The Cincinnati Entertainment Awards have long been a celebration of the city’s great local bands, but back in 2001 it played a small role in helping to create one. That year, Chuck Cleaver of The Ass Ponys scored a nomination in the “Singer/Songwriter” category (his band was also up for Artist of the Year honors) and was asked to perform at a CEA preview showcase at Corryville club Top Cat’s. He was unsure about playing solo, so at the last minute he asked his new friend Lisa Walker to join him. The pair did a version of The Ass Ponys’ “Pretty as You Please” at the show (they also played the CEA ceremony a short time later that year, doing the Ponys’ “Dried Up”) and less than a year later Wussy — with Cleaver and Walker on vocals/guitars — was on its way to widespread national/international acclaim.
Thirteen years later, on the heels of Attica!, the band’s latest full-length, Wussy is at the height of its powers. The band and the CEAs have continued their synergy — first nominated for an award in 2005, Wussy won the Album of the Year CEA in 2007 and in 2013 the group scored both the Album and Artist of the Year trophies.