ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2013

12th Annual Americana Music Honors And Awards Ceremony Presented By Nissan - Show & Audience

Austin City Limits is taking a break from our fabulous season of new episodes, but never fear – that doesn’t mean new music isn’t up next. As we’ve been the past two years, we’re proud to present an ACL Presents special: Americana Music Festival 2013. Recorded at the Awards & Honors presentation in Nashville at the historic Ryman Auditorium, AMF 2013 gives us great performances by both veterans and newcomers across the spectrum of the music we know and love as Americana. From Dr. John walking through gilded splinters accompanied by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, pioneering guitarist Duane Eddy proving himself still a “Rebel-Rouser” and Stephen Stills revisiting his classic composition “For What It’s Worth” to young songwriter John Fullbright ripping through “Jericho”, host Jim Lauderdale and bandleader Buddy Miller showing off their distinctive chemistry and Hank Williams’ daughter Holly reviving her father’s signature hit “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” the special presents highlight after highlight. All this plus Shovels & Rope, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, The Milk Carton Kids, Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison, Old Crow Medicine Show and, during the finale, some surprise guests. It’s a feast of Americana.

Check out the episode page for a songlist and more details. Click over to our Facebook and Twitter pages or our newsletter for the latest ACL skinny. Next week: an encore episode featuring Bob Mould and Delta Spirit.

Jim James and The Black Angels get psychedelic for ACL’s new season

Austin City Limits explores new sonic directions in a double bill with Jim James and Austin’s own Black Angels.  My Morning Jacket leader Jim James plays songs from his acclaimed debut solo album Regions of Light and Sound of God while Texas psych-rockers The Black Angels highlight songs from their latest release Indigo Meadow.

The versatile Jim James commands a spellbinding set in his first-ever solo outing on ACL, marking his sixth appearance on the program—having performed twice with his main outfit My Morning Jacket, in addition to appearances with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Bright Eyes and Monsters of Folk.  Declaring his solo project a “new adventure”, James invites the Austin audience to come on the journey with him, and they are more than happy to oblige.  He reaches into new territory in an intimate and hypnotic performance that combines hints of old school R&B, flickers of hip hop, operatic pop and delicate instrumentation.  James and his four-piece band open with the 70s soul of “State of the Art” and “Know Til Now” and segue into the spiritual love song “A New Life” and the atmospheric “Actress”.  It’s a captivating and completely danceable set, with James himself getting in the groove while holding a bronze panda up and adding his own sliding dance steps.

“Jim James has found many ways to pursue his musical muse, and it’s amazing that this is his very first solo album,” notes ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “What better way to bring it to his legions of fans than ACL?”

photo by Scott Newton

Carrying on the long Texas tradition of psychedelia, Austin’s Black Angels round out the episode, making their long-awaited ACL debut with their unique brand of psychedelic music for the 21st century.  It’s a fitting showcase for ACL, as the psych rock movement has its roots in the Lone Star State thanks to 60s acid-rock heroes the 13th Floor Elevators, who were the first band to apply the term psychedelic to rock & roll.  Named in tribute to the Velvet Underground number “The Black Angel’s Death Song,” The Black Angels found themselves the spearhead of a new psychedelic revival soon after their formation in 2004.  The band’s carefully crafted blend of melody and noise won over fans of both modern indie rock and old school acid rock, and established it as a major force in underground rock & roll, even starting its own festival in 2008, the still-running Austin Psych Fest.  Opening with the heavy duty headbanger “Evil Things”, the Angels create a dark, brooding mood with their trademark vocal reverb and fuzzy, distorted guitars on a stage complete with fun-house optic, psychedelic images swirling on projection screens.  The Black Angels take the Austin crowd into the psychedelic heart of darkness and back out into the light, proving why they have become one of the foremost acts in the psych and garage rock revival.

“Whether you remember 60’s acid-rock first-hand or this is your first ‘psych’ experience, The Black Angels have taken a classic rock form and turned it into their own,” Lickona says. “It’s got an other-worldly vibe but at the same time it’s totally accessible.”

Check out the episode page here and tune in this Saturday to see the show for yourself. Click over to our Facebook and Twitter pages or our newsletter for the latest ACL skinny. Next week: Americana Music Festival 2013.

Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell continue ACL’s new season

Music legends Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell return to Austin City Limits and share the stage for the first time. The pair celebrate their shared history, their recent collaborative album Old Yellow Moon and the continuing power of the song in a new episode that premieres November 2nd. Check with your local station for showtimes.

Friends for forty years, Harris and Crowell have an entwined four-decade history of music-making. ACL veterans, both artists have each appeared on the program seven times, although this episode marks the first time the pair have performed together on the ACL stage. The Americana icons perform favorites and songs from their acclaimed duets album Old Yellow Moon. The collaboration was chosen as album of the year at this year’s Americana Music Awards and the pair was honored as duo of the year. American Songwriter says of the album, “On Old Yellow Moon, Harris and Crowell embrace the entire range of life and music they’ve experienced, from the reckless passions of youth to the reflectiveness of age, from loose-limbed hillbilly boogies to graceful balladry.”

“It’s great to be back at the world’s greatest and longest-running music show,” says Harris as she takes the ACL stage with Crowell. The breathtaking performance includes the two longtime kindred spirits joining their voices on Crowell originals as well as revivals of songs by Roger Miller, Matraca Berg and Kris Kristofferson. Harris opens with some of her earlier Gram Parsons-era hits, and the duo fast-forwards to a more recent era for Harris’ “Red Dirt Girl” and Crowell’s “Rock of My Soul,” their voices wrapping the songs in the kind of harmonies only old friends can generate. Special guest Shawn Colvin joins in the finale for a spirited take on Crowell’s “Stars On the Water.” The episode celebrates a longtime friendship and collaboration, and the pleasure the two music legends take from singing some of their favorite songs is palpable.

photo by Scott Newton

“Emmylou and Rodney are an important part of the history of ACL – going all the way back practically to the beginning,” says executive producer Terry Lickona. “But it goes deeper than that – they reflect the heart and soul of what ACL is all about. And the two of them together is a perfect example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts!”

Check out the episode page for more details on this great show. Be sure to hit up our Facebook and Twitter pages and our newsletter for more ACL-related information. Next week: Emeli Sande and Michael Kiwanuka.

 

ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2013

Dr. John performs at the 2013 Americana Music Festival

ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2013, reflects the breadth of the genre’s musical reach with star-studded performances recorded live at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Performances by legends Stephen Stills, Duane Eddy, and Dr. John anchored the evening, while upstarts such as John Fullbright and The Milk Carton Kids  gave mesmerizing performances that looked to the future of the genre. Two of Americana’s most prolific and vocal forebears – Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell kick off the program, celebrating their collaborative album “Old Yellow Moon.”

“We might very well not be here, as a genre and as an association, were it not for Emmy and Rodney,” said Jed Hilly, Executive Director of the Americana Music Association. “That we are celebrating them tonight not for the work they did 35 years ago, but for the work they did this year…speaks volumes about where we’re headed. What an amazing night.”

Another duo deeply dedicated to roots music–Charleston, South Carolina’s Shovels & Rope turn in an energetic performance of ”Birmingham” from their 2012 “O’ Be Joyful” album. Holly Williams, Hank Williams’s granddaughter joins the house band on her grandfather’s classic “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison, themselves forebears of Americana and representatives of its Texas contingency, performed “Border Radio” from this year’s “Cheater’s Game” album. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dr. John–a purveyor of American roots music forms that have included the blues, jazz, zydeco, and rock and roll for over 50 years–is joined by Dan Auerbach (the producer of Dr. John’s “Locked Down” album and a member of The Black Keys) before taking to the piano to perform a blistering version of “I Walk on Gilded Splinters.”

Other highlights of the night include Old Crow Medicine Show performing its now-classic “Wagon Wheel,” a song composed by the band’s Ketch Secor from an unfinished Bob Dylan lyrical sketch. Miller and Lauderdale stepped out of their respective band leading and hosting duties to perform their own “Train that Carried My Girl From Town,” from this year’s “Buddy & Jim” release.

The evening’s house band led by Miller, included Don Was, Larry Campbell, Marco Giovino, John Deaderick, Jim Hoke and the McCrary Sisters.

New taping: Sarah Jarosz and The Milk Carton Kids

Austin City Limits is proud to announce a new taping on November 10, featuring singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Sarah Jarosz and folk duo The Milk Carton Kids.

Sarah Jarosz first appeared on ACL in 2010, supporting her debut album Song Up in Her Head. Though only 18 at the time, the Wimberly resident already had nearly a decade of performing experience under her belt, starting as a bluegrass prodigy but quickly expanding her horizons to include folk, jazz and pop. “I never became a bluegrass snob,” she told Texas Music. “ I was always open to everything.” Following her rising star turn on ACL, she left Austin to attend the New England Conservatory, releasing her second LP Follow Me Down along the way. Now graduated with honors from the Conservatory, Jarosz moved to New York City and dedicated herself to pushing the limits of her art, as her new record Build Me Up From Bones asserts. “Jarosz makes music that’s all over the spectrum,” noted PopMatters, “but puts her own imprint on it through her distinctive style.” All Music Guide declares that the album “reflects not only her growth as a songwriter but her willingness to push the boundaries of country, folk, and Americana to discover connections not necessarily considered before.” Join us to witness this exciting young artist’s evolution.

photo by Andrew Paynter

Flat-picking harmony duo The Milk Carton Kids have emerged in the last three years as a powerful voice defining the continuing folk tradition. A refreshing alternative to the foot-stomping grandeur of the so-called “folk revival,” an understated virtuosity defines The Milk Carton Kids to the delight of traditionalists and newcomers to the folk movement alike. Indeed, Garrison Keillor has called them “absolute geniuses in close-harmony,” while cultural purveyors like T Bone Burnett and Billy Bragg continue to refer the importance of The Milk Carton Kids among a group of new folk bands expanding and contradicting the rich tradition that comes before them. The Los Angeles Times lauds their latest Anti- Records release The Ash & Clay as displaying “absolute mastery of their craft” while Paste emphasizes the “intellectual sophistication of their songs, making The Milk Carton Kids an option for purists unsatisfied with some of the pop tendencies seeping in to the genre.” This young new duo caught ACL’s eye performing as nominee for Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2013 Americana Music Awards. We hope you join us to see why The Milk Carton Kids are getting our attention, too.

Information on passes to this show will appear here. We hope to see you there!

 

The Lumineers and Shovels & Rope keep Austin City Limits’ new season rolling

Austin City Limits celebrates the best in Americana music today, with The Lumineers and Shovels & Rope making their ACL debuts. Denver’s Lumineers perform their breakthrough hits including “Ho Hey” and “Stubborn Love,” while Charleston, South Carolina’s Shovels & Rope perform songs from their acclaimed debut O’ Be Joyful. The new episode, part of ACL’s just-launched Season 39, premieres October 19th.

The broadcast offers a deeper look at two acts that have been receiving well-deserved attention for their recent releases. Leading off the hour is The Lumineers, a folk-rock trio that play traditional but original heart-on-the-sleeve music. Of the band The Austin Chronicle writes, “There’s nothing precious or affected here, just three dedicated artists opening their hearts.” The group’s breakthrough hit “Ho Hey” was one of the most-played songs of 2012, earning them a performing slot on 2013′s Grammy Awards telecast, in addition to two Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Best Americana Album. The Lumineers’ uplifting ACL debut is filled with heart-swelling stomp-and-clap acoustic rock, classic pop and front-porch folk. Their set includes an inspired take on a Dylan classic, while the tambourine driven beat of “Ho Hey” brings the crowd to its feet and the performance closes with a crowd sing-along on “Stubborn Love.”

“There’s more to The Lumineers than just the song that seemed to have the whole world singing along to this year,” notes executive producer Terry Lickona. “There aren’t many bands that can engage an audience the way they do, and watching their ACL performance is the next best thing to being there.”

photo by Scott Newton

The second half of the episode introduces Shovels & Rope, the husband and wife roots duo of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst. The dynamic pair channel country, bluegrass and blues to create folk music with raw energy. The NY Times raves, “While they are country, there is an edgy, punk, raucous side to go with their beautiful harmonies.” NPR agrees, “Seeing Hearst and Trent perform live together—as they conjure images of country-singing couples like Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash—renders them almost impossible to resist.” The first-time nominees were big winners at this year’s recent Americana Music Awards, taking home top honors for Emerging Artist of the Year and Song of the Year. The couple’s creative chemistry is on display in their ACL debut, an irresistible performance that’s a potent mix of Southern gothic and country rock and deftly showcases their soulful harmonies.

“It doesn’t get more basic than Shovels & Rope,” says Lickona, “but they rock out more than a stage full of musicians, and there’s something refreshingly authentic about their live performance that just makes you feel good.”