Deep in the HONK! of Texas

The Party Band travelled 2,000 miles from Lowell, MA to get wet and wild with 24 other brass bands for the 2015 HONK!TX Festival of Community Street Bands. This three day showdown in Austin, TX brought music and musicians together from around the world to collaborate with each other and celebrate the sounds of HONK! 


March 27th to 29th is one of the most exciting weekends in the country for any of the brass band connoisseurs who deep fry bacon bagel sandwiches in their dancing shoes. Tirelessly, the Party Band got down and dirty with the music and formed friendships that fostered creative thinking and rambunctious wrestling. Bells flaring and drummers drumming weren’t enough party. A few members of the Party Band recall their favorite experiences of the trip:


Wildcat Slim plays clarinet in the band and enjoyed the pleasant climate. “I rode my bike along the Colorado River at sunset and experienced one of the most beautiful and serene moments of my life,” he said. “There were no slim pickins when it comes to inspiration from the South.”

Kwebbussy broke down four times on his bike. “This place is incredible,” he said. “A super-hipster fixed my broken bike with a wrench and a six pack of PBR. This all happened before our first set.” He continued to describe the Nutcracker’s ordeal later in the weekend: “The Nutcracker really got me going.  After enjoying the hot tub with some comrades, he lost his shirt and shoes and we had to go buy him some.”

The Selecter chose to focus on the percussion section this weekend. “I saw Animal pound a bass drum with a cowboy hat and stogie blazing in his mouth,” he said. His accounts show that Fresh Beets was worshiped by the devil holding a ride cymbal.

Bonecrusher had one too many meatballs and was defeated by Marty in a good old fashioned wrestling match. Marty and Jess were two of the Party Band’s hosts and they joined the parade and the review waiving flags and dancing. “You could really see his green spot of hair from my position on the stage,” Bonecrusher said.


The weekend ended in tears as Brass Monkey wailed at the funeral. “The epic super jam was my favorite part of the trip,” he said. “Bands from all over the world were in one place playing our standards together.”

There were many more stories like these from each member of the band.  The experience of making music with so many wonderful and talented people is a good time in itself.  When The Party Band decides to get wet, they take all of these additional crazy experiences and mold them into focused sound. HONK!TX was an unforgettable weekend for all who attended the festival.


Big thanks to Leah and the festival organizers, and to our incredible hosts: Jason, Jess, Marty, Edmo, Laura, and Mary. Photos by Erin Allen, Steve Rogers, Michael Bell, and the band. Blog written by Mike Kaskiewicz.

See you at our next show!