Giveaway: Beck 4/27

photo by Peter Hapak

* Giveaway is now over.

Austin City Limits will be taping a performance by Beck on Sunday, April 27th, at 8 pm at ACL Live at The Moody Theater (310 W. 2nd Street, Willie Nelson Blvd).  We will be giving away a limited number of space available passes to this taping. Enter your name and email address on the below form by 9 am April 24th. Winners will be chosen at random. Passes are not transferable and cannot be sold. Standing may be required.

No photography, recording or cell phone use in the studio.

Encore: The Civil Wars and Punch Brothers

photo by Scott Newton

Join us this weekend for a night of intimate and supremely talented performances from The Civil Wars and Punch Brothers. With zero percussion assistance for each performance, one acquires a clear picture of the depth of musicianship and delicately crafted songs that both of these artists brought to our stage. What you’ll find from both artists is nothing short of moving, inspiring, and wildly intriguing.

With open arms and a bare stage, we welcomed The Civil Wars back in February 2012 as the first taping that year. The Grammy Award-winners proved to be a perfect start to the newest season on so many levels. Their minimalist set with the ever-so perpetual Austin skyline in the background highlighted the voices of Joy Williams and John Paul White as they played hits off their 2011 release Barton Hollow. Included in this performance are two very intense, but true to the original spirit, renditions of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” and Smashing Pumpkins’ “Disarm.” At one moment you realize that Williams and White had the entire audience in their hand when Williams remarked about how quiet and attentive the audience was reacting. It’s true – at many points during this episode you become so captivated by Joy’s sashaying and John’s guitar playing that you forget where you are and immediately realize why these two have garnered their much-deserved praise.

“When you start a band, this is all you ever really want to do – play Austin City Limits,” mentioned Chris Thile in the middle of Punch Brothers’ set. Thile, who is no stranger to ACL (this is his third appearance), brings his all-star band that formed back in 2006 to the show. Again there is no percussion, but unlike the simple quietness that we get from The Civil Wars earlier, we get an influx of sound from the mandolin, fiddle, banjo, guitar, and bass. The progressive rock stars of the bluegrass world take us through their 2012 release of Who’s Feeling Young Now? with a few sprinkles of the 2010 album Antifogmatic. This group’s genre-jumping and incredible musicianship will have you tapping your toes and wishing you had taken up banjo back in 10th grade.

photo by Scott Newton

This is something you will not want to miss, but don’t take our word for it – see it for yourself! You can preview the episode and get more information here; check here for local listings and times in your area. Also, be sure to check out our Facebook and Twitter pages for all things Austin City Limits, and sign up for our newsletter for further info. Next week: Norah Jones and Kat Edmonson.

 

Los Lobos perfectly kicks off 40th anniversary season

photo by Scott Newton

When you’re facing a major milestone, it doesn’t hurt to have some longtime friends help you out. Thus we opened our 40th anniversary taping season with the fifth appearance from ACL vets Los Lobos, also celebrating four decades of musical existence. With that much history to draw from, the East L.A. band roamed all over its long career, pulling from its 1983 coming out EP …And a Time to Dance all the way up to last year’s Disconnected Live in New York.

Settling into a similar format to that latter record, Los Lobos performed mostly unplugged, opening with “Yo Canto,” an original tune in the Mexican folk tradition driven by fleet-fingered requinto licks from David Hidalgo, whom Brian Bierig called “a mountain of a musician.” “El Cascabel,” “Saint Behind the Glass” and the fan favorite “La Pistola y el Corazón” kept the folk vibe going, before Conrad Lozano picked up his electric bass and drummer Enrique “Bugs” Gonzalez took the stage for “Malaqué.” The band recast guitarist Cesar Rosas’ sprightly rock & roll tune “Set Me Free (Rosa Lee)” with acoustic guitars, though keeping Steve Berlin’s sax riffage intact. Less traditional folk flavors flowed in after that, from the jazzy blues of “Tin Can Trust” and the widescreen epic “Little Things” to the groovy dance tune “Chuco’s Cumbia” and the lovely ballad “Tears of God.”

Electric guitars finally made an appearance in the atmospheric “Kiko and the Lavender Moon,” upping the muscle factor, even with a return to less rocking sounds with covers of Flaco Jimenez’s “Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio” (with a lyrical stumble that necessitated an immediate redo) and the traditional “Volver, Volver.” By the time we got to Rosas’ funky “Wicked Rain,” the street song thump of “Rio de Tenampa” (guest-starring the Grupo Fantasma horns) and the clattering rock of the set-ending “Mas y Mas,” Los Lobos was in full amplified flight.

Following a redo of “Tenampa,” the band brought the evening to a close with a volcanic “Don’t Worry Baby,” the best blues ‘n’ roll tune Stevie Ray Vaughan never wrote. With a set that covered the vast width and enormous breadth of its 40 year career, Los Lobos proved the perfect act to kick off ACL’s own anniversary celebration. And since we streamed the taping live as it went down, the whole world could join in the fun, prompting 54Moredoor to comment, “ACL you know how to throw a PARTY!”

Encore: Gary Clark, Jr. and Alabama Shakes

photo by Scott Newton

This weekend, ACL presents two game-changers bringing modern blues and soul to a new generation: Gary Clark Jr. and Alabama Shakes. The power of live performance is front and center as Austin’s own rock ‘n’ soul phenomenon Clark and soulful rockers Alabama Shakes take the ACL stage in separate showcases.

“I’ve been wanting to do this for sixteen years” says a stoked Gary Clark Jr. from the stage. “It feels so good to be here right now.” Long Austin’s favorite son, the twenty-eight year old bluesman exploded onto the international music scene when he delivered an incredible performance at Eric Clapton’s 2010 Crossroads Guitar Festival. Born and raised in Austin, Clark began playing guitar at age 12, tearing up hometown stages since he was a teenager. He made a name for himself across the globe with the release of his critically-acclaimed 2012 major label debut Blak and Blu, and kicked off 2013 with a performance for President and Mrs. Obama at The White House. Clark has earned across-the-board raves for his singular talent, with The New York Times hailing Clark as “a guitarist of deep magnetism and tremendous feel.” The guitar virtuoso flaunts his six-string chops in his ACL appearance, thrilling the audience with a bold mix of blues, rock, soul and funk. Clark made his auspicious ACL debut back in Season 33 as part of the Tribute to Bluesman Jimmy Reed, with Jimmie Vaughan and Omar Dykes, and with his own set Clark proves he’s the one to watch.

“He’s already shared the stage with the likes of the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton, but Gary is the essence of what his hometown Austin’s music is all about,” says executive producer Terry Lickona. “He learned from the best in every genre from the age of 12, and remains true to his heart and his roots. He’s our pride and joy.”

Raucous newcomers Alabama Shakes combine the old and the new to create gritty, joyous and soulfully raw music. Muscle Shoals-inspired and hailing from Athens, Alabama, the foursome enthusiastically blend rock with soul, country, blues and roots. The rock quartet has attracted widespread praise, including their recent Grammy nomination for Best New Artist.  Alabama Shakes’ style is marked by lead singer Brittany Howard’s powerful vocals—which have been compared to those of Janis Joplin and Otis Redding—and the group’s irresistible energy. Performing tracks from their breakthrough release Boys & Girls, the band open their ACL debut with the breakout hit “Hold On,” and launch into an ecstatic, transcendent, rafter-shaking set.

photo by Scott Newton

“There’s a reason Grammy voters nominated them for Best New Artist of the Year, the same reason we taped this show before they had even released their first record,” declares Lickona.  “Raw talent is hard to miss, and a vocal talent like Brittany Howard comes along once in a decade – if that.”

Check out the episode page for more info on this great show. You can keep up with ACL events via our Facebook and Twitter pages and our newsletter. Next week: The Civil Wars and Punch Brothers.

 

ACL to stream Los Lobos taping live

photo by Michael Weintrob

ACL will live stream the return of legendary rock band Los Lobos on Monday, April 14th at 8pmCT/9pm ET. The taping will be live streamed directly from ACL’s stage via our YouTube Channel. The live stream will webcast the taping in its entirety and the broadcast episode will air on PBS Stations later this fall during our 40th anniversary season. Join us online as Los Lobos celebrates its own 40th anniversary with us!

 

Giveaway: Los Lobos 4/14

photo by Michael Weintrob

* Giveaway is now over. People receiving passes were notified via email. If you did not get passes, be sure to watch the live stream of the taping starting at 8 pm central on April 14th.

Austin City Limits will be taping a performance by Los Lobos on Monday, April 14th, at 8 pm at ACL Live at The Moody Theater (310 W. 2nd Street, Willie Nelson Blvd).  We will be giving away a limited number of space available passes to this taping. Enter your name and email address on the below form by 9 am April 10th. Winners will be chosen at random.

Passes are not transferable and cannot be sold. Standing may be required.

No photography, recording or cell phone use in the studio.