Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, Blue Cactus
Cat’s Cradle Back Room, Carrboro
Friday, June 17, 2016

A few weeks ago, Cat’s Cradle’a Back Room hosted two of the Triangle’s more promising roots bands. The first, Blue Cactus, is the latest project from Steph Stewart and Mario Arnez. Inspired by the Flying Burrito Brothers, the group took the stage decked out in fringed western shirts to deliver a handful of songs that adhere to the classic country framework of heartbreak and loneliness.

As the crowd began to fill the room, Stewart and company rolled off one impressive tune after another, complemented on back-up vocals by Chessa Rich and the rest of the well-dressed “cacti” in the backing band. While we await the group’s first recorded music, we can at least be glad for their delightful Blue Cactus drinking glasses, which come complete with a “Cac-Tail” recipe.

Next up was Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, playing songs off the acclaimed Sidelong as well as a handful of new songs. The set began with Shook and Stewart joining together and asking the crowd to sing along to “The Things We Were Taught Are Too Small,” in commemoration of the Orlando shootings a few days before. From there, Shook and her band worked through most of the hellbilly offerings on Sidelong, with Eric Peterson’s vibrato guitar licks matching Shook’s shiver-inducing vocals.

Watch videos from the show below.

Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, “The Nail”

YouTube video