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Cactus Tractor to play entire ‘Sgt. Pepper’ album

Albuquerque-based pop folk-rock outfit Cactus Tractor will perform The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” to celebrate the album’s 50th anniversary.

The Beatles created a musical legacy that has inspired generations of musicians.

You can count David Bashwiner as one of them.

And his band, Cactus Tractor, will pay homage to the Fab Four during a show on Thursday, June 1.

The folk-rock band will get a little help from its friends, who will be playing string and horn elements, during its show celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

The legendary album was the eighth one for the Beatles and had immediate commercial success, spending 15 weeks at No. 1 in the U.S.

Bashwiner says Cactus Tractor will be performing the complete album in order.

“We’re basically trying to do it as true to the original as possible,” he says. “I see the Beatles having a big influence on our band.”

And performing the album is a highlight for Bashwiner.

“It’s such a classic,” he says. “I remember listening to the album when I was 3 years old and walking around with the LP cover. It’s been in my life since I was born. It’s a special album.”

Bashwiner says during this process he an element that has come up during the process is that he didn’t want to specify which band member was going to be the lead.

“I just wanted the music to lend itself to us and then see what emerges,” he says. “It’s been a good exercise but very stressful. We only decided to do this show a month ago. … It’s a lot harder than we thought it would be.”

Bashwiner says the show is something different for the band, which is always trying to come up with something new.

The band, which has has ranged from seven to 14 members, s now made up of Bashwiner, Christy Cook, Stephanie Graner, Samuel Sullivan, Brandon Baca, Jordan Fredrick, Michael Olivola and Fernando Garavito.

The band consists of three songwriters, harmonies, and a multitude of instruments, including hula horn, musical saw, violin, accordion, charango and harmonica.

“We are always up for a challenge,” he says. “That’s what keeps the band fun. It’s always about seeing what we can accomplish.”