Shinyribs with special guest Seth James
Shinyribs defies genres as a sonic melting pot of Texas Blues, New Orleans R&B funk, horn driven Memphis Soul, country twang, border music, big band swing, and roots-rock. The Austin-based nine-piece (sometimes 10-piece) supergroup is led by Kevin Russell, the charismatic frontman with colorful suits and extravagant shoes who continuously swaps out an electric guitar for a ukulele and never falls short of creating a cinematic experience with on stage antics that often include him donning a light-up cloak or leading a conga line through the crowd.
"Sweetening," the first single from the latest album Late Night TV Gold, is a different subject matter for Russell, "I don't write a lot of love songs. But when I do they are sweet as hell. This one came pure from the spigot of my stupid romantic heart. The golden rays of light shining down through the wet magnolias onto a plate of peaches; the first rain after a long drought. Nothing like falling in love. If they could bottle it I am sure we would make laws against it."
Late Night TV Gold is filled with Caribbean organs, verbed-out distant delay vocals, chunky fatback guitars, dance hall horns, trip-trap, soul-tap, boldface bass, mellotron traced, late-night rhythms, -isms and -gasms, prisms, schisms, and chasms, this’ems and that’ems of molecular musical atoms splitting hairs and lost heirlooms.
“This record reminds me of the tortoise from the old story with the hare,” add Russell. “It has this sort of stout, relentless march to it. It’s hopeful and resolute but pushing through resistance. I guess the world went from all hare to all tortoise so it’s less-than-surprising that you can feel the reflection of that in the songs. There is a lot of blur and shade and random splattered sinewy mop bucket melody. I like that it’s shaking hands with a lot of roots music that one doesn’t instantly associate with my voice."
Shinyribs was named Best Austin Band at the Austin Chronicle’s Austin Music Awards (2017, 2018), awarded Album of the Year for I Got Your Medicine (2017), and Best 2020- Themed Song for "Stay Home" (2020). Russell’s Shinyribs have recorded six albums: 2010’s Well After Awhile; Gulf Coast Museum (2013); Okra Candy (2015); 2017’s award-winning I Got Your Medicine; a compilation of holiday standards and new compositions The Kringle Tingle (2018); and the group’s latest soulful release, Fog & Bling (2019). Shinyribs latest project, Late Night TV Gold, released in August 2021
Born in Fort Worth and raised in the ranch country of West Texas, Seth comes from a family who knew the rewards that come from drive, determination and hard work. His grandfather was a honky tonk piano player who performed as Tooter Boatman and the Chaparrals in any number of clubs, juke joints and roadhouses in the 40's and 50's. His other grandfather was a Texas Ranger. His father, Tom Moorhouse, founded the Moorhouse Ranch and imbued in his son the values spawned from western tradition.
In 1996 Seth got his first Fender Stratocaster and quickly discovered the sheer power and expression that’s possible by playing an electric guitar. As a young man, he was drawn to the music that was coming out of Lubbock and Fort Worth. The early influences of Joe Ely, Delbert McClinton, Stephen Bruton, and Doyle Bramhall Sr. ultimately led him to many of the musicians that impacted him later on, such as Frankie Miller and Freddie King.
Over the course of his career, Seth has had the opportunity to share the stage with many of his heroes, among them, Percy Sledge, Little Feat, Delbert McClinton, Buddy Guy, Tab Benoit, ZZ Top, Little Feat, Lee Roy Parnell, Leon Russell, and Billy Joe Shaver. He’s released three solo albums, most notably 2009’s critically acclaimed effort That Kind of Man. In 2010, he joined forces with Cody Canada and formed The Departed, with whom he spent three years and recorded two albums. Ultimately, he opted to return to his roots and his primary passion, which was to fashion a sound infused with the blues.
Seth James’ voice is as powerful as his un-containable blues aura.
*Most of this from Alan Mercer