Austin City Limits is excited to announce we will live stream the debut taping of acclaimed singer and songwriter Allison Russell on May 25 at 8 p.m. CT. This truly is one for the record books – the 1000th taping of Austin City Limits! We are thrilled to welcome this exceptional artist to the ACL stage for this historic milestone. ACL offers fans worldwide the unique opportunity to watch the taping live in its entirety via our ACLTV YouTube Channel. The broadcast episode will air this fall on PBS as part of our upcoming Season 48.
After years of collaborations with like-minded artists, Allison Russell’s first-ever solo project Outside Child was released in 2021 to critical acclaim and earned a trio of 2022 Grammy nominations, including Best Americana Album. Russell, a self-taught singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and co-founder of folk collective Our Native Daughters and duo Birds of Chicago, unpacks her youth in searing detail. Rolling Stone raves, “Russell turned her brutally tough childhood into stunning art.” Raised in Montreal, Russell imbues her music with the colors of her city – the light, the landscape, the language – but also the trauma that she suffered there. It is a heartbreaking reflection on a childhood no one should have to endure, and at the same time a powerful reclamation – asserted from a place of healing, of motherhood, of partnership – and from a new home made in Nashville. The record features many of the artistic family members she has found there including Yola, Erin Rae, The McCrary Sisters, Ruth Moody, Jamie Dick, Dan Knobler and her partner JT Nero. Outside Child, says Russell “is about resilience, survival, transcendence, the redemptive power of art, community, connection, and chosen family.” Singing about this on the double Grammy-nominated “Nightflyer,” Russell ponders the healing power of motherhood, using the track’s wide-open expanse to convey the strength she didn’t know she had. Here, the line “I am the mother of the evening star / I am the love that conquers all” is “the most defiantly triumphant, hopeful line I’ve ever written,” says Russell. “That’s about the birth of my daughter and how that transformed me.” Though she endured a fraught relationship with her own mother, Russell remembers how she’d crawl underneath the piano and listen to her mother play. “I would hum along with her,” Russell recalls. “She said I was humming before I could talk. I was able to feel some kind of comfort or love or connection in a way that she couldn’t verbally or physically express – but I could feel in her music that there was love in her.” Ultimately, Outside Child is not only a radical reclamation of a traumatic childhood and lost home, it is a lantern light for survivors of all stripes – a fervent reminder of the eleventh hour, resuscitative power of art. Fellow songwriter and poet Joe Henry raves, “Outside Child draws water from the dark well of a violent past. The songs themselves ––though iron-hard in their concerns–– are exultant: exercising haunted dream-like clean bedsheets snapped and hung out into broad daylight, and with the romantic poet’s lust for living and audacity of endurance.” Russell’s work has also been recognized with three nominations at this year’s 2022 Americana Music Awards: Artist of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year. We’re thrilled to bring Russell to the ACL stage as we celebrate a landmark occasion with our milestone 1K taping moment.
Join us here on May 25 at 8 p.m. CT for Allison Russell. Join us this fall on PBS for the broadcast premiere of Austin City Limits’ upcoming Season 48.