Written by Eddie Ferranti
Aug 19, 2011 at 08:00 PM
‘Shinyribs’ is a spin off band project of the ‘Gourds’ figurehead Kevin Russell.  Rose & I had the pleasure of seeing him by his lonesome at Piney Woods Performances in 2010 and we we’re stoked to see what he could do with a full band in tow.  The venue this night was the Miller Outdoor Theater in Houston at Hermann Park near the zoo.  One crazy bad ass animal escaped this sultry evening and blew us away with his performance!

Russell comes across as an animated anti-frontman , with a gifted quality to his singing that shifts from corny honky tonk to silky soul with a wink of an eye. The gig took off from the get go and just rolled with ‘Country Cool’ and ‘Big North Wind’ rockin’ out to a terrific back drop the Miller offered of stars of the blue and green variety. ‘Man on Death Row’ and ‘Sugarcane’ were superb along with “I Don’t Belong in the Devil’s Song’ displaying “extreme jamability” on the band’s part.

KR can flat shred on electric guitar when he puts his mind to it and it was in evidence big time on KILLER ‘Sweet Potato”!  He’s a very talented songwriter of remarkable ability, capable of twisting his voice very emotionally at the drop of a hat.  Russell even scooted the band off stage and pulled a mandolin out to deliver ‘Born by the River’ which was very moving.  This fellow comes off as some kind of a giant elf who prances all over the stage gettin’ the crowd fired up for tunes like ‘Don’t Go Chasin’ Wildflowers’ and ‘I Woke Up with West Texas in My Eyes’.

Some chestnut lyrics that size this cat up big time are the following I think. “I’m a little bit crazy, but I ain’t no fool” and “I don’t like giving my dollars to China, but I’ll give them all to Mexico and Milwaukee, 12 aluminum cans at a time!”  Epic statements from a classic dude indeed.

He’s playing again with this outfit 10/14/11 at Dan Electros and we’ll be there for a well deserved encore.  Y’all should be, too!

A note in closing on the venue itself.  The Miller is making an effort to bring more quality acts in and I applaud them for it, but they need to get their promo department in line.  Everything about the place is rock solid from the affordable concessions, excellent sound quality, to clean facilities and comfortable seating, but the crowds are not big enough due to spotty promotion I believe. The directions on their website are spotty at best and in the competitive market that Houston is you have to communicate better to the masses.  Their gigs are FREE and they deserve better support….that’s my 2 cents and we’ll CYA around!