If you like the likes of Ry Cooder and Dr. John – and even if you don’t – do yourself a favor and check out Shinyribs. I've no idea where the name comes from, but since the only things I like more than ribs are shiny objects, it’s a natural for me.
Shinyribs, hailing from Austin, is the latest musical vehicle for Kevin Russell, a long-time front-man of The Gourds, an alt-country band with somewhat of a cult following for twenty years that finally called it quits in 2013.
Shinyribs primarily mixes swamp, bluegrass and rock, but if you listen closely, you can detect a hint of funk (“East TX Rust”). The lyrics are whimsical--the band’s standout track, “Who Built The Moon” from their 2010 debut release, Well After Awhile (below), imagines the moon constructed by a pilgrim from a dried onion. I’ve heard crazier theories.
The same record features a nice mandolin cover of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.”
Shinyribs is worth a listen, particularly if you're feeling stuck in a musical rut. Their eclectic blend of sounds will surely light up some portion of your auditory cortex.