Pee-can? Pe-cahn? P’can?

How do YOU pronounce it?

For some, it’s a regional North vs. South thing.  For me, it’s situational.

I sit under a pee-can tree, eating pe-cahn pie, with butter p’can ice cream on top.  I’m curious to know if others do the same?

No matter how you say it, Wednesday’s openers, the Pecan Street Brass Band put on a great set with a nice balance of self-declared “Bach and Schlock.”

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The Texas Community Music Festival is hosted by the Austin Civic Wind Ensemble, and Pecan Street Brass boasts the membership of ACWE conductor and Artistic Director Robert Laguna.  (Who, incidentally, is another kid-magnet.  He had a small flock of pint-sized groupies sitting under his trumpet bell for a good portion of the show.)


Although Pecan Street Brass might have introduced them by their official and formal names, what the audience *heard* were the themes to the Alfred Hitchcock show, Fantasia’s “Sorcerers Apprentice,” featuring Mickey Mouse, the Lone Ranger theme (that was a quick one, yuk-yuk), and more!

Next up was a group that was almost as impressive to watch set up and tear down as they were to hear perform!  A moving truck pulled up in front of the cafe packed stem to stern with steel drums!  After we cleared the deck of wee-ones, they set up in about 15 minutes flat, and the Inside Out Steel Band started up and we were off to the islands, mon!

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Yes, your littles are a bit young at the moment, but for future reference (and readers with big brothers and sisters) the Inside Out Steel Band hosts a summer camp for kids in 4th grade and beyond at McCallum High School.  More info is available on their website.

My favorite (and my kids’ favorite) was Harry Belafonte’s “Shake Senora” in 20-part steel drum harmonies!  “Somebody help me!  Up de chimeny!”

Last but not least was the Austin Mandolin Orchestra.

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They.  Were.  Mesmerizing.

This was my favorite — although I only caught a few seconds of video, as I was having a flashback of sitting pregnant, hormonal, and sobbing in a movie theatre while watching “Up.”  Anyone who has seen the movie will sympathize.

And maybe get teary hearing just these 46 seconds!

15 instruments, including a guitar and a mando-cello (a tenor instrument that combines, you-guessed-it, a mandolin and a cello) and their sound was so quiet, so tentative, so tender.  The patio was packed, but the patio was silent.  Spellbound.  It was a perfect end to the evening.  Listen closely.

And learn more about the Austin Mandolin Orchestra HERE.

Meow, meow!

To see the complete set of photos from Wednesday at the TCMF (04.23.2014) go to Ms. Kat’s flickr page! And YouTube videos are HERE.