Buddy Guy gives ACL the blues

photo by Scott Newton

Austin City Limits has been privileged to host many music legends on our stage, and we were thrilled to welcome back another: blues titan Buddy Guy. The Chicago bluesman has headlined twice before, bringing his signature guitar style and bottomless catalog for a pair of landmark episodes. This evening Guy returned to one of his favorite cities to show off those strengths once again, including songs from his latest LP The Blues is Alive and Well with a taping we live streamed around the world.

Taking the stage in his trademark polkadots, signature drill-through-a-concrete-slab Strat tone and no setlist, Guy and his four-piece Damn Right Blues Band took the stage with the classic “Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues,” a statement of purpose if there ever was one. The 82-year-old then brought out “Hoochie Coochie Man,” from the repertoire of his old employer Muddy Waters, engaging in some playful call-and-response with both the audience and keyboardist Marty Sammon. He stayed with the Waters catalog by segueing into “She’s Nineteen Years Old,” adding a snippet of “Somebody Done Hoodooed the Hoodoo Man” at the end in tribute to his late partner Junior Wells. Clearly just warming up, Guy sampled his latest record with “Cognac,” a savage blues celebrating the titular beverage in lyric and the British blues rockers Guy inspired in music, calling out Keith Richards and Jeff Beck in particular. He revisited his Grammy-winning 2015 album Born to Play Guitar for the title track, before indulging in some more blues history with Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Nine Below Zero.”

That didn’t last long, however, as he jumped back into his own catalog for his modern blues classic “Somebody Else is Steppin’ Out (Slippin’ Out, Slippin’ In),” for which he took his traditional walk into the audience, mic and stinging guitar solos in hand. That would be a hard song for anyone to follow, but Guy knew what to do, going back to 1992 and the elegiac John Hiatt-penned title track to Feels Like Rain, joined by his 19-year-old six-string protegeé Quinn Sullivan. As with “Steppin’ Out,” Guy invited – nay, expected – the crowd to sing the chorus, even requesting the house lights come up so he could playfully keep the people in line. His mentor egging him on, Sullivan stayed onstage for covers of Cream’s “Strange Brew” and Jimi Hendrix’ “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” the latter run straight into Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love.” Guy then decided to survey the guitar players that influenced him, touching on B.B. King’s “Sweet Sixteen” and John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom,” thanking the audience and joining them to pass picks out while the Damn Right Blues Band vamped behind him. Guy retook the stage for a couple of verses of his own “Meet Me in Chicago,” before ceding it back to Sullivan and the band for a couple of instrumental choruses of “Black Magic Woman” – proof you never know what to expect with a veteran artist working without a net. But Buddy Guy has earned the right to follow his muse into whichever corner it wants to explore. We can’t wait for you to see this remarkable show when it airs early next year on your local PBS station.    

Arctic Monkeys 10/13

photo by Zachary Michael

One of music’s biggest live acts, Arctic Monkeys make their ACL debut in the midst of a sold-out world tour and a headlining spot on ACL Fest. read more

Residente 10/7

Residente for blog

Born René Pérez Joglar, Residente is a Puerto Rican rapper, writer, producer and co-founder of the trailblazing alternative rap group Calle 13. read more

Khalid 10/3

photo by Kacie Tomita

Five-time Grammy® nominated artist Khalid has seen great success since he released his first single “Location” right before his high school graduation. read more

New tapings: Khalid, Residente, Janelle Monae, The Arctic Monkeys

photo by Kacie Tomita

Austin City Limits is beyond excited to announce a stellar slate of tapings featuring artists performing at our namesake Austin City Limits Music Festival this October. Please welcome for the first time: rising star Khalid on Oct. 3, Latin superstar rapper Residente on Oct. 7, boundary-smashing soul auteur Janelle Monáe on Oct. 8 and British modern rock icons Arctic Monkeys on Oct. 13.

Five-time Grammy® nominated artist Khalid has seen great success since he released his first single “Location” right before his high school graduation. The song’s domination led to Khalid’s major label deal with Right Hand Music Group/RCA Records followed by the release of his debut album American Teen. The album received mass critical acclaim with Rolling Stone calling Khalid a “pop prodigy” and TIME Magazine stating, ““His thoughtful, relatable reflections on modern youth culture and the limitations of love are just as pitch-perfect as his soulful, measured delivery.” American Teen shattered expectations, as it stayed in the Top 200 for 51 weeks, peaked at #4, and stayed in the Top 20 for 48 out of the 51 weeks it was in the Top 200. The singer-songwriter has over one billion streams worldwide across all partners, his first single “Location” is certified 4x Platinum by the RIAA, his previous single “Young Dumb & Broke” is certified 3X Platinum, and his album is now certified 2x Platinum. Since the album’s debut, Khalid has garnered five 2018 Grammy® nominations including Best New Artist and landed on the cover of Billboard’s 2018 Grammy® Preview issue. He recently won two 2018 Teen Choice Awards for Choice Breakout Artist and Choice R&B/Hip-Hop Song for “Love Lies” with Normani. He was also nominated for a 2017 BET Award for Best New Artist, a 2017 Teen Choice Award for Choice R&B/Hip-Hop Song for “Location”, and a 2017 American Music Award for Favorite Song-Soul/R&B for “Location.” Khalid also won Top New Artist at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, Best New Artist at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards and an MTV’s Woodie To Watch Award. In addition to American Teen, Khalid has collaborated with some of music’s biggest stars. He has been featured on a number of songs including mega hits like Calvin Harris’s “Rollin” with Future, “1-800-273-8255” with Logic and Alessia Cara, “Silence” with Marshmello, “Lovely” with Billie Eilish, “Youth” with Shawn Mendes, and many more. Khalid’s current singles “Love Lies”, a duet with Normani, and “OTW” featuring Ty Dolla $ign and 6lack are burning up the airwaves. Khalid recently wrapped up his third sold-out North American headlining tour.

Born René Pérez Joglar, Residente is a Puerto Rican rapper, writer, producer and co-founder of the trailblazing alternative rap group Calle 13. He has won a record-breaking 28 Grammy® Awards (four Grammys® and 24 Latin Grammys®). Residente studied fine art for eight years before launching an independent career as a lyricist, performer and director of many of his own music videos. He was inspired to create his self-titled 2017 debut solo album after a DNA test showed that he had roots all over the world. Thus galvanized, he traveled the globe, visiting the different countries where his roots could be found and recording with local musicians in Siberia, Moscow, China, Ghana, Burkina Faso, France, and many more. The resulting album includes guest performances from Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda (Residente’s distant cousin), Tuareg world music star Bombino, French pop singer SoKo, At the Drive-In/Mars Volta guitarist Omar Rodriguez-López and members of the Peking Opera. Rolling Stone notes “Each song is its own new genre, sourced from regional sounds and specially tailored to reflect the diversity of his DNA,” while Remezcla remarks that “at the heart is Residente’s belief that knowledge of our fellow global citizens is power.” Billboard simply describes the album as “exciting, thought-provoking, touching and shocking.”  Residente has been recognized for his commitment to social justice, championing educational and native rights across Latin America. The superstar received the prestigious Nobel Peace Summit Award in 2015 for his efforts to promote social awareness and peace. He has also served as the spokesperson for UNICEF and Amnesty International campaigns, and in 2018 was awarded the BMI Champion Award for his musical career and humanitarian work – the first Latin American artist to receive this recognition.  

photo by JUCO

Janelle Monáe is a Grammy® nominated singer-songwriter, performer, producer, activist and actress. She recently released her critically-acclaimed third solo album Dirty Computer and the accompanying film Dirty Computer: An Emotion Picture by Janelle Monáe, earning widespread praise for her cinematic range and vision.  The L.A. Times calls the record “a warm and vibrant tribute to the marginalized people, especially women and those with fluid ideas about gender and sexuality, whom Monáe sees as the true embodiment of America’s promise.” Q describes it as “fierce, honest and a challenge to the forces of obsolescence,” while The A.V. Club simply says “she’s outdone herself in both the execution of this vision and its resonance.” Rolling Stone put it more bluntly: “It’s a sexy MF-ing masterpiece.” The UK’s Guardian hailed her current world tour as “euphoric funk at the edge of megastardom.”  Immersed in the performing arts at a young age, the Kansas City native founded her own record label, Wondaland Arts Society, releasing the 2008 EP Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase). Monáe went on to release 2010’s acclaimed The ArchAndroid and 2013’s The Electric Lady. Additionally, she took her talents to the silver screen, starring in the 2017 Academy Awards Best Picture Moonlight and the Oscar-nominated hit Hidden Figures. Monáe is set to star in Robert Zemeckis’ Welcome to Marwen for release in winter 2018.  The visionary artist launched Fem the Future in 2016, an initiative to create more opportunities to advance the awareness, inclusion and opportunities for women and those who identify as women through music, arts, mentorship and education.

photo by Zachary Michael

One of music’s biggest live acts, Arctic Monkeys make their ACL debut in the midst of a sold-out world tour and a headlining spot on ACL Fest. After springing to international attention in 2006 when their first album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not became the fastest selling debut LP in British chart history, Arctic Monkeys have released a string of critically acclaimed albums. The band’s sixth studio album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, follows the Sheffield, U.K. quartet’s most commercially successful LP to date, 2013’s A.M., which reached #1 on charts in a dozen countries, achieved platinum status in the U.S. and has sold approximately five million copies worldwide. Tranquility Base is a bold and brilliant album reflecting singer/songwriter/bandleader Alex Turner’s ever more comprehensive creative vision. The core ideas for Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino took root in L.A. in the early months of 2017, as Turner began recording demos in his modest home studio. Though he’d rarely written on anything other than guitar, piano-led songs began pouring out of him. After Turner tracked as much as he could at home on his Tascam, Arctic Monkeys reconvened at France’s storied La Frette studio, a converted 19th-century mansion, to spend five weeks recording with their longtime producer James Ford. “There’s a definite vibe about that place,” says guitarist Jamie Cook. “We were really home there…I would probably say it was the best recording session we’ve ever done.” The result is the most unusual record in the band’s six-record repertoire. Q calls it “a strange, wonderful album,” while Spin notes that “the more you give in to these vibes, the more the vibes give back.” “The first listen may be surprising,” says PopMatters, “but repeated listens illuminate that Arctic Monkeys remain progressive and energetic even when style and mood shift dramatically.”

Want to be part of our audience? We will post information on how to get free passes about a week before each taping. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for notice of postings. The broadcast versions will air on PBS as part of our upcoming Season 44.

Buddy Guy to live stream 9/17 ACL taping

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Austin City Limits is thrilled to announce that we will be live streaming Buddy Guy’s taping on September 17 here on the ACL TV YouTube channel.  This will be the blues titan’s third headlining appearance on the ACL stage.

Buddy Guy’s astounding career spans over fifty years with just as many albums released. Career highlights include the 2015 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, seven Grammy Awards, 37 Blues Music Awards, Kennedy Center Honors, Billboard Music Awards’ Century Award, Presidential National Medal of Arts, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, to name a few. The veteran bluesman recently released his eighteenth solo LP, The Blues is Alive and Well, the acclaimed follow-up to his 2015 album Born To Play Guitar, which received “Best Blues Album” honors at the 2016 Grammy Awards, and debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Blues Album charts.  Produced by Guy’s longtime partner Tom Hambridge and featuring special guests Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck and James Bay, the new album is hailed “a heart-warming set from a cultural treasure” by Mojo. Rolling Stone raves, “Buddy Guy proves blues is alive and well,” while Uncut notes, “[Guy] stretches out into these songs, inhabiting them comfortably and casually, almost always finding a way to make the familiar sound fresh.” Guy will be the recipient of this year’s Americana Music Awards Lifetime Achievement Honor, and at 82 years young, proves unstoppable as he continues to record and tour around the world.

Join us on Sept. 17 for this full set live stream of Buddy Guy’s return taping here on our ACLTV YouTube channel. The broadcast version will air on PBS as part of our upcoming Season 44.

Norah Jones, Boz Scaggs, Gary Clark Jr. and more to perform on ACL Hall of Fame 2018

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Austin City Limits announces a star-studded slate of guest performers and presenters for the 2018 ACL Hall of Fame Inductions & Celebration on October 25, 2018. Music greats Norah Jones, Boz Scaggs, Gary Clark Jr., Ruthie Foster, Robert Randolph, Lou Ann Barton, Shelley King, Carolyn Wonderland, Adrian Quesada and additionally, filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, have been added to this year’s line-up of luminaries celebrating the fifth anniversary class of inductees. These special guests, along with returning host Chris Isaak and previously announced acts Irma Thomas and Tracy Nelson, join in an evening filled with unique performances and heartfelt tributes as three American originals enter the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame: the legendary Ray Charles, blues stalwart Marcia Ball and pioneering rockers Los Lobos. Get your tickets now to this one-of-a-kind event. 

Ray Charles by Scott Newton

All-star guests will handle induction honors for the epic night: Robert Rodriguez will be on hand to induct Los Lobos, with Boz Scaggs and Robert Randolph performing in tribute. Norah Jones, Gary Clark Jr. and Ruthie Foster will salute Ray Charles, and John Burk, President of Concord Label Group and producer of Ray Charles’ final studio album, will induct the late icon. New Orleans soul queen Irma Thomas will induct Marcia Ball and lead a one-of-a-kind tribute featuring an all-female line-up of blues all-stars: Tracy Nelson, Lou Ann Barton, Shelley King and Carolyn Wonderland. Inductees Los Lobos and Marcia Ball will also perform at the ceremony. ACL Hall of Famer Lloyd Maines returns as music director, leading an ace house band.

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 ceremony will air in a special New Year’s Eve broadcast of Austin City Limits as part of the program’s Season 44 which premieres October 6, 2018 on PBS.

The event is open to the public and tickets are currently on sale here. Sponsor packages are available at acltv.com/hall-of-fame. All proceeds benefit KLRU-TV, Austin PBS.

The fifth class of inductees features a diverse group of music legends with longtime ties to Austin City Limits: The one and only Ray Charles, who died in 2004, made two classic appearances on ACL starting in Season 5 in 1980 and again in 1984, playing an instrumental role in validating the nascent show’s reputation as a live music beacon. Los Lobos’ musical kinship with ACL includes six appearances on the series, debuting in Season 14 in 1989, and returning to celebrate their milestone forty years as a band during ACL’s own 40th anniversary season in 2014. Celebrated blues pianist and vocalist Marcia Ball debuted on the program’s first season in 1976, making four more standout appearances in 1979, 1990, 1998 and 2006.

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. Last year’s Hall of Fame honored Roy Orbison, Rosanne Cash and The Neville Brothers, and the 50th Anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act.

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.