Bullet Backstory – An Interview with Shinyribs

This is a new series we’ve started here on the WDVX blog. It shares five bullet point facts to provide some backstory about an artist in his or her own words. For this edition of “Bullet Backstory” we sat down with Kevin Russell of Shinyribs to share a bit more about his influences and insight about music.

Shiny ribs

Russell’s musical journey began in Beaumont,TX when, at 14, he found his father’s guitar under his bed. It was in Shreveport, Louisiana that he formed his first band, Picket Line Coyotes. Later, he ended up in Austin where The Gourds were born and gave him a great 18-year run. Since then, Russell has been riding high “on the Shinyribs river of country-soul, swamp-funk and tickle.”

If you haven’t seen Shinyribs up close in person, come on out to Tennessee Shines on April 27th to see them play. The band will also be at Merlefest, April 28th thru May 1st.

Here’s the Bullet Backstory…we hope you enjoy!

  • Biggest musical influences – Waylon, early Michael Jackson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Replacements, Tom Waits, James Brown and Al Green.
  • What made you decide to pursue music as a career? – I had the dream when I was just a boy. I believe it was after I saw Elvis Presley in Lake Charles, LA. when I was 8 years old. That’s when I knew I wanted to be on the stage singing and dancing.
  • What advice do you have for young musicians who are trying to hone their craft? Listen to everything and pay close attention to the song structure, the emotional energy and the sound of music. Too many times people focus on imitating an image and the style of the music that inspires them. This is fine. But, dig a little deeper to find the raw humanity at the core of great music. Know your history too. Seek out new music from the past. Follow the threads the universe drops in front of you. Be awake, as awake and as aware as possible. Life is a mystery, explore it from the inside out.
  • What’s your favorite thing to do in Knoxville? Go to the historic districts like Gay St, Fort Sanders, thrift stores, music stores, book stores.
  • If you could work with any musician (living or deceased) who would it be and why? James Brown fascinates me. I would love to sit in on a session where he actually sculpts songs out of grooves and band jams. I would love to watch him conduct that old In The Jungle Groove band. His method was so utterly irreverent, unpredictable and genius. Somehow the pure force of his personality shaped the music made by his band of the best players.

#PeopleOfWDVX – Spotlight on the Goodalls

Here at WDVX, it really is all about community. And there are so many folks in this great community who have helped us keep the music going. We’re excited to feature some of them on our blog, and tell a little bit more of their stories. For this edition of #PeopleOfWDVX, we’re shining a spotlight on the Goodalls – event volunteers and now coordinating the monthly live show production of Kidstuff! 

Name: John, Sue, Judah and Asha Goodall

Goodall WDVX

Sue, Judah and Asha Goodall


Hometown: We are originally from upstate NY, but moved to Knoxville almost 6 years ago.

John & Sue

Sue & John manning the table at Rhythm N’ Blooms


What made you want to get involved with WDVX? We started taking the kids to the Blue Plate when they were small (Asha was 18 months old and Judah was 3). We packed up the pretzels and the water bottles and crossed our fingers. They loved it, and eventually, Asha would show off any new pair of boots that she had to Red Hickey. Having had the opportunity to introduce the kids to live music at such a young age has made them into great audience members (and sometimes thoughtful music critics).

After spending so much time at events and listening at home, we decided that we’d get involved. Liz Lyons, the volunteer coordinator, has been great at encouraging all of us to volunteer, and the station staff has always been incredibly welcoming to the entire family.

Goodall Mayfield

Asha & Judah Goodall with David Mayfield


What is your favorite thing about WDVX? The eclecticism of the music that is played on air and the sheer amount of live music WDVX makes accessible to the community.


Asha Goodall in the WDVX Camper


Favorite WDVX show/program? We have a running joke, that although the kids do like to listen to Kidstuff with Sean McCullough, they really love Doug Lauderdale’s show Rumble. The adults like Rumble, too, but also like to stay up late on Mondays and listen to The New Show when Sam is in town. Katie’s Category Stomp is also a favorite. And of course the live shows like the Blue Plate Special and Tennessee Shines are even better when we get to attend in person.

Asha Bombadil

Asha & Bombadil

What does music mean to you/your family?
We’ve really tried to raise our kids surrounded by music of all sorts whether it be live or recorded. For us music is important, not just as entertainment, but as cultural and social history.

We are very lucky to be surrounded by the richness of the music of the southeast in general, and the Southern Appalachians specifically. The kids play instruments and the parents wish they had learned instruments at the kids’ ages!

Favorite thing to do in East Tennessee? We love to flatwater kayak, hike in the Urban Wilderness and see as much live music as possible. We’ve also started hosting house shows recently so that’s definitely a favorite activity.Judah Mic

Favorite musicians to see in concert? David Mayfield, Bombadil, Ray Wylie Hubbard, The Tillers, the Lonetones, but there are so many!

Why do you think other folks should get involved with WDVX, either as members or volunteers? The simplest answer is the catch phrase “to keep the good music going” – but more specifically, community radio means just that, a community of listeners and volunteers banding together for a common good. And if WDVX isn’t a common good, I’m not sure what is!

A BIG thanks to Sue Goodall for answering our questions. And thanks to this incredible family for being so passionate about everything we do here at WDVX. We couldn’t keep the music going without folks like this. 


A Song & A Sip – Tennessee Stifflegs

Hometown favorite The Tennessee Stifflegs is a four-piece string band from Knoxville, Tennessee. They’ll be playing tonight on Tennessee Shines (April 13th) and you can also catch them at the upcoming Knoxville Stomp Festival.  In the meantime, enjoy their tune “Dinah.”

This performance of the Tennessee Stifflegs was filmed at the Laurel Theater in Knoxville, Tennessee on January 9, 2016 (video by Dean Turley). [“Dinah” (Akst/Lewis/Young) – Nathan Black, Frank Bronson, Tom Cook and Thomas McNair]

Not only do the Stifflegs perform high energy fiddle-led numbers, but they also have a unique take on a wide variety of classic American music – including harmony-driven ballads and upbeat jazz standards.

Tennessee Stifflegs combines some of our favorite things: old-time country, western swing and hillbilly jazz. Another great combination is this week’s Sip, which combines some favorite flavors to create an enjoyable result.

This is the latest in our blog series, A Song & A Sip, brought to you in part from our friends at Sugarlands Distilling Company.

Each week, they share a great drink recipe as part of their #WhatToDrinkWednesday, and we thought it would be fun to pair the drinks with an amazing music performance.

Twitter_Rye Apple Lemonade

Rye Apple Lemonade:

1.5 oz Mark and Diggers Rye Apple

3 oz Lemonade

1.5 oz Club soda

Build all ingredients in rocks glass with ice. Stir slowly and garnish with a lemon wheel and dusting of cinnamon.