Austin City Limits announces first half of Season 45

Gary Clark Jr. on Austin City Limits ©️KLRU photo by Scott Newton

The iconic television music series Austin City Limits announces the first half of the Season 45 broadcast line-up with seven all-new installments to begin airing October 5 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, and the return of ACL legends, continuing Austin City Limits’ extraordinary run as the longest-running music television show in history. Providing viewers a front-row seat to the best in live performance for a remarkable 45 years, the series airs weekly on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings) and full episodes are made available online for a limited time at pbs.org/austincitylimits immediately following the initial broadcast. 

photo by Scott Newton

photo by Scott Newton

Austin City Limits returns this fall with a season premiere featuring a blistering hour with Austin’s own Gary Clark Jr., marking the acclaimed musician’s third appearance on the series. Indie-rock titans Vampire Weekend make a highly-anticipated appearance in a must-see hour showcasing their first album in five years. A season highlight features the return of Americana icon Steve Earle, making his fifth appearance with a tribute to the legendary songwriter Guy Clark; Earle is joined by his band The Dukes and special guests including Rodney Crowell and Joe Ely for choice Clark classics alongside Earle’s own gems from his songwriting catalog. One of Americana’s finest singer-songwriters, Patty Griffin returns for her sixth appearance, sharing an episode with New Orleans rock band The Revivalists in their ACL debut. Next-generation country is showcased with two new artists representing the genre’s expansive range sharing an episode: chart-topping Kane Brown and breakout Canadian folk & western singer Colter Wall. Austin City Limits continues its mission of spotlighting innovators with stunning new hours featuring R&B sensation H.E.R., a two-time 2019 Grammy® Award-winning singer-songwriter-guitarist, and singer-songwriter phenom Maggie Rogers, both making their ACL debuts.

photo by Scott Newton

photo by Scott Newton

“Over the decades ACL has built its reputation on introducing the most original, innovative and eclectic music from every genre,” said ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “Music fans love to discover artists and sounds they’ve never heard before, or re-discover artists and songs that have stood the test of time. There’s no better place to find them than Austin City Limits, and this season is a perfect example!” 

For the series milestone Season 45, the broadcast has a new opening featuring Austin indie stars Spoon’s classic “Hot Thoughts” and showcasing many of Austin’s own homegrown talents captured at the live music capital’s many colorful locations.

Season 45 Broadcast Line-up (seven new episodes to be announced):

October 5  Gary Clark Jr.

October 12  Maggie Rogers

October 19  Steve Earle & The Dukes: A Tribute to Guy Clark

October 26  H.E.R.

November 2   Patty Griffin / The Revivalists

November 9  Vampire Weekend

November 16  Kane Brown / Colter Wall

November 23  ACL Presents Americana 18th Annual Honors

For the ninth consecutive year, the producers of Austin City Limits, in conjunction with producers Martin Fischer, Michelle Aquilato, Edie Hoback and the Americana Music Association, are proud to present a special ACL Presents on November 23 featuring the best music performances from this year’s 18th Annual Americana Music Association Honors and Awards Ceremony to be held September 11, 2019 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. The broadcast is a celebration of the diverse sounds of roots music, from folk, bluegrass and alt-country to R&B and the blues. 

The complete line-up for the full 14-week season, including seven new episodes to air beginning December 31, 2019, will be announced at a later date. Austin City Limits continues to offer its popular live streams of select performances for fans worldwide on ACL’s YouTube Channel. Viewers can visit acltv.com for news regarding live streams, future tapings and episode schedules.

Taping recap: Patty Griffin and Steve Earle & The Dukes

photo by Scott Newton

Singer/songwriters Patty Griffin and Steve Earle have been frequent visitors to the ACL stage in the past couple of decades. Griffin first appeared in 2000 as part of a songwriters’ special, getting her own show the next year, while Earle debuted way back in 1987. It’s always a pleasure to welcome back old friends, and doubly so under such special circumstances: Griffin to showcase songs from her highly-acclaimed, self-released and self-titled new album, and Earle, joined by some special guests, spotlighting Guy, his tribute to his songwriting mentor Guy Clark. Both turned in shows for the ages, which we live streamed around the world.  

Patty Griffin comes off of a four-year hiatus while the singer dealt with breast cancer, and her performance pulled generously from it. After a boisterous welcome from the crowd, she opened with the album’s “Mama’s Worried,” essentially a duet between David Pulkingham’s flamenco guitar and her own resonant singing. Next up was “The Wheel,” a bluesy declaration built on its writer’s jagged rhythm guitar and multi-instrumentalist Conrad Choucroun’s bass guitar/kick-drum rhythm. She followed with “Boys From Tralee,” a Celtic folk-tinged tune about Irish immigrants (of which Griffin’s grandparents were two), tying it into the current situation at the U.S. border. From the Emerald Isle to the American swamp: Griffin moved back to her 2004 LP Impossible Dream for the shuffling, tremolo-heavy “Standing,” allowing her to draw from her love of gospel. But she quickly shifted from the sacred to the secular, with the sly “Hourglass,” inspired by the great Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and featuring a Pulkingham solo that earned cheers. 

Guitars went to their stands as Pulkingham moved to the piano and his boss to the mic for the gorgeous “Luminous Places,” a well-titled standout from Patty Griffin. Then it was on to the “Truth #2,” a fan favorite, as evidenced by the cheers at the opening chords, and “Where I Come From,” a narrative Patty Griffin highlight. “River,” the self-titled album’s single, once again showcased her rich vocals, accompanied by Pulkingham’s acoustic guitar and the ridiculously multi-tasking Choucroun on piano, and greatly appreciated by the audience. Wielding a mandolin, Griffin finished her set with the rocking, inspirational “Shine a Different Way,” to the crowd’s delight. 

photo by Scott Newton

Joined by his long-running five-piece band The Dukes, Earle hit the stage kicking off his Guy Clark tribute with the classic “Dublin Blues,” receiving exuberant cheers at the opening line “Wish I was in Austin.” Earle immediately went into “Texas 1947,” featuring the expert pedal steel work of Ricky Ray Jackson. After sharing a short story about how he met Guy Clark while hitchhiking around Texas, the band performed the ode to the Hill Country honky-tonkin’ queen “Rita Ballou,” featuring Eleanor Whitmore on violin. Following a tale about Clark’s loyalty to Texas BBQ over Tennessee style BBQ, Joe Ely joined Earle on stage to perform “Desperadoes Waiting For a Train” – two Texas music legends trading verses on one of the state’s most influential songs. The Dukes quit the stage temporarily, so Earle could essay “The Last Gunfighter Ballad,” a Clark song made famous by Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. The band returned for “The Randall Knife,” one of Clark’s most autobiographical and arresting tunes, followed by the beloved “L.A. Freeway,” one of his most famous. With Earle donning his mandolin, he and The Dukes got acoustic for “New Cut Road,” an explicitly bluegrass-flavored tune that threw another spotlight on Whitmore, as well as her flatpicking husband Chris Masterson. After introducing the band, Earle went into “Heartbroke,” going through the first verse before being joined onstage by another Clark mentee – songwriting great Rodney Crowell, who originally recorded the song in 1980, before it became a hit for Ricky Skaggs in 1982. 

“I guess I should play a couple of songs of mine so y’all won’t think Guy didn’t teach me anything,” Earle quipped before launching into “Guitar Town,” the song that put him on the map as a writer and performer. After that hit, there was only one other song The Dukes could hit, and sure enough: the opening synth riff of “Copperhead Road” – the powerhouse rocker that served notice that Earle was simply country – got the crowd going wild. “That’s what Guy taught me,” he asserted. After that explosion, Earle brought Crowell and Ely back, joined by Lubbock legends Terry and Jo Harvey Allen, for “Old Friends,” Clark’s beautiful evocation of friendship, with each singer taking one of the spoken verses. Earle led the audience in a round of the chorus, before an instrumental coda and the singers laying down one last “old friends” to close. A better elegy for Clark would be hard to imagine. It was a beautiful moment, and we can’t wait for you to see it when it airs this fall on your local PBS station. 

 

ACL to live stream Patty Griffin and Steve Earle & the Dukes on July 2

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Austin City Limits is thrilled to announce that we will be live streaming a highlight of our milestone Season 45, a rare double-bill taping with Texas-rooted artists Patty Griffin and Steve Earle & The Dukes on July 2, starting at 8 pm CT on our YouTube channel.  

On her sixth appearance on our stage, Patty Griffin is among the most consequential singer-songwriters of her generation, a quintessentially American artist whose wide-ranging canon incisively explores the intimate moments and universal emotions that bind us together. The Grammy®-winning Austinite’s recent, self-titled LP (her tenth studio album), represents an extraordinary new chapter for this incomparable artist and stands among the most deeply personal recordings of her storied two-decade career. The album – which follows 2015’s Grammy® Award-nominated Servant of Love – collects songs written during and in the aftermath of several years in which she battled – and ultimately defeated – cancer. Yet as always, like very few others, Griffin’s power lies in how, as music critic Holly Gleason observed, “her songs seem to freeze life and truth in amber.” It’s in how Griffin can express the strikingly intimate while never making it about herself, all wrapped in sparse arrangements that breathe an incomparable force and import into her songcraft. NPR raves, “One quality that’s distinguished Griffin’s body of work throughout her nearly quarter-century career is her gift for imagining the untamed forces of people’s inner lives.”  

For his fifth appearance on ACL, the legendary Steve Earle presents Guy, his acclaimed tribute to his songwriting mentor and ACL Hall of Fame legend Guy Clark. Earle first met Clark after hitchhiking from San Antonio to Nashville when he was 19, becoming the older songwriter’s bass player and maintaining a lifelong friendship after striking out on his own.  “No way I could get out of doing this record,” says Earle. “When I get to the other side, I didn’t want to run into Guy having made the TOWNES record and not one about him.”  “Guy wasn’t really a hard record to make,” Earle says. “When you’ve got a catalog like Guy’s and you’re only doing sixteen tracks, you know each one is going to be strong.” Earle and his five-piece band The Dukes take on Clark classics including “Desperados Waiting For a Train,” “LA Freeway,” “New Cut Road” and “Heartbroke” with a spirit of reverent glee and invention.  Earle’s raw, heartbreaking vocal on the sweet, sad “That Old Time Feeling” sounds close enough to the grave as to be a duet with his departed friend. Guy is a saga of friendship, its ups and downs, what endures. Like old friends, Guy is a diamond.

Join us on July 2 here for both full live sets of these iconic singer/songwriters. The broadcast episodes will air on PBS later this year as part of our upcoming Season 45.

 

Giveaway: Patty Griffin & Steve Earle

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UPDATE giveaway is now over.

Austin City Limits will be taping a performance by both Patty Griffin & Steve Earle on Tuesday, July 2 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 noon on Thursday, June 27.

Winners will be chosen at random and a photo ID will be required to pick up tickets. Winners will be notified by email. Passes are not transferable and cannot be sold. Standing may be required. No photography, recording or cell phone use in the studio. No cameras computers or recording devices allowed in venue.

New tapings: Patty Griffin/Steve Earle & the Dukes/H.E.R./Vampire Weekend

photo by Michael Wilson

Austin City Limits is excited to announce four new tapings for our landmark Season 45. On July 2, we present a double shoot with a pair of veteran singer/songwriters with Texas roots and extraordinary range: Patty Griffin and Steve Earle & The Dukes. On July 8, we welcome remarkable Grammy®-winning singer, songwriter and guitarist H.E.R. On August 22, we welcome back Vampire Weekend for the indie rock titans’ second ACL taping.

On her sixth appearance on our stage, Patty Griffin is among the most consequential singer-songwriters of her generation, a quintessentially American artist whose wide-ranging canon incisively explores the intimate moments and universal emotions that bind us together. The Grammy®-winning Austinite’s recent, self-titled LP (her tenth studio album), represents an extraordinary new chapter for this incomparable artist and stands among the most deeply personal recordings of her storied two-decade career. The album – which follows 2015’s Grammy® Award-nominated Servant of Love – collects songs written during and in the aftermath of several years in which she battled – and ultimately defeated – cancer. Yet as always, like very few others, Griffin’s power lies in how, as music critic Holly Gleason observed, “her songs seem to freeze life and truth in amber.” It’s in how Griffin can express the strikingly intimate while never making it about herself, all wrapped in sparse arrangements that breathe an incomparable force and import into her songcraft. NPR raves, “One quality that’s distinguished Griffin’s body of work throughout her nearly quarter-century career is her gift for imagining the untamed forces of people’s inner lives.”  

photo by Tom Bejgrowicz

For his fifth performance on ACL, the legendary Steve Earle presents Guy, his acclaimed tribute to his songwriting mentor and ACL Hall of Fame legend Guy Clark. Earle first met Clark after hitchhiking from San Antonio to Nashville when he was 19, becoming the older songwriter’s bass player and maintaining a lifelong friendship after striking out on his own.  “No way I could get out of doing this record,” says Earle. “When I get to the other side, I didn’t want to run into Guy having made the TOWNES record and not one about him.”  “Guy wasn’t really a hard record to make,” Earle says. “When you’ve got a catalog like Guy’s and you’re only doing sixteen tracks, you know each one is going to be strong.” Earle and his five-piece band The Dukes take on Clark classics including “Desperados Waiting For a Train,” “LA Freeway,” “New Cut Road” and “Heartbroke” with a spirit of reverent glee and invention.  Earle’s raw, heartbreaking vocal on the sweet, sad “That Old Time Feeling” sounds close enough to the grave as to be a duet with his departed friend. Guy is a saga of friendship, its ups and downs, what endures. Like old friends, Guy is a diamond.

“The musical sensation H.E.R. is changing how we hear – and feel – music with her talent, vision and mystique,” hails Grammy.com and the forecast is bright for this young star with two 2019 Grammy® Award wins for Best R&B Album (H.E.R.) and Best R&B Performance (“Best Part” featuring Daniel Caesar). Elle magazine proclaims, “H.E.R. is more than a rising star – she’s a damn galaxy.” The 21-year-old is commanding stages on her own sold-out headlining tour, earning praise for live performances that not only showcase her honeyed vocals and self-penned lyrics, but also showcase her skills as a multi-talented musician playing keyboards, drum pad, acoustic and bass guitars.  With over two billion combined streams to date, the release of the breakthrough H.E.R. and the recent releases of I Used To Know Her: The Prelude and Part 2, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist H.E.R. firmly established herself as one of modern music’s most fascinating new voices. H.E.R. Vol. 1 peaked at #1 on the iTunes R&B/Soul Albums chart upon its release and H.E.R. Vol. 2 saw the same trajectory, resulting in two EPs within the Top 5 at the same time. Her latest release, I Used To Know Her: The Prelude, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart, while fan favorites “Focus,” and “Best Part” earned the #1 slot on the Billboard Adult R&B Songs Airplay chart and Urban Adult Contemporary chart, respectively. H.E.R. recently earned two 2018 Soul Train Music Awards for Album/Mixtape of the Year for H.E.R. and Best Collaboration Performance for “Best Part” feat. Daniel Caesar and captivated audiences with performances on the 2019 Grammy Awards, The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Late Late Show with James Corden,  and the 2018 BET Awards.

photo by Monika Mogi

Ending months of fevered anticipation punctuated by three brilliant double-A-side singles and a slew of over-the-top positive early reviews, Vampire Weekend’s long-awaited fourth album Father of the Bride was released this month, landing the #1 spot on the U.S. charts in its debut.  The rapturous reviews continue: GQ says “One of the most important bands of the 21st century…With Father of the Bride, their fourth album, the group has expanded itself and the conception of what a band can be”;  Stereogum hails Father of the Bride, “Quite possibly their magnum opus”; USA Today raves “Vampire Weekend returns as the best indie band of their generation.” The third Vampire Weekend album in a row to reach #1 on the Billboard 200, Father of the Bride’s first week tally of 138,000 is both the year’s biggest sales week for a rock act and the highest single week sales of the Grammy-winning band’s career. Vampire Weekend recently made their first television appearance in five years and kicked off their Father of the Bride North American Tour with sold-out dates throughout 2019.

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. The broadcast episodes will air on PBS later this year as part of ACL’s upcoming milestone Season 45.

Austin City Limits invites you to Bloody Mary Morning 2019

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Join Austin City Limits and KLRU-TV, Austin PBS at the 8th Annual Bloody Mary Morning during SXSW on Thursday, March 14 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m in the GSDM courtyard.

We’re excited to bring you some of music’s best and brightest, including Heartless Bastards leader Erika Wennerstrom, New Orleans soul singer John the Martyr, beloved Austin singer/songwriter Patty Griffin, songwriter-to-the-stars Priscilla Renea, Saskatchewan blues rocker Reignwolf, roosty singer/songwriter/rocker Sontalk and Canadian indie rockers the Strumbellas.

Even better, you can listen to music while enjoying free (while supplies last!) bloody marys from Tito’s Vodka, craft beer courtesy of Brown Distributing, and breakfast tacos from Tacodeli. Thanks also to Bloody Revolution, High Brew Coffee and Rambler Water. Bloody Mary Morning is brought to you by our friends AXS and NetApp.

You don’t need to be a SXSW badge-holder to attend and admittance is free, but this year we will require you to RSVP and bring your print-at-home tickets with you for entry – subject, as always, to capacity. Stop by the KLRU booth for a chance to score some swag and drink tickets!

ACL artists at the 2016 Grammys

photo by Scott Newton

The nominations for the 58th Annual Grammy Awards are out now, and we’re pleased to see that a number of Austin City Limits’ distinguished guests have received top honors. Congratulations to Kendrick Lamar with eleven nominations: Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song (twice), Best Rap Album, Best Pop/Sung Collaboration, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, Best Dance Recording and Best Music Video (twice!). Also shout-outs to a number of Season 41 performers receiving well-deserved nominations, including Alabama Shakes, nominated for Album of the Year, Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, Best Alternative Music Album and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical; Courtney Barnett, for Best New Artist, Angélique Kidjo, for Best World Music Album, Leon Bridges, for Best R&B Album, Don Henley, for Best American Roots Song and James Taylor, for Best Pop Vocal Album.

Kudos as well to the following ACL veterans who landed nominations: Florence + the Machine, John Legend, Ed Sheeran, Punch Brothers, Foo Fighters, Buddy Guy, Bela Fleck, the Mavericks, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Jason Isbell, Death Cab For Cutie, My Morning Jacket, Wilco, Keith Urban, Kacey Musgraves, The Milk Carton Kids, Mavis Staples, Brandi Carlile, Lee Ann Womack, Hayes Carll, Ralph Stanley, Shemekia Copeland, Bettye LaVette, Patty Griffin, Glen Hansard of the Swell Season, Rhiannon Giddens and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Congratulations to them all.

Go here to see in what categories all these artists are nominated, as well as all the nominees.

Stay tuned to ACL to catch stellar performances from some of these fine folks in action in the coming weeks – Alabama Shakes kick off the second half of our Season 41 with a return appearance on January 2, Kendrick Lamar on January 9, Angélique Kidjo on January 23, Leon Bridges on February 6 and Ed Sheeran on February 27.

And don’t forget – our own executive producer Terry Lickona is also co-producer of the Grammy telecast, as well as the former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Recording Academy, the Grammys’ parent organization. The Grammy Awards broadcast on February 15th – Good luck to Terry and all the nominees!

ACL Artists at the 2015 Grammys

photo by Scott Newton

The nominations for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards are out now, and we’re pleased to see that a lot of Austin City Limits’ distinguished guests have received the honors. Congratulations to Sam Smith with a whopping six nominations: Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album. Also kudos to Beck with five nominations, Eric Church and Miranda Lambert with four, and Ryan Adams, The Black Keys, Rosanne Cash, Coldplay, Keb’ Mo’, Ed Sheeran, Chris Thile (Nickel Creek, Punch Brothers, Dolly Parton) and Jack White with three apiece.

Shout-outs as well to the following nominees: Gregg Allman (Allman Brothers Band), Dave Alvin, Arcade Fire, Dierks Bentley, Kenny Chesney, Jerry Douglas (Alison Krauss & Union Station, Bela Fleck & Friends, Strength in Numbers), Mike Farris (Patty Griffin), Ruthie Foster, Eliza Gilkyson, John Hiatt, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Juanes, Alison Krauss, John Legend, Taj Mahal, Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Band, The Del McCoury Band, Tim McGraw, Nickel Creek, Old Crow Medicine Show, Pearl Jam, Noam Pikelny (Punch Brothers), St. Vincent, Bryan Sutton (Bela Fleck & Friends, Dolly Parton), Keith Urban, Jesse Winchester, Lee Ann Womack and Neil Young.

You can go here to see in what categories all these artists are nominated, as well as all the other nominees.

You can catch some of these fine folks in action in the coming weeks – Nickel Creek appears on January 3, Sam  Smith on January 17, Ryan Adams on January 24 and The Black Keys on January 31.

And don’t forget – our own executive producer Terry Lickona is also co-producer of the Grammy telecast, as well as the former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Recording Academy, the Grammys’ parent organization. The Grammy Awards broadcast on February 8th – Good luck to Terry and all the nominees!