Encore: Rosanne Cash and Brandi Carlile

photo by Scott Newton

There’s nothing like the combination of a great song and a great voice. This weekend on Austin City Limits we’ve got a pair of singer/songwriters who’ve mastered that blend: Rosanne Cash and Brandi Carlile.

The daughter of American icon Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash is no stranger to the ACL stage – this is her seventh appearance on the show. For this episode, Cash showcases her album The List, which contains her interpretations of classic folk and country tunes drawn from a list of essential songs compiled by her father before his passing. She essays powerful takes on standards like “Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow,” “500 Miles” and “Sea of Heartbreak,” as well as some of her own tunes, including “The World Unseen” and “Dreams Are Not My Home.” Longtime fans will gain insight into Cash’s creative process, while others by discover a new favorite.

Speaking of new favorites, we’re proud to show an encore presentation the ACL debut of Brandi Carlile. The Washington-born singer and tunesmith has been making music since she was in her teens, and by the time she released Give Up the Ghost, the album she highlights in this episode, she’d made fans of Elton John, Sheryl Crow and other well-known acts. Joined by her trusty sidekicks the Hanseroth twins, Carlile shows off her literate folk rock with “Pride and Joy” and “The Story,” proves her (and her band’s) vocal chops with the a cappella “Oh Dear” and rocks the house down with a sizzling cover of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.” This episode shows neophytes what diehards already know – Brandi Carlile is a contender.

photo by Scott Newton

Check your local listings and tune in! You can find more info on this episode here. More ACL info in general can be had on our Facebook and Twitter and via our newsletter. Next week: our singer/songwriter fest continues with Alejandro Escovedo and Trombone Shorty.


Encore: Spoon

photo by Scott Newton

Austin City Limits is always proud to welcome hometown heroes to our stage, as we do this Saturday with an encore performance by Spoon. It’s difficult to put that label on the band – though Britt Daniel and company have been mainstays of the Austin indie rock scene since the mid-90s, Spoon’s subsequent success on a national scale means the band belongs to everyone now, not just Central Texans.

This show from Season 36 is Spoon’s third appearance on ACL, and likely won’t be their last. The indie rockers invited some friends onstage for their first full hour, including the Honeybears’ horn section and longtime local axe-slingers Charlie Sexton and Craig Ross. The band was supporting its acclaimed LP Transference, gracing the crowd with new Spoon standards like “Trouble Come Running,” “Written in Reverse” and “Got Nuffin,” but also dipped into its vast catalog for fan faves “You Got Your Cherry Bomb,” “Nobody Gets Me But You” and “Don’t Make Me a Target.”

Check out the episode page for more info, and be sure to visit the Facebook, Twitter and e-newsletter sign-up pages to bring more ACL into your life. Next week: R&B magnificence with Raphael Saadiq and Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears.


Encore: Jimmy Cliff

photo by Scott Newton

When it comes to reggae, Jimmy Cliff, whose ACL episode encores this weekend, is indisputably one of the greats. He first found fame as a teenager, with a string of hit singles in his native Jamaica. By the late 60s, reggae was spreading beyond the borders of his birthplace and Cliff became one of its first international stars with “Wonderful World, Beautiful People” and “Vietnam,” which Bob Dylan called “the best protest song I’ve ever heard.” In 1972 Cliff starred in the acclaimed film The Harder They Come, writing and singing the hit title song. Other Cliff compositions like “Many Rivers to Cross” and “You Can Get It If You Really Want” have also become often-covered, much-loved reggae standards. Cliff continues to record and tour all over the world, collaborating with Sting, the Clash’s Joe Strummer, Kool & the Gang, Wyclef Jean and the Rolling Stones along the way. As popular now as he ever was, Jimmy Cliff is the face of reggae, as you’ll see for yourself this Saturday – check your local PBS listings for the broadcast time and channel.

Check out the episode page for more details, and drop in on our Facebook and Twitter pages for more ACL info, or sign up for our newsletter. Next week: Spoon.


Encore: John Legend & the Roots

photo by Scott Newton

Get ready for an exciting performance on this week’s Austin City Limits encore episode that includes two of the biggest names in R&B, soul, and hip hop:  John Legend and The Roots.

Legend and The Roots perform most of the songs off of their 2010 collaborative album, Wake Up! Inspired by the 2008 Presidential election, Wake Up! features a collection of cover songs from the 60s and ‘70s that were originally written or performed by some of the most influential and timeless artists of the era, such as Donny Hathaway, Eugene McDaniels, Curtis Mayfield, Bill Withers, and many others. Legend and The Roots both felt that something was needed in the stagnant atmosphere and lack of depth in music’s current state and that this album would deliver a sense of urgency and convey the change that was going on in the world at the time. Given the album’s themes/background, this is an episode that still resonates.

A few breakthrough moments in the episode include when Legend breaks away from Wake Up! once to perform “Ordinary People,” arguably his most popular hit from his 2004 debut album Get Lifted. Following that, Legend introduces the song “I Can’t Write Left-Handed,” which he explains was written by Bill Withers during the Vietnam War. Withers dedicated it to a soldier he met who was shot in his right arm and forced to learn to use his left hand to write. The powerful and soulful ballad is heightened with ?ueslove’s brilliant and passionate drumming.

Check your local listings for showtimes to see this special episode and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or sign up for our newsletter to keep up with updates on tapings and airings. Next week: Florence + the Machine and Lykke Li.

Encore: The National & Band of Horses

photo by Scott Newton

This Saturday’s encore episode of Austin City Limits features two of indie rock’s best and brightest: the National and Band of Horses.

The National’s brooding bombast is at a peak when they hit the ACL stage in support of their acclaimed record High Violet. Few bands come equipped with songs like “Bloodbuzz Ohio” and “Terrible Love” that can bring you down and to your feet at the same time. But the National prove its mastery of that mystical balancing act in this powerful performance.

By contrast Band of Horses revels in its folk-rocking nice guyitude. The outfit’s mix of easygoing melodies and classic rock hooks is in full effect on “Ode to LRC,” “Marry Song” and “The Funeral.” With this show there’s no wonder as to why this particular group of equines are festival and radio favorites.

photo by Scott Newton

Tune in this Saturday to see and hear for yourself. Go here for info, and don’t forget to keep on keepin’ up with ACL TV on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Next week: the Steve Miller Band and Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

Encore: Alejandro Escovedo and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

photo by Scott Newton

Get those air guitars and horns ready, because this weekend Austin City Limits is bringing both the rock AND the funk with an encore episode featuring Alejandro Escovedo and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue.

When Alejandro Escovedo returned to the ACL stage for his third showcase (or fourth, if you count his appearance as a member of Rank & File way back in Season 8), he brought a stripped-down band and sound. Rather than the expansive sonics of his Orchestra, the mission of the Sensitive Boys is to rock the heck out. Having showcased his love of early 70s glam/proto-punk rockers like Mott the Hoople and Lou Reed on recent LPs Real Animal and Street Songs of Love, Escovedo brings that aesthetic to our stage for a blazing rock & roll set full of great tunes like “Anchor,” “Faith” and “Always a Friend.” If you’re not jumping around the room, you might need to check your pulse.

photo by Scott Newton

And as long as you’re on your feet, you want to stay there for Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. From his days as a pre-teen jazz prodigy, Troy Andrews has been absorbing every musical sound that comes out of his native New Orleans, with an emphasis on his town’s particularly groovy brand of funk. Andrews and his crack band showed their mastery on their first major label Backatown, and hit the same second line grooves hard on our stage. “Hurricane Season” and “Where Y’at?’ are greasy enough, but when the band launches into their James Brown medley, it’s time to tear the roof off the sucker.

You can check out the episode page for more details, as well as our video page for some behind-the-scenes action. Don’t forget to stop by our Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr pages for regular updates on the ACL universe. Next week: a beloved classic featuring the one and only Roy Orbison.