ACL announces the second half of its Season 43 broadcast schedule

photo by Scott Newton

The iconic television music series Austin City Limits announces the second half of Season 43, with seven all-new shows to begin airing January 6 as part of the program’s fourteen-episode season. The stellar slate of broadcast episodes features highly-anticipated debuts from today’s most talked-about live acts, continuing Austin City Limits’ run as the longest-running music television show in history, providing viewers a front-row seat to the best in live performance for over 40 years.  

The season returns in January with many recent Grammy-nominees, all new to the ACL stage, including indie-rock provocateur Father John Misty, powerhouse rap duo Run the Jewels, dance-rock band LCD Soundsystem and country phenom Chris Stapleton.  Father John Misty delivers an epic performance backed by a 16-piece orchestra; Run the Jewels ignite the ACL stage in a rapid-fire, riveting showcase; LCD Soundsystem perform a career-spanning set for the ages; and country superstar Chris Stapleton, the reigning CMA Awards Male Vocalist of the Year, makes a stunning ACL debut, joined by his wife, singer Morgane Stapleton. Husband and wife team Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires unite for a special double-bill as Americana star Isbell returns to the ACL stage to share an episode with his partner and creative collaborator Amanda Shires, making her ACL debut.  A season highlight is the first-ever appearance of jazz trailblazer Herbie Hancock in a thrilling hour of classics and new songs.  Black Keys superstar and ACL veteran Dan Auerbach makes his solo debut showcasing new music from his first solo release in 8 years.  The extended line-up features breakout red-dirt country band Turnpike Troubadours and Austin favorites Shinyribs in first-time ACL appearances, as well as the return of a standout, acclaimed Austin psych-rockers The Black Angels.

“As always, expect the unexpected as we deliver something for everybody – from psych-rock to Americana, modern jazz to hip hop and electronica,” says longtime ACL executive producer Terry Lickona.  “This is one of the most exciting collection of shows we’ve ever presented.”

Go behind the scenes with ACL Backstage, a new 10-part virtual reality video series, offering viewers immersive only-in-VR moments straight from the current season.  The series premiered in November on the ACLTV YouTube Channel and continues to debut new installments to coincide with the Season 43 line-up, including Father John Misty, Run the Jewels, Dan Auerbach and Shinyribs.  ACL Backstage offers viewers a chance to hang backstage with favorite artists and join them onstage with closer-than-front-row seats.  The series was developed with Google’s Daydream team and in partnership with SubVRsive Media.

“In a season when we’re celebrating a significant milestone of longevity, I think it’s great that we’re staying on the cutting edge of technology and bringing ACL fans new and exciting  ways to experience live music,” says ACL GM Tom Gimbel.

Season 43 | 2018 Broadcast Schedule

January 6 Father John Misty | The Black Angels

January 13 Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit | Amanda Shires

January 20 Herbie Hancock

January 27 Run the Jewels

February 3 LCD Soundsystem

February 10 Dan Auerbach | Shinyribs

February 17 Chris Stapleton | Turnpike Troubadours

ACL’s Season 43 premiered in October with unforgettable performances from Ed Sheeran, Miranda Lambert, Angel Olsen, The Pretenders, Zac Brown Band, Norah Jones, Benjamin Booker, The Head and the Heart and more.  The award-winning series will continue to broadcast fan-favorite encore episodes through the end of 2017. In what has become an ACL holiday tradition, the program will encore Tom Waits legendary December 1978 performance, one of the most requested episodes in ACL’s 40+ year archive. Tune-in on December 23rd to see this classic Christmas episode.  

A special broadcast of Austin City Limits Hall of Fame New Year’s Eve airs Sunday, December 31 at 10pm CT/11pm ET.  Austin City Limits rings in the new year with the star-studded celebration, hosted by Chris Isaak, featuring one-of-a-kind performances and collaborations from the 2017 ACL Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.  Performers include ACL royalty Rosanne Cash, Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Ry Cooder, Chris Isaak, Brandi Carlile, Raul Malo, Trombone Shorty, Dr. John and more.

ACL artists at the 2018 Grammys

photo by Scott Newton

Austin City Limits congratulates all the nominees for the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. We’d like to give special recognition to the nominees who have appeared on ACL. Big congratulations to Kendrick Lamar, a top contender with seven nominations. The Compton hip-hop trailblazer earned nods for Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Best Rap Performance, Best Rap/Sung Performance, Best Rap Song, Best Rap Album and Best Music Video.

We’re thrilled to be showcasing many of this year’s nominees during our current Season 43, stay tuned for new episodes and congratulations to Chris Stapleton, earning top honors with nominations for Best Country Album, Best Country Song and Best Country/Solo Performance; LCD Soundsystem, for Best Dance Recording and Best Alternative Music Album; Father John Misty, for Best Alternative Music Album and Best Recording Package; Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, for Best Americana Album and Best American Roots Song and Run the Jewels for Best Rap Song for their collaboration with Danger Mouse. You can see all of these artists’ brand new episodes in early 2018.  We’re also chuffed for fellow nominees whose episodes kicked off the first half of our 43rd season: Ed Sheeran, for Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album; Miranda Lambert, for Best Country/Solo Performance and Best Country Song; and Zac Brown Band, for Best Country Duo/Group Performance.

Additional congratulations to the talented ACL veterans who received top nominations: Foo Fighters, for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song; Coldplay, for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance; CeCe Winans for Best Gospel Album and Best Gospel Performance/Song; the Allman Brothers’ Gregg Allman (R.I.P.) and the Mavericks, both for Best Americana Album and Best American Roots Song; Alison Krauss for Best Country/Solo Performance and Best American Roots Performance; The National, for Best Alternative Music Album and Best Recording Package; Ladysmith Black Mambazo for Best World Music Album and Best Children’s Album; Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds for Best Music Film and Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package and the late Leonard Cohen for Best Rock Album and Best American Roots Performance. We’re proud to note that four of the five noms for Best Alternative Music Album comes from ACL vets: Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, Father John Misty and The National.

Shout-outs as well to Queens of the Stone Age, Sarah McLachlan, Beck, Arcade Fire, Juanes, The War On Drugs, Alabama Shakes, Reba McEntire, Blind Boys of Alabama, Rodney Crowell, Damian Jr. Gong Marley, Aimee Mann, Randy Newman, Robert Cray, Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’, Natalie LaFourcade, Portugal. The Man, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Iron & Wine, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Punch Brothers’ Noam Pikelny and the late Glen Campbell for their nominations.

A full list of all nominees can be found here – good luck to them all. Co-produced by ACL executive producer, Terry Lickona, the 60th Annual Grammy Awards will telecast on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018.

Austin City Limits announces new VR series: ACL Backstage

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Celebrating its 43rd season on public television, Austin City Limits partners with Google’s Daydream team and virtual reality content producers SubVRsive to create ACL Backstage, an immersive 10-part VR series that brings new and exclusive premium performances and behind-the-scenes content to viewers everywhere. Now the longest running music show in television history, the lauded PBS television program remains committed to using cutting edge technology to bring live music performance to fans. Premiering November 16, ACL Backstage offers viewers amazing, only-in-VR moments straight from the current season.  Get closer than front row seats with intimate performances and personal interviews from favorite superstars like Ed Sheeran and  Zac Brown Band and many more.

The series tells the story of the musicians, the crew, the city, and the fans that make it all possible – all in virtual reality.  Unparalleled access gives an up-close look at some of the season’s most iconic performances and takes viewers backstage to hear from the artists before they step under the lights at Austin City Limits studio home: ACL Live at the Moody Theater in downtown Austin.  Stay tuned for 360° from a slate of stellar acts showcased in ACL’s new season: Father John Misty, Run the Jewels, Dan Auerbach and more highlights.

The first three episodes feature pop superstar Ed Sheeran, Southern country-rock band Zac Brown Band and the unsung heroes of ACL for four decades – our crew.

ACL Backstage premieres on Nov. 16 on  ACL’s YouTube channel. While anyone can watch on YouTube, the content is even more immersive when viewed in Daydream or Cardboard. The trailer is available below or here. Additional episodes will be released in January 2018.

ACL Backstage is hosted and directed by Nathan Christ, an award-winning filmmaker and director of acclaimed documentary Echotone, which explored music culture in Austin.  The series is produced by SubVRsive, an Emmy-nominated XR company based in Austin, TX that focuses on creating impactful 360 Video, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality experiences.

About Austin City Limits

Austin City Limits (ACL) offers viewers unparalleled access to featured acts in an intimate setting that provides a platform for artists to deliver inspired, memorable, full-length performances. The program is taped live before a concert audience from The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. ACL is the longest-running music series in television history and remains the only TV series to ever be awarded the National Medal of Arts. Since its inception, the groundbreaking music series has become an institution that’s helped secure Austin’s reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World. The historic KLRU Studio 6A, home to 36 years of ACL concerts, has been designated an official Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Landmark. In 2011, ACL moved to the new venue ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. ACL received a rare institutional Peabody Award for excellence and outstanding achievement in 2012.

ACL is produced by KLRU-TV and funding is provided in part by Dell, the Austin Convention Center Department, Shiner Beers and HomeAway.com. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Austin City Limits. Learn more about Austin City Limits, programming and history at acltv.com.

About SubVRsive

SubVRsive is an Emmy-nominated XR company based in Austin, TX focused on creating impactful 360 Video, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality experiences for brands and agencies. Partnering with renowned directors, producers, content creators and developers at the forefront of the medium, SubVRsive has created captivating interactive experiences for some of the world’s leading brands and media companies, including Lionsgate Entertainment, Procter & Gamble, and Showtime Networks. Read more at www.subvrsive.com.

New taping and livestreams: Turnpike Troubadours and Dan Auerbach

photo by David McClister

Austin City Limits is thrilled to announce our final taping of Season 43 with Oklahoma country rockers Turnpike Troubadours. The breakout band will hit the ACL stage on December 5 for a debut taping that will also be streamed live around the world. Speaking of livestreams, we’re also stoked to say that we’ll be doing the same for Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach’s taping on November 27. Auerbach will also be joined during the set by a very special guest, Louisiana soul singer Robert Finley, the first signing to his Easy Eye Sound record label.  Both tapings will stream at 8pm CT/9 pm ET, Dan Auerbach here on November 27 and Turnpike Troubadours here on December 5, powered by Dell.  

Called “the greatest country music band in the world right now” by Saving Country Music, the Turnpike Troubadours make their ACL debut in support of their fourth album A Long Way From Your Heart. Produced by Grammy winner Ryan Hewitt (The Avett Brothers, Red Hot Chili Peppers), Heart is a rare triumph––an album that hooks immediately but then rewards listeners willing to dig deeper. “I love what we as a band have turned into and how we treat songs,” says lead singer and chief songwriter Evan Felker. “That’s something we’ve grown into––adding some sort of oddly theatrical element to the musicianship to help the story along, to sum up where or who the character is to give him a little bit of landscape. It’s not just an acoustic guitar and a guy telling you what somebody’s doing.” Born in Okemah, Oklahoma, birthplace of Woody Guthrie and Troubadours pal John Fullbright, Felker founded his band of virtuosic country-rock road dogs in 2005. Since then, the Troubadours have delivered punch after punch of smart rock & roll that sells out huge venues throughout the Midwest and South and packs legendary haunts like the Troubadour in Los Angeles. “Felker has evolved into a Red Dirt Springsteen, deftly blending autobiographical elements with complex, hardscrabble characters,” raves Garden & Gun. Narratives put to music are nothing new, but Felker and his bandmates have upped the ante, creating a web of unforgettable characters that show up on album after album in songs that are both catchy and musically complex: men and women with their backs against their wall, represented realistically but also imbued with dignity. “It feels like going home to see that those characters are still alive in a way that movies and literary writers have always done,” Felker says. “It feels good.”

photo by Alyssa Gafkjen

Dan Auerbach has performed on ACL twice before with his band The Black Keys, and this will be his first time performing solo on the program where he will be backed by some of Nashville’s finest musicians—Bobby Wood, Gene “Bubba” Chrisman, Pat McLaughlin, Dave Roe, Russ Pahl, Ray Jacildo, Ashley Wilcoxson, Leisa Hans, Nick Bockrath from Cage the Elephant—as well as featuring legendary bluesman Robert Finley.  The eight-time Grammy winning superstar will perform songs from his acclaimed new solo release Waiting On A Song.  NPR calls the album “a batch of sparkling pop songs that’s sweet, breezy, and primed for summer.” The album is Auerbach’s follow-up to 2009’s Keep It Hid and is his love letter to Nashville. As such, he recruited some of Na­shville’s most respected players to write and record his latest. “Living in Nashville has definitely changed the way I think about music and the way that I record it,” he says about working with his heroes. “I didn’t have all of these resources before. I am working with some of the greatest musicians that ever lived.” The always-understated musician is happy to have his own version of the Wrecking Crew at his Easy Eye Studio in south Nashville. “Sometimes I feel I created my own Field of Dreams. I built the studio to accommodate live musicians playing, and then all of a sudden the best musicians in Nashville show up, and it’s happening. This is the sound I was looking for, and now there really is an Easy Eye sound. It’s a factory—but in the way that Motown or Stax or American Studios was a factory. Anything can happen, any day.” He pauses a long minute, as if to let it all sink in. “Even with the success I’ve had, it’s only just now that I’m finally finding myself,” Auerbach says. “I called the album Waiting On A Song because I’ve been waiting my whole life to be able to do this. And now I have. And none of us ever want it to stop.”

Want to be part of our audience? We will post information on how to get free passes about a week before each taping. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for notice of postings. Or you can join us online for Dan Auerbach here on November 27 and Turnpike Troubadours here on December 5 for these full-set livestreams. The broadcast versions will air on PBS early next year as part of our Season 43.

 

Fats Domino 1928-2017

photo by Scott Newton

We here at Austin City Limits were saddened to learn of the death of rock & roll pioneer Fats Domino on October 24 at the age of 89. The ivory-tickling New Orleans icon appeared in a hour-long, hits-packed 1987 episode of ACL.

Antoine “Fats” Domino was born in 1928 in the Big Easy to a French Creole family – Louisiana Creole French was his first language. He learned to play piano from his jazz musician brother-in-law, joining bandleader Billy Diamond’s group in 1947. (Diamond bestowed the nickname “Fats” on the young musician in tribute to Fats Waller.) Fats released “The Fat Man,” his first single, in 1949 – a million-selling song that pioneered rock & roll before the term even existed. Fats went on to score 37 top 40 singles, including such immortal classics as “Blue Monday,” “I’m Walkin’,” “Ain’t That a Shame,” “I Hear You Knockin’,” “Walkin’ to New Orleans” and his version of the Gene Autry/Louis Armstrong standard “Blueberry Hill,” his bestselling and highest-charting song. As with many of the original rockers, his chart career waned after the British Invasion, but he continued to record and tour into the 1980s. By the end of that decade, he decided that he would no longer leave his hometown, claiming he couldn’t find any food he liked on the road – not even induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame or an invitation to perform at the White House could change his mind. Like far too many others, he was forced to leave New Orleans after Katrina flooded his home, but he returned as soon as he could, remaining a fixture until Father Time did what Mother Nature could not.

Here is Fats doing “Blue Monday” on ACL in 1987.  

And “Blueberry Hill,” possibly his signature song in a catalog full of candidates, from the same show.

New taping: Dan Auerbach

photo by Alysse Gafkjen

Austin City Limits is happy to announce a new taping with The Black Keys/Arcs singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach in support of his acclaimed new solo album Waiting On a Song. The eight-time Grammy winning artist, a two-time ACL veteran with superstars The Black Keys, makes his highly-anticipated solo debut on Monday, November 27.

NPR calls Waiting On A Song “a batch of sparkling pop songs that’s sweet, breezy, and primed for summer. The album is Auerbach’s follow-up to 2009’s Keep It Hid and is his love letter to Nashville. As such, he recruited some of Na­shville’s most respected players to write and record his latest, including John Prine, Duane Eddy, Jerry Douglas, Russ Pahl, Pat McLaughlin as well as Bobby Wood and Gene Chrisman of the Memphis Boys. Auerbach said about working with his musical heroes: “Living in Nashville has definitely changed the way I think about music and the way that I record it. I didn’t have all of these resources before. I am working with some of the greatest musicians that ever lived.”

“Sometimes I feel I created my own Field of Dreams. I built the studio to accommodate live musicians playing, and then all of a sudden the best musicians in Nashville show up, and it’s happening.” The always-understated musician is happy to have his own version of the Wrecking Crew at his Easy Eye Studio in south Nashville. “This is the sound I was looking for, and now there really is an Easy Eye sound. It’s a factory—but in the way that Motown or Stax or American Studios was a factory. Anything can happen, any day.” He pauses a long minute, as if to let it all sink in. The dream realized. “Even with the success I’ve had, it’s only just now that I’m finally finding myself,” Auerbach says. “I called the album Waiting On A Song because I’ve been waiting my whole life to be able to do this. And now I have. And none of us ever want it to stop.”

Want to be part of our audience? We will post information on how to get free passes about a week before each taping. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for notice of postings.

ACL’s Season 43 welcomes superstars Zac Brown Band

photo by Scott Newton

Austin City Limits presents a heartwarming hour with Southern country-rock act Zac Brown Band. The multi-platinum, three-time Grammy Award-winning group make their series debut with a career-spanning performance.

The acclaimed Atlanta octet showcase career highlights alongside new songs in a spirited, 11-song triumph. The country-rockers claimed Best New Artist at the 2010 Grammy Awards with their breakthrough release, The Foundation (now five-times platinum) and today are one of music’s biggest live acts. “We’re super-proud to be on the ACL stage,” says bandleader Zac Brown as he welcomes the crowd to pull up a seat at the “Family Table,” a gem from the band’s latest release Welcome Home. Brown shares the heartfelt stories behind many of their songs including the chart-topping ballad “Colder Weather” and the power-of-music testament “Day That I Die,” from 2012’s Uncaged, the Grammy Award-winning Best Country Album. The band cap the soaring set with a masterful hat-trick showcasing the musical range that has made them a fan-favorite; starting with “The Muse,” originally recorded with the Foo Fighters’ ubiquitous Dave Grohl, followed by their stirring cover of songwriting legend John Prine’s “All the Best,” and ending in tribute to their Southern-rock roots with a roof-raising finale of the Allman Brothers’ classic “Whipping Post.”

“To call them ‘Country’ or ‘Southern Rock’ doesn’t begin to describe the breadth and depth of what Zac Brown Band is really all about,” says ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “Singing songs that tell great stories and playing music that just plain makes you feel better is definitely a big part of who they are and where they’re from.”

photo by Scott Newton

Tune in this weekend for this episode, and, as always, check your local PBS listings for the broadcast time in your area. Go to the episode page for more info, and don’t forget to click over to our Facebook, Twitter and newsletter pages for more ACL info. Join us next week for a brand new episode, featuring the return of our old pal Norah Jones and the debut of new friend Angel Olsen.

 

ACL to livestream debut taping of Austin’s Shinyribs

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Austin City Limits is excited to announce that we will be streaming the debut taping of Austin favorite Shinyribs on Sunday, October 29 directly from the ACL stage at 8pm CT/9 pm ET on ACLTV’s YouTube channel.  

Led by Beaumont, Texas native Kevin Russell, who last appeared on ACL in 2007 with the Gourds, Austin’s Shinyribs began as a side project before becoming Russell’s full-time concern following the Gourds’ dissolution in 2013. This year, the now eight-person Shinyribs dosed fans with the exuberant swamp-pop soul-funk of their fourth release, I Got Your Medicine. Tracked at Houston’s legendary Sugar Hill Recording Studios, it carries a New Orleans R&B vibe — with extra gris-gris added by Russell’s co-producer, Jimbo Mathus, late of the Squirrel Nut Zippers. AllMusic calls the album “funny, heartfelt, and dirty, a retro-soul album that never feels stuck in the past,” while the Austin American Statesman names it as one of 2017’s best albums so far. The band puts a gospel groove on “Don’t Leave It a Lie,” and throw several retro influences into Ted Hawkins’ “I Gave Up All I Had.” The syncopated sexiness of “A Certain Girl,” an Allen Toussaint cover, a gorgeous rendering of the Toussaint McCall/Patrick Robinson ballad “Nothing Takes the Place of You” and the bluesy “I Knew It All Along,” Russell’s very-successful attempt to write “just a real good done-me-wrong soul song,” are equally captivating. “Tub Gut Stomp and Red-eyed Soul” gets its title from Russell’s definition of his musical style; an energetic N’awlins romper, it’s filled with “freak-out juice.” Gospel rave-up “The Cross Is Boss” puts a clever, slightly satirical finish on the affair; Russell says the song — like the album — is meant as a reminder that not every issue has to be taken so seriously. “A lot of people are so tightly wound, they can’t let themselves go,” he says. “I can demonstrate to them that you can shake your hips, roll around on the floor, scream and shout, and it’s OK: people will still accept you. It’s just music; relax and have some fun.”

Join the party October 29 for this full-set livestream on our ACLTV YouTube channel. The broadcast version will air on PBS early next year as part of our Season 43.