Kevin Russell is band leader of Shinyribs. He plays the ukulele and an electric guitar during concerts. [Photo courtesy of Shinyribs]

Concertgoers are in for a treat when Shinyribs takes the stage on Friday at Swanny City Park.

The high-energy, eight-piece band from Austin, Texas, closes out Moab’s free concert series on July 26.

With musical influences stemming from the Texas Gulf Coast, New Orleans, soul, and rhythm and blues, the band “draws from all kinds of roots music,” singer and musician Kevin Russell said.

Russell plays the ukulele and an electric guitar during concerts.

“It’s an interesting New Orleans mix with a western psychedelic tinge,” Russell said. “There’s a lot of New Orleans and rhythm and blues feel to what we do.”

A longtime poet, Russell writes a lot of the songs for Shinyribs. Sometimes the narratives take a surreal, or impressionistic turn, he said. 

The band includes the Tijuana Trainwreck Horns (Tiger Anaya on trumpet and Mark Wilson on saxophone and flute) and the Shiny Soul Sisters (Kelley Mickwee and Alice Spencer). Winfield Cheek is on keyboards, Keith Langford plays drums and Jeff Brown is playing bass.

Expect to hear some tunes from the band’s new CD “Fog and Bling” — which is a line in one of the band’s songs called “Sing it Right” where Russell urges singers to “sing for the song; sing for the moment,” and “get rid of the trappings of fame.”

“We’ll be doing a lot of songs off of the new album,” Russell said. “It’s been going over really well.” 

Released in June, the CD was created from 40 to 50 recordings Russell made at home, which producer David Boyle, of Church House Recording Studio in Austin, helped Russell cull and fine-tune the new album.

“Over the course of a year-and-a-half we distilled it down to these 10 songs,” Russell said.

The band is known for altering its set to fit the mood of the venue. For example, if he “gets a certain vibe,” Russell may sing an a cappella tune either solo or in a three-part harmony with his backup singers.

Moab’s own Jon Olschewski, accompanied by Glenn Sherrill, will open the show at 5 p.m. and play a half-hour set of mostly original music.

Olschewski performs coast to coast with his band Stonefed, but it will be just him and Sherrill performing at the Swanny City Park concert.

“Solo, I do a multi-mix genre,” Olschewski said. 

His new solo CD “Music in the Garden” was released last year and will be for sale that evening. It’s an apt title for a busy musician who also makes his living growing garlic. 

The Moab Area Travel Council and the City of Moab, as well as local businesses, provided funding for the free summer concert series. A coalition including the Moab Folk Festival, the Moab Arts and Recreation Center, KZMU Community Radio and Moab Gear Trader presented the concert series. Proceeds from the sale of beer and wine go toward supporting future free concerts.

“Shinyribs will headline the grand finale of the third annual Moab Free Concert Series,” said Cassie Paup of Friends of the Moab Folk Festival. “Please come celebrate this successful season of free music by dancing to a world class band featuring Kevin Russell on vocals, the Tijuana Trainwreck Horns and the Shiny Soul Sisters on backup.”

Shinyribs takes the stage at Swanny City Park

What: Moab Free Concert Series featuring Shinyribs

When: Friday, July 26, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Where: Swanny City Park, 400 N. 100 West


It’s an interesting New Orleans mix with a western psychedelic tinge.