ACL to livestream My Morning Jacket taping on 5/2

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Austin City Limits is pleased to announce that we will be streaming our third taping with My Morning Jacket live, powered by Dell, on May 2 at 8pm CT/9 pm ET. Fans around the world can watch the concert on  ACLTV’s  YouTube channel as it happens.

My Morning Jacket are old friends of Austin City Limits. Not only has the band been featured twice, in 2006 and 2008, but dynamic leader Jim James has appeared four additional times, as a solo headliner, with Monsters of Folk and as a special guest of Bright Eyes and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. For their first collective appearance in eight years, the eclectic Kentucky group focus both on material recorded for their most recent album The Waterfall, which the New York Times called “a consolidation of the band’s strengths” and Salon hailed as “the Louisville band’s best, most ambitious and most nuanced effort in more than a decade,” and previews of its upcoming 2016 LP.  

Please join us on May 2 on our ACLTV YouTube channel as we welcome back My Morning Jacket.

New taping: Paul Simon

Austin City Limits is proud to announce the first-ever appearance by music legend Paul Simon, who is set to tape his ACL debut on Thursday, May 12th, 2016.

An artist whose work has had a profound effect on music and culture, Simon is one of the most successful and respected songwriters in popular music history.  Almost thirty years since the release of his landmark album Graceland, Simon continues his musical and sonic exploration on his highly anticipated 13th solo album, Stranger to Stranger, which is set for release via Concord Records on June 3rd, 2016. Produced by Simon and longtime musical partner Roy Halee, Stranger to Stranger is full of thrilling textures that feel fresh and modern, while still offering subtle and artful allusions to our shared musical past. “Its about making music that sounds old and new at the same time – music with a sense of mystery,” Simon explains of the new album, his first new studio recording since 2011’s widely acclaimed So Beautiful or So What.  “Sound is the theme of this album as much as it’s about the subjects of the individual songs. If people get that, I’ll be pleased.  The right song at the right time can live for generations. A beautiful sound – well, that’s forever.”

We can’t wait for this historic appearance, as we welcome Paul Simon to the ACL stage for the very first time.

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.

Rhiannon Giddens does it all on ACL debut

Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, interpreter – Rhiannon Giddens does it all on her acclaimed solo debut Tomorrow is My Turn. We were thrilled to host the Carolina Chocolate Drops member for her livestreamed debut ACL taping, and the NC native didn’t disappoint.

A barefoot Giddens and her seven-piece Americana orchestra took the stage to already enthusiastic applause. Donning her banjo, she and the band launched into the dramatic “Spanish Mary,” a Bob Dylan song Giddens finished for the all-star New Basement Tapes project. An accidentally muted fiddle meant an immediate retake – “Here’s a tune you may have heard before,” Giddens quipped – but the eager crowd clearly didn’t mind, and was rewarded with a tougher, grittier performance. She then moved to Tomorrow for the jaunty, fiddle-heavy “Don’t Let It Trouble Your Mind” from the catalog of the great Dolly Parton, “one of the most feminist writers out there.” She stayed with classic country for a stirring take on Hank Cochran’s sad and beautiful “She’s Got You,” made famous by the iconic Patsy Cline, before turning to the catalog of folk singer Odetta for the African-American work song “Waterboy,” a powerful showcase for her classically-trained vocal chops. She closed out the Tomorrow portion of the evening with a rumbling version of the Geeshie Wiley blues “Last Kind Words” that spotlighted her Drops bandmate Hubby Jenkins on mandolin.

Giddens then dug into her own growing catalog of originals for “Julie.” Inspired by a book of slave narratives, the tune recounts a conversation between a slave and her mistress, a performance stripped down to Dirk Powell’s fiddle and her own banjo, which is a replica of a 19th-century instrument. The rest of the band rejoined them as Giddens switched to fiddle and Powell (a folk and traditional music star in his own right) picked up his accordion for the Creole tune “Dimanche Apres-Midi” (“Sunday Afternoon Waltz”). Giddens and the band rocked up the folk for “Louisiana Man,” a snarling romantic putdown from Giddens’ own pen that bore down thanks to the circle of her banjo, Powell’s fiddle, Jason Sypher’s bass and Chance McCoy’s electric guitar. Jenkins then stepped forward to join Giddens on vocals for the gospel song “Children, Go Where I Send Thee,” which he brought to the Drops’ repertoire.

Giddens went back to her own catalog for the chilling “At the Purchaser’s Option,” a dark tune inspired by a 19th century advertisement for a slave and her baby and frosted by Malcolm Parson’s scraping cello. After ten songs chronicling American folk, she crossed the ocean for one of the musical strains at its root, closing the set with a stunning performance of traditional Gaelic “Mouth Music” that brought the house down. A standing ovation brought Giddens and the band back, wherein she explained that this was the band’s last show of the year and how thankful she was for her band and the paths on which her music has taken her. Following hugs all around for the musicians, Gidden and friends launched into a medley of “That Lonesome Road” and “Up Above My Head” from the catalog of pioneering gospel singer/proto rock & roll guitarist Sister Rosetta Tharpe – a rollicking call-and-response closer with solos all around. The crowd sent the band out with wild cheers and applause, all well-deserved. It was a rousing closer to a great show, and we can’t wait for you to see it when it airs this fall as part of our Season 42 on your local PBS station.    

ACL documentary Kickstarter campaign begins today

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The legendary television music series Austin City Limits launches a Kickstarter Campaign on April 26, 2016 in support of the new documentary A Song for You: The Austin City Limits Story. The feature, which made its world premiere at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival, was directed by Keith Maitland, recently named one of Variety’s “10 Documakers to Watch.” The filmmakers have a 30-day Kickstarter goal of raising $125,000 to secure music rights for 70 songs featured in the 91-minute documentary. These funds will be used for finishing the film, which includes paying for music rights, the use of archival footage, and covering the costs of distribution.

For more than four decades Austin City Limits has brought some of the greatest musicians in the world into the homes of millions of people. Now fans can have a piece of ACL history all their own. The Kickstarter drive will offer the opportunity for supporters to choose from a collection of unique, keepsake memorabilia and one-of-a-kind backstage experiences. Special perks include the chance to play the infamous Studio 6A piano immortalized by the likes of Ray Charles, Norah Jones, and Leon Russell, or to sign the exclusive Graffiti Wall, colorfully autographed by many of the music giants who have performed on the show, including Dave Grohl, Kings of Leon and Eddie Vedder. Other “thank you” gifts include pieces of the original wooden stage, graced by legends of music from Willie Nelson to Beck, and Stevie Ray Vaughan to the late Merle Haggard. The Kickstarter campaign launches Tuesday, April 26th at 10am.

Austin-based filmmaker Keith Maitland joined the project after being approached by Austin City Limits’ producing station, KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the music institution. “The most exciting part of making this film has been digging through 40 years of the most incredible live music performances you can imagine,” says Maitland. “And we’re excited to share all this great music with audiences. But we can’t do it if we can’t afford to pay for the licensing – and that’s why this Kickstarter campaign is so important to A Song For You.”

The film has received positive early reviews, with Variety hailing, “There is, quite simply, nothing else like ‘Austin City Limits’ on American broadcast television right now.” Paste magazine raves, “There’s no question the show has a place in history,” with Rolling Stone citing the film’s “…concert footage guaranteed to make you salivate.”

You can visit the project’s Kickstarter page here for more details.

My Morning Jacket 5/2

UPDATE: Ticket giveaway is no over.

Austin City Limits will be taping a performance by MY MORNING JACKET on Monday, May 2nd, 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 on Thursday, April 28th. Winners will be chosen at random and a photo ID will be required to pickup 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 or recording devices allowed in venue.

ACL to livestream Rhiannon Giddens’ taping debut

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Austin City Limits is pleased to announce that we will be streaming our taping with Americana sensation Rhiannon Giddens live on April 25 at 8pm CT/9 pm ET. Fans around the world can watch the concert on  ACLTV’s  YouTube channel as it happens.

Rhiannon Giddens makes her highly-anticipated ACL debut performing tracks from her release Tomorrow Is My Turn, a 2016 Grammy nominee for Best Folk Album. The widely acclaimed album, produced by T Bone Burnett, marks Giddens’ solo debut after a decade as a founding member and leader of the Grammy-winning string band the Carolina Chocolate Drops.  Rolling Stone calls the debut “a spiritual archaeology of American racial and economic struggle via sublime covers of songs identified with Nina Simone, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton and Elizabeth Cotten.”  The Piedmont, NC native and classically trained singer has chosen from a broad array of songs associated with the female artists who are her musical and spiritual forebears for an album that serves both as patchwork autobiography and as a tribute to these artists and their legacies. “The strength of American music is in bringing all these things together—Celtic, gospel, jazz, folk—all these things that make American music great,” she says. “Putting them side by side and having a production that pulls it all into a cohesive whole shows how related all these things are.”  

Giddens’ showcased her powerful vocals at the White House this past year and gave a show-stopping performance in our own 2015 Americana Music Festival special, and we’re thrilled to follow her journey for her ACL debut.

Please join us on April 25 on our ACLTV YouTube channel as we welcome Rhiannon Giddens.

Rhiannon Giddens 4/25

UPDATE: Giveaway is now over.

Austin City Limits will be taping a performance by RHIANNON GIDDENS on Monday, April 25th, 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 on Thursday, April 21st. Winners will be chosen at random and a photo ID will be required to pickup 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 or recording devices allowed in venue.

James Bay brings Chaos & the Calm to ACL debut

UK singer/songwriter sensation James Bay became the latest British invader to win over the U.S. with his Grammy-nominated breakthrough hit “Hold Back the River.” We were pleased to welcome the Hertfordshire native to our studio for his debut taping as he showcased his acclaimed debut LP Chaos and the Calm.

Adorned in his trademark black hat, Bay and his four-piece band opened the show on a high energy note with the bluesy, rocking “Collide.” He followed that slam-bang with “Craving,” a catchy slice of what would have been called heartland rock back in the ‘80s. “When We Were On Fire” kept the faith, adding a soulful edge thanks to Bay’s elastic vocals. After donning an acoustic 12-string guitar, Bay explained how he and the band “geeked out” on ACL, before launching into the folk rock charmer “If You Ever Want to Be in Love.” Switching to a six-string, Bay got soulful and romantic on the midtempo beauty “Need the Sun to Break,” which generated applause with just the opening riff.

Breaking from Chaos, the singer/songwriter slowed things down with the widescreen ballad “Running,” from his UK breakout EP Other Sides.  Then it was back to the LP, as a harmony guitar riff between Bay and guitarist Andy Cortes garnered cheers for the opening of his massive hit serenade “Let It Go,” featuring a bluesy Bay solo and the audience on backing vocals. He then surprised us with a brief, instrumental excerpt of the immortal Elvis Presley classic “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” used as an intro for the lighter-waver “Scars,” a clear crowd favorite. The band then let pianist Jack Duxbury stretch out on an extended intro to “Move Together,” another lush ballad.

A switch to a Gibson SG heralded a switch in tone, as a chunky guitar riff and Bay’s demand to “see some hands” powered up the gnarly rocker “Best Fake Smile.” Bay and his band kept the energy level high with the crunchy “Get Out While You Can,” which made the crowd into hand-clappin’ fools and ended the main set with a bang. The time between the band leaving the stage and returning was short, however, and they started their encore with a song familiar to all: Creedence Clearwater Revival’s immortal “Proud Mary,” which morphed halfway through into Tina Turner’s powerhouse version, both halves punctuated by steely guitar solos. Bay ended the performance with the fan-favorite anthem “Hold Back the River,” likely to be his own contribution to the classic rock canon. The show ended with the requisite big rock flourish, to the delight of the passionate crowd. It was a memorable ACL debut, and we can’t wait for you to see it when it broadcasts as part of Season 42 on PBS.