The fifth annual HONK!TX blasted into town last weekend. This festival of street bands kicked off with performances on South Congress on Friday evening and continued at the Adams-Hemphill Park (north of the UT campus) on Saturday. The festival concluded Sunday afternoon with a parade and band revue in East Austin.
This is the third January in a row that Alejandro Escovedo has produced a concert at the ACL Live-Moody Theater. Bill and I have attended all three shows. The first one in 2013 was a retrospective of his career and included local musicians Rosie Flores and Amy Cook. Last year’s show, The United Sounds of Austin: A guided journey through over 60 years of Austin’s history, was an ambitious undertaking with even more musicians joining him on stage. (Joe Ely and Lucinda Williams, to name a few).
Now that we live closer to Zilker Park, the Zilker Summer Musical has become one of my favorite summer traditions. This year’s show is Oklahoma! by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. This is the 56th consecutive year for summer musicals at the Zilker HIllside, which has the distinction as being the longest-running outdoor donation-only theater in the country.
I’m not a fan of the hot Texas summers, but I do look forward to Austin’s live music during this time of the year. There’s a wide variety of great, mostly-free concerts practically every day of the week. Here’s some of my favorite music events so far this summer….
Since Bill was busy with the Moontower Comedy Festival, I decided to attend Friday’s MJ&M Presents Jack & Friends at the ACL-Live Moody Theatre. MJ&M is short for Mack Brown (former UT football coach), Jack Ingram (singer/songwriter), and Matthew McConaughey (2014 Academy Award winner for Best Actor). These three have teamed up to host an annual set of fundraisers to benefit children’s charities. In addition to the Friday event, earlier in the week there was also a golf outing, a fashion show, and a concert featuring Sheryl Crow.
We had just barely recovered from SxSW, and already it was time for another music event! Last weekend Austin hosted with HONK TX, an annual festival of community street bands. Over 20 bands from around the country converged here for three days of parade-marching, costume-dressing, and, most importantly, music-making.
Sixty years of Austin music history is tough to squeeze into one evening, but Alejandro Escovedo managed to accomplish this feat in The United Sounds of Austin. Held at the ACL Moody Theatre, the program featured 30+ numbers representing wildly diverse musical genres: gospel, jazz, blues, country, folk, Mexican-American, rock, and even punk. As musical curator and master of ceremonies, Alejandro pulled together an impressive group of friends—Joe Ely, Terry Allen, Lucinda Williams, Rosie Flores, and more—for this overview of Austin’s music and musicians.
The 2013 Austin City Limits Music Festival is underway in Zilker Park. The festival now spans two weekends with after-shows in Austin, Dallas and Houston. Bill and I weighed the pros and cons of each weekend, considering factors such as the UT football schedule, probable weather (hot or very hot), and park grass conditions, and decided to attend the first weekend.
Last week’s All ATX concert at the ACL-Live Moody Theater was a benefit for HAAM, the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. Bill and I love these local benefit concerts. Besides supporting worthwhile non-profit organizations, we enjoy hearing a variety of talented musicians and frequently become fans of performers that we probably wouldn’t know otherwise.