The Country Soul of R. Kelly's "Feelin' on Yo Booty"
The Gourds didn't invent the idea of a ragtag roots-rock band spicing up its set with hip-hop and R&B covers, but thanks to their cover of Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice" (endorsed by the Doggfather himself), everybody probably thinks they did. But Gourds co-frontman Kevin Russell, playing as solo alter ego Shinyribs, managed to outdo even "Gin and Juice" Wednesday night at the Volcano.
Although his excellent hour-plus set included other standouts like "Shreveport" from the Gourds' brand-new album Haymaker! and a tender cover of TLC's "Waterfalls," Rocks Off thought the highlight of the night was Russell's version of R.Kelly's tautological 2000 exercise in misogyny, "Feelin' on Yo Booty."
Swapping out Kelly's plinking Oriental melody for a glistening Glen Campbell-esque country chord progression, Russell brought out the loneliness of lyrics like "Now your body's got me feelin' like spending/ With a back room I could come to live in" in a way that completely transcended irony. He turned a song that, at best, is a textbook example of Kelly's rampant egomania into something that might actually work as a come-on.
Players wanna play, ballers wanna ball, rollers wanna roll. Well done, Shinyribs. Carry on.