HONK!TX: 2019

This weekend was the annual HONK!TX festival of community street bands. Almost 30 bands participated this year. Many were from Austin, but ten other U.S. cities and two countries (Brazil and El Salvador) were represented. I was able to attend two days: Friday evening at Mueller Lake Park and Saturday afternoon at Hemphill Park. Friday’s picture-perfect weather contributed to big crowds at Mueller. After a mid-morning cold front arrived, Saturday audiences seemed a little smaller than usual. It’s hard to pick from the 19 bands that I heard, but I think my three favorites were Extraordinary Rendition Band, Big Blitz, and Minor Mishap Marching Band.

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MJ&M: 2018

Bill and I attended two benefit concerts as part of the sixth annual charity event called Mack, Jack & McConaughey. Mack Brown, the former UT football head coach, is now a sports commentator for ESPN. Jack Ingram is a singer/songwriter who just won a Country Music Award for co-writing Miranda Lambert’s hit, Tin Man. And actor Matthew McConaughey might be best-known around these parts for his naked bongo playing back in 1999. Daytime MJ&M events included a fashion show and a golf tournament, but we only attended the two evening concerts at the Austin City Limits / Moody Theater.

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HONK!TX: 2018

Twenty-four street bands participated in this year’s HONK!TX, an annual festival of community street bands held here in Austin. I have been able to attend all but one of the eight festivals. For the first time, the Friday evening performances were held at Mueller Lake Park. I liked this location better than those previous Fridays on South Congress. In Mueller, the bands were further apart (but not too far), parking was plentiful, and I didn’t have to worry about being hit by a car while crossing a busy street. My only suggestion is that more food trucks should be invited next time.

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Austin Music Awards: 2018

The 36th annual Austin Music Awards ceremony was held at the ACL-Moody Theater last week. The evening’s hosts were KUTX DJs Laurie Gallardo and Rick McNulty. Charlie Sexton was again tapped to be the musical director and as usual, he led an excellent show. Proceeds from the event benefited the Sims Foundation, a local non-profit which provides mental health and addiction recovery services to musicians and their families.

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