Taping recap: ACL Hall of Fame 6th Annual Honors

photo by Gary Miller

Every year the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Honors feels like a homecoming. This year was no exception, with so many friends and family with us to help celebrate. For this year’s sixth Hall of Fame class, we inducted singer/songwriter Shawn Colvin, blues giant Buddy Guy and Texas icon Lyle Lovett, the man who nearly holds the record for the most appearances on the ACL stage (he’s one behind Willie Nelson), and their pals came out to start the party. It was a night to remember. 

Austin drum corps Austin Samba set a festive mood to kick off the evening. KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, CEO & General Manager Bill Stotesbery welcomed the crowd and introduced ACL’s longtime executive producer Terry Lickona. He briefly recapped the show’s iconic history before ceding the stage to the evening’s host, Texas troubadour Robert Earl Keen and the ceremony was quickly underway. 

photo by Gary Miller

Keen introduced the evening’s first inductee – veteran Austinite Shawn Colvin. The legendary Jackson Browne inducted Colvin with a moving speech about her musical history and the genius that has marked it. “He’s my hero,” said Colvin, “and he just inducted me into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame.” She accepted the honor with a heartfelt speech about what Austin and the show have meant to her, before she and Browne took up their acoustic guitars for the lovely “These Four Walls,” which she called a tribute to her town. Following that, Colvin welcomed Wimberley native Sarah Jarosz, who used her mandolin for the classic lick of Colvin’s Grammy-winning smash “Sunny Came Home.” After Jarosz left the stage, Colvin was joined by guitarist Steuart Smith and bassist Larry Klein, both of whom produced records for her, and formed a touring trio with her in the nineties. “This is the first time we’ve played together in 25 years,” she declared, before the threesome nailed a version of her later-period hit “Polaroids.” Jarosz joined the trio for “Diamond in the Rough,” Colvin’s radio breakthrough – which was also enhanced by fellow inductee Lyle Lovett’s surprise appearance on harmony vocals and a thrilling Smith guitar solo. The musicians quit the stage to grand applause. 

photo by Gary Miller

Keen came back onstage to introduce the next inductee: the one and only Buddy Guy. The blues legend was inducted by his old friend and Austin blues icon Jimmie Vaughan, who talked about discovering Guy as a kid from the album Folk Festival of the Blues, and how that put him on the path he’s followed since. “Better late than never!” exclaimed Guy as he accepted his award, garnering a big laugh. The Chicago axeman paid tribute to his own influences – Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Lightnin’ Hopkins – before thanking the audience and his fellow artists for helping to keep the blues alive. Guy and Vaughan then joined the former’s band onstage, launching into “Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues,” one of many signature Buddy Guy tunes. Blues singer Shemekia Copeland came next, duetting with Guy on his latest hit “Cognac,” which made getting tipsy absolutely sensual. One of Guy’s recent mentees, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram then took the stage for a rip through “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” one of the classics from Guy’s own mentor Muddy Waters. Closing out his segment, Guy and Ingram welcomed back Copeland and Vaughan and Guy donned an electric sitar for “Skin Deep,” a deep soul ballad in the style of “Feels Like Rain” that reminded us all that we share more than we differ. 

photo by Gary Miller

After an intermission (which featured another performance from Austin Samba), Keen returned to introduce his old friend Lyle Lovett. Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn surprised the crowd with an unannounced appearance to induct his pal, calling him “a humble maestro,” “the storytelling heir to Faulkner, Rogers and Twain,” speaking eloquently and humorously about the impact his music and friendship has had on his life. After thanking Penn, Lovett delineated how long his history with Austin City Limits goes back, from watching the show since its first season to closing out Studio 6A in 2010, before thanking the show and his family – his mother was in attendance. Then Lovett announced seminal Texas songwriter, and key Lovett influence, Willis Alan Ramsey, who sang, with help from the large band, his friend’s anthem “If I Had a Boat.” Dallas native Edie Brickell was next, taking on Lovett’s tart country ballad “I Loved You Yesterday.” The maestro himself came back onstage, thanking his crew and the Large Band, before paring the latter down to fiddler Luke Bulla, mandolinist Keith Sewell and bassist Viktor Krauss for “12th of June,” inspired by his family past and present. The Large Band returned and Lovett welcomed Keen back to the stage to sing “This Old Porch,” a song the pair of them wrote nearly 40 years ago – a fitting tribute to enduring friendships and a long-running career. Keen then invited the other inductees and guests on stage for the final song. Lovett took the opportunity to introduce the large band, including his longtime backup singer Francine Reed, who garnered the biggest round of applause.

photo by Gary Miller

Then it was time for the closing number – “That’s Right, You’re Not From Texas,” one of Lovett’s most famous songs and one perfect for a chorus of famous backup singers. The audience went wild as streamers came down from the ceiling, as another successful Hall of Fame taping came to a close. We can’t wait for you to see it when it airs as a special New Year’s broadcast on your local PBS station. 

ACL announces guest performers for Hall of Fame 2019

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Austin City Limits announces an all-star slate of guest performers for the 2019 ACL Hall of Fame Inductions & Celebration on October 24, 2019. Music greats Jackson Browne, Shemekia Copeland, Jimmie Vaughan, Bruce Hornsby, Sarah Jarosz, Willis Alan Ramsey and blues phenom Christone “Kingfish” Ingram will take part in saluting the newest class of inductees: singer-songwriting legends Shawn Colvin and Lyle Lovett and blues giant Buddy Guy.  Texas troubadour Robert Earl Keen takes the reins for the first time as host of the star-studded night filled with performances and collaborations from music’s finest as the three beacons of American music enter the ACL Hall of Fame. “The Austin City Limits Hall of Fame is my Academy Awards,” says Robert Earl Keen. “I don’t think there is a higher honor than to be asked to host the ACL Hall of Fame and as a bonus, I don’t have to wear a tux!” More information about additional guest stars and presenters will be announced prior to the event.

The event will be open to the public and tickets are on sale at acltv.com/hall-of-fame. Sponsor packages are available now at acltv.com/hall-of-fame. All proceeds benefit KLRU-TV, Austin PBS. The ceremony will be held at ACL’s studio home, ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. Musical highlights and inductions from the celebration will air on PBS as a special Austin City Limits New Year’s broadcast. 

The sixth class of inductees features a diverse group of music legends and collaborators with longtime ties to Austin City Limits: Lyle Lovett has shared a musical kinship with the series, notably appearing on ACL more than any artist with the exception of Willie Nelson. Living legend Buddy Guy has made three classic headlining appearances on ACL, starting in Season 16 in 1991 and returning this year in Season 44. Shawn Colvin debuted on ACL the same season as Buddy Guy in 1991, going on to make two additional standout headlining appearances as well as frequent guest spots.

Shemekia Copeland; photo by Mike White

“Lyle, Shawn and Buddy share not only a long history with ACL, but a musical kinship with each other,” said long-time executive producer Terry Lickona, “so I’m sure we can expect some one-of-a-kind musical collaborations. They are each uniquely talented, and together they represent the legacy that has helped ACL thrive for four and a half decades.”

Established in 2014, the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame honors the legacy of legendary artists and key individuals who have played a vital part in the pioneering music series remarkable 40+ years as a music institution. The inaugural induction ceremony in 2014 honored Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Lloyd Maines, program creator Bill Arhos and Darrell Royal. The second annual ACL Hall of Fame ceremony in 2015 honored Asleep at the Wheel, Loretta Lynn, Guy Clark, Flaco Jiménez and Townes Van Zandt, along with the original crew of the show’s first season in 1974-75. The 2016 Hall of Fame honored Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt and B.B. King, alongside former ACL executive producer Dick Peterson. 2017’s Hall of Fame honored Roy Orbison, Rosanne Cash and The Neville Brothers, and the 50th Anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act. Last year’s fifth anniversary class featured the inductions of Ray Charles, Marcia Ball and Los Lobos.

Robert Earl Keen to host ACL Hall of Fame 2019 – tickets on sale April 12

photo by Nick Doll Photography

Austin City Limits is thrilled to announce the host of the 2019 ACL Hall of Fame: legendary Texas singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen. This year’s celebration, to be held October 24th, honors the newest class of inductees: Lyle Lovett, Buddy Guy and Shawn Colvin. Save the date for one of the cultural highlights of 2019, a star-studded night filled with performances and collaborations from music’s finest. Tickets for this one-of-a-kind celebration will go on sale Friday, April 12 at 10 a.m at acltv.com/hall-of-fame. The event is held at ACL’s studio home, Austin’s ACL Live at The Moody Theater. More information about performances, presenters and additional guest stars will be announced prior.

“The Austin City Limits Hall of Fame is my Academy Awards,” says Robert Earl Keen. “I don’t think there is a higher honor than to be asked to host the ACL Hall of Fame and as a bonus, I don’t have to wear a tux!” The Lone Star troubadour and renowned party-starter takes the reins for the first time as host of the celebrated event. Houston-raised Keen is one of the most beloved songwriters and performers in Texas. His signature anthem “The Road Goes on Forever” recaps his remarkable music journey: over three-decades strong, with thousands of live shows under his belt, nineteen records to his name, and no end in sight to the road ahead. You can complete his anthem and sum up his storied career with its next five words—the ones routinely shouted back at Keen by legions of fans at every show— “and the party never ends!”

Keen debuted on Austin City Limits during 1989’s Season 14 as part of a Texas Showcase and has made four acclaimed headlining appearances in addition to appearing as a guest of Lyle Lovett in 2000 and returning for ACL’s milestone 40th Anniversary special in 2014. His songs have been recorded by Nanci Griffith, Joe Ely, George Strait, Gillian Welch, The Highwaymen and more. Keen has received many, many accolades along the way, including his recent 2019 induction into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, where he was presented with the Rick Smith “Spirit of Texas Award”. He became the first recipient of BMI’s Troubadour Award in 2015 for songwriting. In 2012 he was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame (alongside his longtime friend and Texas A&M classmate Lyle Lovett) and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Texas A&M University in 2018.

We hope you’ll join us as Robert Earl Keen saddles up and anchors our tributes to Buddy Guy, Shawn Colvin and Lyle Lovett when tickets go on sale this Friday, April 12 at 10 a.m at acltv.com/hall-of-fame.

ACL Hall of Fame 2019 honorees announced: Buddy Guy, Lyle Lovett and Shawn Colvin

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Austin City Limits announces the new class of Austin City Limits Hall of Fame inductees, recognizing three beacons of American music: singer-songwriting legends Lyle Lovett and Shawn Colvin, and blues giant Buddy Guy.  The 2019 ACL Hall of Fame inductees will be saluted at a star-studded ceremony to be held October 24th, 2019 at ACL’s studio home, ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin.  More information about performers, host, presenters and additional guest stars will be announced prior to the event.  Musical highlights and inductions from the ceremony will air on PBS later this year.     

The event will be open to the public and tickets will be on sale this spring at acltv.com/hall-of-fame.  Sponsor packages are available now at acltv.com/hall-of-fame. All proceeds benefit KLRU-TV, Austin PBS.

The sixth class of inductees features a diverse group of music legends and collaborators with longtime ties to Austin City Limits: Lyle Lovett has shared a musical kinship with the series, notably appearing on ACL more than any artist with the exception of Willie Nelson.  Living legend Buddy Guy has made three classic headlining appearances on ACL, starting in Season 16 in 1991 and returning this year in Season 44.  Shawn Colvin debuted on ACL the same season as Buddy Guy in 1991, going on to make two additional standout headlining appearances as well as frequent guest spots.

“Lyle, Shawn and Buddy share not only a long history with ACL, but a musical kinship with each other,” said long-time executive producer Terry Lickona, “so I’m sure we can expect some one-of-a-kind musical collaborations. They are each uniquely talented, and together they represent the legacy that has helped ACL thrive for four and a half decades.”

photo by Paul Natkin

Honorees shared their reactions to joining the ranks of outstanding artists who have been inducted into the Austin City Limits  Hall of Fame:

Buddy Guy: “My mother always said – ‘Son, if you got flowers for me, give em’ to me now while I can smell em’ I’m very honored to be inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame.”

Shawn Colvin: “I count being asked to perform on Austin City Limits as a major milestone in my career, having watched it since its inception.  It has the reputation of being the show you get to do if you are truly cool, and deservedly so. To be included in the Austin City Limits Hall Of Fame is a huge honor for this grateful Austinite who never would have imagined gracing its stage.”

photo by Alexandra Valenti

The Austin City Limits Hall of Fame was established in 2014 to celebrate the legacy of legendary artists and key individuals who have played a vital part in the pioneering music series remarkable 45 years as a music institution. The inaugural induction ceremony in 2014 honored Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Lloyd Maines, program creator Bill Arhos and Darrell Royal. 2015’s second annual ACL Hall of Fame ceremony honored Asleep at the Wheel, Loretta Lynn, Guy Clark, Flaco Jiménez and Townes Van Zandt, along with the original crew of the show’s first season in 1974-75. The 2016 Hall of Fame honored Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt and B.B. King, alongside former ACL executive producer Dick Peterson.  2017’s Hall of Fame honored Roy Orbison, Rosanne Cash and The Neville Brothers, and the 50th Anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act.  Last year’s fifth anniversary class featured the inductions of Ray Charles, Marcia Ball and Los Lobos.

 

About the 2019 Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Honorees:

Lyle Lovett

One of the most unique figures in contemporary music, singer-songwriter and bandleader Lyle Lovett has appeared on Austin City Limits more times than any act with the exception of Willie Nelson. Born in the small town of Klein, Texas, Lovett attended Texas A&M University, where he played open mics and barrooms, sometimes accompanied by his schoolmate Robert Earl Keen. He moved to Nashville in the early eighties, signed to MCA Records and released his self-titled debut album in 1986 to widespread acclaim. Lovett’s distinctive, quirky blend of country, folk, Western swing, jazz, blues, gospel and pop over the course of more than a dozen albums have made him one of music’s most vibrant and iconic performers. His works, rich and eclectic, are some of the most beloved of any artist working today.  Among his many accolades, including four Grammy Awards, Lovett received the Americana Music Association’s inaugural Trailblazer Award in 2007, and was named the official Texas State Musician in 2011. Lovett made his ACL debut in 1985 as a member of Nanci Griffith’s backing band and he’s made eight headlining appearances: 1987, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2004 and the final taping in ACL’s original Studio 6A in 2011.  He’s appeared on two Songwriters Specials in 1994 and 2008, and in tributes to Walter Hyatt in 1997 and Townes Van Zandt in 1998, and as a featured guest of Leo Kottke in 1988, Delbert McClinton in 1997 and Shawn Colvin in 2001.  Lovett was handpicked by his longtime friend Willie Nelson to perform at his own induction into the inaugural ACL Hall of Fame in 2014.

Buddy Guy

Buddy Guy’s astounding career spans over fifty years with just as many albums released. Career highlights include the 2015 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, eight Grammy Awards, thirty-seven Blues Music Awards, twenty-three W.C. Handy Awards, the Kennedy Center Honor, Billboard Music Awards’ Century Award, Presidential National Medal of Arts, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, to name a few. At 82 years young, Guy proves unstoppable as he continues to record and tour around the world.  One of the last of his generation of blues musicians, the singer and guitarist is undeniably one of the most influential axemen of the twentieth century, impacting Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Keith Richards and more. Born in Lettsworth, Louisiana, Guy moved to Chicago in 1957 and became a session guitar player for Chess Records.  After a string of successful duo albums with harmonica player Junior Wells, Guy struck out on his own and has dominated the blues landscape ever since. The blues titan recently released his eighteenth solo LP in 2018, the Grammy Award-winning The Blues is Alive and Well.  Guy has made three headlining appearances on Austin City Limits, in 1991, 1998 and 2018, and guested with John Mayer in 2003. No stranger to the Hall of Fame, the blues great performed in tribute to inaugural inductees Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble in 2014.

Shawn Colvin

A mainstay since moving to Austin in 1993, singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin is one of the city’s greatest musical ambassadors. Her songs are slow-release works of craft and catharsis that become treasured, lifetime companions for their listeners. Born in South Dakota, she was raised there until she was 11 years old and relocated to Canada and Illinois for the remainder of her adolescence. Colvin originally moved to Austin, Texas in the seventies, singing with the Western swing band the Dixie Diesels. She hit New York City to join The Buddy Miller Band in 1980 where she began to write the songs that would comprise Steady On, her Grammy-winning, 1989 Columbia Records debut. In 1997 she reached the Top 10 at Top 40 radio and won the top honors of Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the 1998 GRAMMY Awards with “Sunny Came Home,” from her breakthrough, platinum-selling album A Few Small Repairs. Colvin’s candid memoir Diamond in the Rough was released in 2012 to critical acclaim. Diamond in the Rough looks back over a rich lifetime of highs and lows with stunning insight and candor. Colvin maintains a non-stop touring and recording schedule, her most recent release is 2018’s album of lullabies, The Starlighter (Amazon Music). This fall, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the release of Steady On, she will be releasing a special, newly-recorded all acoustic version of that landmark album. Colvin has a trio of headlining appearances on Austin City Limits to her name: in 1991, 1995 and 2001.  She was a guest of Lyle Lovett’s during his Season 22/1997 appearance and returned for a guest spot with Sheryl Crow that same season, Patty Griffin’s guest in 2010, and most recently performed in Season 41 in 2015 as a guest of James Taylor’s.

Austin City Limits and the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame are produced by KLRU-TV, Austin PBS. KLRU is a non-profit organization providing public television and educational resources to Central Texas as well as producing quality national programming.

ACL 41 welcomes the legendary James Taylor

photo by Scott Newton

Austin City Limits presents a Season 41 highlight: the first-ever appearance of legendary singer-songwriter James Taylor in a heartwarming, hourlong performance. The musical icon shines in a career-spanning set that features beloved classics and selections from his chart-topping, acclaimed new album Before This World, his first collection of original music in 13 years.  

As one of the best-selling singer-songwriters of all time, James Taylor’s warm baritone is among the most recognized voices in popular music. A masterful lyricist and celebrated performer, Taylor sings songs of love, family, recovery and everyday passions that resonate with listeners worldwide. “Finally on ACL — this is great,” says the personable musician, grinning throughout. He delights the ACL audience with a hit-laden 12-song set featuring vintage favorites such as his first #1 single, 1971’s “You’ve Got A Friend,” and new originals from Before This World, which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top 200.  

photo by Scott Newton

Taylor switches midset from acoustic to electric guitar for the slow-burn blues number “Steamroller” from his landmark 1970 album Sweet Baby James, giving his star-filled 10-piece band a chance to showcase their bona fides. He brings out Austin’s own Shawn Colvin for a beautiful duet version of “You Can Close Your Eyes” from his 1971 album Mudslide Slim. The ecstatic crowd is on its feet for the set-closing gems “Your Smiling Face,” and “How Sweet It Is,” with Taylor so energized he tips his trademark cap in response to the repeated ovations and powerful applause, singing “How sweet it is to be in Austin City tonight.”  

photo by Scott Newton

“Finally! How sweet it is indeed,” says ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “There is nobody quite like James Taylor, and he is one of the most genuine persons and artists on the planet. He is universally loved and applauded, and it was inspiring to see fans from across the generations react so emotionally to his presence on the ACL stage.”
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. Tune in next week for Americana Music Festival 2015.

Sweet Baby James’ sweet ACL debut

photo by Scott Newton

It’s been a long time coming. James Taylor has been near the top of our wishlist for years. Now the stars have aligned, and we were thrilled to at last welcome the legendary singer/songwriter to the Austin City Limits stage for a special show full of songs from his new LP Before This World, his first collection of original music in thirteen years, and deep cuts from across his long career.

Taylor and his band (featuring original Saturday Night Live band member Lou Marini and legendary drummer Steve Gadd) opened with “Wandering,” a gentle, reflective song from his 1975 LP Gorilla. He followed with the funky “Me and My Guitar,” another gem from the early 70s, and “Copperline,” a nostalgic folk-popper from New Moon Shine, his first LP of the 90s. Taylor stayed with more recent material for the next pair of cuts, including the new album’s positivity anthem “Today Today Today” and the 90s-era ballad “Line ‘em Up.” Taylor then jumped back to 1970 for his self-described “tree-huggers’ anthem” “Country Road,” a crowd favorite from his breakthrough Sweet Baby James. Then it was back to the present for another pair from New Moon Shine and Before This World:  the rousing, gospel-inflected “Shed a Little Light” and the Boston Red Sox mash note “Angels of Fenway.”

Paying tribute to the state in which he was performing, the perpetually smiling Taylor essayed his 80s-vintage cover of Texas rock pioneer Buddy Holly’s “Everyday.” Then he took a giant leap back in time to 1968, lifting his lilting hit “Carolina in My Mind” from his self-titled debut, originally released on the Beatles’ Apple label. Donning an electric guitar, Taylor shifted gears with 1970’s bluesy, rumbling “Steamroller,” which served to showcase the talents of his band. His iconic take on his friend Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend” unsurprisingly earned him a standing ovation, while “Sweet Baby James,” his variation on cowboy ballads, cooled the crowd back down like a misty rain on the dusty trail. Taylor then invited the adoring audience to join him on a raucous run through his hit cover of Marvin Gaye’s joyful “How Sweet It Is.”

The main set ended as gently as it began with the clarinet/flugelhorn/violin-enhanced Before This World ballad “You and I Again.” But of course it wasn’t over. Taylor reappeared and brought out a surprise guest: Austinite Shawn Colvin, who joined him for a lovely take on his 1971 song “You Can Close Your Eyes.” But it still wasn’t over, as Taylor and his band came back for an unplanned second encore, starting with the frisky “Mexico” and ending with the grooving “Your Smiling Face,” which drove the audience wild. It was a spectacular way to close out a landmark ACL taping, and we can’t wait for you to see the show when it airs November 14th as a full-hour episode as part of our new Season 41 on your local PBS station.  

Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell: power of the song

photo by Scott Newton

“It’s great to be back at the world’s greatest and longest-running music show,” enthused Emmylou Harris tonight during her latest ACL taping. To say that she and Rodney Crowell aren’t strangers to our stage seems inadequate. Both Texas native Crowell and his current partner and former employer Harris have been on seven times apiece. The pair even shared an episode in 1983, though they didn’t share the stage. Tonight, however, these two old friends celebrated their shared history, their new collaborative album Old Yellow Moon and the continuing power of the song.

The pair opened with “Return of the Grievous Angel,” from Emmylou’s time with her mentor Gram Parsons. The GP connection continued with “Wheels,” a Flying Burrito Brothers-era Parsons tune Emmylou recorded on Elite Hotel, her first major label album and the beginning of her reign over the country music charts. That began the roll of hits, as the pair essayed “Pancho & Lefty,” ‘Til I Gain Control Again,” “I’ll Be Your San Antone Rose” (dedicated to its author, the late Susannah Clark) and “Luxury Liner,” another GP tune set aflame by lead guitarist Jedd Hughes’ turbo-powered chicken-pickin’. The duo fast-forwarded to a more recent era for “Red Dirt Girl” (from Harris’ LP of the same name) and “Rock of My Soul” (from Crowell’s career revitalization The Houston Kid), their voices wrapped the songs in the kind of harmonies only two old friends can generate.

An Old Yellow Moon rose for the next segment of the show, as the pair drew heavily from that LP. The pleasure these two old pals obviously took from singing some of their favorite songs – from Roger Miller’s honky-tonkin’ “Invitation to the Blues” and Matraca Berg’s melancholy “Back When We Were Beautiful” to Allen Reynolds’ elegant “Dreaming My Dreams” and Kris Kristofferson’s cautionary but rocking “Chase the Feeling” – was palpable. Then it was back to the hits, as the pair broke out Emmylou’s lovely take on Townes Van Zandt’s “If I Needed You,” blazed through Crowell’s “Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight” (recorded by both of them at different points) and ended with the peaceful waltz of “Old Yellow Moon.”

Of course, the show wasn’t over. The duo and band returned, Harris and special guest Shawn Colvin dancing their way through Crowell’s “Stars On the Water.” The musicians rocked a blazing “I Ain’t Livin’ Long Like This,” a song not on the original setlist but an addition that drove the crowd wild. After a visit from Harris’ rescue dogs (brought onstage in tribute to Austin’s status as a no-kill city), the pair ended with “Tulsa Queen,” a co-write from Harris’ classic LP Luxury Liner that was a most appropriate way to end this tandem performance.

It was a magnificent show that reminded us that veterans get to that point for good reason. We’re eager for everybody to see it when it broadcasts on PBS in the fall – stay tuned.