Encore: Randy Newman

photo by Scott Newton

It’s no secret that Austin City Limits makes a habit of showcasing musical legends. Merle Haggard, Tom Waits, Neil Young, Loretta Lynn, Bonnie Raitt – the archives are packed with the best of the best. This Saturday, we encore an episode featuring another musician’s musician: the great Randy Newman.

Both a tender balladeer and a master satirist, Newman’s songs have spanned the length and breadth of popular music for the past five decades. Three Dog Night took “Mama Told Me (Not to Come)” into the top 10 in 1970, Newman scored his own #2 hit with the infamous “Short People” and hooked another, younger generation as the composer of Pixar film music, like Toy Story’s beloved “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” In between chart milestones he’s scattered brilliant tunes like “Sail Away,” “Feels Like Home,” “Harps and Angels,” “Political Science,” “You Can Leave Your Hat On” and “Louisiana 1927” across the pop culture landscape like a farmer planting seeds in the field. And you get all of these and more in this show.

ACL producer Terry Lickona chased the Oscar-winning Newman for nearly three decades, and this episode proves it was worth the wait. Is it too early to call it a classic? Nope – we’re callin’ it.

Click here for more info on this episode, and don’t forget to tune in Saturday night to watch it yourself. As always, check out our Facebook and Twitter pages or subscribe to our newsletter for more ACL magic. Next week: Sarah Jarosz and The Milk Carton Kids.

Encore: Wilco

photo by Scott Newton

“When people ask what kind of music Austin City Limits stands for,” executive producer Terry Lickona says, “there’s one band that sums it up better than any other – Wilco!” Encoring this weekend, our fourth episode featuring this veteran modern rock band shows exactly why ACL holds Jeff Tweedy and company in such high esteem. Concentrating on its latest release The Whole Love, the Chicago sextet puts such stellar tracks as “Art of Almost,” “One Wing” and “Dawned On Me” through their paces with near-perfect poise. It’s not all the new album, of course, as the band also drops a few deep cuts like “Bull Black Nova” and “War On War” into the set. And as the icing on an already delicious cake, Wilco tour mate Nick Lowe drops by with his classic “Cruel to Be Kind,” backed by the boys themselves.

photo by Scott Newton

Tune in this Saturday, June 28, to catch all the Wilco action for yourself. Hit the episode page  for more info, and your local listings for exact airtimes. Keep up with your favorite music television show with Facebook and Twitter, and don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter. Next week: Queens of the Stone Age.

 

Encore: Raphael Saadiq and Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears

photo by Scott Newton

WARNING:  This Saturday’s encore episode may induce the following behavior: dancing/booty shaking, laughter, uncontrollable smiling, clapping, soulful singing, and bass throwing (if you have one nearby).

What are we talking about? This week’s episode featuring multi-instrumentalist and R&B veteran Raphael Saadiq and Austin’s own Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, of course.

Referring to journalists as “lazy” when they try to fit his musical style under genre specific labels (such as neo-soul), it’s clear from this performance and his albums that Raphael Saadiq draws inspiration from a wide array of artists. Featuring special guest Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Saadiq covers hits from his 2011 album Stone Rollin’. Watch when Saadiq performs the title track, a song he initially wrote when he was 11 about a “full-figured, bluesy woman,” as his background vocalists show as much energy as Saadiq himself.

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears have been such an Austin favorite and “must-see” over the years that it wasn’t a shock when the group starting gaining national attention. In this performance you see the group at its finest, performing a mix of songs from its 2009 debut Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is! and their 2011 release Scandalous. This performance is brimming with energy, soul and flying instruments, and hits its peak at the end, when the group is joined by Dallas gospel group the Relatives for the fervid hit and crowd favorite “You Been Lyin’.”

photo by Scott Newton

Check your local listings for showtimes to see this episode and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or hook up with our newsletter to keep up with updates on tapings and airings! Oh, and please watch out for the bass. Austin City Limits does not condone anyone throwing instruments in the living room, but if you do, let us know because that would be an awesome story worth sharing. Next week: Wilco with special guest Nick Lowe.

Encore: Miranda Lambert and Jeff Bridges

photo by Scott Newton

This weekend Austin City Limits is bringing you some southern twang, pink guitars, shotgun mic stands and serious country with this encore episode featuring Miranda Lambert and Jeff Bridges.

Miranda Lambert has become a household name since her appearance on Nashville Star back in 2003 and is now, undoubtedly, one of country music’s biggest names. Miranda, whose father is a singer/songwriter, admits that she wasn’t always keen on singing growing up, but once she turned 17 she realized that music was the most natural way for her to express herself. Since then Miranda has released five studio albums, won a Grammy for her song “The House That Built Me” and now has a side project with Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley called Pistol Annies, who join Lambert to sing “Hell On Heels,”  their biggest hit of their album by the same name.

The highly acclaimed actor/singer Jeff Bridges also appears in this episode, singing hits from the Grammy-winning Crazy Heart soundtrack as well as songs from his 2011 self-titled debut. Known for his prolific acting career, the Oscar-winning Bridges shows fans a different side, displaying his singing and songwriting ability. While shooting Crazy Heart, Bridges realized that he was a bit tired of the “acting thing” and wanted to go back to his original interest: music. Highlights of the performance include the songs, “Somebody Else” and “What a Little Bit of Love Can Do,” written by beloved Austin musician Stephen Bruton.

photo by Scott Newton

So sit back and relax this Saturday with two of country music’s most famous and talented names. Be sure to check your local listings for showtimes to see this episode and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or through our newsletter to keep up with updates on tapings and airings. Next week: Tim McGraw.

Encore: Mumford & Sons and Flogging Molly

photo by Scott Newton

Mumford & Sons are This weekend’s encore presentation of Austin City Limits features a high-octane night of contemporary music’s best folk rock practitioners, including sets by British superstars Mumford & Sons and Celtic folk-punkers Flogging Molly.

The episode, which originally aired in October 2011, finds Mumford & Sons making their ACL debut and is a must-see for fans and a primer for those new to the band’s cathartic live shows. Blending acoustic instrumentation, vocal harmonies and a tireless work ethic, Mumford & Sons have earned an international reputation as one of the best live bands, winning over audiences with their masterful, melancholy voices and musical skills. Mumford & Sons’ inspired set features tracks from their career-making debut Sigh No More, and the blockbuster follow-up Babel. The energy on the night of the taping vibrated the walls at The Moody Theater, and it translates directly to the screen. The band perform fan favorites “The Cave” and “Roll Away Your Stone” and poignant ballads “Timshel” and “Awake My Soul.” A highlight is an early televised performance of “Lover of the Light,” previously unrecorded, and now featured on Babel.

“The first time this show aired, Mumford & Sons did not have the biggest-selling record in the world,” says ACL Executive Producer Terry Lickona. “But today they still capture the hearts and souls of young music fans better than anybody else around – and this amazing performance shows why. They do it the old-fashioned way, with authentic songs that speak to real life, and they play their asses off!”

photo by Scott Newton

Speaking of energy, Flogging Molly doesn’t disappoint in their ACL debut. The band storms the stage with tuneful melodies and puts on a magnificent show with their unique brand of Celtic folk/punk.  Tune in for lively renditions of “Requiem For A Dying Song,” “Tobacco Island,” and “Devil’s Dance Floor.”  Bandleader Dave King called their ACL taping “the most important live performance they’ve ever done.”

“A live Flogging Molly show is an experience as much as it is a show,” hints ACL’s Terry Lickona.  “When you’re watching, crank up the volume and buckle up for the ride!”

Check the episode page for more info, photos and clips. Click over to our Facebook and Twitter pages or sign up for our newsletter for up-to-date news on all things Austin City Limits. Next week: Miranda Lambert and Jeff Bridges.

 

Encore: Bon Iver

photo by Scott Newton

In a few short years, the world watched Bon Iver’s progression from the “bare boned” yet profound debut For Emma, Forever Ago in 2008, to the lush self-titled LP. Justin Vernon came a long way from writing in total seclusion in a cabin in the mountains to collaborating with artists such as Kanye West and winning Grammys. When the group recorded this episode in April 2012, we were eager to see how this progression and critical acclaim would manifest in the performance. The result is a passionate, meticulously layered display of talent and musical tranquility.

In this episode, Bon Iver draws mostly from the eponymous 2011 album, starting with the opening track, “Perth,” and seamlessly leading into the next tune, “Minnesota, WI.” From there we get “Brackett, WI,” a beautifully-written track that appeared on the 2009 Dark Was the Night compilation album that raised funds and awareness about HIV and AIDS. Audience favorites included a more fleshed-out version of “Blood Bank,” complete with various horns, and of course the hits from For Emma, “Skinny Love” and “For Emma.”

photo by Scott Newton

Go here for more information on this episode, and check here to see where/when you can catch it. Be sure to follow our Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest ACL update, and subscribe to our newsletter for even more info. Next week: Florence + the Machine and Lykki Li.