Nashville Pussy @ Rhythm Room| 8/13/12
After last night, I can't get enough Nashville Pussy.
I have a confession. I've fallen in love with almost every female guitarist I've ever seen. Last night was as good as it gets. Guitarist Ruyter Suys -- pronounced "rider sighs" -- wails on her ax like someone in the throes of angry break-up sex. She lays it all out there and the audience is left wondering what the hell just happened.
The band's on a bit of a warm-up tour: They open for ZZ Top on Wednesday in Burbank, California. They possesses all the qualities of a band that deserves to headline: There's Suys' obvious sex appeal, and her ability to shred a guitar, this band's onstage chemistry, and skull splitting sound. It should be enough for down-and-dirty ZZ Top fans.
It certainly was for me.
Opening the show was local hard rock band The Dagg Nabbit Stubbs. This is another band I was awestruck with the first time I saw them a few years ago. Things have changed, some. It appears they've swapped out a few key members. I hate gimmick bands, but these guys really pulled it off when I first witness them. They hailed from the fictitious area of "Swampwater, Georgia" and their schtick was complete with torn overalls and badly impersonated Southern accents, but that's what made them so great. They took country-fried rock to a place beyond parody. It was spectacular.
Now, when a crowd member asked where they were from, singer Jeffery Ruoss paused, looked over his shoulder and stated pathetically, "We're from Phoenix." They didn't don the shitty overalls and bandanas. They weren't using the ridiculous accents. And they weren't hyped up at all. I can only hope this change is temporary.
The Stubbs quickly ripped through half-a-dozen songs including one of my personal favorites, "Devilin Under the Influence" off of their 2009 album Hot Garbage. It was alright, but nothing compared to the awesomeness I've come to associate with this band.
Following them was The Earps. Another Phoenix band, a band less swaggering than the others, but their set was strong. Their rockabilly style and song titles like "Kick the Cowboys Out" and "Mancrush" were enough to keep the audience entertained. They even managed to squeak out a Buck Owens cover of "Welfare Line".
Shortly after, I witnessed vocalist Hot Wheels McGregor saddle up next to a young couple and ask "So what did you think?" handing them a CD. "[The album is] 10 bucks. Or you can buy me a beer." Like a Jehovah's witness peddling copies of The Watchtower on a Sunday morning.
It's fitting that Nashville Pussy took the stage to Ted Nugent's "Stranglehold," as the crowd cheered. They opened the set with "I'm So High", moving through "Wrong Side of a Gun," and "Ain't Your Business." The sudden realization that I was in the presence of greatness hit me during "Hate and Whisky", a bluesy, nail-driver with all the intensity of splattering bacon grease. My burgeoning love for them was further solidified when Suys snuck back in the corner, nealing down to take a long pull from a Jack Daniel's bottle.
The band was willing to stick around for a few "practice" songs, finishing the show with "She's Got the Drugs," and the Ike and Tina Turner jam "Nutbush City Limits."
It's not very often I have those epiphanic "holy shit" moments during a show, and I'm not entirely conviced Suys' tight pants and low plunging shirt didn't have something to do with it, but there is no denying she and the rest of Nashville Pussy are a force to be reckoned with in terms of musical ability and cohesiveness onstage. If you call yourself a fan of rock-and-roll, you must see this band.
Approximate Set Lists:
The Dagg Nabbit Stubbs
"Devilin Under The Influence" "Noodling With the Devil" "Riffosaurus Rock"
"Kick the Cowboys Out" "One Girl" "Buckaroo" "Hotter Than Hell" "Lester Moore" "Mancrush" "Rooster Run" "Welfare Line" "Peacock General" "I Love Las Vegas"
"I'm So High" "Going Down Swinging" "Wrong Side of a Gun" "Aint Your Business" "Speed Machine" "Cmon Cmon" "Hate and Whisky" "Strutting Cock" "High as Hell" "I'm the Man" "Go to Hell" "Milk Cow Blues" "She's Got the Drugs" "Nutbush City Limits" "Go Motherfucker Go" "Going Down"
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Last Night: Nashville Pussy with The Earps and The Dagg Nabbit Stubbs, The Rhythm Room. Crowd: Varied Personal Bias: My predilection for hot female guitar players Random Notebook Dump: "I wonder if Suys is carrying a blade."