Shinyribs (Kev Russell)
With much of his own music Shinyribs goes into an odder and more personal zone, meditative yet fanciful and often humorous. He does several lovely gospel-flavored originals and a stark cover of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come." "Poor People's Store" summons a flea market where you can buy "some knock-off jeans with irregular seams, chairs of beans and some beauty creams, Christina Aguilera black mascara, corn tortillas and some brown aloe vera, some socks with flames, pills for your pain, razors infused with the essence of rain, a cigarette lighter that says 'I'm a quitter,' and a fish that sings, 'take me to the river.'" His lyrics expand in imaginative chains that fill out the long, evolving soul-blues structures of the music in an unusual way.
Most imaginative of all is "Who Built the Moon?," which Shinyribs calls "a bit of a conspiracy theory of a song" and which he introduces with a preposterous account of astronauts who, he claims, have endorsed its story of the moon intentionally built up in layers from an onion. Shinyribs' live shows from SXSW have been legendary in recent years, and that may be where Ark programmers heard him and decided to give this wonderfully eccentric Texas artist a whirl in our town.
[Originally published in May, 2013.]