Nashville Pussy: Where are they now? Coming to Lexington.

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NP2K13. Nashville Pussy, Then and Now

BY MATT DACEY


NOW

Back in the year 2000, this publication profiled Nashville Pussy, the Atlanta-based band fronted by Kentuckian Blaine Cartwright.  At the time, they were signed to Mercury Records, coming off a Grammy nomination for “Fried Chicken & Coffee,” and getting ready to make their first appearance in Lexington.  Thirteen years later, they have a different bassist.  Beyond that, they’ve changed very little.  In fact, Mercury Records, the Grammys, and Lexington have all changed more than Nashville Pussy have.

Pop culture, in and of itself, is in a perpetual state of change, and many things that were once shocking and scandalous today barely draw a yawn.  Two of George Carlin’s famous Seven Dirty Words are now perfectly acceptable on prime-time broadcast television.

When Nashville Pussy released their first album, Let Them Eat Pussy, the name of the band, the album title, and the sexual imagery on the album cover were all considered shocking and scandalous, especially for a major-label release.  Some mass retailers refused to stock it or even special order it.

In 2013, Nashville Pussy’s shock value has dropped considerably from what it was in 2000.  The shock value hasn’t disappeared entirely, though.  Cartwright noted that some publications and venues still list the band as “Nashville P***y.”

The style of music served up by Nashville Pussy (we called it RAWK back in 2000), while naturally evolving, has changed very little over the years.  Many of the bands widely viewed as their peers in 2000 (Supersuckers, Southern Culture on the Skids, Reverend Horton Heat) are still cranking it out today.  In fact, Nashville Pussy spent much of Spring 2012 on the road with the Supersuckers.  They’ve also toured recently with Reverend Horton Heat, ZZ Top, and Motörhead.

This year, they’re promoting a deluxe “tour edition” of their most recent album, From Hell to Texas.  Recorded at Willie Nelson’s Pedernales Studio in Texas, and originally released in 2009, From Hell to Texas was so well-received that they re-released it last year with a second disc, which was recorded live in Europe.

They’re alone on the current tour, which stops in Lexington Sunday, February 24, at Cosmic Charlie’s, opting to have local acts in each of the cities they visit open their shows.  The opening act for the Lexington show, though, is one very near and dear to Blaine Cartwright’s heart.

About three years ago, Cartwright’s erstwhile band, Nine Pound Hammer, was booked for a six-week tour of Europe.  Unfortunately, not all members of Nine Pound Hammer were able to make the European trip.  Being contractually obligated to perform those shows, Cartwright threw together an impromptu band with Earl Crim on guitar, Rob Hulsman on drums, Bryan Malone of the Atlanta-based Forty Fives on bass, and Cartwright on lead vocals.

former Ace staffer Rob ‘Big City’ Hulsman

At the time, that was intended to be a one-off thing, just to fulfill the already-signed contracts.  But according to drummer Hulsman, “we had so much fun, when we got back, we recorded a record.”  And thus, the Kentucky Bridgeburners were born.

Cartwright had long envisioned a gospel album, so the Bridgeburners convened at Brian Pulito’s NitroSonic Studios in Lexington to record an album of half covers and half originals.  Todd Gorrell of Lexington’s Yellow Belts played bass in the studio, and the Bridgeburners were also joined by Erin Reynolds and Nashville Pussy guitarist (and Cartwright’s wife) Ruyter Suys.  This effort can be heard online at http://www.myspace.com/kentuckybridgeburners.

Recording done, the Bridgeburners weren’t content to leave it in the studio, as they intended to do when they started recording.  Hulsman said, “people got excited, and things happened, and we ended up doing a two-month tour of Europe” at the end of 2012.

Nashville Pussy’s current tour began on January 24, in Houston, Texas, and ends with the Lexington show, which isn’t a coincidence.  Cartwright noted that while he’s been based in Atlanta for years, Kentucky is home, and playing in Lexington is always very special for him.  So special that he’s bringing two of his acts to the Bluegrass this time.

Nashville Pussy plays Sunday, February 24, 2013 at Lexington’s Cosmic Charlie’s.


Then. Ace 2000

Ace 3.29.2000 full story here

Don’t Let the Name Fool Ya
Nashville Pussy. A rock band. No, make that a RAWK band.

by Matt Dacey

Let Them Eat Pussy? An album title. Probably even more provocative than the name of the band. And proof that the bottom line in music is “sex sells.”

To appreciate Nashville Pussy is to appreciate where they came from. A decade or so ago, in the sleepy little hamlet known as downtown Lexington, a vibrant musical scene existed, centered around the now departed (and much hallowed) Wrocklage as well as still-packing-them-in-today Lynagh’s. The now defunct Jefferson Davis Inn also played a minor role in the scene.

Of the many bands who were active in the Lexington area in the late-80s/early-90s, two of the best known were Nine Pound Hammer and Black Cat Bone. Both played a brand of countrified garage rock not terribly different from what Nashville Pussy are doing today. Black Cat Bone were a bit more polished and Nine Pound Hammer a bit more beer-fueled. The bottom line was that both bands rocked. No, they RAWKED.

Today, the former members of Black Cat Bone have splintered into two distinctive camps, while Nine Pound Hammer just splintered, period.

Ex-Black Cat Boner David Angstrom went on to form Supafuzz, while the other members of Black Cat Bone, Jon McGee and Mark Hendricks went on to form Taildragger with ex-Nine Pound Hammer drummer Rob Hulsman. Both of these bands still exist, and both continue to RAWK…

Which brings us to Nashville Pussy. Featuring ex-Nine Pound Hammer guitarist Blaine Cartwright on vocals, his wife Ruyter Suys on guitar, Jeremy Thompson on drums, and bassist Corey Parks (who also is known as the sister of NBA baller and former Dookie, Cherokee Parks), Nashville Pussy have managed to achieve, in a relatively short time, a degree of notoriety which has eluded all of the previously mentioned bands.

So what set Nashville Pussy apart from the pack? In a word, sex. Suys and Parks, are, without question, the focal point of Nashville Pussy. Their slightly trashy, over-the-top, bra-baring sexuality serve as the bait to the uninitiated.

Once ensnared, Nashville Pussy’s music is the sort that beats the listener senseless (but a GOOD kind of senseless). Indeed, they RAWK, and they do so very well.

Another of Nashville Pussy’s musical compatriots would be Southern Culture On The Skids. SCOTS recipe for success included not only shit-kickin’ good tunes, but a heapin’ helping of redneck humor as well. Nashville Pussy are no mere SCOTS clones though. If SCOTS are a beat-up pickup truck, Nashville Pussy are a tricked-out, primered Firebird.

Nashville Pussy have managed to generate a considerable amount of controversy, resulting in much attention being paid to their music. The controversy can occasionally be damaging, for example, one Lexington mass-retailer does not stock Let Them Eat Pussy, and will not order it, even upon customer request.

With the release of High As Hell, due in May, the controversy surrounding Nashville Pussy shows no signs of abating. A recent headline in the humor newspaper, The Onion, stated that Sammy (“There’s Only One Way To Rock”) Hagar had found a new way to rock. Not quite. Nashville Pussy found it. And it’s called RAWK.

CD Review, 2000

from Matt Dacey’s 2000 Ace review of Nashville Pussy’s sophomore effort, High as Hell.

After the success of their Grammy-nominated debut, Let Them Eat Pussy, Nashville Pussy deliver another rock-solid effort. High As Hell shows why the trade publication CMJ recently referred to them as “the greatest rock and roll band in America today.”

Not surprisingly, the second disc doesn’t depart stylistically from the first disc at all. From the engine-revving which kicks off the first track, “Struttin’ Cock,” to the boot-stompin’ closer, “Drive,” Nashville Pussy offer a Jim Beam-fueled chainsaw hayride, which might best be described as “R.O.C.K. in the C.S.A.”

The twelve songs here, for the most part, are variations on a theme. The wicked lampooning of virtually every Southern stereotype, coupled with pedal-to-the-metal rock n’ roll works perfectly.



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