Music Review

Dakota Territory Entertainment Guide:

It is difficult to categorize "The Cactus Flats" Band. This group made up of 5 performers, 2 sound and light technicians. They believe in the concept that there are basically two kinds of music. GOOD Music and BAD Music.

They are influenced from vast musical backgrounds. Every member rooted into many different styles and artists from Johnny Cash to Tom Petty, Rockabilly to Lynard Skynard. Top 40 to the Austin Alternative Country Sound, the latest popular trend on the national scene. Mix all these ingredients together with a killer sound system and top-notch lighting...You get the Alternative Country sound of "Cactus Flats".

When asked why the band is striving to give their audience something different than what is being played on Top 40 Radio, Warren and Luke had several thoughts to express.

Warren: Don't get me wrong; we are basically a country band and I'm proud of it. But when asked by the public, What type of music we play, I often say country. The look on their face says...boring! Well, "we are anything but boring"! We play a wide variety of music. A lot of our material is new; some of it is or has been in the Top 40. Let's face it, there is a lot of music that is played. Unless you line dance, it doesn't have much to offer. In a club full of people, there is a good percentage that doesn't line dance. There are also those trying to move in a direction that we can keep the audience from going somewhere else.

Luke: If you get out and look, or even watch CMT at off-hours, say when the majority of their audiences are at work or sleeping. You will see some really great new artists performing. Some of the best music, that has come along in a long time. Unfortunately, the majority of people will not hear it. The major labels have the air waves all tied up and it leaves very little room for new artists to show their stuff.

Our plan is to go ahead and play Top 40 songs that everyone likes, including us. We will also play some of our own arrangements and personal favorites. I know when they hear these new songs they will develop an appreciation for them. In areas where we perform on a somewhat regular schedule, it's those songs we get the most requests for. What if all the bands in a 400 mile radius basically play the same songs. What sets them apart from one another? We like to mix it up. Entertain the crowd and keep the music fresh, if we can do that, it's almost a sure thing that everyone had a good time. And that has to be our main goal.

Warren: We are not a variety band, you know all things to all people, and it simply can't be done. The results no one dislikes your music and no one really likes your music either. We try to pick material that we think we can do well. We stay away from material that doesn't seem to fit. Try to stay focused, keep the performance moving, and above all we enjoy ourselves. If the crowd sees that you are into the music, they are also more inclined to be into the music.

Dakota Territory: When I was asked to interview Cactus Flats, I intended to get the basic details about this group. Write a few paragraphs that adequately described them for our readers and move onto the next article.

But after visiting with Warren and Luke, I decided to catch one of their performances and see if this band is as focused and committed to their goals and music as the seemed to be. Well, folks, it is my pleasure to announce that indeed they are. I can't remember when I had such a good time watching a band. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and you could definitely tell that they were enjoying themselves as well. It was great to watch the band take the stage and be able to tell that they were enjoying the music that they played. The crowd that they were playing for and the talented band members they share the stage with.

I would challenge anyone to sit still. I couldn't find anyone that wasn't moving some part of their body after "Cactus Flats" took the stage. Take my advice. If you like high energy country music, give "Cactus Flats" a listen, your ears will tell you...You're in the right Place.

Richard Jacobson
Dakota Territory
Entertainment Guide
Deadwood, South Dakota

Band Members

Warren Frerichs - singer/rhythm

Luke Frerichs - singer/rhythm

Marc Berns - drummer

Coleman Broders - bass

Jack McKown - lead guitar