Shinyribs launches their Transit Damage pre-order today, alongside their new single, "Dark Cloud"
The Austin-based swamp-pop soul band, Shinyribs, are unleashing their newest single, the intensely life-affirming “Dark Cloud,” today, alongside the pre-order of their upcoming album, Transit Damage. Featuring a sonic melting pot of country, soul, Texas blues, rock, funk and elements of gospel and zydeco thrown in for good measure, “Dark Cloud” boasts sweet horns intertwining with the sultry harmonies of background singers the Shiny Soul Sisters (Alice Spencer and Courtney Santana), and lead singer Kevin Russell, as they tell the story of breaking away from destructive forces in your life while taking the risks needed to move from the darkness into light. Transit Damage, the groups ninth studio album, is slated for release on July 14, 2023.
Russell describes the inspiration behind “Dark Cloud,” a jangly upbeat tune cushioned by its rusty razorblade lyrics: “This is for that girl who stood up for herself. Got out of that mess. She didn’t sit and wait for the storm. She went to it and drove right through it. Never looked back. She’s still going strong. This is her song. And it’s for every gal who ever had to break away and get out. And anyone who ever had to wash the stupid out of their mouth.”
Just who is Shinyribs? It’s a sprawling nine, sometimes 10-piece cast, but ultimately it is the funky brainchild of Russell, who grew up in Beaumont, TX and Shreveport, LA, the cradle of the swamp pop and bayou R&B sounds that drip off his fingers like honey and hot sauce nowadays. Think Gulf Coast meets Muscle Shoals with strong pop-song structures. The evolution of Shinyribs came about when Kevin began playing a solo residency under that moniker - after an incident involving Russell buying a homeless woman a plate of ribs in a Houston club in the mid-2000s. “I was already a lover of New Orleans R&B from the ‘40s and ‘50s,” says Russell. “That music is some of my favorite music ever. Suddenly I realized I could play that style with these horns.”
Transit Damage was produced by Grammy winner Steve Berlin (Los Lobos, Raul Malo, Deer Tick, Greensky Bluegrass), who helped shape the record and pushed Kevin to reach beyond the party band specs. Culled from 30 to 40 songs Russell sent to him, spanning unrecorded works from across his career, to newer songs, the album encompasses a deeper and more meaningful collection of songs. The band’s celebratory bayou funk/R&B/soul sounds are leavened with Russell’s most personal songwriting yet, while still retaining the Shinyribs trademark need to get up and dance.
The ninth installment into the Shinyribs cannon, and first for the Jesse Dayton led Hardcharger Records imprint, the two artists bonded over their shared hometown of Beaumont, TX and their love for a special Texas-bred sound. Shinyribs are renowned for their dynamic live show and have crossed the country playing to sold out venues, often with Kevin sporting a cape that lights up, and wearing his fancy dance shoes. Coming on the heels of several killer performances at this year’s SXSW, Kevin and crew are currently on the road with many dates throughout the Spring and Summer.