At some point during the making of their 2016 album “You’re Dreaming” with producer JD McPherson, the brothers in the Cactus Blossoms made an off-handed comment about the record’s vintage but stylish twang having a surrealistic vibe. “Maybe David Lynch will call us,” they remember saying.
Lo and behold, Lynch actually did call them. Or at least the screen auteur's people gave the harmonious Minneapolis country duo a ring last year, resulting in an on-screen appearance in this week’s episode of the newly revived, cultish pulp-TV show “Twin Peaks,” airing Sunday night on Showtime.
The duo performs their ominous gem “Mississippi” in a scene that takes place in the Bang Bang Bar. And that’s about all that could be said about it by the Cactus Blossoms themselves, Page Burkum and Jack Torrey, who had to keep mum about the cool TV gig for months now in keeping with the show’s strict anti-spoiler policies.
“They never really told us what the scene was all about or anything else,” said Burkum, who then quipped, “And of course we didn’t really care.”
The musical brothers took the gig no-questions-asked, in other words. Although Lynch’s chief collaborator in the series is ex-Minnesotan Mark Frost (profiled last week in the Star Tribune), they believe the main explanation for them getting the gig was just timing: “You’re Dreaming” came out to a good national buzz around the time Lynch & Co. were gearing up to start filming the series. Probably just by coincidence, the first episode of the show featured another group with a Minnesota connection, the Chromatics out of Portland, Ore., co-founded by Perpich Center for the Arts grad Adam Miller.
For the Cactus Blossoms, the call to appear on set forced them to cancel a few shows last year, but they couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
“We were always fans of the show, so that made it extra cool,” said Torrey, who also attended last weekend’s premiere party in Los Angeles with his brother and the “Twin Peaks” cast and crew. “We’re not really hobnobbing-in-L.A. types,” Torrey said, “but the people who work on the show are more on the creative and artistic end of things, so it felt like an honor to be there. It had a nice family vibe to it, and not a cheesy kind of Hollywood thing.”
At one point in our discussion, Torrey let a comment slip about “the next time” they appear on the show. When asked if that was just a hope or a reality, he clammed up. “Let’s just say we’re leaving the door open,” he offered.
The Cactus Blossoms hit the road next week for another full round of summer touring, including some dates opening for Jenny Lewis and a July 6 appearance in London’s Hyde Park. Among their gigs near home is a June 10 gig with Dead Man Winter at St. Cloud’s Pioneer Place on 5th celebrating KVSC’s 50th anniversary. They will also open for Steve Earle at the Minnesota Zoo’s amphitheater in Apple Valley on July 30.
We of course can't show you the scene from "Twin Peaks," but click here for a Star Tribune video of Burkum and Torrey singing "Mississippi" at the somewhat David Lynchian northeast Minneapolis hangout Dusty's last year.