Mario Arnez, who create songs that range from gritty honky tonk to heartbreaking balladry.
Their 2017 self-titled debut album has given life to the future of country music and received praise from critics across the nation for its poignant songwriting, acute sensibility and expansive interpretation of alt-country. Seamlessly bridging the Bakersfield and Countrypolitan sounds with elements of modern Americana, the record encompasses everything that made country music matter.
In their eighth year of making music together, Arnez and Stewart have become a nimble creative unit, adept at exploring heartache and hope with time-tested honky tonk humor. Inspired by such artists as the Everly Brothers, Patsy Cline and Tom Petty, Blue Cactus conjure a sound that will take you on a familiar journey into uncharted country, expanding tropes and breathing hope into the genre's limitless possibilities.