New tapings: The Raconteurs, Billie Eilish and Rosalía

Austin City Limits announces the final tapings of our Season 45, featuring a trio of originals who are highlights of our namesake ACL Festival this year.  We’re thrilled to welcome back GRAMMY® Award-winning rockers The Raconteurs on Oct. 3, returning to our stage for the first time in over a decade, and two breakout artists making ACL debuts: groundbreaking Spanish singer/songwriter Rosalía on Oct. 8 and global pop-phenom Billie Eilish on Oct. 11. 

The Nashville-based Raconteurs—featuring Jack White and Brendan Benson as dual frontmen/guitarists/lead singers/songwriters, and ace rhythm section of Jack Lawrence on bass and Patrick Keeler on drums—return with their acclaimed third studio LP and first new album in more than a decade, HELP US STRANGER (Third Man Records).  The chart-topping album debuted at #1 on the SoundScan/Billboard 200 — the band’s first-ever #1 and their third trip to the top 10. Featuring a cadre of killer songs, HELP US STRANGER sees the mighty Raconteurs reassembled, stronger and even more vital than ever before as they continue to push rock ‘n’ roll forward into its future, bonding prodigious riffs, blues power, sinewy psychedelia, Detroit funk, and Nashville soul via Benson and White’s uncompromising songcraft and the band’s steadfast musical muscle. With HELP US STRANGER, The Raconteurs have returned right when they are needed most, unified and invigorated with boundless ambition, infinite energy and a collectivist spirit operating at the peak of its considerable powers, once again creating a sound and fury only possible when all four of its members come together. The band burst onto the scene in 2006 with their now-classic debut album, BROKEN BOY SOLDIERS, winning worldwide acclaim, Grammy® nominations for Best Rock Album and Best Rock Performance and a chart-topping smash single in “Steady, As She Goes,” followed by 2008’s Grammy®-winning CONSOLERS OF THE LONELYHELP US STRANGER is earning numerous shout-outs from national press: “The Raconteurs have made an album of what are, relatively, straight-up bangers…With tune after tune, this third Raconteurs outing is a blast” (The Guardian);  “HELP US STRANGER is Jack White and Brendan Benson’s love letter to classic rock” (Q); “the group’s richest batch of songs to date” (Spin).  Recorded at Third Man Studios in Nashville, TN, the record is proof positive a combo with chemistry like The Raconteurs has no rust to shake off. They are as scrappy, current, steadfast, and captivating as they were when they first joined forces, and their joy of creating together is satisfyingly palpable. Earning raves for their first live shows in eight years, the band return to our stage in the middle of an epic world tour, and we’re thrilled to welcome them back.

17-year-old Billie Eilish has fast become one of the biggest stars to emerge since the 2017 release of her debut single “ocean eyes,” and continues to shatter the ceiling of music with her genre-defying sound. Fast forward from her humble breakout, Billie’s record-breaking double platinum debut studio album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? debuted at #1 in the Billboard 200 in the U.S, as well as in the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Finland and many more. It is now the biggest North American debut of the decade (male, female or group), shifting 313,000 units in the first week and has already hit Number 1 in the Billboard 200 album charts an additional two times since its release in March, earning Billie more than 17 billion combined streams worldwide to date.  The LA native recently topped the Billboard Hot 100 with her single “bad guy”, becoming the first number one artist born this millennium. Billie received nine 2019 MTV Video Music Awards nominations and won three including Best New Artist at this year’s VMAs. Billie is the October cover star of Elle, and recently graced the covers of Rolling Stone, Billboard and V Magazine’s 20th Anniversary issue. Earning raves for her powerful live performances with breakthrough slots at 2019’s biggest music festivals, including Coachella, Glastonbury and our upcoming namesake ACL Festival, Billie is currently on her sold-out headlining WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP WORLD TOUR and we are excited to welcome her to our stage in her ACL debut.

Catalonian singer Rosalía’s landmark album EL MAL QUERER was released in 2018 to immediate critical and commercial success. The album’s groundbreaking fusion of classic Flamenco with R&B and electronic beats, coupled with 26-year-old Rosalía’s nod to the visual arts, fashion and choreography was strongly embraced by fans across the globe. The music industry at large took note, with the album’s breakout single “Malamente” garnering six 2018 Latin Grammy nominations, and taking home awards for Best Alternative Song and Best Urban Fusion Performance2019 has seen the groundbreaking Spanish star continue her meteoric ascent to Global stardom with an appearance alongside James Blake on his single “Barefoot in the Park,” and three smash singles of her own with the recent double track “Milionària & “Dio$ No$ Libre Del Dinero,” “Aute Cuture” and her widely-acclaimed, and frequent ‘Song of the Summer’ pick “Con Altura” with Reggaeton superstar J Balvin and featuring El Guincho. The video for “Con Altura” recently earned two MTV Video Music Awards wins including Best Latin Video and is 2019’s most-watched video from a female lead artist (now over 800 million views), reaching #1 on YouTube’s Global music video chart.  An equal factor in Rosalía’s worldwide embrace is her unique and starmaking live performances on her sold out “El Mal Querer Tour,” and across 2019’s top Global festivals – including Coachella, Primavera Sound, Glastonbury, Lollapalooza and many more. The reaction to her live show was best summarized by the UK’s NME in a FIVE STAR live review of her Glastonbury set declaring: “Rosalia put on the show of a lifetime…If you haven’t listened to Rosalia—or seen her live – you need to. ASAP.”  We’re thrilled to welcome her to our stage in her ACL debut. 

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 later this year as part of ACL’s upcoming milestone Season 45 which premieres October 5 on PBS.

Taping recap: Colter Wall

Innovation is awesome, and music would be dead in the water without it. But innovation grows out of tradition, so it’s important for young artists to come along and keep tradition alive. What makes 24-year-old Colter Wall special is his ability to stay within traditional music stylings, while sounding fresh and contemporary, rather than stale and reactionary. That’s what the Canadian C&W artist does on his widely-acclaimed second album Songs of the Plains, and that’s what he did for his first ACL taping, which we live streamed around the world. 

Following Terry Lickona’s introduction, Wall and his four-piece backing group took the stage. Singing and picking alone, Wall opened the show with “Thirteen Silver Dollars,” essentially a folk song that became country when the band kicked in. He then reached back into Canadian musical history for the rodeo honky-tonker “Calgary Round-Up,” penned by Nova Scotian Wilf Carter (AKA Montana Slim in the States), Canada’s first country star and the father of Canadian country music. With a midtempo take on Johnny Cash’s “boom-chicka-boom,” Wall went back to his catalog of originals with “Saskatchewan in 1881,” highlighted by Jake Groves’ harmonica solo. He and the band then laid out a classic tear-in-your-beer two-stepper with “Thinkin’ On a Woman,” a perfect vehicle for his craggy baritone. Wall followed that with a brand new song, the folky cowboy tune “Happy Reunion,” penned by his songwriter friend Mike Beck and recently recorded in Texas. Straight from that new take on the cowboy tradition, he went to another song from the past: the waltzing “Cowpoke,” written by Elton Britt and recorded by a host of luminaries, including Eddy Arnold, Hank Williams, Jr., Riders in the Sky, Glen Campbell and Austin’s own Don Walser. Again, without pause, he essayed the next tune, and it was another old classic: Marty Robbins’ murder ballad “Big Iron,” which garnered immediate cheers at the first line. 

With the crowd in the palm of his hand, Wall then gifted us with another brand new song entitled “Western Swing and Waltzes,” a danceable honky-tonker with the air of a future setlist staple. Ditto “Hoolihans,” another unrecorded tune that dips into the tradition of songs about being on the road a little too long and using cowboy roping shots to stave off boredom. Itt took on extra poignancy stripped to just Wall and steel guitarist Patrick Lyons on dobro, to the crowd’s delight. That was followed by an older original, the witty, two-stepping “Motorcycle.” He paid more tribute to the Canadian C&W tradition with “The Coyote and the Cowboy,” taken from the catalog of British Colombian legend Ian Tyson. Then it was back to his own songs with the waltz “Plain to See a Plainsman,” a song Wall explained just “poured itself out” – Groves’ harmonica break earned enthusiastic cheers. Wall ended the set with “Sleeping On the Blacktop,” a fan favorite with dueling dobro and harmonica and a palpable sense of menace. It was a fine, stirring end to the show, and the audience clearly loved Wall’s earnest revival of old-school country & western. We can’t wait for you to see it when it airs this fall on your local PBS station.     

Taping recap: Black Pumas

While we at Austin City Limits cast our musical net far and wide, we have a special place in our hearts for hometown talent. So we were thrilled to present the fast-rising Austin act Black Pumas, led by singer Eric Burton and guitarist Adrian Quesada, who’s no stranger to our stage due to his work with Grupo Fantasma. Joined by a five-piece band, the duo gave us a burning hot set (which we live streamed around the world) of rock, funk and soul.

The audience extended these hometown heroes a warm welcome as they came onstage, setting a level of excitement as the band dived into the simmering soul groove of “Next to You,” with Burton showing off his husky pipes and slinky dance moves. The singer donned a guitar for “Colors,” a midtempo charmer from the group’s self-titled debut, highlighted by nifty solos from Quesada and keyboardist JaRon Marshall. New song “Black Cat” followed, blending a sixties-derived melody with a modern rock feel – a sound that moved Burton to join the crowd on the floor, to their delight. “Old Man” segued into seventies funk with a smoky descending groove anchored by a Latin bridge, while “Know You Better” charged into moodier territory while still keeping the rhythm alive. “Black Moon Rising,” the Pumas’ original calling card, stayed with the same groove without losing steam or heat. 

Some louder guitar licks signaled another new tune: the funky “I Am Ready,” accented by more Burton dance moves. He re-donned his guitar for the undulating “Stay Gold,” an anthem for positivity and good will. The former Congress Ave. busker then gave thanks to both Quesada and the crowd for his current career position, before jumping right into the hard-grooving “Fire.” An insistent electric piano lick and more Burton steps powered the sinuous “More Than a Love Song,” while the singer’s powerful voice and Quesada’s psychedelic solos made the ballad “Confines” soar into lighterwaving territory. The group brought back that soulful, brooding seethe for “OCT 33,” whose mystery came wrapped in a lush package. The Pumas ended the set with the explosive “Etta James,” with Burton paying tribute to the R&B great while Quesada smoked on guitar. 

The audience applauded rapturously, but of course that wasn’t the final tune. The band came back, with Burton leaping into the crowd for high-fives, with a surprising cover choice. The Pumas deftly transformed the Beatles’ string-quartet masterpiece “Eleanor Rigby” into a snarling soul rocker, paying tribute to Ray Charles’ radical rearrangement more than the original. Quesada ripped up his fretboard, while Burton and backup singers Angela Miller and Lauren Horsby anchored the song in the church mentioned in the lyrics. The audience cheered the Austin homeboys wildly, as well they should have. It was a great showcase for the power of Austin music, and we’re excited for you to see it early next year on your local PBS station.  

Austin City Limits announces first half of Season 45

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.

Giveaway: Colter Wall 8/30

UPDATE giveaway is now over.

Austin City Limits will be taping a performance by Colter Wall on August 30th 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 2:00 pm on Wednesday, August 28th.

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.