Kevin Russell spent much of his musical career with the Gourds, an Austin-based Americana band that was highly influential in the development of alt-country and the growing Americana scene. During his lengthy tenure leading that group, Russell would occasionally step out for solo gigs in Houston as Shinyribs, and he released a couple of records under that moniker. Now that the Gourds are on hiatus, Russell is doubling down on his Shinyribs project. He assembled a full band this year and they have a new record coming down the pike with I Got Your Medicine scheduled for 24 February 2017.
Shinyribs is described as an American country-soul, swamp-funk band, the kind of mixed up genre stew that we always seem to love here at PopMatters. In other words, the Louisiana-born Russell is going back to the sounds of his home state with a big dose of New Orleans R&B, a horn section and the excitement of working with a new palette. “I Got Your Medicine” is the album’s first single and it highlights Russell’s change of musical direction with its swampy funk, smooth vocals, and some major influence from one of NOLA’s favorite sons, Allen Toussaint. Russell says, “If Woody Guthrie and Allen Toussaint had collaborated on a song about the slow descent of the working class into pharmaceutical dependence and dwindling economic opportunity. It would sound a lot like this.”