Taping recap: ACL Hall of Fame 6th Annual Honors

photo by Gary Miller

Every year the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Honors feels like a homecoming. This year was no exception, with so many friends and family with us to help celebrate. For this year’s sixth Hall of Fame class, we inducted singer/songwriter Shawn Colvin, blues giant Buddy Guy and Texas icon Lyle Lovett, the man who nearly holds the record for the most appearances on the ACL stage (he’s one behind Willie Nelson), and their pals came out to start the party. It was a night to remember. 

Austin drum corps Austin Samba set a festive mood to kick off the evening. KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, CEO & General Manager Bill Stotesbery welcomed the crowd and introduced ACL’s longtime executive producer Terry Lickona. He briefly recapped the show’s iconic history before ceding the stage to the evening’s host, Texas troubadour Robert Earl Keen and the ceremony was quickly underway. 

photo by Gary Miller

Keen introduced the evening’s first inductee – veteran Austinite Shawn Colvin. The legendary Jackson Browne inducted Colvin with a moving speech about her musical history and the genius that has marked it. “He’s my hero,” said Colvin, “and he just inducted me into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame.” She accepted the honor with a heartfelt speech about what Austin and the show have meant to her, before she and Browne took up their acoustic guitars for the lovely “These Four Walls,” which she called a tribute to her town. Following that, Colvin welcomed Wimberley native Sarah Jarosz, who used her mandolin for the classic lick of Colvin’s Grammy-winning smash “Sunny Came Home.” After Jarosz left the stage, Colvin was joined by guitarist Steuart Smith and bassist Larry Klein, both of whom produced records for her, and formed a touring trio with her in the nineties. “This is the first time we’ve played together in 25 years,” she declared, before the threesome nailed a version of her later-period hit “Polaroids.” Jarosz joined the trio for “Diamond in the Rough,” Colvin’s radio breakthrough – which was also enhanced by fellow inductee Lyle Lovett’s surprise appearance on harmony vocals and a thrilling Smith guitar solo. The musicians quit the stage to grand applause. 

photo by Gary Miller

Keen came back onstage to introduce the next inductee: the one and only Buddy Guy. The blues legend was inducted by his old friend and Austin blues icon Jimmie Vaughan, who talked about discovering Guy as a kid from the album Folk Festival of the Blues, and how that put him on the path he’s followed since. “Better late than never!” exclaimed Guy as he accepted his award, garnering a big laugh. The Chicago axeman paid tribute to his own influences – Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Lightnin’ Hopkins – before thanking the audience and his fellow artists for helping to keep the blues alive. Guy and Vaughan then joined the former’s band onstage, launching into “Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues,” one of many signature Buddy Guy tunes. Blues singer Shemekia Copeland came next, duetting with Guy on his latest hit “Cognac,” which made getting tipsy absolutely sensual. One of Guy’s recent mentees, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram then took the stage for a rip through “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” one of the classics from Guy’s own mentor Muddy Waters. Closing out his segment, Guy and Ingram welcomed back Copeland and Vaughan and Guy donned an electric sitar for “Skin Deep,” a deep soul ballad in the style of “Feels Like Rain” that reminded us all that we share more than we differ. 

photo by Gary Miller

After an intermission (which featured another performance from Austin Samba), Keen returned to introduce his old friend Lyle Lovett. Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn surprised the crowd with an unannounced appearance to induct his pal, calling him “a humble maestro,” “the storytelling heir to Faulkner, Rogers and Twain,” speaking eloquently and humorously about the impact his music and friendship has had on his life. After thanking Penn, Lovett delineated how long his history with Austin City Limits goes back, from watching the show since its first season to closing out Studio 6A in 2010, before thanking the show and his family – his mother was in attendance. Then Lovett announced seminal Texas songwriter, and key Lovett influence, Willis Alan Ramsey, who sang, with help from the large band, his friend’s anthem “If I Had a Boat.” Dallas native Edie Brickell was next, taking on Lovett’s tart country ballad “I Loved You Yesterday.” The maestro himself came back onstage, thanking his crew and the Large Band, before paring the latter down to fiddler Luke Bulla, mandolinist Keith Sewell and bassist Viktor Krauss for “12th of June,” inspired by his family past and present. The Large Band returned and Lovett welcomed Keen back to the stage to sing “This Old Porch,” a song the pair of them wrote nearly 40 years ago – a fitting tribute to enduring friendships and a long-running career. Keen then invited the other inductees and guests on stage for the final song. Lovett took the opportunity to introduce the large band, including his longtime backup singer Francine Reed, who garnered the biggest round of applause.

photo by Gary Miller

Then it was time for the closing number – “That’s Right, You’re Not From Texas,” one of Lovett’s most famous songs and one perfect for a chorus of famous backup singers. The audience went wild as streamers came down from the ceiling, as another successful Hall of Fame taping came to a close. We can’t wait for you to see it when it airs as a special New Year’s broadcast on your local PBS station. 

Edie Brickell Joins ACL Hall of Fame All-Star Line-up

photo by Todd Crusham

We are celebrating our sold-out sixth annual Austin City Limits Hall of Fame this Thursday, October 24, honoring three music greats: Buddy Guy, Shawn Colvin and Lyle Lovett. We have a few last-minute changes to our guest performers line-up: we are thrilled to announce that singer/songwriter Edie Brickell will be joining the all-star line-up featuring Jackson Browne, Shemekia Copeland, Jimmie Vaughan, Sarah Jarosz, Willis Alan Ramsey, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram and host Robert Earl Keen for an evening of one-of-a-kind performances, unannounced surprises and collaborations from music’s finest.  

We also regret to announce that Bruce Hornsby will not be able to join us due to a family illness.  

The ACL Hall of Fame Inductions & Celebration will be held at ACL’s studio home, ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin on October 24 at 7:30pm.  Musical highlights and inductions from the celebration will air on PBS as a special Austin City Limits New Year’s broadcast.

Following the multi-platinum success of her landmark debut album with New Bohemians, Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars, and the follow-up Ghost of a Dog, Edie Brickell went on to a flourishing solo writing and recording career. The title track from Brickell’s 13-song collaboration with Steve Martin, Love Has Come For You, won a 2014 Grammy® Award for Best American Roots Song, the inaugural award in its category. The pair went on to write the acclaimed Tony-nominated Broadway musical, Bright Star. In 2017, Brickell reunited with her longtime bandmates, and Edie Brickell & New Bohemians’ most recent album, Rocket, was released in 2018. We’re thrilled to welcome the Dallas native to our ACL stage. 

ACL announces guest performers for Hall of Fame 2019

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Austin City Limits announces an all-star slate of guest performers for the 2019 ACL Hall of Fame Inductions & Celebration on October 24, 2019. Music greats Jackson Browne, Shemekia Copeland, Jimmie Vaughan, Bruce Hornsby, Sarah Jarosz, Willis Alan Ramsey and blues phenom Christone “Kingfish” Ingram will take part in saluting the newest class of inductees: singer-songwriting legends Shawn Colvin and Lyle Lovett and blues giant Buddy Guy.  Texas troubadour Robert Earl Keen takes the reins for the first time as host of the star-studded night filled with performances and collaborations from music’s finest as the three beacons of American music enter the ACL Hall of Fame. “The Austin City Limits Hall of Fame is my Academy Awards,” says Robert Earl Keen. “I don’t think there is a higher honor than to be asked to host the ACL Hall of Fame and as a bonus, I don’t have to wear a tux!” More information about additional guest stars and presenters will be announced prior to the event.

The event will be open to the public and tickets are on sale at acltv.com/hall-of-fame. Sponsor packages are available now at acltv.com/hall-of-fame. All proceeds benefit KLRU-TV, Austin PBS. The ceremony will be held at ACL’s studio home, ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. Musical highlights and inductions from the celebration will air on PBS as a special Austin City Limits New Year’s broadcast. 

The sixth class of inductees features a diverse group of music legends and collaborators with longtime ties to Austin City Limits: Lyle Lovett has shared a musical kinship with the series, notably appearing on ACL more than any artist with the exception of Willie Nelson. Living legend Buddy Guy has made three classic headlining appearances on ACL, starting in Season 16 in 1991 and returning this year in Season 44. Shawn Colvin debuted on ACL the same season as Buddy Guy in 1991, going on to make two additional standout headlining appearances as well as frequent guest spots.

Shemekia Copeland; photo by Mike White

“Lyle, Shawn and Buddy share not only a long history with ACL, but a musical kinship with each other,” said long-time executive producer Terry Lickona, “so I’m sure we can expect some one-of-a-kind musical collaborations. They are each uniquely talented, and together they represent the legacy that has helped ACL thrive for four and a half decades.”

Established in 2014, the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame honors the legacy of legendary artists and key individuals who have played a vital part in the pioneering music series remarkable 40+ years as a music institution. The inaugural induction ceremony in 2014 honored Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Lloyd Maines, program creator Bill Arhos and Darrell Royal. The second annual ACL Hall of Fame ceremony in 2015 honored Asleep at the Wheel, Loretta Lynn, Guy Clark, Flaco Jiménez and Townes Van Zandt, along with the original crew of the show’s first season in 1974-75. The 2016 Hall of Fame honored Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt and B.B. King, alongside former ACL executive producer Dick Peterson. 2017’s Hall of Fame honored Roy Orbison, Rosanne Cash and The Neville Brothers, and the 50th Anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act. Last year’s fifth anniversary class featured the inductions of Ray Charles, Marcia Ball and Los Lobos.

Robert Earl Keen to host ACL Hall of Fame 2019 – tickets on sale April 12

photo by Nick Doll Photography

Austin City Limits is thrilled to announce the host of the 2019 ACL Hall of Fame: legendary Texas singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen. This year’s celebration, to be held October 24th, honors the newest class of inductees: Lyle Lovett, Buddy Guy and Shawn Colvin. Save the date for one of the cultural highlights of 2019, a star-studded night filled with performances and collaborations from music’s finest. Tickets for this one-of-a-kind celebration will go on sale Friday, April 12 at 10 a.m at acltv.com/hall-of-fame. The event is held at ACL’s studio home, Austin’s ACL Live at The Moody Theater. More information about performances, presenters and additional guest stars will be announced prior.

“The Austin City Limits Hall of Fame is my Academy Awards,” says Robert Earl Keen. “I don’t think there is a higher honor than to be asked to host the ACL Hall of Fame and as a bonus, I don’t have to wear a tux!” The Lone Star troubadour and renowned party-starter takes the reins for the first time as host of the celebrated event. Houston-raised Keen is one of the most beloved songwriters and performers in Texas. His signature anthem “The Road Goes on Forever” recaps his remarkable music journey: over three-decades strong, with thousands of live shows under his belt, nineteen records to his name, and no end in sight to the road ahead. You can complete his anthem and sum up his storied career with its next five words—the ones routinely shouted back at Keen by legions of fans at every show— “and the party never ends!”

Keen debuted on Austin City Limits during 1989’s Season 14 as part of a Texas Showcase and has made four acclaimed headlining appearances in addition to appearing as a guest of Lyle Lovett in 2000 and returning for ACL’s milestone 40th Anniversary special in 2014. His songs have been recorded by Nanci Griffith, Joe Ely, George Strait, Gillian Welch, The Highwaymen and more. Keen has received many, many accolades along the way, including his recent 2019 induction into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, where he was presented with the Rick Smith “Spirit of Texas Award”. He became the first recipient of BMI’s Troubadour Award in 2015 for songwriting. In 2012 he was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame (alongside his longtime friend and Texas A&M classmate Lyle Lovett) and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Texas A&M University in 2018.

We hope you’ll join us as Robert Earl Keen saddles up and anchors our tributes to Buddy Guy, Shawn Colvin and Lyle Lovett when tickets go on sale this Friday, April 12 at 10 a.m at acltv.com/hall-of-fame.

ACL Hall of Fame 2019 honorees announced: Buddy Guy, Lyle Lovett and Shawn Colvin

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Austin City Limits announces the new class of Austin City Limits Hall of Fame inductees, recognizing three beacons of American music: singer-songwriting legends Lyle Lovett and Shawn Colvin, and blues giant Buddy Guy.  The 2019 ACL Hall of Fame inductees will be saluted at a star-studded ceremony to be held October 24th, 2019 at ACL’s studio home, ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin.  More information about performers, host, presenters and additional guest stars will be announced prior to the event.  Musical highlights and inductions from the ceremony will air on PBS later this year.     

The event will be open to the public and tickets will be on sale this spring at acltv.com/hall-of-fame.  Sponsor packages are available now at acltv.com/hall-of-fame. All proceeds benefit KLRU-TV, Austin PBS.

The sixth class of inductees features a diverse group of music legends and collaborators with longtime ties to Austin City Limits: Lyle Lovett has shared a musical kinship with the series, notably appearing on ACL more than any artist with the exception of Willie Nelson.  Living legend Buddy Guy has made three classic headlining appearances on ACL, starting in Season 16 in 1991 and returning this year in Season 44.  Shawn Colvin debuted on ACL the same season as Buddy Guy in 1991, going on to make two additional standout headlining appearances as well as frequent guest spots.

“Lyle, Shawn and Buddy share not only a long history with ACL, but a musical kinship with each other,” said long-time executive producer Terry Lickona, “so I’m sure we can expect some one-of-a-kind musical collaborations. They are each uniquely talented, and together they represent the legacy that has helped ACL thrive for four and a half decades.”

photo by Paul Natkin

Honorees shared their reactions to joining the ranks of outstanding artists who have been inducted into the Austin City Limits  Hall of Fame:

Buddy Guy: “My mother always said – ‘Son, if you got flowers for me, give em’ to me now while I can smell em’ I’m very honored to be inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame.”

Shawn Colvin: “I count being asked to perform on Austin City Limits as a major milestone in my career, having watched it since its inception.  It has the reputation of being the show you get to do if you are truly cool, and deservedly so. To be included in the Austin City Limits Hall Of Fame is a huge honor for this grateful Austinite who never would have imagined gracing its stage.”

photo by Alexandra Valenti

The Austin City Limits Hall of Fame was established in 2014 to celebrate the legacy of legendary artists and key individuals who have played a vital part in the pioneering music series remarkable 45 years as a music institution. The inaugural induction ceremony in 2014 honored Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Lloyd Maines, program creator Bill Arhos and Darrell Royal. 2015’s second annual ACL Hall of Fame ceremony honored Asleep at the Wheel, Loretta Lynn, Guy Clark, Flaco Jiménez and Townes Van Zandt, along with the original crew of the show’s first season in 1974-75. The 2016 Hall of Fame honored Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt and B.B. King, alongside former ACL executive producer Dick Peterson.  2017’s Hall of Fame honored Roy Orbison, Rosanne Cash and The Neville Brothers, and the 50th Anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act.  Last year’s fifth anniversary class featured the inductions of Ray Charles, Marcia Ball and Los Lobos.

 

About the 2019 Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Honorees:

Lyle Lovett

One of the most unique figures in contemporary music, singer-songwriter and bandleader Lyle Lovett has appeared on Austin City Limits more times than any act with the exception of Willie Nelson. Born in the small town of Klein, Texas, Lovett attended Texas A&M University, where he played open mics and barrooms, sometimes accompanied by his schoolmate Robert Earl Keen. He moved to Nashville in the early eighties, signed to MCA Records and released his self-titled debut album in 1986 to widespread acclaim. Lovett’s distinctive, quirky blend of country, folk, Western swing, jazz, blues, gospel and pop over the course of more than a dozen albums have made him one of music’s most vibrant and iconic performers. His works, rich and eclectic, are some of the most beloved of any artist working today.  Among his many accolades, including four Grammy Awards, Lovett received the Americana Music Association’s inaugural Trailblazer Award in 2007, and was named the official Texas State Musician in 2011. Lovett made his ACL debut in 1985 as a member of Nanci Griffith’s backing band and he’s made eight headlining appearances: 1987, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2004 and the final taping in ACL’s original Studio 6A in 2011.  He’s appeared on two Songwriters Specials in 1994 and 2008, and in tributes to Walter Hyatt in 1997 and Townes Van Zandt in 1998, and as a featured guest of Leo Kottke in 1988, Delbert McClinton in 1997 and Shawn Colvin in 2001.  Lovett was handpicked by his longtime friend Willie Nelson to perform at his own induction into the inaugural ACL Hall of Fame in 2014.

Buddy Guy

Buddy Guy’s astounding career spans over fifty years with just as many albums released. Career highlights include the 2015 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, eight Grammy Awards, thirty-seven Blues Music Awards, twenty-three W.C. Handy Awards, the Kennedy Center Honor, Billboard Music Awards’ Century Award, Presidential National Medal of Arts, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, to name a few. At 82 years young, Guy proves unstoppable as he continues to record and tour around the world.  One of the last of his generation of blues musicians, the singer and guitarist is undeniably one of the most influential axemen of the twentieth century, impacting Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Keith Richards and more. Born in Lettsworth, Louisiana, Guy moved to Chicago in 1957 and became a session guitar player for Chess Records.  After a string of successful duo albums with harmonica player Junior Wells, Guy struck out on his own and has dominated the blues landscape ever since. The blues titan recently released his eighteenth solo LP in 2018, the Grammy Award-winning The Blues is Alive and Well.  Guy has made three headlining appearances on Austin City Limits, in 1991, 1998 and 2018, and guested with John Mayer in 2003. No stranger to the Hall of Fame, the blues great performed in tribute to inaugural inductees Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble in 2014.

Shawn Colvin

A mainstay since moving to Austin in 1993, singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin is one of the city’s greatest musical ambassadors. Her songs are slow-release works of craft and catharsis that become treasured, lifetime companions for their listeners. Born in South Dakota, she was raised there until she was 11 years old and relocated to Canada and Illinois for the remainder of her adolescence. Colvin originally moved to Austin, Texas in the seventies, singing with the Western swing band the Dixie Diesels. She hit New York City to join The Buddy Miller Band in 1980 where she began to write the songs that would comprise Steady On, her Grammy-winning, 1989 Columbia Records debut. In 1997 she reached the Top 10 at Top 40 radio and won the top honors of Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the 1998 GRAMMY Awards with “Sunny Came Home,” from her breakthrough, platinum-selling album A Few Small Repairs. Colvin’s candid memoir Diamond in the Rough was released in 2012 to critical acclaim. Diamond in the Rough looks back over a rich lifetime of highs and lows with stunning insight and candor. Colvin maintains a non-stop touring and recording schedule, her most recent release is 2018’s album of lullabies, The Starlighter (Amazon Music). This fall, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the release of Steady On, she will be releasing a special, newly-recorded all acoustic version of that landmark album. Colvin has a trio of headlining appearances on Austin City Limits to her name: in 1991, 1995 and 2001.  She was a guest of Lyle Lovett’s during his Season 22/1997 appearance and returned for a guest spot with Sheryl Crow that same season, Patty Griffin’s guest in 2010, and most recently performed in Season 41 in 2015 as a guest of James Taylor’s.

Austin City Limits and the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame are produced by KLRU-TV, Austin PBS. KLRU is a non-profit organization providing public television and educational resources to Central Texas as well as producing quality national programming.

5th annual ACL Hall of Fame ceremony airs on New Year’s Eve

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Austin City Limits rings in the new year with an annual tradition, highlights from the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Inductions & Celebration, hosted by Chris Isaak. This fifth annual all-star celebration features music luminaries and more sharing the stage for one epic night to perform in honor of the newest class of inductees: Ray Charles, Marcia Ball and Los Lobos. The special hour, taped October 25, 2018 at ACL’s studio home, ACL Live at The Moody Theater, in Austin, Texas, honors the musicians who have played an instrumental role in the evolution of the iconic series. The broadcast airs Monday, December 31 at 10pm C/11pm E on PBS check local listings for times.  

Master of ceremonies Chris Isaak opens the special noting that Austin City Limits, now in its 44th season, is the longest-running television music program in history, outlasting American Bandstand, Soul Train and—even—Hullabaloo. Isaak introduces honoree Marcia Ball, the Texas-born pioneering blues pianist who debuted on ACL’s first season in 1976, saying “when she sings the blues she makes you dance.” Inducted by her longtime friend and collaborator, New Orleans soul queen Irma Thomas, Ball accepts the honor saying of ACL “I was lucky enough to get here first, stay longer, go farther and have more fun than I ever, ever imagined possible.” An all-female line-up of blues all-stars pays tribute to her 50-year strong career in a sparkling three-song salute with Ball herself on piano, joined by Thomas and powerhouse vocalists Tracy Nelson, Lou Ann Barton, Carolyn Wonderland and Shelley King, celebrating a shared lifetime of friendship and music.

The late Ray Charles made two seminal ACL appearances in the 1980s and is honored following an induction by John Burk, president of Concord Records and producer of the music titan’s final studio album in 2004. Norah Jones salutes the Genius with a sterling rendition of “What Would I Do Without You,” saying “this is one of my favorite Ray Charles songs.” Blues great Ruthie Foster brings the house down with a powerhouse reading of Brother Ray’s signature “Georgia on My Mind” and blues-rock star Gary Clark Jr. puts down his guitar for the occasion and steps up to the mic to pay vocal tribute, delivering a radiant “Nighttime Is the Right Time” while vocalists Ruthie Foster, Shelley King and Carolyn Wonderland do The Raelettes proud with show-stopping backing chorus.

photo by Scott Newton

Acclaimed filmmaker Robert Rodriguez inducts his longtime compadres Los Lobos into the ACL Hall of Fame calling the East L.A. band “Endlessly inventive, unbelievably groundbreaking, masterful with all kinds of instruments, peerless musicians, and just truly great people.” Los Lobos’ musical kinship with ACL includes six appearances on the series, and they take the stage to perform a trio of back-to-back classics from their forty year-plus career. Joined by director Rodriguez on guitar, steel guitar ace Robert Randolph, Boz Scaggs and guitarist Adrian Quesada, the brothers in arms dazzle with a jubilant eight guitar heartbeat, and the celebration of music comes to an epic close, ushering in the New Year with a Feliz Año Nuevo! and a buoyant “La Bamba,” the 1987 classic.

Austin City Limits Hall of Fame New Year’s Special setlist:

I WANT TO DO EVERYTHING FOR YOU – Marcia Ball with Tracy Nelson, Irma Thomas
FOOL IN LOVE – Marcia Ball with Lou Ann Barton, Tracy Nelson, Irma Thomas, Carolyn Wonderland, Shelley King
SHINE BRIGHT – Marcia Ball with Tracy Nelson, Carolyn Wonderland, Irma Thomas, Shelley King  
WHAT WOULD I DO WITHOUT YOU – Norah Jones
GEORGIA ON MY MIND – Ruthie Foster
NIGHT TIME IS THE RIGHT TIME – Gary Clark Jr. with Ruthie Foster, Carolyn Wonderland, Shelley King
DON’T WORRY BABY – Los Lobos with Robert Randolph
LA PISTOLA Y EL CORAZON – Los Lobos
ALL-STAR FINALE: LA BAMBA  – Los Lobos with Robert Rodriguez, Boz Scaggs, Robert Randolph, Adrian Quesada, Marcia Ball, Tracy Nelson, Ruthie Foster, Carolyn Wonderland, Shelley King & Chris Isaak

The 5th Anniversary Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Inductions and Celebration is presented by NetApp and is sponsored in part by American Airlines, AXS, Brown Distributing, Cirrus Logic, Cousins Properties Incorporated, Dell, Keller Williams, Stratus Properties and Texas Monthly.  

ACL announces lineup for second half of Season 44

photo by Scott Newton

Austin City Limits announces the second half of Season 44, with eight all-new installments to begin airing December 15 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 stalwarts, continuing Austin City Limits’ run as the longest-running music television show in history, providing viewers a front-row seat to the best in live performance for over 40 years.

The season returns with many acts making first-time appearances on the ACL stage including UK modern rock icons (and 2019 Grammy nominees) Arctic Monkeys, rising R&B star Khalid and Canadian indie rocker Mac DeMarco splitting a bill, and trailblazing Puerto Rican rapper Residente in a thrilling rapid-fire hour. A series highlight features the return of American icon Willie Nelson, who helped launched ACL in 1974, in a new performance for the ages, marking a remarkable eighteenth appearance on the series and his first headlining set in a decade. Also returning is New Orleans sensation Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews who celebrates his second ACL with a N’awlins-style hourlong party featuring his 10-piece Orleans Avenue band along with special guest, ACL Hall of Fame legend Cyril Neville. Blues giant Buddy Guy, another 2019 Grammy nominee, returns for his third headlining appearance, sharing an episode with the all-star collective known as August Greene, featuring hip-hop’s Common and renowned producers/jazz music phenoms Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins. Austin favorites Wild Child round out the season in a spirited debut from this seven-piece indie-folk outfit.

“This might be our most eclectic mix of artists, styles and genres in one fell swoop ever,” said ACL executive producer Terry Lickona.” It really speaks to what separates Austin City Limits from every other music show, ever. I’m so proud we are able to showcase two giants in their respective genres, and both legends: Buddy Guy and Willie Nelson. Without Willie, there would be no ACL!”

Season 44 | Season 44 Broadcast Season (second half)

December 15 Khalid / Mac DeMarco
December 22 Tom Waits (encore)
December 29 Iggy Pop (encore)
December 31 ACL Hall of Fame New Year’s Special

January 5 Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
January 12 Residente
January 19 Arctic Monkeys / Wild Child
January 26 Willie Nelson

February 2 Buddy Guy/ August Greene

February 9 ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival

ACL’s Season 44 premiered in October with standout performances from St. Vincent, John Prine, Brandi Carlile, Kacey Musgraves, Miguel, Anderson East, Alessia Cara, Sam Smith and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real. The award-winning series will continue to broadcast fan-favorite encore episodes through the end of 2018. In what has become an ACL holiday tradition, the program will encore Tom Waits legendary December 1978 performance, one of the most requested episodes in ACL’s 40+ year archive. Tune-in on December 22nd to see this classic Christmas episode. A recent classic, Iggy Pop’s iconic 2016, Season 42 debut on the ACL stage, backed by an all-star band including Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, encores December 29th.

A special broadcast of Austin City Limits Hall of Fame New Year’s Eve airs Monday, December 31 at 10pm CT/11pm ET. Austin City Limits rings in the new year with this star-studded celebration, hosted by Chris Isaak, featuring one-of-a-kind performances and collaborations from the 2018 ACL Hall of Fame induction ceremony, taped October 25, 2018. Performers include ACL royalty Los Lobos, Marcia Ball, Norah Jones, Gary Clark Jr., Irma Thomas, Robert Randolph, Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, Ruthie Foster, Boz Scaggs & more.

photo by Gary Miller

For the eighth consecutive year, the producers of Austin City Limits, in conjunction with Two Talented Cats, LLC, and the Americana Music Association, are proud to present a special ACL Presents on February 9th to close out Season 44—featuring the best music performances from the 17th Annual Americana Music Association Honors and Awards Ceremony held September 12, 2018 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN.

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.

Brandi Carlile brings uplift to ACL Season 44

photo by Scott Newton

Austin City Limits presents acclaimed singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile in a sparkling new hour. Carlile showcases her acclaimed By The Way, I Forgive You, her sixth studio album and a career high point, which has earned “Best of 2018” raves at NPR, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard and more.  The Seattle area native delivers a radiant performance marking her first return to the ACL stage since her 2010 debut in Season 36.  An outspoken social activist, Carlile dedicates her hit anthem “The Joke” to the marginalized, saying “This is a song for anybody that feels unloved or unaccepted or unnatural or illegal.” Joined by her longtime bandmates and songwriting partners Tim and Phil Hanseroth—twin brothers on guitar and bass—and augmented by a string quartet, the hour is an emotional tour de force.  She introduces “Most Of All” saying “We’re gonna sing you a song about your first love—your parents,” in a gorgeous salute to acceptance in family dynamics.  A set highlight is a solo acoustic version of “The Mother,” a poignant song that grapples with her recent entry into motherhood with signature frankness, featuring a surprise onstage visit from her 4-year-old daughter.  Carlile closes the cathartic hour on piano with the declaration of love, “Party Of One;” a blissful show stopper as the strings play her offstage.

“Brandi Carlile has that uncanny ability to channel universal emotions that are part of life’s highs and lows into a song,” said ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “Her voice alone is like a salve that soothes. Her performance on this show is nothing short of uplifting!”

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. Join us next week for a brand new episode featuring contemporary R&B artists Miguel and Alessia Cara.