ACL Interview: Shinyribs

6pm, BMI stage

ACL Interview: Shinyribs
Photo by Gary Miller

Nothing screams "Austin" more than migas with Kevin Russell at Cisco's. Best known as co-frontman of iconic Austin jokesters the Gourds, Russell blends right in at the Liars' Club table in the legendary Austin Tex-Mex breakfast joint, sitting beneath a sign that reads "Seat of Worship" while serious men in old photographs look on.

Instead of gabbing about the Gourds, Russell's reflecting on solo project Shinyribs, which has been a going concern for enough years now to legitimize it. Second LP Gulf Coast Museum came out in April and, much like the bearded, jocular man himself, spins a keen sense of place.

"I definitely try to reflect the region I live in," he says. "I think the musical influences are inescapable as well. When I first started playing Shinyribs shows, a bunch of music writers and music historians would come out to my Houston gigs and ask me, 'Did you grow up listening to swamp pop? Where did you hear this?'

"I didn't know what they were talking about. They recognized something in Shinyribs that was a regional sound or a regional feel."

Traversing the geographical space from "Floribama" to New Orleans, Houston, and Marfa, Gulf Coast Museum opens up a musicological archive of influences from its singer's Church of Christ upbringing in Beaumont. From South Texas waltz "Somebody Else" to "Song of Lime Juice and Despair," which finds the bandleader channeling Dr. John minus the voodoo, Russell cooks up a definitively Southern stew.

And because Shinyribs, whose players include Gourds drummer Keith Langford, bassist Jeff Brown, and pianist Winfield Cheek, is decidedly not the Gourds, festivalgoers shouldn't expect to hear "Gin and Juice" or anything else from that band's catalog, only material germane to Shinyribs.

"It's all me, 'spotlight on Kevin Russell now,'" he exclaims with a belly laugh and one last slug of coffee.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 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  


ACL Fest 2013

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

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

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