ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 20, 2005
By Steve Newton
Nashville Pussy lead guitarist Ruyter Suys was born and raised in Vancouver, but for the last six years she’s called Atlanta, Georgia, home. Her current location makes perfect sense once you sample the raunchy southern-fried boogie on her band’s new CD, Get Some!.
Any Lynyrd Skynyrd freak worth their weight in JD and Coke knows the city is famous for being the place where Ronnie Van Zant and company recorded its historic live album One More From the Road.
“This is an excellent music town,” raves Suys, calling from the residence she shares with husband and NP singer-guitarist Blaine Cartwright, he of the straggly hair, baseball cap, and perpetual lunatic grimace. “Besides bein’ like the hip-hop capital of the world or whatever, there’s also a heavy-duty southern-rock guitar flavour that goes on down here that probably started with the Allman Brothers, then carried on with the Black Crowes, Georgia Satellites, shit like that.”
Speaking of shit like that, Get Some! got some from the former lead guitarist for the highly underrated Satellites, Rick Richards, who contributed fiery slide licks to the two-minute barnburner “Raisin’ Hell Again”.
“He’s a friend of ours,” explains Suys, “and basically we just asked him to come down. He took like four shots of Jaeger, then did about five passes with the slide, and every one of ’em was fantastic.”
As a music-crazed Vancouver kid in the ’70s, Ruys took every opportunity to submerse herself in the top bands of the era, which is why AC/DC is far and away the Pussy’s main musical influence. She also had a soft spot for Kiss, as heard in Get Some!‘s cowbell-ready rendition of “Snow Blind”, from Ace Frehley’s 1978 solo album.
“I saw them at the [Pacific] Coliseum on the Dynasty tour,” she recalls. “Loverboy opened up, and I remember all these kids were like, ‘Who are these idiots? Get ’em off stage!’ And then a week or two later Get Lucky came out, and I’m sure all the same 12-year-olds, including myself, were like, ‘Wow, this is great!’?”
Ike and Tina Turner‘s “Nutbush City Limits” is another ’70s standout that gets Pussy-fied on the new CD, which was produced by Daniel Reys (the Ramones, White Zombie). That classic track about Tina’s oppressive Tennessee hometown was one that Ruys and Cartwright have been wanting to do since they formed the band in ’96.
“Despite the violence, Ike and Tina have been kind of mentors to Blaine and I,” says Ruys, whose quartet plays the Arch on Friday (October 21), with openers Money Money from Ontario. “We’ve always thought of Nashville Pussy as being kind of a revue, so it’s a real spectacle of dirty, sweaty, down-to-earth rock ‘n’ roll.
“We don’t have a lot of hottie aspirations; we’re tryin’ to knock that shit down a bit, actually. Quit the pretence: we just wanna rock.”