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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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Featured Hall of Fame News Taping Recap Uncategorized

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.

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Featured Hall of Fame News Uncategorized

ACL announces 2021 HOF guest performers

Austin City Limits announces an all-star slate of guest performers for the 2021 ACL Hall of Fame Inductions & Celebration on October 28, 2021. Music greats Jason Isbell, Margo Price, John Doe, Sheila E., Lenny Kaye, Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner, Rosanne Cash, Bill Callahan, Terry Allen and Del Castillo’s Alex Ruiz will take part in saluting the newest class of inductees with one-of-a-kind music performances and tributes. After an absence in 2020 due to the pandemic, the ACL Hall of Fame returns, celebrating a stellar new class of trailblazing artists with longtime ties to ACL: Lucinda Williams, Wilco and Alejandro Escovedo. The 2021 ACL Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at the star-studded ceremony on October 28th, 2021 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 8, 2022 on PBS.

The event is open to the public and a limited number of newly released 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. 

All-star guests will handle induction honors for this epic night: Jason Isbell will induct Lucinda Williams and perform in tribute along with Margo Price and Rosanne Cash. Cash will also induct Wilco, and indie legend Bill Callahan, Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner and Texas icon Terry Allen will salute the celebrated band. A godfather of punk, Lenny Kaye, will induct Alejandro Escovedo; joining the musical tribute will be John Doe, founder of seminal LA punk band X, Queen of percussion Sheila E. and Alex Ruiz, frontman for Austin Latin rock band Del Castillo. Inductees Lucinda Williams, Wilco and Alejandro Escovedo will all perform at the ceremony. ACL Hall of Famer, renowned steel guitarist and producer Lloyd Maines, returns as Music Director, leading the ACL All-Stars house band.

The seventh class of 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.

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 47 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. 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.

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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Featured Hall of Fame News Taping Announcement Uncategorized

Wilco, Lucinda Williams and Alejandro Escovedo to join ACL Hall of Fame

Austin City Limits is proud to announce the newest class of Austin City Limits Hall of Fame inductees, recognizing a pioneering trio of music’s great live acts: Wilco, Alejandro Escovedo and Lucinda Williams. After an absence in 2020 due to the pandemic, the ACL Hall of Fame returns to form, celebrating a stellar new class of trailblazing artists with longtime ties to ACL. The 2021 ACL Hall of Fame inductees will be saluted at a star-studded ceremony to be held October 28th, 2021 at ACL‘s studio home, ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. More information about performers, host, 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 July 9 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 seventh class of inductees features three American originals: Roots-music icon Lucinda Williams has made four classic appearances on ACL in her remarkable four-decade career, starting with her debut on Season 15 in 1990. Celebrated Chicago band Wilco has also appeared on ACL four times over 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 five appearances total including a star-studded return in 2017. 

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

Wilco: “We would have been stunned had we known we were even being considered for this honor,” said Jeff Tweedy. “Such a singular group of absolutely essential artists to get to be a part of. Austin City Limits has been a cornerstone of the American musical landscape longer than any of us can even remember.  Absolutely floored, we are. Thank you thank you thank you!”

Lucinda Williams: “What an honor! Austin City Limits was behind me in the very early days when almost no one else was. Now, here we are over 30 years later! That makes it all the sweeter.”

Alejandro Escovedo:Austin City Limits has always been an integral part of my musical journey. I’ve taken part in five tapings and each one has been an extraordinary experience, from the producers to the crew and sound people who have always made me feel part of their family. Thank you for this honor, Austin City Limits.” 

“Wilco’s first appearance for our 25th anniversary in 2000 was a major turning point for ACL, and I described them at the time as ‘the quintessential Austin City Limits band,’’ says ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “Collectively, the three of this year’s inductees represent the essence of everything ACL has stood for – originality, authenticity, virtuosity. Honoring them together will make for a magical night (and no doubt a few surprises)!”

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 47 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. 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.

About the 2021 Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Honorees:

Wilco

In their over two-plus decades as a band, Wilco has won multiple Grammy Awards, released 11 studio albums, as well as a trio of acclaimed albums with Billy Bragg penning music to lyrics by Woody Guthrie. Led, as always by singer/songwriter Jeff Tweedy, the influential Chicago band have founded their own record label (dBpm Records) and festival (Solid Sound). Wilco continue to be regarded as a live powerhouse, as described by NPR, “To see Wilco on stage is to hear the best of the best.” Rolling Stone hails their most recent album, Ode to Joy, “Their best in years, a beautiful exercise in downhearted uplift,” while New York Magazine raved “[Ode to Joy] is Wilco’s best album in over a decade, and solid proof there’s room for bands to grow even when they’re already ten albums in.” Wilco has appeared on the ACL stage four times, in 2000, 2005, 2007 and 2012. 

Lucinda Williams

Louisiana-born Lucinda Williams has traveled a long road since her 1979 debut, Ramblinon My Mind, followed by Happy Woman Blues, her first album of originals released over forty years ago in 1980. (She says that she’s still “the same girl” except that now “I have a bigger fan base and I can afford to stay at better hotels.”) Over the course of fourteen remarkable albums, three Grammy awards, and countless accolades, including Time’s Songwriter of the Year of 2001, Williams is one of music’s most revered artists, beloved for her singular vocals and extraordinary songs. In 2018, she celebrated the 20th Anniversary of her watershed Americana album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road with a sold-out milestone tour. The pioneering artist returned to the gritty blues foundation that first inspired her as a young singer-songwriter in the late 1970s, releasing a career highlight, 2020’s Good Souls Better Angels, to critical raves and a pair of Grammy nominations, hailed “one of the most searing, potent and passionate albums you’ll hear” by American Songwriter. Williams has appeared on Austin City Limits four times, in 1990, 1992 (as part of a songwriters special), 1999 and 2008. 

Alejandro Escovedo

Called a “rock and punk godfather” by Rolling Stone, Alejandro Escovedo first debuted on Austin City Limits in 1983 with his seminal band Rank and File, and has made five indelible appearances. The San Antonio-born, California-raised trailblazer has been a punk of the rebel kind in early band The Nuns, a cowpunk of the non-Western variety in Rank and File, commander of a guitar army in The True Believers, an orchestral conductor in his solo work, and a sensitive boy who has outrun death, demons, lust, and lost love in his songs. Crossing borders, jumping barriers, taking risks, betting it all: that’s the path Alejandro Escovedo has taken in his lifelong search for the heart of rock ‘n’ roll. No Depression magazine declared him the Artist of the Decade at the onset of the millennium. His 12th studio album, 2018’s The Crossing, is a testament to his enduring power as a uniquely talented artist and collaborator. Escovedo has appeared on ACL five times – in 1983 (as part of Rank and File), 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2017.

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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Featured Hall of Fame News Uncategorized

Austin City Limits cancels 2020 Hall of Fame celebration

Austin City Limits and Austin PBS are deeply disappointed to announce, after careful consideration, the 2020 Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Induction & Celebration event will no longer take place in October 2020 as previously planned. 

We are already looking ahead and will be back next year – October 28, 2021. We hope you will save the date and join us for this annual celebration and Austin PBS fundraiser. 

The broadcast Season 46 of Austin City Limits will return this fall. In the meantime, we are working on a special episode, The Best of Austin City Limits Hall of Fame, featuring highlights from the past 6 years of unforgettable music performances from the Hall of Fame stage to air this winter on PBS.

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Episode Recap Featured Hall of Fame New Broadcast

Welcome Shawn Colvin, Buddy Guy and Lyle Lovett to the ACL Hall of Fame Dec. 28

Austin City Limits celebrates its newest class of Hall of Fame inductees: blues great Buddy Guy, and acclaimed singer-songwriters Shawn Colvin and Lyle Lovett, with a special broadcast featuring best-in-class performances and collaborations from the Austin City Limits 6th Annual Hall of Fame Honors. Recorded live in Austin, TX on October 24, 2019 at ACL’s studio home, ACL Live at The Moody Theater, this all-star salute features music luminaries and special guests sharing the stage for one epic night, honoring three beacons of American music who have played an instrumental role in making the iconic series a music institution. Performers include (in order of appearance): Jackson BrowneSarah JaroszJimmie VaughanShemekia CopelandChristone “Kingfish” IngramWillis Alan Ramsey and Edie Brickell joined by special guest, Oscar-winning actor, filmmaker and best-selling author Sean Penn, with the evening hosted by Robert Earl Keen.

The hour-long broadcast is sponsored by AXS and American Airlines with additional support from Cousins Properties Incorporated, Keller Williams, Stratus Properties and Texas Monthly. The broadcast airs Saturday, December 28 at 8pm ET on PBS. Check local PBS listings for times.

Master of ceremonies, Texas troubadour Robert Earl Keen, opens the hour introducing the legendary Jackson Browne to salute the night’s first honoree, Shawn Colvin. In a heartfelt induction speech, Browne praises Colvin for songs that “get in your head and influence your way of looking at the world” before joining his friend for an acoustic rendition of the title track from her 2006 album These Four Walls. Colvin performs a spellbinding take on her GRAMMY® Award-winning smash “Sunny Came Home” from her landmark 1996 album A Few Small Repairs, accompanied by standout Sarah Jarosz on mandolin and harmony. Fellow honoree Lyle Lovett shows his appreciation by joining Colvin for a gorgeous spin on early gem “Diamond in the Rough,” from her 1989 debut Steady On, as the two Texas singer-songwriters share the stage, with Jarosz and world-class musicians Larry Klein (bass) and Steuart Smith (guitar).

Guitar hero Jimmie Vaughan inducts living legend Buddy Guy, calling him “his musical hero and mentor.” Vaughan fondly recalls how as kids he and his brother Stevie discovered the Chicago bluesman’s recordings on Chess Records and loved how Guy “played so mean.” The 83-year old showman accepts the honor with his signature wit, proclaiming “Better late than never,” then proceeds to light up the stage with a trio of classics. Vaughan joins Guy and his four-piece band for an electrifying take on his signature “Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues”; acclaimed blues singer Shemekia Copeland steps onstage for a playful, swaggering duet on “Cognac” from Guy’s 2019 GRAMMY® Award-winning album The Blues Is Alive And Well; next-generation blues phenom, 20-year-old Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, joins forces with Vaughan and Copeland in a musical salute as Guy thrills the crowd with his show-stopping anthem “Skin Deep.”

photo by Gary Miller

Finally, Sean Penn takes the stage to induct longtime friend Lyle Lovett. Calling Lovett a “humble maestro,” and “the storytelling heir to Faulkner, Rogers and Twain,” Penn humorously characterizes the Texan’s arrival on the LA music scene in the early ‘90s: “ Was he Buddy Holly reborn? Hank Williams evolved? Benny Goodman on acid? And where oh where did he get his hair?”  Lovett accepts the honor, recounting his long musical kinship with Austin City Limits, from watching the program since it’s 1975 debut to having the distinction of appearing on the program more than any artist second to Willie Nelson. Lovett welcomes a key early influence, seminal Texas singer-songwriter Willis Alan Ramsey, for a solo version of Lovett’s beloved “If I Had A Boat,” from his 1987 breakthrough Pontiac.  Singer-songwriter Edie Brickell sparkles on the tart ballad “I Loved You Yesterday,” joined by Lovett’s trademark Large Band.  Lovett steps up to the microphone for the finale, backed by the 13-piece Large Band and joined by the night’s performers and fellow honorees, closing the hour with a Texas-sized smile and a spirited take on the Lone Star classic “That’s Right, You’re Not From Texas (But Texas Wants You Anyway).”

Austin City Limits 6th Annual Hall of Fame Honors setlist:

Shawn Colvin & Jackson Browne “These Four Walls”

Shawn Colvin & Sarah Jarosz “Sunny Came Home”

Shawn Colvin with Larry Klein, Steuart Smith, Sarah Jarosz, and Lyle Lovett “Diamond in the Rough”

Buddy Guy & Jimmie Vaughan “Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues”

Buddy Guy & Shemekia Copeland “Cognac”

Buddy Guy, Jimmy Vaughan, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Shemekia Copeland “Skin Deep”

Willis Alan Ramsey with The Large Band “If I Had a Boat”

Edie Brickell with The Large Band “I Loved You Yesterday”

Finale: Lyle Lovett & The Large Band with all guests “That’s Right, You’re Not From Texas (But Texas Wants You Anyway)”

Tune in December 28 for this special episode, and, as always, check your local PBS listings for the broadcast time in your area. Go to the episode page for more info, and don’t forget to click over to our FacebookTwitter and newsletter pages for more ACL info. Join us on January 4 for a brand new episode featuring two of indie rock’s finest singer/songwriters: Sharon Van Etten and Lucy Dacus