Here at ACL HQ we’re basking in a benevolent cold front. Fall weather prompts giddy excitement as the cool wind sweetly sings the words, “new episodes” in our ears.
It’s with great pride that we welcome every featured artist to our hallowed halls, be they up-and-comers or grizzled veterans. This weekend’s new, primo episode of Austin City Limits fits in the latter category. Please tune in this Saturday to join us in welcoming back ACL veterans The Decemberists and Gillian Welch.
Portland’s finest take our stage for the second time, having last visited in Season 33 supporting The Crane Wife. Now they’re back with a terrific set highlighting their most excellent LP The King is Dead. Highlights include a rousing “Calamity Song,” a lovely “Rise to Me” and a cheeky “The Rake’s Song” (the sole non-King track, for those keeping score). And just to add to the folk rock goodness, the Decemberists perform a countrified “All Arise!” and the ridiculously catchy “Down By the Water” with Welch and her partner David Rawlings singing and stringing along.
Speaking of Welch and Rawlings, they make their third appearance on ACL in the second half of this episode. Brandishing the brilliant new record The Harrow & the Harvest, the duo take us back to a timeless place where superior songcraft and hushed emotion rule. Whether it’s the elegiac “Look at Miss Ohio,” the lively “Six White Horses” or the defiantly beautiful “Hard Times” (song of the year, we’re tellin’ ya), the performance presents an artist hitting her stride and still moving forward. The pair’s uplifting take on the bluegrass standard “I’ll Fly Away” brings it all back home.
Make sure to tune in Saturday to catch this instant classic. In the meantime head on over to the episode page for a gaggle of clips, photos, additional information and for your local PBS listings.
While you’re at it, hit us up on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr or sign up for our newsletter for the latest happenings in the wonderful world of ACL. That’s where we’ll be posting about next week’s episode: some classic rock and old-school jazz with the Steve Miller Band and Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
Get outside; go on a walk and tune in this weekend!