This rock trio from Washington, D.C., joined together in early 1999, took the name of Cactus Patch, and started playing up and down the East Coast. Vince Scheuerman (guitar), John Hutchins (bass), and Dennis Manuel (drums), exhibit a distinctive sense of humor yet produce lyrics that are thoughtful, make sense, and still rock. Scheuerman and Hutchins (childhood friends) both began playing in various bands when they were 16. During the mid-'90s Hutchins formed the Sidewinders, a ska band in D.C., and Scheuerman played with it for three years. Scheuerman went on to graduate from the University of Maryland with a degree in mechanical engineering. While Cactus Patch was laying a foundation, Scheuerman kept his day job running a scanning tunneling microscope at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He approaches his full-time music career with the same discipline he used in school, which included getting his assignments done on time and working hard. He continues to study voice and has developed a voice that soars, swoops, and doesn't tire. Scheuerman also studies jazz guitar. Manuel keeps his full-time side job as a soundman and Hutchins works full-time as a web designer.
Scheuerman and Manuel met in 1996 but didn't start jamming together until 1999 and. Hutchins soon joined them. While they tried being a quartet for awhile, they found that being a trio created a more dynamic effect and was where they rocked the best. Their first demo was a four-song and their second was a five-song. Both sold out and resulted in Brian Baker (Minor Threat and Bad Religion) producing their third demo, a three-song that previewed their first full album. This self-titled debut album was released in November 2001, but the band had not yet signed with a major label. The uniqueness of Cactus Patch is reflected on the ninth track, which carries the full name of "Falling (From Love, Like a Leaf From a Tree in Autumn, in the Deciduous Forests of North America)."
Also in 2001, Cactus Patch won over 500 other bands in WHFS's Big Break -- Battle of the Bands. The only unsigned band, they played the side stage at the HFStival in front of crowds of over 10,000 on both days. Cactus Patch also performed twice at the Philadelphia Music Conference in addition to showcase gigs at Khyber and Fire. The band also performed a sell-out at the 9:30 Club with American Hi-Fi.
The trio has laid a solid foundation based on a philosophy of doing whatever it takes to provide good songs and good entertainment, being responsible, and treating other people fairly and with respect. This philosophy is responsible for the tremendous growth of Cactus Patch.