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Blue Cactus Is Helping Keep Classic Country Alive

Steph Stewart and Mario Arenz of Blue Cactus
Roxanne Turpen
Steph Stewart and Mario Arenz of Blue Cactus

In their recent self-titled debut album, the duo Steph Stewart and Mario Arnez conjures the classic country sounds of Patsy Cline and Hank Williams. Stewart grew up listening to country icons with her grandfather and has always been fascinated with the songwriting style of country music. With the help of Arnez, the duo infuses wit and personal storytelling into its music. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with Stewart and Arnez about the mission of Blue Cactus. The duo performs live in the studio with Stewart on acoustic guitar and vocals and Arnez on electric guitar and vocals. Blue Cactus plays tonight in Bynum at 7 p.m. as part of the Bynum Front Porch Concert Series and next Friday, July 14 at the Thirsty Beaver Saloon in Charlotte at 9 p.m. and Saturday.

Charlie Shelton-Ormond is a podcast producer for WUNC.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.