ACL Live Shot: Shinyribs

Gourds’ off-shoot kills it

Linger fickin’ good: (l-r) Shinyribs’ Kevin Russell, Keith Langford, and Winfield Cheek
Linger fickin’ good: (l-r) Shinyribs’ Kevin Russell, Keith Langford, and Winfield Cheek (by Jana Birchum)

It’s probably not much of a stretch to imagine Shinyribs frontman Kevin Russell as the guy at the party with the lampshade on his head.

That’s not to imply that Russell is a buffoon. Far from it. Rather, his keen knack for storytelling through his Shinyribs persona, with the crack musicianship of his deeply talented band, allows for an ebullient exploration of the characters populating the landscape of lower-middle class South Texas and its surroundings.

Russell and company kicked off their Sunday evening ACL Fest set with “Bolshevik Sugarcane,” off this year’s Gulf Coast Museum, then launched into “Take Me to Lake Charles,” which Russell prefaced with a not-so-tall tale.

“My friend from Sour Lake, Texas, is always looking for a ride,” he began. “He’s always losing his driver’s license, always looking for his keys, doesn’t always wear a shirt. He believes he’s going to get rich in those casinos over in Louisiana.”

The song itself is populated with a sweet-talking Romeo, with a cameo from Hurricane Rita, and the narrative assist of some wiggles from Russell.

The set also included a joyful version of “May the Circle Be Unbroken,” a welcome antidote to those of us who grew up singing the joyless dirge variant in the churches of our Texan youths, followed by a hilarious reflection on class and consumption with “Poor People’s Store.” The Austin fourpiece then wrapped up the set with the swampy, naughty “Let Me Buy You a Drink” and “East Texas Rust,” a long, closing jam that launched this set into the top tier of the weekend’s performances.

For more ACL Fest coverage, see For photo galleries from the fest, see

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More ACL Fest 2013
The Rain Can't Stop the Music
The Rain Can't Stop the Music
UPDATE: ACL acts including Mowglis make alternate plans

Richard Whittaker, Oct. 13, 2013

ACL Live Shot (Second Weekend): The Cure
ACL Live Shot (Second Weekend): The Cure
Robert Smith summons the rain

Doug Freeman, Oct. 13, 2013

More Shinyribs
Texas Platters
I Got Your Medicine (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 24, 2017

Worst Tour Stories Ever
Worst Tour Stories Ever
The road goes on forever and the party never ends

July 8, 2016

More by Melanie Haupt
Top 10 Carby Treats
Top 10 Carby Treats
The ten best ways to indulge in a carbohydrate bomb by a bevy of talented local bakers and pastry chefs

Dec. 28, 2018

Top 10 Book Group Meeting Spots
Top 10 Book Group Meeting Spots
Near-ideal settings for a successful book group meeting, with food and drinks, decent acoustics, and seating that allows for spirited discussion without having to shout

Dec. 28, 2018


Shinyribs, ACL Fest 2013, Kevin Russell, Keith Langford, Gourds, Winfield Cheek

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle