Monday, April 30, 2012

Jim McCarty wins Detroit Music Awards; jams with Cactus

Jim McCarty
Guitarist-singer Jim McCarty, whose resume includes stints with Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, the Rockets, Cactus, the Detroit Blues Band, etc., won two Detroit Music Awards Friday. McCarty was named Outstanding Blues/R&B Instrumentalist and also won the Outstanding Blues/R&B Recording award for his CD “Jim McCarty and Friends – Live at Callahan’s.” The outstanding CD, released on Cally’s Records and Tapes, is a collection of 12 songs recorded live at Callahan’s Music Hall over a three-year period. Each tune features McCarty in impromptu jams with the likes of Duke Robillard, Jason Ricci and John Nemeth.
“It’s always nice to get a little recognition,” McCarty said. “I’m extremely proud of that CD. Me and (recording engineer) Peter (Jay) did a lot of work getting the finished product together and it was really gratifying to have it recognized.”
The CD can be purchased on iTunes or at

McCarty will be performing with the reunited Cactus, featuring original member Carmine Appice (drums) and former Savoy Brown frontman Jimmy Kunes (vocals), on Saturday (May 5) at the Magic Bag in Ferndale. The Muggs open. Tickets are $25. For info, click
Cactus performed three concerts last week, at the B.B. King Blues Club in New York, at a concert hall just outside Philadelphia and in Long Island, N.Y. They will be playing in Akron, Ohio, this Friday before motoring up to Detroit for Saturday’s show.
“Hopefully, we’ll have as much fun (at the Magic Bag) as we did last year,” McCarty said. “That was terrific. It was our first show with Pete Bremy (Vanilla Fudge) on bass and probably the best show the band had done since regrouping in 2006.
“The band sounded like Cactus and the audience can always pick up when the band is having fun and enjoying themselves. It was a good vibe and, hopefully, will be again this Saturday.”
McCarty, who also fronts his Detroit-based band Mystery Train, is looking forward to touring with Cactus this year. The group will be going to Europe in July and Japan toward the end of the year.
“That will really be a fun trip for me,” McCarty said. “In the old days, ‘70 and ’71, Japan was one of the hot spots for that group. We never had a hit record, so it was basically a cult following. I’ve always wanted to go to Japan.”
McCarty has been busy putting some new ideas down on his eight-track recorder in anticipation of recording a new Cactus album by the end of the year. McCarty is excited about the new songs.
“’Cactus V’ was a really good CD and this one will be even better. I’ve got some really good ideas and I guarantee this will be one hot little CD.”

Thornetta Davis
Also at the Detroit Music Awards, Detroit Blues Society Lifetime Achievement Award winner Thornetta Davis took home honors in two categories, Outstanding Blues Artist/Group and Outstanding Blues/R&B Vocalist. Eliza Neals was named Outstanding Blues/R&B Songwriter.
The Howling Diablos
The night’s biggest winners were the Howling Diablos, who took home five trophies, including Outstanding R&B Artist/Group and Outstanding Urban/Funk Artist/Group, as well as three awards for its excellent 20011 release “Ultra Sonic Gas Can” (Funky D Records).
Howling Diablos frontman Martin “Tino” Gross won three individual awards, including Outstanding Record Producer.

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