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 have 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 20 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 are feeling stuck in a musical rut. Their eclectic blend of sounds will surely light up some portion of your auditory cortex.


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