Miguel and Alessia Cara spotlight contemporary R&B and pop in ACL’s 44th season

Austin City Limits presents an uplifting hour showcasing two standouts from the worlds of contemporary R&B and pop: Grammy Award-winning R&B phenom Miguel and hitmaker Alessia Cara in their ACL debuts. Miguel performs cuts from his acclaimed album War & Leisure and Alessia Cara, the 2018 Grammy Award-winning Best New Artist, shines with mega-hits and new songs.  

“I’ve watched many episodes of ACL and to be on this stage, this legendary stage, and share it with you tonight means the world to me,” says Miguel from behind his fringe-covered mic stand.  Los Angeles-raised, with black and Latino roots, the singer-songwriter—born Miguel Jontel Pimentel—is one of the most adventurous voices in contemporary R&B. A magnetic performer, he sends a message of love through a soaring set that inspires sing-alongs to his biggest hits.   Opening with fan-favorite “How Many Drinks?” from his 2012 breakthrough Kaleidoscope Dream, Miguel moves across the stage with style, showcasing his signature falsetto.  He delivers a solo acoustic version of the social consciousness anthem “Now,” saying, “I can’t think of a better time or more fitting place to sing this song…now is the time when we have to stop looking at other people for the answers and every day take a moment to do something ourselves to move things in a positive direction.”  Miguel closes out the thrilling set with his euphoric smash “Sky Walker,” chanting the refrain “You gotta stay up!” as the willing Austin audience is on their feet.

22-year-old pop breakout star Alessia Cara earned the coveted Grammy Award for Best New Artist this year,  and delivers a crowd-pleasing set of her irresistible songs in a sparkling ACL debut. The Toronto native catapulted onto the charts in late 2015 with her spellbinding smash “Here,” from her platinum debut album KNOW-IT-ALL.  Cara performs the number in her ACL set, saying “This is the first song I ever released, and it changed my life, so sing along,” even dropping a bonus new verse on the eager audience.  The vocal stunner performs show-stopping versions of the mega-hits that have earned her legions of fans, including her emotional ode to self-love, “Scars To Your Beautiful,” and “How Far I’ll Go” from the Disney blockbuster Moana.  Her band exits the stage as she dons an acoustic guitar for a soulful solo performance of her new song “A Little More”.  With smoke effects and flying confetti, Cara closes the set with an ecstatic rendition of her #1 pop collaboration with renowned DJ/producer Zedd, “Stay,” sparking an instant crowd sing-along as she playfully urges the enthralled ACL crowd to jump along.

photo by Scott Newton

“Miguel and Alessia Cara represent the best of a new generation of contemporary singer-songwriters,” said ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “Rather than wallow in self-pity or self-indulgence, their songs aren’t afraid to confront the challenges and realities of life today, but always with hope for a better world.”

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. Join us next week for a brand new episode featuring Americana stars Kacey Musgraves and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real.

Austin City Limits, KLRU and Emmis Austin bring you Austin City Limits Radio today!

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Emmis Austin Radio announced today that KGSR has been reborn as Austin City Limits Radio, the result of a multi-year licensing agreement with Austin City Limits Enterprises, LLC. The new station offers a bold genre-jumping playlist based on the Austin City Limits brand’s legendary aesthetic. Austin City Limits Radio officially launches at 5pm CDT today and will air on 93.3 FM, 97.1 FM, and at ACL-Radio.com, and will kick-off with a live broadcast from Austin’s Arlyn Studios. Mayor Steve Adler will ceremoniously pull the switch signaling the changeover and “Whiskey River,” the first song performed by Willie Nelson on the pilot episode of Austin City Limits in 1974, will be the first song played on Austin City Limits Radio.

Tom Gimbel, General Manager of Austin City Limits says “The Austin City Limits brand has been built on integrity and a commitment to showcasing the very best in music – whether to our weekly public television audience, at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, or at a concert at ACL Live at The Moody Theater.  It’s exciting to see ACL take this very natural next step by extending into radio. To partner with another of Austin’s great music beacons in KGSR, one with a 28-year history in the market, is an incredible opportunity to enrich our local airwaves and serve the Austin community.”

Listeners to Austin City Limits Radio can expect to hear artists ranging from Willie Nelson to Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran to Kacey Musgraves, and Radiohead to Gary Clark Jr.

Emily Parker, Program Director of Austin City Limits Radio 93.3 and 97.1 KGSR commented, “The concept of basing a radio format on the rich history of the ACL TV show, the tastemakers at ACL Festival and ACL Live, and the curators of KGSR’s iconic radio station are what allowed us to develop this one-of-a-kind authentic Austin brand. The premise of Austin City Limits Radio is one that reflects how people actually listen to music in the on-demand digital age. There will be no format limits. Just as our audience’s personal playlists may include everything from Alternative to Pop, Country to Hip Hop, and everything in between, so will the music mix we craft on ACL Radio.”

Austin City Limits Radio will continue to produce KGSR’s signature events, including Blues On The Green™, Unplugged At The Grove™ and live broadcasts from South By Southwest™ and The Austin City Limits Music Festival™. Community is at the core of Austin City Limits Radio and the tradition of KGSR, which was recognized earlier this year by the National Association of Broadcasters with the prestigious Crystal Radio Award for community service, honoring the station’s longstanding commitment to raise funds and awareness for a variety of causes, such as the Health Alliance For Austin Musicians (HAAM), Austin Disaster Relief Network, The Seton Fund, Make-a-Wish, Austin Parks Foundation, and Communities in Schools.

Scott Gillmore, Senior Vice President and Market Manager of Emmis Austin Radio, who was the original General Manager for KGSR when it debuted in 1990 notes, “This unprecedented and innovative licensing agreement with a local radio station brand and a national, even international brand like Austin City Limits is groundbreaking. But it made sense. KGSR and Austin City Limits are two of the most beloved music brands in Austin. Just as Austin has grown and evolved, so has Austin City Limits – and now KGSR will join in that evolution. We will be playing music and serving the Austin community in new ways with new partners. We couldn’t be more excited!”

On Saturday, September 8, at noon CDT, Austin City Limits Radio 93.3 and 97.1 KGSR will air its inaugural live performance from The Dell Music Lounge, a four-song acoustic set from Leon Bridges. This broadcast will mark the first artist to officially have performed on all Austin City Limits branded outlets – the Austin City Limits Television Show, Austin City Limits Music Festival, ACL Live at the Moody Theater, and now Austin City Limits Radio.

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ABOUT EMMIS AUSTIN RADIO

Austin City Limits Radio 93.3 and 97.1 KGSR is part of Emmis Austin Radio – which owns and operates seven uniquely Austin radio stations including Austin City Limits Radio 93.3 and 97.1 KGSR, 93.7 KLBJ-FM, 101X, Latino 102.7, 103.5 BOB-FM, 107.1 La Z, and NewsRadio KLBJ 590AM & 99.7FM.  Emmis Austin Radio also offers two more locally-programmed HD Radio music channels in Austin: heavy metal “No Control Radio” at 93.3 HD-3 and dance, MEGA at 103.5 HD-2.

ABOUT AUSTIN CITY LIMITS ENTERPRISES

The acclaimed, award-winning Austin City Limits (ACL) is the longest-running music program in television history and remains the only TV series to ever be awarded the National Medal of Arts. Since its inception in 1974, the groundbreaking music series has become an institution that’s helped secure Austin’s reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World. Austin City Limits (ACL) offers viewers unparalleled access to featured acts in an intimate setting that provides a platform for artists to deliver inspired, memorable, full-length performances. The program is taped live before a concert audience from The Moody Theater in downtown Austin.  The historic KLRU Studio 6A, home to 36 years of ACL concerts, has been designated an official Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Landmark. In 2011, ACL moved to the new venue ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. ACL received a rare institutional Peabody Award for excellence and outstanding achievement in 2012.  Austin City Limits is produced by KLRU-TV, Austin PBS.  Learn more about Austin City Limits, programming and history at acltv.com.

ABOUT KLRU-TV, AUSTIN PBS
KLRU-TV, Austin PBS is dedicated to telling stories that entertain, inspire and change our lives. KLRU highlights what makes Austin unique — whether music, arts or public issues — by creating and distributing award-winning original content. In addition to Austin City Limits, KLRU also produces Arts In Context, Central Texas Gardener, and Overheard with Evan Smith for PBS stations across the nation. We also create online-first projects like Decibel, KLRU’s news and public affairs initiative. As a nonprofit educational organization, KLRU also prepares children to succeed in school and creates lifelong learning opportunities for all. Find out more at KLRU.org.

Austin City Limits announces lineup for Season 44

Austin City Limits announces a new season premiering October 6 with an an epic hour featuring innovative art-rock performer St. Vincent. ACL, officially the longest-running music program in television history, has provided viewers with a front-row seat to the best in performance for over 40 years, and continues its legendary run showcasing more stars, innovators and highly-anticipated debuts. The series airs weekly on PBS stations nationwide and full episodes are made available online for a limited time at pbs.org/austincitylimits immediately following the initial broadcast.

Austin City Limits returns to PBS on Saturday, October 6 at 9pm ET/8pm CT (check local listings) beginning Season 44 with the promise of another year of musical trailblazers and vanguards. This season features—among many—the amazing St. Vincent, in a visually and sonically stunning hour, and songwriting legend John Prine—making his eighth ACL appearance —showcasing his acclaimed new release and gems from his catalogue. A number of artists return including singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile, who delivers a crowd-pleasing performance in a radiant hour; worldwide superstar Sam Smith who brings along mega-hits and some new songs from his sophomore release; and boundary-pushing country artist Kacey Musgraves, who shines while sharing the stories behind her songs. Austin City Limits continues its legacy of spotlighting music’s finest with debut appearances from Grammy-winning R&B star Miguel alongside the 2018 Grammy Awards Best New Artist Alessia Cara, along with standout singer-songwriters: soul/R&B singer Anderson East and roots rocker Lukas Nelson.

“The key to ACL’s marathon success story is our commitment to the best, most original music being created,” says longtime ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “No matter what gender, genre, style or era, we have always delivered a remarkable mix of compelling, heartfelt, and groundbreaking performers. Season 44 delivers on that promise once again.”

Season 44 Fall Broadcast Schedule (additional episodes to be announced):

Oct. 6   St. Vincent

Oct. 13 John Prine

Oct. 20 Sam Smith / Anderson East

Oct. 27 Brandi Carlile

Nov. 3   Miguel / Alessia Cara

Nov. 10 Kacey Musgraves / Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real

The complete line-up for the full 14-week season, including eight new episodes to air beginning December 31, 2018, will be announced at a later date. Austin City Limits continues to offer its popular livestreams of select performances for fans worldwide on ACL’s YouTube Channel. Viewers can visit acltv.com for news regarding livestreams, future tapings and episode schedules.

ACL artists at the 2016 Grammys

The nominations for the 58th Annual Grammy Awards are out now, and we’re pleased to see that a number of Austin City Limits’ distinguished guests have received top honors. Congratulations to Kendrick Lamar with eleven nominations: Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song (twice), Best Rap Album, Best Pop/Sung Collaboration, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, Best Dance Recording and Best Music Video (twice!). Also shout-outs to a number of Season 41 performers receiving well-deserved nominations, including Alabama Shakes, nominated for Album of the Year, Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, Best Alternative Music Album and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical; Courtney Barnett, for Best New Artist, Angélique Kidjo, for Best World Music Album, Leon Bridges, for Best R&B Album, Don Henley, for Best American Roots Song and James Taylor, for Best Pop Vocal Album.

Kudos as well to the following ACL veterans who landed nominations: Florence + the Machine, John Legend, Ed Sheeran, Punch Brothers, Foo Fighters, Buddy Guy, Bela Fleck, the Mavericks, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Jason Isbell, Death Cab For Cutie, My Morning Jacket, Wilco, Keith Urban, Kacey Musgraves, The Milk Carton Kids, Mavis Staples, Brandi Carlile, Lee Ann Womack, Hayes Carll, Ralph Stanley, Shemekia Copeland, Bettye LaVette, Patty Griffin, Glen Hansard of the Swell Season, Rhiannon Giddens and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Congratulations to them all.

Go here to see in what categories all these artists are nominated, as well as all the nominees.

Stay tuned to ACL to catch stellar performances from some of these fine folks in action in the coming weeks – Alabama Shakes kick off the second half of our Season 41 with a return appearance on January 2, Kendrick Lamar on January 9, Angélique Kidjo on January 23, Leon Bridges on February 6 and Ed Sheeran on February 27.

And don’t forget – our own executive producer Terry Lickona is also co-producer of the Grammy telecast, as well as the former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Recording Academy, the Grammys’ parent organization. The Grammy Awards broadcast on February 15th – Good luck to Terry and all the nominees!

Encore: Sarah Jarosz and The Milk Carton Kids

Join us this weekend as we present Americana music originals Sarah Jarosz and The Milk Carton Kids in a brand new episode. Both artists showcase their bona fides in an all acoustic hour with roots/folk singer-songwriter Jarosz making a return appearance on the ACL stage and newcomers The Milk Carton Kids in their ACL debut. The episode showcases the young folk acts who were both nominated for Best Folk Album at this year’s Grammy Awards.

Pushing the limits of Americana with her own distinctive style, multi-instrumentalist Sarah Jarosz takes the ACL stage for her second appearance performing highlights from her recent album Build Me Up From Bones. The incredibly talented Jarosz has already released three albums at the age of 22. With her two-piece band featuring a fiddle player and cello, Jarosz begins a stellar set with the Grammy-nominated title track in an acoustic performance that showcases her musicianship and songwriting. Switching between mandolin and banjo, Jarosz also dips into the songbooks of others, treating the audience to an accessible take on Joanna Newsom’s “The Book of Right On” and a solo rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Kathy’s Song”. She invites The Milk Carton Kids out to join her and the band for “Annabelle Lee” (based on an Edgar Allen Poe poem), displaying their complementary visions of contemporary folk music.

“We are so proud of Sarah, we feel like she’s part of the family,” says ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “The last time she graced our stage she was on her way to college, now she’s graduated with honors and her remarkable talent has grown exponentially. We couldn’t resist having her back!”

photo by Scott Newton

The Milk Carton Kids, the L.A. acoustic folk duo consisting of Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan, make their ACL debut playing songs from their critically-acclaimed new album The Ash & Clay. The besuited pair “play a sweetly dazzling variation on close-harmony vocals, part Simon and Garfunkel and part Everly Brothers” (LA Times) for a sound NPR calls “gorgeous contemporary folk.” With flat-picking harmonies and a touch of twisted humor, the duo play purely acoustically on the ACL stage—no guitar amplification and one vocal mic—to beautiful effect. In a skillful performance infused with their signature wit, the Kids charm the Austin crowd with their playful, deadpan banter, exquisite guitar work, rich harmonies and timeless folk.

“I first saw Kenneth and Joey perform on the stage of the Ryman Auditorium last September, and it was obvious that they are world-class entertainers beyond their years,” says Lickona. “They are traditionalists with a modern spin and a mischievous sense of humor.”

photo by Scott Newton

Check out the episode page for more details. Be sure and visit our Facebook and Twitter pages or sign up for our newsletter for more ACL goodness. Next week: Kacey Musgraves and Dale Watson.

Encore: Jason Isbell and Neko Case

This weekend ACL features two powerful singer-songwriters: Jason Isbell and Neko Case, each possessing a distinctive style and voice.

Hailed as “one of America’s thoroughbred songwriters” by The New York Times, Jason Isbell opens the episode, making his ACL debut. The Nashville-via-Mussel Shoals, Alabama singer/songwriter’s 2013 album Southeastern scored a Top 25 on the Billboard 200, and critical raves, including topping many critic’s year-end best lists. The New York Times Magazine declared, “the record is a breakthrough for Isbell—prickly with loss, forgiveness, newfound sobriety and second chances.” Rolling Stone calls it “one of the year’s best in any genre,” and Pitchfork raves “Southeastern is easily Isbell’s best solo album.” A former member of acclaimed Southern rock band Drive-By Truckers, Isbell launched a solo career in 2007. Backed by his band the 400 Unit, including his wife, fiddler Amanda Shires, and with a rawness and honesty that’s rare in contemporary songwriting, Isbell gives a stunning must-see performance on the ACL stage.

“It doesn’t happen very often,” said executive producer Terry Lickona, “but when Jason sang ‘Elephant,’ it literally gave me chills. That’s the kind of writer he is, and that’s the kind of performer he is.”

Neko Case makes a thunderous return to ACL (she first appeared in 2003) performing songs from her acclaimed 2013 release The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You, her sixth studio album.  Case emerges from a three-year period the artist describes as full of “grief and mourning,” in the wake of the deaths of not just both her parents, but several intimates as well. With her fearless songwriting and musical curiosity, Neko Case captures fans with “one of the most memorable and seductive voices in music” (NPR).  Pitchfork says The Worse Things Get… “is the most potent album of her career,” and Rolling Stone raves that Case is “one of America’s best and most ambitious songwriters.” Case performs a captivating set of songs from the new record, and a few gems from her recent releases.

photo by Scott Newton

“There’s something about that voice, but it’s also about the delivery – which makes this performance that much more special,” said Lickona. “Her television performances are few and far between, so this is one that’s not to be missed!”

Check out the episode page for more details. Don’t forget, you can click over to our Facebook, Twitter and newsletter pages for more ACL goodies. Next week: Kacey Musgraves and Dale Watson.

Sarah Jarosz and The Milk Carton Kids folk out in ACL’s new season

Join us this weekend as we present Americana music originals Sarah Jarosz and The Milk Carton Kids in a brand new episode. Both artists showcase their bona fides in an all acoustic hour with roots/folk singer-songwriter Jarosz making a return appearance on the ACL stage and newcomers The Milk Carton Kids in their ACL debut. The episode showcases the young folk acts who were both nominated for Best Folk Album at this year’s Grammy Awards.

Pushing the limits of Americana with her own distinctive style, multi-instrumentalist Sarah Jarosz takes the ACL stage for her second appearance performing highlights from her recent album Build Me Up From Bones. The incredibly talented Jarosz has already released three albums at the age of 22. With her two-piece band featuring a fiddle player and cello, Jarosz begins a stellar set with the Grammy-nominated title track in an acoustic performance that showcases her musicianship and songwriting. Switching between mandolin and banjo, Jarosz also dips into the songbooks of others, treating the audience to an accessible take on Joanna Newsom’s “The Book of Right On” and a solo rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Kathy’s Song”. She invites The Milk Carton Kids out to join her and the band for “Annabelle Lee” (based on an Edgar Allen Poe poem), displaying their complementary visions of contemporary folk music.

“We are so proud of Sarah, we feel like she’s part of the family,” says ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “The last time she graced our stage she was on her way to college, now she’s graduated with honors and her remarkable talent has grown exponentially. We couldn’t resist having her back!”

photo by Scott Newton

The Milk Carton Kids, the L.A. acoustic folk duo consisting of Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan, make their ACL debut playing songs from their critically-acclaimed new album The Ash & Clay. The besuited pair “play a sweetly dazzling variation on close-harmony vocals, part Simon and Garfunkel and part Everly Brothers” (LA Times) for a sound NPR calls “gorgeous contemporary folk.” With flat-picking harmonies and a touch of twisted humor, the duo play purely acoustically on the ACL stage—no guitar amplification and one vocal mic—to beautiful effect. In a skillful performance infused with their signature wit, the Kids charm the Austin crowd with their playful, deadpan banter, exquisite guitar work, rich harmonies and timeless folk.

“I first saw Kenneth and Joey perform on the stage of the Ryman Auditorium last September, and it was obvious that they are world-class entertainers beyond their years,” says Lickona. “They are traditionalists with a modern spin and a mischievous sense of humor.”

photo by Scott Newton

Check out the episode page for more details. Be sure and visit our Facebook and Twitter pages or sign up for our newsletter for more ACL goodness. Next week: Grammy winner Kacey Musgraves and Dale Watson.