When it comes to Shinyribs, the eight-member music collective led by frontman extraordinaire Kevin Russell, chances are good that you’ve either never heard of ’em or you’re a complete devotee. The funky, upbeat rock group have a huge regional following in the Southeast and in Texas, where they’ve built a fan base through near-constant touring. The group will perform at the Mudbug Madness Festival in downtown Shreveport on Sunday, May 26 at 9 p.m., closing out the three-day festival in a slot that’s been occupied by Wayne Toups & ZydeCajun for as long as this blogger can remember.
The Shinyribs show at Mudbug Madness will be a homecoming of sorts for Russell, who sings and plays guitar for the band. Russell’s rock group, Picket Line Coyotes, was prominent on the local music scene in the 1980s, performing a brand of music that he described as “a Husker Du meets Elvis Costello hybrid that lived and died between the Arklatexabamassippi borders.” Russell discusses his time in Shreveport – and why he left (“We had essentially been black-balled from most of the clubs around town.”) in this interview with The Gourds, which is a good read for anyone interested in Shreveport music history.
Looking over the Mudbug Madness 36 music line-up, there are lots of great names from Cajun and zydeco music, as you would expect. For die-hard zydeco fans, Grammy winner Chubby Carrier stands out (6:30 p.m., May 26), and Cajun fiddling fans will not want to miss the incredible Amanda Shaw (6:30 p.m., May 24). But the Shinyribs booking stands out among this year’s lineup as something that feels intentionally different and new. Because of Russell’s connections to Shreveport, and the fact that Shinyribs seems to be hitting a really impressive stride right now, this ought to make for a really memorable live music experience.
Featured photo for this post by Wyatt McSpadden.
Photos provided courtesy of Shinyribs.