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Featured Hall of Fame News Taping Recap

Taping recap: Austin City Limits 8th annual Hall of Fame induction

It goes without saying that an ACL Hall of Fame taping is something special. The combination of ACL greats being saluted by their peers and fans always makes for an emotional, exciting evening. For our eighth HOF show, we were privileged to honor Austin music icon Joe Ely and superstar singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow. This year’s Hall of Fame, honoring a pair of inductees, featured a deeper dive into each artist’s work, highlighted by extended tributes, allowing the guest performers to share personal stories about their connection for a very special night.

Joe Ely accepts his ACL Hall of Fame trophy from author Lawrence Wright, Oct. 2022. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

Following introductions from Austin PBS CEO Luis Patiño and Austin City Limits executive producer Terry Lickona, who introduced perennial bandleader Lloyd Maines and the ACL All-Stars house band, renowned Texas author Lawrence Wright arrived to induct hometown hero Joe Ely. “The driving beat of a Joe Ely anthem tells us right away where he’s coming from,” Wright noted. “He’s a honky-tonk poet, an outlaw country minstrel, a corrido balladeer, a rocker with a broken heart, all these traditions experienced, captured, and transformed into his own distinctive style. The traditions that shaped Joe have been shaped by him in turn. He absorbed the legends and became the legend, and because of his gifts to our culture, the emptiness is filled with understanding, with connection, with meaning.” Ely accepted his award graciously, encouraging the show to get back to the music, which roared to life at the piano bench of ACL Hall of Famer Marcia Ball. The Austin legend recalled with obvious pleasure how she was introduced to Ely’s music in the seventies, watching the Amarillo native move from Lubbock expatriate to Texas rock star. That led immediately into a joyous take on Ely’s rip-roaring piano tribute “Fingernails,” because what other song should be in Ball’s capable hands?

Marcia Ball performs “Fingernails” in tribute to Joe Ely’s induction into the ACL Hall of Fame, Oct. 2022. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

While the audio crew struck Ball’s piano, Lloyd Maines came to the front of the stage to introduce the ACL All-Stars: ace players David Grissom, Chris Gage, Bill Whitbeck and Tom Van Schaik, plus special guests Jimmy Pettit and Davis McLarty, both mainstays (along with Grissom) of Ely’s band in the 80s and 90s. Country great Rodney Crowell took the stage next to sing Ely’s rockabilly anthem “Cool Rockin’ Loretta,” including an improvised testimony in the midsection paying tribute to “cool rockin’ Joe Ely.” Then it was time to hear from the man himself, who returned to the stage, guitar in hand, turning in a spirited performance of his classic tune “All Just to Get to You” to loud applause. 

Joe Ely performs his classic “All Just to Get to You” during his ACL Hall of Fame induction, Oct. 2022. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

The only way to follow that was for Ely to be joined by his decades-long pals and peers Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore – AKA the Flatlanders. Sitting in a row on stools, the trio jumped into a rollicking “I Had My Hopes Up High,” not only the first song on Ely’s 1977 debut album, but also the song that kicks off Ely’s debut ACL episode in 1980. “This is one of the most beautiful West Texas songs you’ll ever hear,” remarked Hancock, as Gilmore led them into Ely’s extraordinary ballad “Because of the Wind.” As another pair of mics were set up, Gilmore talked about what music means to humanity, and specifically to his old friend Joe. “One thing all of us had in our homes was Woody Guthrie,” he said, as Ball and Crowell returned for a round robin, Western swing-flavored take on the great American troubadour’s “Goin’ Down That Old Dusty Road,” a staple of Ely’s sets for many years. Leave it to Ely, at his own tribute, to insist on paying tribute to his own primary influence. “Thank you, Austin City Limits!” said Gilmore, as the crowd cheered and the Flatlanders took a grateful bow. 

L-R: Rodney Crowell, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock and Marcia Ball sing Woody Guthrie’s “Goin’ Down This Old Dusty Road” for Ely’s ACL Hall of Fame induction, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

While the crew reset the stage for the next segment, the audience was treated to a pair of videos from the ACL archive, both featuring the late, great Loretta Lynn, in tribute to her passing earlier this month. Brandi Carlile took the stage to induct her friend Sheryl Crow. “She’s so charming and humble you almost forget that she’s Sheryl fucking Crow,” Carlile said about her mentor. “But we must never forget. When it comes to empowerment, Sheryl has always been on the right side of history.” A clearly moved Crow thanked Brandi and ACL, noting how many of her heroes performed on the show and how much it’s meant to her. Then her pal Jason Isbell took the stage, mentioning how Crow became the rock star she is while remaining a normal person – a rarity in this business. Joined by Crow’s longtime guitarist Peter Stroud, Isbell and the All-Stars then laid down a devastating version of Crow’s masterfully crafted ballad “Run Baby Run.” 

Sheryl Crow accepts her ACL Hall of Fame trophy as inductor Brandi Carlile looks on, Oct. 2022. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

The show then welcomed a very special guest: breakout country singer Brittney Spencer. She recounted first encountering Crow at her day job in a coffee shop, which became the root of a continuing friendship. It was also the spark that led to Spencer appearing on our stage to pay tribute to her hero with a soulful take on Crow’s soulful rocker “My Favorite Mistake.” Singer/songwriter Jess Wolfe from Lucius arrived to “literally sing the praises” of her friend. With Wolfe’s Lucius partner Holly Laessig sidelined by illness, Crow herself took Laessig’s place for a lovely version of her hit “Strong Enough” with Wolfe. The duo quit the stage to make way for the return of Carlile, who thrilled in getting to sing “the most fun Sheryl Crow song,” i.e. the Crow staple “If It Makes You Happy,” a tune perfect for Carlile’s lonesome wail. She didn’t leave, however, welcoming the inductee back onstage to duet on the massive hit and fan favorite “Every Day is a Winding Road.” The pair’s obvious joy in singing together translated to both the band and the audience, leading to a delightfully fun performance that earned enthusiastic applause. 

Alongside guitarist Peter Stroud, Sheryl Crow and Brandi Carlile sing “Every Day is a Winding Road” for Crow’s ACL Hall of Fame induction, Oct. 2022. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

With a Wurlitzer piano arriving onstage, Crow, Carlile, Isbell, Spencer and Wolfe returned for the grand finale. “It’s a huge honor to share a stage with Joe Ely,” Crow said, also praising the ACL All-Stars and her friends. With Carlile, Spencer and Wolfe acting as a gospel chorus and Isbell contributing guitar solos, Crow passionately sang “I Shall Believe,” turning the brokenhearted ballad into a rousing optimistic anthem. “Thank you, Terry Lickona! Thank you, Austin City Limits! I love you so much!” The audience gave that love back to her with huge applause. And it was over – a fantastic Hall of Fame show that we can’t wait for you to see when it airs January 7, 2023 as part of our Season 48 on your local PBS station. 

Sheryl Crow leads Peter Stroud, Jason Isbell, Jess Wolfe, Brandi Carlile, Brittney Spencer and Lloyd Maines and the ACL All-Stars through her classic “I Shall Believe” during the eight annual ACL Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

Austin City Limits 8th Annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony, honoring Joe Ely and Sheryl Crow, Oct. 27, 2022. Photos courtesy Austin City Limits.

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Featured Hall of Fame News

ACL Hall of Fame 2022 adds new talent for next week’s ceremony

Austin City Limits proudly announces additional guest performers for the 2022 ACL Hall of Fame Inductions & Celebration on October 27. Acclaimed act Lucius and country legend Rodney Crowell will join the previously announced line-up of music luminaries slated to perform: Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, Brittney Spencer, Marcia Ball, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock. We regret to announce that Mavis Staples will no longer be appearing at this event due to unforeseen circumstances. The all-star line-up will salute a pair of American originals—superstar singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow and legendary Texas music pioneer Joe Ely—with one-of-a-kind music performances and tributes as they are inducted into the ACL Hall of Fame. The star-studded ceremony takes place on Thursday, October 27th, 2022 at ACL’s studio home, ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. Musical highlights and inductions from the celebration will air as a special Austin City Limits on January 7, 2023 on PBS.  

All-star guests will handle induction honors on this epic night: Americana great and six-time Grammy Award winner Brandi Carlile will induct nine-time Grammy Award winner Sheryl Crow and perform in tribute along with celebrated songwriter Jason Isbell, power vocalists Lucius and country breakout Brittney Spencer. Texas music legend Joe Ely will be inducted by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright along with a musical salute featuring revered Lone Star musicians: Ely’s longtime collaborators in Texas supergroup The Flatlanders, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock, will salute the pioneer; joining the musical tribute are country music trailblazer Rodney Crowell and blues legend and ACL Hall of Famer Marcia Ball. Inductees Sheryl Crow and Joe Ely will perform at the celebration. 

ACL Hall of Famer, renowned steel guitarist and producer Lloyd Maines, returns as Music Director, leading the ACL All-Stars house band featuring guitarist David Grissom, keyboardist Chris Gage, bassist Bill Whitbeck and drummer Tom Van Schaik.

The event is open to the public and a limited number of tickets are on sale at acltv.com/hall-of-fame.  Sponsor packages are available now at acltv.com/hall-of-fame. All proceeds benefit Austin PBS.

The eighth class of inductees features two iconic acts: Celebrated singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow has made two classic hourlong appearances on ACL in her remarkable three-decade career, starting with her debut on Season 22 in 1997 and returning in 2004. She also co-hosted ACL’s 40th anniversary special in 2014, the same year the Hall of Fame was established. An icon of Texas music, Joe Ely has made 11 appearances on ACL: including as a headliner five times beginning with his 1980 ACL debut in Season 5; also joining Los Super 7 in 1999, Texas supergroup The Flatlanders in 2002, and a Songwriters Special with Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt and Guy Clark in 2008. The influential artist has made guest appearances with multiple acts, including Kevin Welch in 1992, Ryan Bingham in 2009 and joined Steve Earle and the Dukes in 2019 for a tribute to Guy Clark.

Established in 2014, the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame celebrates the legacy of legendary artists and key individuals who have played a vital part in the pioneering music series remarkable nearly half-century as a music institution. The Hall of Fame has inducted over twenty artists at seven previous ceremonies including Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Lloyd Maines, Asleep at the Wheel, Loretta Lynn, Guy Clark, Flaco Jiménez, Townes Van Zandt, Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Roy Orbison, Rosanne Cash, The Neville Brothers, Ray Charles, Marcia Ball, Los Lobos, Lyle Lovett, Buddy Guy, Shawn Colvin. The seventh annual Hall of Fame in 2021 welcomed Lucinda Williams, Wilco and Alejandro Escovedo to its ranks. 

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

Austin City Limits

Austin City Limits (ACL) offers viewers unparalleled access to featured acts in an intimate setting that provides a platform for artists to deliver inspired, memorable, full-length performances. Now in its 48th Season, the program is taped live before a concert audience from The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. Austin City Limits is the longest-running music series in television history and remains the only TV series to ever be awarded the National Medal of Arts. Since its inception, the groundbreaking music series has become an institution that’s helped secure Austin’s reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World. The historic Austin PBS Studio 6A, home to 36 years of ACL concerts, has been designated an official Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Landmark. In 2011, ACL moved to the new venue ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. ACL received a rare institutional Peabody Award for excellence and outstanding achievement in 2012.  

Austin City Limits is produced by Austin PBS and funding is provided in part by Dell Technologies, Workrise, the Austin Convention Center Department and Cirrus Logic. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Austin City Limits. Learn more about Austin City Limits, programming and history at acltv.com.

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Featured Hall of Fame News Uncategorized

ACL Hall of Fame 2022 guest talent announced

Austin City Limits announces an all-star slate of guest performers for the 2022 ACL Hall of Fame Inductions & Celebration on October 27, 2022 celebrating a pair of American originals: superstar singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow and legendary Texas music pioneer Joe Ely. Music greats Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, Mavis Staples, Brittney Spencer, Marcia Ball, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock will take part in saluting the newest class of inductees with one-of-a-kind music performances and tributes. The inductees will be honored at the star-studded ceremony on October 27th, 2022 at ACL’s studio home, ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. More information about presenters and additional guest stars will be announced prior to the event. Musical highlights and inductions from the celebration will air as a special Austin City Limits on January 7, 2023 on PBS.

The event is open to the public and a limited number of tickets are on sale at acltv.com/hall-of-fame. Sponsor packages are available now at acltv.com/hall-of-fame. All proceeds benefit Austin PBS. 

An all-star line-up of special guests will salute the honorees on this epic night: Americana great and six-time Grammy Award recipient Brandi Carlile, celebrated songwriter Jason Isbell, living legend Mavis Staples and country breakout Brittney Spencer will perform in tribute to nine-time Grammy Award winner Sheryl Crow. Texas music legend Joe Ely will be honored by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright along with a musical salute from revered Lone Star musicians and Ely’s longtime collaborators in Texas supergroup The Flatlanders, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock, along with blues legend and ACL Hall of Famer Marcia Ball. Inductees Sheryl Crow and Joe Ely will perform at the celebration. ACL Hall of Famer, renowned steel guitarist and producer Lloyd Maines, returns as Music Director, leading the ACL All-Stars house band featuring guitarist David Grissom, keyboardist Chris Gage, bassist Bill Whitbeck and drummer Tom Van Schaik.

The eighth class of inductees features two iconic acts: Celebrated singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow has made two classic hourlong appearances on ACL in her remarkable three-decade career, starting with her debut on Season 22 in 1997 and returning in 2004. She also co-hosted ACL’s 40th anniversary special in 2014, the same year the Hall of Fame was established. An icon of Texas music, Joe Ely has made 11 appearances on ACL: including as a headliner five times beginning with his 1980 ACL debut in Seasaon 5; also joining Los Super 7 in 1999, Texas supergroup The Flatlanders in 2002, and a Songwriters Special with Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt and Guy Clark in 2008. The influential artist has made guest appearances with multiple acts, including Kevin Welch in 1992, Ryan Bingham in 2009 and joined Steve Earle and the Dukes in 2019 for a tribute to Guy Clark.

Established in 2014, the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame celebrates the legacy of legendary artists and key individuals who have played a vital part in the pioneering music series remarkable nearly half-century as a music institution. The Hall of Fame has inducted over twenty artists at seven previous ceremonies including Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Lloyd Maines, Asleep at the Wheel, Loretta Lynn, Guy Clark, Flaco Jiménez, Townes Van Zandt, Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Roy Orbison, Rosanne Cash, The Neville Brothers, Ray Charles, Marcia Ball, Los Lobos, Lyle Lovett, Buddy Guy, Shawn Colvin. The seventh annual Hall of Fame in 2021 welcomed Lucinda Williams, Wilco and Alejandro Escovedo to its ranks. 

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

Austin City Limits

Austin City Limits (ACL) offers viewers unparalleled access to featured acts in an intimate setting that provides a platform for artists to deliver inspired, memorable, full-length performances. Now in its 48th Season, the program is taped live before a concert audience from The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. Austin City Limits is the longest-running music series in television history and remains the only TV series to ever be awarded the National Medal of Arts. Since its inception, the groundbreaking music series has become an institution that’s helped secure Austin’s reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World. The historic Austin PBS Studio 6A, home to 36 years of ACL concerts, has been designated an official Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Landmark. In 2011, ACL moved to the new venue ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. ACL received a rare institutional Peabody Award for excellence and outstanding achievement in 2012.  

Austin City Limits is produced by Austin PBS and funding is provided in part by Dell Technologies, Workrise, the Austin Convention Center Department and Cirrus Logic. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Austin City Limits. Learn more about Austin City Limits, programming and history at acltv.com.

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Featured Hall of Fame News

ACL announces Hall of Fame 2022 inductees Sheryl Crow and Joe Ely

Austin City Limits is proud to announce the newest class of Austin City Limits Hall of Fame inductees, recognizing a pair of American originals: Nine-time Grammy winner Sheryl Crow and Texas legend Joe Ely. The ACL Hall of Fame celebrates this stellar new class of trailblazing artists with longtime ties to ACL. The 2022 ACL Hall of Fame inductees will be saluted at a star-studded ceremony to be held October 27th, 2022 at ACL’s studio home, ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. More information about guest performers, 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 June 24th at 10am CT at acltv.com/hall-of-fame.  Sponsor packages are available now at acltv.com/hall-of-fame. All proceeds benefit Austin PBS. 

The eighth class of inductees features two iconic acts: Singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow has made two classic hourlong appearances on ACL in her remarkable three-decade career, starting with her debut on Season 22 in 1997 and returning in 2004. She also co-hosted ACL’s 40th anniversary special in 2014. An icon of Texas music, Joe Ely has made 11 appearances on ACL: including as a headliner five times beginning with his 1980 ACL debut in Season 5; also joining Los Super 7 in 1999, Texas supergroup the Flatlanders in 2002, and a Songwriters Special with Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt and Guy Clark in 2008. The influential artist has made guest appearances with multiple acts, including Kevin Welch in 1992, Ryan Bingham in 2009 and joined Steve Earle and the Dukes in 2019 for a tribute to Guy Clark.

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

Sheryl Crow: “I have always loved Austin City Limits. Some of my favorite performances have been on that show. I am so humbled to be honored by such an iconic and prestigious program. It is a dream come true for me to be inducted into the ACL Hall of Fame.”

Joe Ely: “I first played Austin City Limits back in 1980. It was more a local show then, but it kept getting a wider and wider audience,” Ely remembers.“It’s since become one of the most important live performance shows on television simply because they’ve always maintained the highest quality production and brought in great talent. I’m really honored to be part of that history, and I’m humbled to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.”

Established in 2014, the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame celebrates the legacy of legendary artists and key individuals who have played a vital part in the pioneering music series remarkable nearly half-century 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.  2018’s fifth anniversary class featured the inductions of Ray Charles, Marcia Ball and Los Lobos. The 2019 Hall of Fame welcomed Lyle Lovett, Buddy Guy and Shawn Colvin to its ranks. The seventh annual Hall of Fame in 2021 welcomed Lucinda Williams, Wilco and Alejandro Escovedo.

About the 2022 Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Honorees:

Sheryl Crow:

Songwriter. Activist. Rock star. Woman. Champion. Mother. Nine-time Grammy winner Sheryl Crow is many things, but at the core, she remains a creative spirit channeling her talents into music that lifts people up, brings them together, and speaks to the truths on the horizon. Twenty-five years after winning her first Grammy, as well as Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “All I Wanna Do,” the Kennett, Missouri-born guitarist/vocalist/creative thought about all she’d done, the places she’d been, the lives that’d touched hers – and saw the rich tapestry her journey had become. Crow’s is a career beyond dreams, with songs that defined the third wave of feminism, a rockist’s ability to sweep the pop charts without losing any edge and enough wide-open Midwestern joy to captivate the world. In 2019, Crow released her critically acclaimed album THREADS via The Valory Music Co., a collection of collaborations made with and in tribute to artists with whom Crow has musical connections. And in turn, she seeks to inspire people through her music and songs, especially the younger generation. “The passion and ability of our young people to dig deep and express themselves energizes and encourages me endlessly,” Crow says. “It thrills me to see their passion and will to change the world.” The subject of the new critically-acclaimed documentary Sheryl, we are thrilled to welcome Sheryl Crow into the ACL Hall of Fame.

Joe Ely:

From the moment he made his debut in the 1970s, Joe Ely has blended rock-and-roll sensibilities to hardcore honkytonk and become one of the most recognizable and respected artists to hail from the Lonestar state. Growing up on the vast and empty plains of West Texas, his legend was forged onstage with relentlessly riveting live performances, hammered out over thousands of shows and countless touring miles from Lubbock to London and back again the long way around. He is embraced as a kindred spirit by artists as diverse as Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and The Clash. Over his career, he’s been at the forefront of Outlaw Country, Alt-Country, Texas Country and Americana, and has been recognized as one of the best songwriters of his generation. Ely is a member of the prestigious Texas Institute of Letters (with active members Cormac McCarthy and Larry McMurtry) as the first musician ever honored by the group. The invitation was the result of Ely’s second book, Reverb: An Odyssey. Also, Ely was recognized by the Texas Legislature as the Official 2016 Texas State Musician, a coveted honor given to only a few (past recipients include Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Dale Watson & Billy Joe Shaver). Additionally the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame recently announced Ely has been inducted into the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame, alongside such legends as Roy Orbison and J.D. Souther. “There’s no mistaking a Joe Ely album,” wrote noted Dallas Morning News critic Mario Tarradell. “His stinging, road-hued voice commands lyrics about life, love and the wandering spirit. When you listen to any Joe Ely music, you’re enjoying the essence of Joe Ely. That’s the essence of Texas Music.”

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

Austin City Limits

Austin City Limits (ACL) offers viewers unparalleled access to featured acts in an intimate setting that provides a platform for artists to deliver inspired, memorable, full-length performances. Now in its 47th Season, the program is taped live before a concert audience from The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. Austin City Limits is the longest-running music series in television history and remains the only TV series to ever be awarded the National Medal of Arts. Since its inception, the groundbreaking music series has become an institution that’s helped secure Austin’s reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World. The historic Austin PBS Studio 6A, home to 36 years of ACL concerts, has been designated an official Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Landmark. In 2011, ACL moved to the new venue ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. ACL received a rare institutional Peabody Award for excellence and outstanding achievement in 2012.  

Austin City Limits is produced by Austin PBS and funding is provided in part by Dell Technologies, Workrise, the Austin Convention Center Department and Cirrus Logic. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Austin City Limits. Learn more about Austin City Limits, programming and history at acltv.com.

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Episode Recap Featured Hall of Fame New Broadcast News

Episode premiere: ACL 7th Annual Hall of Fame Honors

A special installment, Austin City Limits 7th Annual Hall of Fame Honors, premieres January 8 at 8pm CT/9pm ET on PBS. Austin City Limits (ACL) celebrates the newest class of Hall of Fame Inductees, honoring a trio of Americana greats with longtime ties to ACL: Lucinda Williams, Wilco and Alejandro Escovedo, with best-in-class performances and highlights from the 2021 ACL Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony presented by PNC Bank, recorded live in Austin, Texas on October 28, 2021.  Music greats Jason Isbell, Rosanne Cash, Margo Price, Sheila E., Lenny Kaye, Japanese Breakfast and more salute the new class of inductees with one-of-a-kind collaborative performances and tributes. The hour-long broadcast premieres Saturday, January 8 at 8pm ET on PBS. Check local PBS listings for times. The special will be available to music fans everywhere to stream online beginning Sunday, January 9 at 10am ET at pbs.org/austincitylimits. In addition, a streaming-only, 90-minute bonus installment featuring exclusive content from the celebration will be made available for fans the same day, including acclaimed performances by John Doe, legendary Los Angeles punk band X co-founder, iconoclastic Texas singer-songwriter Terry Allen and indie icon Bill Callahan. Providing viewers a front-row seat to the best in live performance for a remarkable 47 years, the series returns January 15 ringing in a new year with all-new episodes as part of its Season 47. Viewers can visit acltv.com for news regarding future tapings, episode schedules and select live stream updates. 

Margo Price and Lucinda Williams sing “Changed the Locks” at the 2021 ACL 7th Annual Hall of Fame Honors . Photo courtesy Austin City Limits

One of today’s finest songwriters, Jason Isbell, opens the hour to salute the night’s first honoree, legendary singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams. “A lot of my songs wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t spent so much time trying to rip her off,” grins Isbell in a heartfelt induction, providing insightful examples of the way Williams uses detailed imagery to paint pictures with her lyrics. “She’s made a map,” he explains, for other songwriters, including himself, to follow. “Too rock for country and too country for rock,” Williams cracks in her acceptance, recalling the music industry’s early reaction to her sound. Isbell performs a gorgeous rendition of Williams’ “I Envy the Wind” from her Grammy-nominated 2002 album Essence. The pioneering artist takes the stage for a pair of collaborative performances featuring highlights from her groundbreaking self-titled 1988 classic. “I’m on cloud nine,” says the honoree as she is joined by her friend of 30 years, Rosanne Cash, for the gem “Crescent City.” Country star Margo Price joins Williams for her signature scorcher “Changed the Locks’ ‘ in an electrifying duet.

Sheila E. congratulates her uncle Alejandro Escovedo at the ACL 7th Annual Hall of Fame Honors. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

Punk pioneer Lenny Kaye recounts how he first met Alejandro Escovedo in 1974, and inducts his longtime friend with wit and wisdom, capturing the essence of what makes the genre-defying Mexican-American artist’s eclectic, expansive body of work important to the world. Joined by his niece, the incomparable Queen of Percussion Sheila E. behind the drum kit, Lenny Kaye on guitar, and his veteran backing singers and string section, Escovedo opens the music salute with a Spanish-language song from his acclaimed 2018 immigrant-themed album The Crossing, bringing out Alex Ruiz, frontman for Austin Latin-rock band Del Castillo for the occasion. Escovedo completes his victory lap with a titanic take on “Put You Down,” his 1996 orchestral-rock anthem with which he opened his 2006 ACL appearance, guitar-windmilling his way through the thrilling performance.

Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner joins Wilco for “Jesus, etc.” at the ACL 7th Annual Hall of Fame Honors. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

ACL Hall of Famer Rosanne Cash inducts Wilco with deep accolades, referring to the celebrated Chicago band as “heartland laborers in the tower of song, with thick skins and open hearts” and champions them for being “subversive without being destructive” with a humanity that “somehow breaks us and heals us at the same time.” With Wilco’s music, Cash says, “we don’t need certainty when we love the questions.” Bandleader Jeff Tweedy, guitarist Nels Cline, bassist John Stirratt, keyboardists Pat Sansone and Mikael Jorgensen and drummer Glenn Kotche take the stage to perform early career highlight “Shot in the Arm.” A 2022 Grammy nominee and superfan, Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner is backed by the band for a radiant spin on the pop charmer “Jesus, Etc.” from the 2002 landmark Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

The stars come out en masse for a stellar reading of Wilco’s breakout “California Stars” from 1998’s collaborative classic Mermaid Avenue, with Jeff Tweedy, Rosanne Cash and Alejandro Escovedo trading verses and the all-star ensemble of performers singing-along. Jason Isbell trades licks on the song’s solo with Wilco guitar great Nels Cline, bringing the luminous hour to an epic close.

“California Stars” via the cast of the ACL 7th Annual Hall of Fame Honors. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

The seventh class of ACL Hall of Fame inductees represent the essence of everything ACL has stood for— originality, authenticity, virtuosity. Roots-music icon Lucinda Williams has made four classic appearances on ACL over a remarkable four-decade career, starting with her debut on Season 15 in 1990. Celebrated Chicago band Wilco has also appeared on ACL four times during their 25-year career, beginning in 2000 for the series’ 25th Anniversary season. Texas legend Alejandro Escovedo made his debut during the first decade of the series in Season 8 in 1983 with the band Rank and File, going on to make a total of five appearances including a star-studded return in 2017.

Austin City Limits 7th Annual Hall of Fame Honors setlist:

Jason Isbell “I Envy the Wind”

Lucinda Williams & Rosanne Cash “Crescent City”

Lucinda Williams & Margo Price “Changed the Locks”

Alejandro Escovedo, Alex Ruiz, Sheila E. & Lenny Kaye “Algo Azul”

Alejandro Escovedo, Alex Ruiz, Sheila E. “Put You Down”

Wilco “Shot In the Arm”

Wilco & Japanese Breakfast “Jesus, Etc.”

Wilco “California Stars” (All-Star Finale)

Bonus performances (streaming-only):

John Doe “Sally Was A Cop” (Alejandro Escovedo tribute)

Bill Callahan “Sky Blue Sky” (Wilco tribute)

Terry Allen “One Sunday Morning” (Wilco tribute)

Austin City Limits Hall of Fame

In 2014, Austin PBS established the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame (ACL HoF) to recognize legendary musicians and key individuals who have been instrumental in making television’s longest-running popular music show an institution. The ACL HoF is a historical archive, educational resource and celebration of ACL and the Austin spirit, capturing milestones in the history of the show and celebrating the performers who have graced its iconic stage. The annual ACL HoF Induction and Celebration is Austin PBS’ largest fundraising event with performances taped for broadcast on PBS stations nationwide. The 7th Annual Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Inductions and Celebration is presented by PNC Bank with additional support for the broadcast from AXS.

Austin City LimitsAustin City Limits (ACL) offers viewers unparalleled access to featured acts in an intimate setting that provides a platform for artists to deliver inspired, memorable, full-length performances. Now in its 47th Season, the program is taped live before a concert audience from The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. Austin City Limits is the longest-running music series in television history and remains the only TV series to ever be awarded the National Medal of Arts. Since its inception, the groundbreaking music series has become an institution that’s helped secure Austin’s reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World. The historic Austin PBS Studio 6A, home to 36 years of ACL concerts, has been designated an official Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Landmark. In 2011, ACL moved to the new venue ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. ACL received a rare institutional Peabody Award for excellence and outstanding achievement in 2012.

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Taping recap: ACL 7th Annual Hall of Fame Honors

Following last year’s pandemic-related pre-emption, we were beyond thrilled for the return of our biggest event/party of the season: the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Inductions & Celebration Presented by PNC Bank. We were proud to induct three longtime ACL favorites, all trailblazing artists who have all appeared on the show multiple times: renowned alt-country band Wilco, Austin rock icon Alejandro Escovedo, and the truly legendary singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams. Joined by a diverse and impressive line-up of musicians paying tribute to these fantastic figures, we had a grand time celebrating some of our favorite performers on our favorite night of the year. We were also excited to announce the formal unveiling of PNC Plaza at ACL Live as part of the ceremony. Our new partner PNC Bank has made a five-year commitment as the Official Bank of Austin City Limits.

Alejandro Escovedo. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

Following welcomes from Austin PBS acting CEO Lori Bolding and ACL executive producer Terry Lickona, it was time to induct the first honoree: Austin’s own Alejandro Escovedo. Legendary rock writer, producer and longtime Patti Smith guitarist Lenny Kaye did the honors. Kaye spoke of his long friendship with Escovedo, and what makes his eclectic, expansive body of work important not only to the industry, but to the world. Escovedo accepted his award in a stunning, sparkling lime-green jacket, and spoke of the influence of his wife Nancy Rankin, his Mexican family, especially his older brother, jazz great Pete Escovedo, and of his journey through music, as well as his gratitude to ACL for giving a platform to showcase his musical theater piece By the Hand of the Father in 2002. Joined by his niece, the incomparable Sheila E., behind the drum kit of the Austin All-Stars Band and his veteran backing singers and string section, Escovedo opened the music salute with “Algo Azul,” a song from his most recent album The Crossing, bringing out Alex Ruiz, frontman for Austin Latin-rock band Del Castillo and filmmaker Robert Rodriguez’s band Chingon, for an all-Spanish version of the song La Cruzada. Escovedo then welcomed another old pal, John Doe, co-founder of legendary Los Angeles punk band X, to sing the rocking story song “Sally Was a Cop,” from the 2012 album Big Station, amplified by a burning solo from house band leader Lloyd Maines on pedal steel. Escovedo finished his victory lap with a titanic take on “Put You Down,” his 1996 rock anthem with which he opened his 2006 ACL appearance. Guitars raged, the string section seared, and the audience response was deafening. 

Lucinda Williams with Rosanne Cash. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

The only way to follow that was by inducting another icon, which meant it was time to honor the singer/songwriter all other singer/songwriters bow down to: Lucinda Williams. One of her best-known disciples, Jason Isbell, inducted her into the HOF, explaining how Williams made a map for other songwriters, including himself, to follow. “This will fit real nicely next to my Grammys,” she commented wryly as she accepted her award. She praised Austin for helping give her her start, as well as Terry Lickona and the ACL staff. Isbell then took the stage to sing Williams’ beautiful “I Envy the Wind,” from her Grammy-nominated 2002 LP Essence. Williams joined her friend Rosanne Cash onstage to perform a moving version of the beguiling New Orleans tribute “Crescent City” from the Louisiana native’s groundbreaking 1988 self-titled LP, capped by a standing ovation from the crowd. Country rock star Margo Price joined Williams, presenting her hero with flowers and a heartfelt thanks for the example she sets. Along with the All-Stars, Price and Williams tore into “Changed the Locks,” the withering blues rocker also from 1988’s Lucinda Williams. After the two singers-in-arms left the stage, steel guitarist and house bandleader Lloyd Maines – the first musician to be inducted into the ACL Hall of Fame – introduced the ace ACL All-Stars Band: guitarist David Grissom, bassist Bill Whitbeck, drummer Tom Van Schiak and keyboardist Chris Gage. 

Wilco. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

Following an intermission, it was time to induct Wilco. Rosanne Cash welcomed her friends into the Hall with a speech touching on their “musical alchemy that’s just the thing if you want to spark a revolution in your audience.” Her words earned her hugs from all six members (leader Jeff Tweedy, bassist John Stirratt, guitarist Nels Cline, keyboardists Pat Sansone and Mikael Jorgenson, drummer Glenn Kotche), while Tweedy gave a speech thanking not only ACL but all the bands that gave them inspiration along the way. Wilco then picked up their instruments to do what they do best, opening their segment with Summerteeth’s rocking “A Shot in the Arm.” The band exited the stage with the exception of guitarist Nels Cline remaining to accompany their friend Bill Callahan on lap steel. The low-fi great sang “Sky Blue Sky” in his deep baritone, with Cline coloring the proceedings with keening steel lines. Legendary Texas singer/songwriter Terry Allen took the stage solo, for a stately piano performance of “One Sunday Morning.” Wilco returned to the stage joined by Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner, along with Lloyd Maines (who played on Wilco’s 1995 debut A.M.) for “Jesus, Etc.,” the pop charmer from 2002’s landmark Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

“We’d like to invite everybody back on the stage,” said Tweedy, bringing the all-star cast out for a stellar reading of “California Stars.” Escovedo, Cash, Isbell, Allen, Sheila E., Price, Callahan, Kaye, Zauner, Doe, Maines, and the string players joined in on Wilco’s early career highlight for a powerhouse closer. It was a great way to end the show, and stay tuned for highlights on Austin City Limits 7th Annual Hall of Fame Honors when it airs January 8 on PBS.