(Sponsored by Precision Camera)
As documented in the christening entry of the Chronicle's popular and populist pandemic series Checking In last year, COVID-19 hadn't fully revealed its hand before Shinyribs captain Kevin Russell spray-painted the writing on the wall himself. This week one year ago, South by Southwest canceled upon orders from city health officials and one week later all area schools shut down. Eleven days afterward, on March 24, 2020, the Austin Music Awards' Band of the Year in 2018 and 2019 Bandcamped a "musical message from Shinyribs to practice social distancing. And that you really don't need more TP."
Fundraising for the capital's Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM), the tune's pocket groove popped out a horn-schmeared toe tapper from your favorite Gulf Coast crab shack, seafood, and Mexican beer, all washed down in Russell's soft-leather coo instantly bottling the melancholy of a distanced social species:
"The bars are all closed,
The hospitals are full.
The churches are empty and the cafes, too.
They say there's nothing we can do ... but stay home."
The YouTube video, posted by the Texas Medical Association and titled "Shinyribs Band and Texas Physicians Say 'Stay Home'!," montages a literal visual to accompany Big Daddy's chill ditty, a single lending credence to the theory that some songs exist already and that their author merely shares them with the rest of us. Such is this sobering but uplifting reminder of the everyday heroism of local and statewide health care workers.
God bless them folks. – Raoul Hernandez
Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin. Support the Chronicle