Acoustic Soul

A popular Downtown concert series goes unplugged to benefit the city’s post-Harvey recovery efforts.

Katya Horner
Us performs during Canned Acoustica at Discovery Green_Photo by Katya Horner
Us performs during Canned Acoustica at Discovery Green_Photo by Katya Horner

As the region continues to operate in recovery mode post-Harvey, there is no shortage of unique ways to donate time, money and resources to a city in need. Perhaps one of the most fun philanthropic experiences is Canned Acoustica, a concert series at Discovery Green.


Curated by veteran concert promoter Mark C. Austin, the monthly event is free and family-friendly, and guests are encouraged to bring canned goods as donations to the Houston Food Bank, which distributed more than 22 million pounds of food, water and supplies in the six weeks after Hurricane Harvey.

It’s actually the second iteration of the series, which debuted in 2010 and went on hiatus in 2012. “I often get asked to bring the series back to life,” says Austin, who challenges local artists like The Suffers and Fat Tony to rearrange songs using only acoustic instruments. The result? Moody and personal performances, distinct and unique to each group. “Discovery Green’s small stage is an ideal setting for these intimate acoustic sets.”

With five or six local bands representing a variety of genres — including rap, metal, indie, Latin, rock and soul — performances during each concert are multi-faceted and vibey. This month, music lovers and do-gooders can look forward to performances by pop-punk-rockers 30footFALL, female duo Say Girl Say, metal act Dead to the World, The Voice alum Stephanie Rice, and rising-star four-piece band Mind Shrine. The scenic 12-acre park also hosts lawn games and serves bites and beverages from The Grove during the concert — and all for a small “can”tribution.

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