Nickel Creek

Nickel Creek ©KLRU photo by Scott Newton

With mulitple Grammy Awards and multi-platinum record sales, Nickel Creek creates “songs bursting with exuberant instrumental interplay and hair-raising harmonies” (Rolling Stone). The recently reunited Americana trio return with their first new music in nine years and for their third appearance on Austin City Limits.

Mandolinist Chris Thile (who also visited us with Punch Brothers and as part of Dolly Parton’s backup band), guitarist Sean Watkins and violinist Sara Watkins (who recently appeared on the show with the Decemberists) came together as Nickel Creek in the late 80s when they were pre-teens, becoming a bluegrass sensation with a pair of albums released just a few years later. The band truly came into its own with its Alison Krauss-produced third and fourth records, Nickel Creek and This Side, which helped forge its distinctive bluegrass/roots/pop identity.

Following 2005′s Why Should the Fire Die? and 2007′s Farewell (For Now) tour, the trio took a few years off to work on individual solo careers and side projects. 2014 brought the surprise announcement of a reunion and a new album, with A Dotted Line and its subsequent tour coinciding with the band’s 25th anniversary. Paste wrote, “Nickel Creek has grown without losing its palpable joy or wondrous ability to make musicianship as accessible as the engaging way their voices draw listeners to them.” NPR says A Dotted Line “naturally relfects its members’ creatively ambitious recent pursuits…As with everything the band does, it blends playful lightness with remarkable musical chops.”

ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2014

Americana Music Festival & Conference Award Show - Show, Audience & Backstage

Austin City Limits heads to Nashville for a special broadcast featuring performance highlights from this year’s Americana Honors & Awards. ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2014 premieres this weekend on PBS and delivers a stellar line-up of artists celebrating the best of Americana music today. Recorded live at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium in September, The Americana Music Association’s 13th Annual Honors & Awards ceremony, hosted by Americana stalwart Jim Lauderdale is a star-studded affair reflecting the magnitude of the genre’s reach. The performance-filled episode features the night’s Lifetime Achievement Honorees, award-winners, Americana’s rising stars and icons who helped define the genre; among them: Loretta Lynn, Jackson Browne, Jason Isbell, Rosanne Cash, Sturgill Simpson, Patty Griffin, Robert Plant, Flaco Jimenez, Ry Cooder and Taj Mahal.

Country legend Loretta Lynn, awarded the Lifetime Achievement Honor for Songwriter, performs her signature “Coal Miner’s Daughter” on the same stage where she made her Ryman debut in 1962. Veteran singer/songwriter/activist Jackson Browne, recipient of a Spirit of Americana award, performs a new song, the social wake-up call “The Long Way Around.” Tejano accordionist and Lifetime Achievement Honoree Flaco Jimenez dazzles with his trademark norteño music accompanied by longtime collaborator, guitarist extraordinaire Ry Cooder. Genre-defying bluesman Taj Mahal demonstrates how he earned a Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance with a show-stopping “Statesboro Blues.”

Award-winners and nominees also perform, led by Jason Isbell, who took top honors with wins for Artist of the Year and Album of the Year; he gives a stunning reading of his Song of the Year “Cover Me Up” from 2013’s landmark album Southeastern. Duo/Group winners The Milk Carton Kids, a Los Angeles-based acoustic folk duo, delight with their signature two guitar style. Singer/songwriter and multiple nominee Rosanne Cash performs “A Feather’s Not a Bird” from her critically lauded recent release The River and The Thread. Americana veteran Patty Griffin gives a beautiful rendition of her hit “Ohio,” joined in blended harmony by music icon and frequent collaborator Robert Plant.

Inspired turns by some of the genre’s newest innovators include Oklahoman singer/songwriter Parker Millsap, blues shapeshifter and Tennessee native Valerie June and dynamic Alabama soul outfit St. Paul and The Broken Bones, who bring the Ryman audience to its feet with a roof-raising performance.  Emerging Artist winner and Nashville rebel Sturgill Simpson closes out the show with a standout rendition of his song “Life of Sin,” forecasting the future of American roots music.

Throughout the broadcast, the performers are backed by the Americana All-Stars, the evening’s ace house band. Led by musical director Buddy Miller, also named Instrumentalist of the Year, the ensemble features Don Was, Joachim Cooder, Tim Lauer, Nashville gospel group The McCrary Sisters and Americana trailblazer Ry Cooder. Viewers will find it hard to remain on their couches as the band heats up the Willie Dixon classic “You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover,” joined by emcee Jim Lauderdale.

“If there was a heat sensor for creativity pointed at the planet earth, the Americana Honors & Awards would be RED HOT on the gradient chart,” says Americana Music Association Executive Director Jed Hilly, adding “it’s truly humbling to host this event and we are honored to partner with the best in the land, Austin City Limits, to present the program for PBS viewers.”

ACL Presents: Americana 2014 Tool Kit

Promotional Tool Kit for ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2014

General info:
ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2014 airs on PBS Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 8pm CT. Please message to fans that they should check their local PBS listings for air dates and times in their area, as it varies across the country. http://acltv.com/watch/tv-schedule/

PBS Program description:
Select performances from the Americana Music Festival in Nashville, including Loretta Lynn, Jackson Browne, Rosanne Cash, Jason Isbell, Flaco JImenez and many more.

Images from this program can be found here:
http://acltv.com/press-room-photos/
password is: unlimited
If you do not find an image that suits your needs, please email Emily at ebolf@klru.org for other images – we will be happy to find one that works for you.

These performances were recorded on September 17, 2014 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN.

Link to where someone can find out when Austin City Limits airs in their market:
http://acltv.com/watch/tv-schedule/

We will promote the episode on our homepage from November 16-27th. http://acltv.com

Link to the ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2014 page on the Austin City Limits site (includes photos, video, poster, taping set list, etc. from all episodes they have appeared in):
http://acltv.com/artist/acl-presents-americana-music-festival-2014/

Link to the episode page on the Austin City Limits site (includes episode setlist, etc.):
http://acltv.com/episode/season-40/acl-presents-americana-music-festival-2014/

Video links:

Rosanne Cash “Feather’s Not a Bird”
http://video.pbs.org/video/2365372229/

Sturgill Simpson “Life of Sin”

Loretta Lynn “Coalminer’s Daughter”

Jackson Browne “The Long Way Around”

Jason Isbell “Cover Me Up”

Those videos (other than the interview) are available and will be featured on our program page on the PBS video platform.
http://video.pbs.org/program/austin-city-limits/

The full episode will be available to stream online beginning the night of the broadcast (8pm CT) for four consecutive weeks. You can find the specific episode link here once it’s available: http://video.pbs.org/program/austin-city-limits/

Social Media:
We will post videos, images, and more in the week leading up to November 22nd. We will tag artists and @americanafest in our posts; please share and retweet whenever possible. We are more than happy to coordinate with you when posting, sharing, RT-ing, etc.
Austin City Limits Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/austincitylimitstv
Twitter page for Austin City Limits: https://twitter.com/acltv
Instagram account: http://instagram.com/acltv
(Please use hashtag #acltv40 on Twitter so we can re-tweet you.)

Sample Facebook Post (please tag Austin City Limits and PBS in your posts):

ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2014 airs this weekend on PBS [tag]! For videos and photos: http://acltv.com/artist/acl-presents-americana-music-festival-2014/ For local air dates and times: http://bit.ly/Qfezt3

Twitter posts:

ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2014 airs this weekend http://ow.ly/EytW8. Check your @PBS local stations & times.

REMINDER: ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2014 airs TONIGHT on @PBS. For air times & stations check here: http://bit.ly/Qfezt3

(Tweet this after 11/22/14):

Stream ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2014 for a limited time! http://to.pbs.org/w4U2YO

Eric Church makes his ACL Season 40 debut

Austin City Limits proudly presents an hour with country sensation Eric Church. Church has blazed his own trail to superstardom and now makes his ACL debut with his signature brand of no-holds-barred country music.

Famous for a game-changing live show, Church performs songs from his critically-acclaimed, chart-topping 2014 album The Outsiders in his ACL debut.  The music rebel’s distinctively hard-rocking spin on country, influenced as much by AC/DC and Metallica as Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings, has earned him a huge audience outside the confines of country radio.  Church appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone this year and was named one of their “50 Greatest Live Acts Right Now.” NPR raves, “Eric Church is working on a level that few other country artists of his generation can touch.”

“This is gonna be fun,” says the North Carolina native, clearly enjoying his first visit to the ACL stage. Church’s appearance is a twelve-song tour-de-force that presents the performer at the top of his game. Delivering a host of hits in his trademark aviators, Church’s crowd-pleasing set is filled with anthems about youth, family and outliers that ignite through songwriting skill, powerful riffs and energetic vocals. Highlights include the rebellious “The Outsiders”, the autobiographical title track “Sinners Like Me” from his 2006 debut and the Grammy-nominated anthem “Springsteen” from his 2011 breakthrough Chief, with the Austin audience providing the “whoa-ohs” of the chorus. Church brings it all home solo, showcasing his softer side with the heartfelt set-closing ballad “A Man Who Was Gonna Die Young.”

“Eric and his band know how to rock harder than many rock ‘n roll bands,” says ACL executive producer Terry Lickona, “and his music and the words behind it have a way of reaching fans way beyond the usual borders of country music. He’s a perfect fit for ACL.”

photo by Scott Newton

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 as ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2014.

 

ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2014

Loretta Lynn - Getty Images for the Americana Music Association

For the fourth year in a row, ACL Presents heads to Nashville to bring you performance highlights from the annual Americana Music Festival. Reflecting its “spirit of eclecticism” (New York Times), The Americana Music Association has curated an impressive list of legendary performers including Loretta Lynn, Flaco Jimenez, Taj Mahal and Jackson Browne, backed by house bandleader Buddy Miller and an all-star crew of musicians. Patty Griffin & Robert Plant, Jason Isbell, Parker Millsap, Rosanne Cash, Ry Cooder, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Sturgill Simpson, The Milk Carton Kids and Valerie June all perform songs that were the recognized as

The 13th Annual Honors & Awards Show was held at the historic Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday, September 17, was hosted by Jim Lauderdale and featured a house band led by Buddy Miller that includes Don Was, Joachim Cooder, Tim Lauer, The McCrary Sisters and legend Ry Cooder. For more on the festival and the Americana Music Association, visit americanamusic.org.

ACL Season 40 continues with Ed Sheeran and Valerie June

Austin City Limits continues its milestone 40th season with two innovative singer-songwriters: UK sensation Ed Sheeran and rising star Valerie June. Ed Sheeran makes his ACL debut in a must-see episode that features the breakout star performing his entire set solo. Sheeran exudes the raw talent that has made him a worldwide superstar, with charged versions of hits from his landmark debut and new songs from the chart-topping follow-up release. Acclaimed Southern singer-songwriter Valerie June shares the bill, making a captivating ACL debut with her starry-eyed roots music.

Ed Sheeran brings his A-game in his ACL debut, with a remarkable one-man solo performance that demonstrates why he’s one of music’s most popular live performers.  Clad in an ACL t-shirt, the 23 year-old three-time Grammy nominee performs his  breakthrough hits “The A Team,” “Lego House” and songs from his new release x.  With an acoustic guitar and a loop pedal as his only accompaniment, Sheeran creates a perfectly balanced mix of hip-hop and acoustic balladry. He showcases the honest songwriting and vocals that have earned him legions of fans across the globe.  Closing out the crowd-pleasing set, Sheeran leads the rapturous audience in an epic sing-along of his hit “Sing,” with the Austin crowd still chanting as Sheeran leaves the stage.

Striking Southern singer-songwriter Valerie June makes her first appearance on the ACL stage performing songs from her luminous debut Pushin’ Against a Stone. The Washington Post raves of the release: “Shades of Nina Simone, Dolly Parton and blueswomen of decades past flicker throughout; you can easily picture it crackling out from a timeworn record player.” The Tennessee native’s heartfelt sound and beautifully timeless voice have earned her critical raves and a 2014 Americana Awards nomination for emerging artist. With one foot in country blues, the other in mountain folk music and her head in the stars, June and her band conjure a distinctive brand of genre-blending that she calls “organic moonshine roots music” for a memorable ACL debut.

photo by Scott Newton

“In some ways, Ed Sheeran and Valerie June are as different as night and day,” says ACL Executive Producer Terry Lickona, “but they are both distinctly original in their music. Through their intimately personal songs and unique onstage personas, they represent everything that Austin City Limits is all about.”

Tune in this Saturday 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 goodies. Next week: Nine Inch Nails.

The return of the Avett Brothers

Last night we welcomed the The Avett Brothers back to the Austin City Limits stage in a triumphant return to the show. Fresh from their appearance at the ACL Music Festival, the band was greeted by enthusiastic fans eagerly waiting to hear them and sing along.  Since the band first appeared on the show in 2009, they have been busy writing and recording back-to-back Rick Rubin-produced albums The Carpenter (which received a Grammy nomination for Best Americana Album) and Magpie and the Dandelion.

As the band opened with the romantic folk rocker “Live and Die,” there was a clear difference between this band and the one that visited in Season 35, and not just because of the addition of a drummer, keyboardist and fiddler. The ragged, nervous energy of the first show has been replaced by a different vibe, one of confidence and the professionalism that comes from having played hundreds, if not thousands, of shows to people all over the world. The energy level was just as high as last time, but this time the band focused its power, giving the frisky folk tune “The Fall,” the piano anthem “Head Full of Doubt, Heart Full of Promise” and the giddy folk rocker “Satan Pulls the Strings” a blazing vitality that was infectious. Not that the audience needed much prodding – even lower key tunes like “Life” and “Rejects in the Attic” garnered cheers before they’d barely started.

As good as the band was with newer tunes, it was on older songs like “Slight Figure of Speech” and “Kick Drum Heart,” both transformed into rock anthems, that proved explosive. The band ended the show with an especially peppy take on George Jones’ “The Race is On,” on which the septet bounced all over the stage, before coming down with the lovely “November Blue” from their very first LP. The crowd went wild as their heroes left the stage, and we’re sure you’ll go wild as well when we broadcast this episode early next year on your PBS station.

Encore: Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell

This weekend, music legends Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell return to Austin City Limits and share the stage to celebrate their shared history, their collaborative album Old Yellow Moon and the continuing power of the song.

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!”

Hit up the episode page for more info and don’t forget to follow ACL via Facebook, Twitter or our newsletter. Next week: The Head and the Heart and Gomez.