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 austinchronicle.com/acl. For photo galleries from the fest, see austinchronicle.com/photos.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

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

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