Shinyribs defies genres as a sonic melting pot of Texas Blues, New Orleans R&B funk, horn driven Memphis Soul, country twang, border music, big band swing, and roots-rock. The Austin-based nine-piece (sometimes 10-piece) supergroup is led by Kevin Russell, the charismatic frontman with colorful suits and extravagant shoes who continuously swaps out an electric guitar for a ukulele and never falls short of creating a cinematic experience with on stage antics that often include him donning a light-up cloak or leading a conga line through the crowd.
“Sweetening,” the first single from the latest album Late Night TV Gold, is a different subject matter for Russell, “I don’t write a lot of love songs. But when I do they are sweet as hell. This one came pure from the spigot of my stupid romantic heart. The golden rays of light shining down through the wet magnolias onto a plate of peaches; the first rain after a long drought. Nothing like falling in love. If they could bottle it I am sure we would make laws against it.”
Late Night TV Gold is filled with Caribbean organs, verbed-out distant delay vocals, chunky fatback guitars, dance hall horns, trip-trap, soul-tap, boldface bass, mellotron traced, late-night rhythms, -isms and -gasms, prisms, schisms, and chasms, this’ems and that’ems of molecular musical atoms splitting hairs and lost heirlooms.
“This record reminds me of the tortoise from the old story with the hare,” add Russell. “It has this sort of stout, relentless march to it. It’s hopeful and resolute but pushing through resistance. I guess the world went from all hare to all tortoise so it’s less-than-surprising that you can feel the reflection of that in the songs. There is a lot of blur and shade and random splattered sinewy mop bucket melody. I like that it’s shaking hands with a lot of roots music that one doesn’t instantly associate with my voice.”
Shinyribs was named Best Austin Band at the Austin Chronicle’s Austin Music Awards (2017, 2018), awarded Album of the Year for I Got Your Medicine (2017), and Best 2020- Themed Song for “Stay Home” (2020). Russell’s Shinyribs have recorded six albums: 2010’s Well After Awhile; Gulf Coast Museum (2013); Okra Candy (2015); 2017’s award-winning I Got Your Medicine; a compilation of holiday standards and new compositions The Kringle Tingle (2018); and the group’s latest soulful release, Fog & Bling (2019). Shinyribs latest project, Late Night TV Gold, released in August 2021