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Shinyribs, Aug. 20, Alive After 5 and Neurolux

The ribs aren't the only thing that shine

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For nearly two decades, Austin, Texas-based The Gourds played a big part in making their hometown an epicenter of Americana music, which is defined by americanamusic.org as "contemporary music that incorporates ... country, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, R&B and blues, resulting in a distinctive roots-oriented sound." The sad announcement The Gourds were going on hiatus after 19 years together was softened by news that Gourds co-founder Kevin Russell would funnel his energy into side-dish-turned-main-course Shinyribs.

Shinyribs' also has that special Americana sound, but Russell brings more blues into the mix and sweetens his strong, sometimes gravelly vocals with the occasional rich falsetto. Russell hasn't done away with the ingredients that made The Gourds--and himself--so special. Instead, he has added new flavors and textures to the Shinyribs recipe, heightening and elevating what The Gourds spent the better part of 20 years getting just right.