Album: I Got Your Medicine
Label: Self Released
Release Date: 02/24/2017
I love this guy, but maybe I’m a little psycho, too.
Kevin Russell, the heart of Shinyribs, keeps one foot in soul, but stretches the rest of his musical body to some crazy lengths. Funk, swamp, Train Wreck—all these good things flourish on Shinyribs’ new release, I Got Your Medicine, and it’s all the elixir you’re going to need for a week or more. Whether on Al Green/Otis Redding-influenced heartbreakers like “I Gave UP All I Had” and “Nothing Takes the Place of You” to the trashy honky-tonk of “I Don’t Give A Shit” and “Ambulance,” or on over to the Louisiana funk of “Don’t Leave It a Lie,” Shinyribs reaches for that moment of truth, both in music and lyrics.
Delta devil Jimbo Mathus co-produced this CD with Russell, and his deft hand with production shows. (In addition, Mathus contributed guitar and mandolin.) The Tijuana Train Wreck Horns build a muscular structural wall to most of the cuts, and Sally Allen and Alice Spencer provide colorful backing vocals. Spencer is believably nasty on the honkytonk “I Don’t Give Shit [about you]” duet, where she paints a vivid picture with “I was too drunk to drive and glad to be alive, but I had you arrested anyway.” Paul Thorn (Pimps and Preachers) notwithstanding, and with or without that funky rhythm section, I’m betting that “The Cross is Boss” may be the only Christian song which references “looking at tail,” fried chicken, neon lights and flesh, all while extolling the Lord Jesus.
These nooks and crannies notwithstanding, the CD hangs together cohesively. A thread of funk runs through everything, the Tijuana Train Wreck horns consistently bring their power and energy, and of course Russell’s vocals, a mix of fluid breaks and down-home dirty, wrap this one up with a bow and a Bowline knot—both pretty and tough.
I can’t resist noting some of the named musicians besides Jimbo Mathus: Winfield Cheek, Tiger Anaya, Lumer Leblanc and Will Van Horn (who plays pedal steel). You can’t make these people up, folks, but Mathus and Russell could put them together to make I Got Your Medicine, and that was a good idea. Take this Medicine, if you know what’s good for you.