Carmen The Cactus

Carmen The Cactus

 Fargo, North Dakota, USA
BandPopAdult Contemporary

Americana rock island music combined with sweet three part harmony vocals. Heartfelt and comical songwriting, impressive guitar work, and a solid rhythm section lending itself to disco country funk.


Carmen The Cactus began in the Fall of 2003, with Mike and Kyle hitting open mic nights around Fargo armed with a few select original tunes that deal with Cancer, Breakups, being mistaken for a man who likes men, alcohol, and a genuine voice that speaks to the deeper human condition.

There was a burgeoning scene starting up in the wake of live music venues closing and opening. Kyle was in a full time country band, so Mike was kind of left to find weekend gigs by without his partner. He started playing the acoustic circuit around the upper Mid-West, and opened for such acts as Todd Snider, Marty Stuart, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, Bret Michaels, and Tommy Stinson.

Travis Atwood, (Bass & Vocals) was a close friend and eventually joined the part time venture because he was inspired by writing original music, and not just playing in a regular cover band. In January of 2006, when they decided to go for it full time when drummer Trevor Pearson joined the band. Ever since then Carmen The Cactus has strived to make any live show different from what you'll regularly see. The focus is never really on one particular person. It ends up being a unified experience. Storytelling, upbeat, downtrodden, grooving in the pocket, making the audience feel welcome to dance, shout, laugh, and tip their bartenders. Blending reggae, country, blues, rock, folk, and anything else they can throw in to make this wonderful music.

Since starting Carmen The Cactus, the guys have had some hardships. Working for an booking agency that put them wherever they could to fill the dates for little or no money. They have had to adapt and overcome a variety of rooms. From opening up for Styx at Fargo's Ribfest in front of 2,000 people, to playing 10,000 Lakes Festival in Detroit Lakes, MN. Playing Halma, MN on New Year's Eve for 20 people to a Centennial Celebration in Binford, ND for 1,200 cowboys. The band has learned about its inner personality, and the licks it takes to keep people interested.

Guitarist Kyle Christensen had played in country cover bands for 10 years. Learning the chops, humping the gear and squeaking out a living. Travis Atwood has been around most of this country playing as a country/rock drummer, fixing the van, fixing the PA. He can fix everything. Trevor Pearson tasted success in a jam band called Bad Mojo. They were on the verge of breaking it, and then it fell apart. Mike has been in rock bands playing locally, and writing his ass off for years. It only makes sense that these guys are hungry, and ready to make an impact on every stage they step on.


One five song EP released in January 2006.

Set List

Our setlist varies by what type of gig we are booked to play. We are a working bar band, and a solid headliner. Our original repertoire consists of around 25 songs. Our cover repertoire contains everything from Widespread Panic to Johnny Cash. Guster, Barenaked Ladies, Sublime, Phish. We can play as long as need for any show we're booked for.