New tapings: Kendrick Lamar and D’Angelo and The Vanguard


Austin City Limits is proud to announce two new tapings as part of our upcoming Season 41: the ACL debuts of Kendrick Lamar on Oct. 30 and D’Angelo and The Vanguard on Nov. 7.

Perhaps the most acclaimed rapper on the planet, Kendrick Lamar comes to our stage on Oct. 30. The Compton native – born a year before the genre-defining N.W.A. LP Straight Outta Compton – began writing rhymes when he was 13. The young rapper would become an underground phenomenon, releasing mixtapes and independent albums that made him one of the top-selling digital artists. In 2012 he signed with Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope and released the landmark, platinum-selling good kid, m.A.A.d city. The LP debuted at #2 on the Billboard album chart, garnered seven Grammy nominations and spun off multiple top 40 singles, including “Swimming Pools (Drank”) and “Poetic Justice.” After touring with Kanye West, appearing on Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2 and performing a packed set at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, Lamar followed up with the smash single “i,” which won Grammys for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song at the 2015 ceremony. The hit also set the stage for Lamar’s widely acclaimed latest LP To Pimp a Butterfly, which Rolling Stone called “a masterpiece of fiery outrage, deep jazz and ruthless self-critique” and Spin named the “Great American Hip-Hop Album.” The record debuted at #1 on Billboard’s chart, firmly establishing Lamar as one of the biggest hip-hop artists in the world. We’re thrilled to welcome Kendrick Lamar to be part of ACL history.

On Nov. 7 we welcome musical genius D’Angelo and his band The Vanguard. Born in Richmond, Virginia, D’Angelo migrated to New York City at 18 to develop his skills as a singer, songwriter, musician and producer.  After signing a publishing deal in 1991 and a record contract in 1993, his 1995 debut Brown Sugar breathed new life into R&B and yielded gems including the title track, “Lady,” “Cruisin’,” and more. Its 2000 follow-up Voodoo received a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album, while the single “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” earned the Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. After a silence of over a decade, broken only by the release of 2008’s compilation The Best So Far…, D’Angelo and The Vanguard delivered Black Messiah to the unsuspecting, yet receptive, masses on December 15, 2014. Reaffirming the need for raw, righteous, and real soul, its impact could immediately be felt when it landed at #1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart and #5 on the Top 200. The critics spoke as well, with The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, NPR, and countless others extolling the album for both its music and message, thus usurping countless “Best of 2014” music lists. D’Angelo and The Vanguard hit the road, earning rave reviews for live shows Rolling Stone called “ a master class in soul” and Wall Street Journal described as “rendering a strain of soul music reminiscent of Sly Stone in the ‘60s, George Clinton in the ‘70s or 1980s Prince, onstage D’Angelo is a dynamo of the James Brown variety.” We’re excited to experience the same magic as we welcome D’Angelo and The Vanguard to the ACL stage for the first time.

In addition to performing at ACLTV D’Angelo and The Vanguard will also headline the Fun Fun Fun Fest Orange Stage on Sunday, November 8th. USP, 3 Day, and Single Day Passes for the festival are available for purchase at
Want to be part of our audience? We will post information on how to get free passes about a week before the taping. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for notice of postings.

New taping: Vintage Trouble

Vintage_Trouble_Setup_10_1245-RT (1) copy

Austin City Limits is proud to announce the taping debut of Vintage Trouble.

The California quartet – comprising Ty Taylor (vocals), Nalle Colt (guitar), Richard Danielson (drums) and Rick Barrio Dill (bass) – play live-wired, straight-shootin’, dirty-mouth’d, pelvis-pushing juke music. Or, as Rolling Stone put it, “imagine James Brown singing lead for Led Zeppelin and you’ll get an idea of Vintage Trouble’s muscular, in the pocket sound.” The New York Times noted, “Like Otis Redding, Vintage Trouble makes music that is a little bit of everything…you can slow dance, groove, rock and let it all go.”

Following the release of its 2011 debut album, The Bomb Shelter Sessions, the band was soon selling out headline shows worldwide, opening for The Rolling Stones and touring with The Who, and performing on virtually every late night show, including Later…with Jools Holland and Late Show with David Letterman – all before the band had even signed to a major label. Signing to Blue Note Records, home of Norah Jones, Van Morrison, Al Green and countless jazz titans, the quartet released 1 Hopeful Rd., produced by label president Don Was and featuring the singles “Doin’ What You’re Doin’” and “Run Like the River.” Paste raves, “Doin’ What You’re Doin’” grooves like Al Green with background doo-wops. Taylor’s falsetto range stars in ‘Shows What You Know’ and the band could convincingly resurrect the blues-infused power ballad with songs like ‘If You Loved Me.’” Vintage Trouble followed up the release of its major label debut by touring with AC./DC in Europe and the U.S., before hitting the road for its own headlining shows.

Classic Rock notes, “You want the real vintage rock’n’soul deal? Look this way, and then make sure you catch them live.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, and it underlines how thrilled we are to welcome Vintage Trouble to the ACL stage.

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


New tapings: Leon Bridges and Angelique Kidjo

photo by Rambo

Austin City Limits is proud to announce new tapings for the month of October: Leon Bridges on Oct. 8 and Angélique Kidjo on Oct. 17, both making their ACL debuts.

Rising star Leon Bridges makes his first ACL appearance on Oct. 8. The river of soul music flows on deep and strong, and the 26-year-old Forth Worth native is immersed in its lifegiving current. “As a kid I grew fascinated with modern R&B. In high school I’d try singing songs by Ginuwine and Usher,” he explains, “and I thought well, maybe they weren’t in my range.” With a few early compositions tucked under his belt, a seeming dichotomy surfaced: Bridges’ tunes sounded less like the modern R&B he’d grown up loving than classic soul. He began a period of apprenticeship playing coffeehouses in and around Fort Worth, slowly finding and refining his voice. After Austin Jenkins and Joshua Block from White Denim saw Bridges performing, they insisted Leon enter the studio to cut a few tracks. That initial three-day session yielded the recordings that led Bridges to ink with Columbia Records, who released his debut album Coming Home, featuring its title track as the lead single, in June of 2015 to critical and public acclaim. “I’m not saying I can hold a candle to any soul musician from the ’50s and ’60s,” Bridges says, “but I want to carry the torch.” Join us on Oct. 8 to watch his flame burn bright.

On Oct. 17, we welcome Angélique Kidjo, dubbed “Africa’s premier diva” by Time and “the undisputed queen of African music” by the London Telegraph. The Benin native’s accolades span a 20-year discography and thousands of concerts around the world. She has won Grammys for her 2008 album Djin Djin and her 2014 album EVE, and enjoyed a long history of notable collaborations with greats like Carlos Santana, Bono, John Legend, Josh Groban, Peter Gabriel and more. On her new album Sings, recorded with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, Kidjo re-imagines nine classic songs from her expansive repertoire and two new songs, blending European classical traditions with the powerful rhythmic sounds of her native West Africa. “I love the challenge of doing new things,” explains Kidjo. “I never want to get too comfortable with what I’m doing, and I love my work too much to repeat myself.” Having already appeared on PBS in the concert documentary Lightning in a Bottle: One Night in the History of the Blues, we’re proud to welcome Angélique Kidjo to the ACL stage.

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

New taping: James Taylor

photo by Timothy White

For the first time in our 40+year history, Grammy-Award winner James Taylor is set to take the ACL stage, making his Austin City Limits debut on October 1st, 2015.  (The show airs on PBS on Nov. 14.) The American icon will perform songs from his acclaimed new release Before This World, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and is his first collection of original music in 13 years, as well as fan favorites from throughout his storied career.

James Taylor is the quintessential singer/songwriter. His warm baritone is among the most recognized voices in popular music, and his distinctive style of guitar playing has been enormously influential. Taylor is a master at describing specific, even autobiographical situations in a way that resonates with people everywhere.

Taylor has sold over 100 million albums and earned 40 gold, platinum, and multi-platinum awards and five Grammy Awards for a catalog running from 1970’s Sweet Baby James to his Grammy Award-winning efforts Hourglass (1997) and October Road (2002). He has received numerous honors, including the 1998 Century Award, Billboard magazine’s highest accolade, and inductions into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and the prestigious Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2000.  In 2012, Taylor was awarded the distinguished Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government and in 2011, was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama in a ceremony at the White House. Both medals are their nation’s highest honors for artistic excellence recognizing “outstanding achievements and support of the arts.”

2015 brings the release of Before This World, Taylor’s first new album of original material in over 13 years. Produced by Dave O’Donnell, Before This World features ten songs, nine of which are brand new compositions in which Taylor continues to explore many of the themes that have absorbed him throughout his recording career. “The themes that really engage me keep pulling me back again and again,” says Taylor. “For instance, on the new album there’s a recovery song called “Watchin’ Over Me.” I’ve written many recovery songs that are almost spiritual and based on personal experience.  There’s a love song on this album (“You And I Again”) – a couple actually – a traveling song (“Stretch of the Highway”), there’s a song about working (“Today Today Today”) and another of my hymns for agnostics I tend to write (“Before This World”).  My sort of self-expression and the autobiographical aspect of my work is a thru-line that links all my albums together. I think I have grown musically, and I think people can hear it in what I played in ‘68, and you can hear it in what I’m singing about now. It is ongoing, it’s still me, but it’s still evolving.”

Witness the evolution for yourself when James Taylor makes his ACL debut on October 1st.

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

New taping: Don Henley

photo by Danny Clinch

Austin City Limits is happy to announce a new taping with music legend Don Henley for our upcoming Season 41.

Don Henley’s career, both solo and with the Eagles, has been critically and commercially acclaimed, and we’re thrilled the American icon will soon be making his highly-anticipated ACL debut.  The Texas native arrives with Cass County, his first solo album in 15 years.  Produced by Don Henley and Stan Lynch, who also co-wrote 11 of the songs on the album, the LP  Cass County represents both Henley’s roots and the next stop on his creative journey. “I was born and raised in Texas. I’m a Southerner and a Texan,” says Henley. “So this is a natural progression for me. It’s who I am and where I come from.” Recorded primarily in Nashville, Tennessee, and Dallas, Texas, the album includes all-star guest appearances from Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Mick Jagger, Martina McBride, Jamey Johnson, Alison Krauss, Vince Gill and Dolly Parton. When asked about making the album, Henley reveals, “I can truthfully say, I enjoyed making this record more than any record I’ve made in my career.”

Find out why when Henley takes our stage on Sept. 1.

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

New taping: Alabama Shakes

photo by Brantley Gutierrez

Austin City Limits is pleased to announce a new taping with Alabama Shakes on Oct. 2.

We are thrilled to welcome back Alabama Shakes for their third appearance on the ACL stage. The Athens, AL quartet has been tearing up festival stages this year including Coachella, Bonnaroo, Glastonbury and Lollapalooza in support of Sound & Color, the chart-topping  follow-up to their Grammy-nominated debut Boys & Girls. The album’s twelve songs reveal a band honed by years on the road, and drawing from a wide range of influences, from the bluesy groove of “Shoegaze” and the garage-rock freak-out on “The Greatest” to the psychedelic space jam “Gemini” and the urgent, tightly-coiled funk of “Don’t Wanna Fight.” Long instrumental intros and passages create hazy atmosphere, while the intensity of Howard’s vocals snaps everything back into riveting focus. Expanding on the soulful blues-rock base that made their name, the Shakes defy predictable expectations and map an exciting, surprising, and innovative new direction. We’ll join them on this new journey on Oct. 2.

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

New taping: Gary Clark Jr.

photo by Frank Maddocks

Austin City Limits is happy to announce a new taping with Grammy Award-winning songwriter, vocalist & virtuoso guitarist Gary Clark Jr. on Aug. 24.

Austin native Gary Clark Jr. has a long history with ACL, going back to his debut in Season 33 as part of the Tribute to Bluesman Jimmy Reed, through his Season 38 solo episode and his appearance as part of our 40th anniversary celebration and a show-stopping guest spot with the Foo Fighters that same year. He arrives on our stage for his second headline performance at the top of his game and in advance of his homegrown new record The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, set for release on Sept. 11. Self-produced at Austin’s Arlyn Studios, Clark’s latest LP reflects his singular visionary landscape as an ever-evolving artist. Relying on the simple tools of his trade – voice, guitar, rhythm and song – Clark firmly establishes himself as a sonic expressionist who has absorbed classic forms of the past while forging his own path. Baked from a batter of blues, R&B and rock, The Story of Sonny Boy Slim is music aimed for the heart, soul and guts, that defies categorization. Join us on Aug. 24 to experience it for yourself.

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


New taping: Courtney Barnett

photo by Mia Mala McDonald

Austin City Limits is happy to announce the ACL taping debut of Australian singer/songwriter Courtney Barnett on June 4th.

Mixing witty, often hilarious, occasionally even heartbreaking observations with devastating self-assessment, Courtney Barnett’s debut album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, cements her standing as one of the most distinctive and compelling new voices in indie rock. After leaving art-school in Hobart, Tasmania, Barnett moved to Melbourne and became a mainstay of the local scene. She paid her dues and honed her chops in short-lived garage outfits before playing lead guitar in the twang-psych band Immigrant Union. When she went solo, Barnett launched her own label, which she dubbed Milk! Records, to release her own material as well as music by some of Melbourne’s finest singers and songwriters. With the 2013 release of The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas (which combined her first two self-released EPs), she embarked on an almost never-ending tour that took her to North America and Europe, barely stopping long enough to record her first true album. Sometimes I Sit and Think is a beguiling collection of songs that reveals her as an ambitious writer with an ear for clever turns of phrase and an eye for story-song details that are literate without being pretentious – Barnett even did the artwork and hand lettering for the liner notes. The Guardian calls the record “fun, intelligent and sets up Barnett as a voice who can tread between both high and low culture and treat them the same.”

“There’s something about the way she sings where I feel like I know that person,” says Britt Daniel of Spoon, who have invited her to play a show with them and the Decemberists at Red Rocks. “Her songs are fairly simple in their construction, and they’re carried by her lyrics, the way she finds humor in the mundane.” We’re thrilled to host this rocking singer and songwriter. Please join us in welcoming for the first time: Courtney Barnett.

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