Flyinshoes Review

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If you haven’t hosted a House Concert yet, please make it a new year’s resolution!

Why not invite your favourite independent musician to play for your friends family and his fans in your front room, I’ll be surprised if he/she won’t show up sometime this year and play for you, let me know about it and if The Medicine Show Radio Moose Mobile is loose is near enough we’ll come and broadcast it too. If you would like to help keep the wheels on the Hub and on The Moose become a patron at

Happy Hosting, Happy New Year

Rob Ellen

               Kevin Russell already has one band of note in the shape of The Gourds, longtime favourites of the Americana scene. It seems his side project, Shinyribs, could be even bigger news on the back of their second album with its infectious blend of Gulf Coast sounds and sweet soul music. The soul comes courtesy of Russell’s extraordinary voice, which combines that soulful feel swelling from within with a relish for drawing out the sound of a word whilst frequently eliding it smoothly into the next one. He has such a fit for soul music that it’s no surprise that he closes the album with a cover of If You Don’t Know Me By Now; on this he gets some sweet accompaniment from Brandy Zdan on harmony vocals – it’s just their voices and Russell’s ukulele playing. The result is more personal and intimate than the polished melodrama of the original though I have to say it doesn’t quite come off for my money – maybe not quite personally felt enough to really convince.

                 Elsewhere though, the eight original songs – “tall tales from Texas”, he calls them – are full of fun, a smorgasbord of sounds that sometimes puts me in mind of Dr John, for one, and Little Feat for another, but never actually sounds quite like anyone else. There’s a loose-but-tight groove going on as if everybody in the band has license to take things where they please, though in truth they’re all dancing to the tune laid down by the man at the centre of things, his voice powerful enough to drive through the musical bedlam of Bolshevik Sugarcane and characterful enough to convey his sly good humour.  

                The opening track, Sweeter Than The Scars, is probably the best synthesis of all the good things on this album: a playful, bouncy rhythm puts a smile on your face whilst Russell’s laid-back vocal slips into sweetly soulful drawn out notes at the end of each line. Sally Allen’s harmonizing vocals are soft and easy while the old ukulele sounds like the instrument for all seasons. It’s a fine band he has here: Keith Langford on drums, Winfield Cheek on keys and Jeff Brown on bass are capable of conjuring up whatever is asked of them and, just for example, that opening song is bookended by harder edged sections serving as intro and outro . The band slip from one mode to the other as easily as breathing and, as if that wasn’t enough, sound like a great soul band on my favourite track, the wonderful Sweet Potato. The understated blue mood they produce here is really beautiful, as good an accompaniment to Russell’s pure soul vocal as you could wish for.

               There’s something a bit scattergun about Gulf Coast Museum as it jumps around in style and that maybe makes it a little difficult to latch onto what’s going on. I really connected with it when I was on a long road trip one day and got a chance to relish all the imaginary scenes that Russell’s fertile imagination was taking me to. He’s the sort of writer and performer that, once you’ve “got” him, will keep you coming back for more, in whatever guise he’s appearing.


John Davy

Views: 344

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This site is the sister site to The House Concert Hub community and has been inherited in the main by kind donation of Shaun Belcher and Trailer Star.

It is the sum total of over ten years of tending a tender love of music by Shaun, a life time with Trailer Star and five or so years of an association with Rob Ellen from Medicine Music.

The House Concert Hub community will use it for the purpose of providing a online, all singing all dancing, review and preview area for the music of the community, and the music community at large. Have a look around tell your friends use the share button, tell the world.

We need reviewers, the idea is we have a correspondents in every area of the musical global village, it will be edited and co-ordinated by Rob Ellen of Medicine Music publicist promoter and presenter, if you wish to subscribe as a correspondent, join up here and drop Rob a line, he will send you cd's and send you to shows, display and publicise your content.

Here starts an other adventure.

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December 2018
Malford Milligan
75 pts.
Life Will Humble You
Royal Family Records
JD McPherson
61 pts.
New West Records
Rosanne Cash
50 pts.
She Remembers Everything
Blue Note Records
Ad Vanderveen
45 pts.
I Was Hank William
Blue Rose Records
John Hiatt
44 pts.
The Eclipse Sessions
New West
The Yearlings
41 pts.
Lonely Sounds Records
Tip Jar
40 pts.
Nathan Bell
39 pts.
Loves Bones & Stars
Angry Stick Recording Co.
The Brother Brothers
38 pts.
Some People I Know
Compass Records
Richard Dobson
30 pts.
I Hear Singing
Brambus Records
Steve Forbert
29 pts.
The Magic Tree
Blue Rose Music
J.P. Harris
28 pts.
Sometimes Dogs Bark At Nothing
Free Dirt Records
The Bottle Rockets
24 pts.
Bit Logic
Bloodshot Records
Rodney Crowell
23 pts.
Christmas Everywhere
New West
Christian Kjellvander
22 pts.
Wild Hxmans
Erin Costelo
21 pts.
Sweet Marie
Compass Records
Colter Wall
20 pts.
Songs of the Plains
Young Mary's Record
The Hillbenders
19 pts.
The Hillbenders
Compass Records
Eric Bibb
18 pts.
Global Griot
Stony Plain
Karine Polwart
18 pts.
Laws of Motion
Hudson Records
Carson McHone
17 pts.
Nine Mile Records
Malcolm Holcombe
17 pts.
Come Hell Or High Water
Gypsy Eyes Music
Ben Bedford
16 pts.
The Hermit's Spyglass
Cavalier Recordings
Craig Moreau
16 pts.
A Different Kind Of Train
David Olney
16 pts.
This Side Or The Other
Black Hen Music

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