Setting new levels in family entertainment.
Who is excited for the Austin City Limits Festival (ACL)? Not to be confused with the Austin City Limits TV show that began in 1974 (beginning with, of course, Willie Nelson!) and involved taped videos of live performances in response to PBS’s call for original programming from its member stations. The Austin City Limits Festival began in 2002 much in the same vein as other national concert festivals like Lollapalooza but with an Austin-slant and a family friendly atmosphere featuring Austin Eats and stages for Austin Kiddie Limits which feature kindie family musicians that were fun for the whole family. Austin Kiddie Limits Festival (AKL) happens inside of the ACL fest but is geared especially for families. Yes! ACL AKL is a wonderful attraction for families (the band lineups start earlier in the day) who want to take their children to the music fest to hear family friendly tunes. KB Whirly & Sonia De Los Santos will both be performing at Austin City Limit’s Austin Kiddie Limits this year on the second weekend of the festival events (the two weekend festival began in 2012) on 10/7-10/902016 and I happen to be able to do a fun Q&A with both of these artists. I’m going to write a little about each band and then tell you local Austinites about the FREE Hush Hush Music Bash at the Domain that is especially for families here in Austin. It’s a wonderful event, so be sure to attend if you and your family have little ones that want to dance to the festival’s finest musicians for children and the kid in all of us!
About Sonia De Los Santos: Sonia De Los Santos was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico and since 2007 has been touring with the Grammy Award winning group Dan Zanes And Friends as a singer and guitarist encouraging audiences all around the world to sing in Spanish. 2015 marked the release of her first family music album in Spanish titled Mi Viaje: De Nuevo León to the New York Island, where she reflects on her experiences growing up and moving to another country as an immigrant, finding a new home, learning about other cultures, and feeling closer to her own heritage. From the sounds of traditional Mexican son jarocho to bilingual versions of classic American songs, her journey explores the musical landscape of the American Continent. http://www.soniadelossantos.com
About >KB Whirly: KB Whirly is a Maine based magical, groovy, get up and dance, one-man band who sings with passion, charm, and humor. KB’s throwback vibe could be compared to Dick Van Dyke’s character from Mary Poppins. He’s a folksy, hand clappin’ toe tapping’ troubadour with great lyrics – serving up comedy, poignancy, and irrepressible fun for the whole family. At a KB Whirly show New Orleans jazz and Americana folk stylings pair with fun, funny, syncopated lyrics, sometimes in tongue twisting ragtime rhythm altogether enveloping the audience in a playful energy that will make you slap your thigh and dance a jig. On Camp Songs Vol. 1 he revisits some favorite throwback camp songs and adds a few originals into the mix. A fresh take on the traditional camp songbook, families can expect to dance, hoot, holler and laugh together as KB Whirly takes them on a musical journey into the woods, down by the lake, and out by the campfire. This barn burner of an album proves you’re never too old to go back to camp. http://www.kbwhirly.com
Hush Hush Music Bash
With so many fabulous musicians coming in for the festival, the whole city will benefit from the free fringe concerts that pop up all over town. If you have mini music fans at home, bring them to the Hush Hush Music Bash at The Domain for the only Kiddie Limits after party in town! That’s right, Austin sponsors are once again bringing a little bit of ACL to us Austinites with families for FREE! Austin’s only after party for kids is going down at Domain II in Amy Donovan Plaza, from 3-7 p.m., on Saturday October 8, 2016. With music sponsored by Spoil the Rock, Spoil the Child, The Austin Diagnostic Clinic, LiveMom.com, The Domain, and Springfree Trampolines. Musical guests include El Tule, Sonia de los Santos, KB Whirly, and The Que Pastas. It’s time to party at the Domain!
Questions for the ACL AKL and Hush Hush Music Bash performers KB Whirly & Sonia De Los Santos:
1. I have been attending ACL since 2002 (pre-parenthood) and I have to say that since becoming a parent of two, I still love the Austin Kiddie Limits scene, but I actually have enjoyed the free shows for families that Bill Childs organizes outside of the downtown Austin area because it is so convenient for locals to attend during ACL. My family is really looking forward to attending the Hush Hush Music Bash at the Domain (this will be our third year attending) which feels so intimate for local families to enjoy. Do you have a preference for either performing at a larger festival audience of the ACL festival or do you enjoy the more intimate family scene of the Hush Hush Music Bash?
(KB WHIRLY) Great question! – and of course, they are both amazing – and for different reasons. As the performer, you want to build a bridge to the audience and “connect” with them. So much of that is reacting and responding to them and with them, which can be easier in a smaller venue when we’re all “right there”.
But a larger venue has a LOT more energy and enthusiasm swirling all around – and as the performer – you’re pulling from all that energy – and that feels amazing – and then you can translate that into your performance – and the audience shares that experience, even though they may be a little further away.
For me, a big festival like ACL doesn’t happen too often! – so I’m thrilled to be a part of it… but I started out busking on the streets of Cambridge, MA – so being right there with the audience is part of my heart and soul!
(Sonia De Los Santos) It’s our first time playing in Austin and we’re really excited about both venues! We know they’re really different and people might have a preference to attend one or the other, but for us, it’s all new and we feel incredibly honored to be playing there and meeting as many families as we can!
2. You both have incredible but quite different musical styles that fit in well with the all-encompassing Austin Music Scene. Sonia’s Spanish language influenced music from your background growing up in Mexico and KB Whirly’s folksy Americana songs both tap into different musical genres that are big in Austin. Why should my readers be excited to bring their kiddos to see your shows?
(KB WHIRLY) (HA!) – It’d be way easier for me to tell you all the reasons parents should bring their kiddos to see Sonia! ….
A big inspiration for KB WHIRLY is the Dick Van Dyke character from Mary Poppins, and I can still feel the impact of that movie’s magic in my life. As a performer – we WANT to give that ‘magic’ to a young person. We want them to say “THAT WAS AMAZING – I WILL NEVER FORGET THAT.” As a parent – (selfishly!) – I want to enjoy the thing my child is enjoying – and it’s important to me that parents are enjoying the music just as much…. so, dear readers! – Come to my show, and remember the magic of your youth!…. and bring your kiddos! – cuz they see the magic everywhere 🙂
(Sonia De Los Santos) Yes! I grew up in Monterrey, just a few hours south of the border and we would visit family in San Antonio and Eagle Pass very often. So, in a way, Texas feels like home to me! My music has definitely been inspired by the time I spent there and I know there are many families in Austin that have Mexican and Mexican-American roots, so hopefully there’ll be a strong connection with my music and we’ll all become instant friends!
3. My kids were born and being raised as Austinites. Tell me how much you love our wacky city! Any interesting stories about A-town you’d like to share with my readers?
(KB WHIRLY) This will be my first time in Austin!!
(Sonia De Los Santos) I’ve heard so many stories about Austin, but it’s our first time there and we’re ready to make our own! Fun fact: I do have a cousin that I love very much there and ever since he moved to Austin, he makes sure to text me every once in a while telling me how silly I am to not move to the live music capital of the world! So, depending on what an incredible time we have there, I might consider it!
4. Tell me which band you are most excited to see at ACL AKL or at the Hush Hush Music Bash? You can pick more than one!
(KB WHIRLY) Oh man, this is going to be an amazing weekend of music…but I’m most excited for RADIOHEAD and WILLE NELSON. Pinch me.
(Sonia De Los Santos) There’s so many great bands playing those days! I can’t believe we’re missing both our friends Lucky Diaz and Jazzy Ash at ACL because they’re playing on the previous weekend…. but we’ll be so happy to see the super talented KB Whirly and I’m also really excited about Gina Chavez, The Que Pastas and El Tule!
5. Plug time! Of course, you both will be performing at ACL AKL and the Hush Hush Music Bash, but what other upcoming projects, tours, or albums are forthcoming for each of you that my readers should be excited about?
(KB WHIRLY) Over the summer I released a record called CAMP SONGS vol.1 – which is still awesome even in the fall! – and I’ll be playing a bunch of songs from that record at ACL. I have a new – super funky- single called Love Light Shine. It’ll be released on iTunes and elsewhere Oct. 1st – with a beautiful music video you can see on my website.
Then in early November I’ll be releasing a new full length album titled YOU ARE LOVE. It’s an album of lullaby’s produced by Dean Jones – and I’m really excited to introduce a whole new musical ‘vibe’ from my last 2 records.
(Sonia De Los Santos) We’re having so much fun playing the music from my first album: Mi Viaje: De Nuevo León to the New York Island and we just made a video for the opening track: “Esta es Tu Tierra” – our Spanish version of “This Land is Your Land”. It should be out really soon and it’s going to be great! Also, Elena Moon Park and I are playing a lot of music together these days and we just recorded a track for a David Bowie tribute album called Let All The Children Boogie produced by Bill Childs, Stephanie Mayers, Dean Jones and Robert Burke Warren. Make sure you look out for it!
Thank you so much for your time and my family can’t wait to see you perform in Austin soon!
Price: ACL Tickets are currently SOLD OUT, but the Hush Hush Music Bash is a FREE event at the Domain