Few singer/songwriters are as well-respected and beloved as Jackson Browne. The longtime California resident has been the envy of his peers and descendents since before his first album came out in 1972, back when other people were recording his songs and wondering when he’d become a star himself. His catalog of classic songs speaks for itself, and his latest album Downhill From Nowhere, as well-crafted and heartfelt as any he’s ever made, proves his work as potent now as it’s ever been. So we were excited to have him back on the show, nearly twenty years after his first appearance back in 2002.
Taking the stage to a standing ovation from the eager crowd, the silver-bearded Browne and his eight-piece band (all of whom played on the new record) opened the show with “I’m Alive,” an anthem of moving on from past sorrows that doubles as a reminder of his presence and prowess. “We’ve been looking forward to this for a long time,” Browne noted, before visiting Downhill From Everywhere for “Still Looking For Something,” paying tribute to the journey rather than the destination. Browne stayed in searching mode with the folk rocking “The Long Way Around,” leading him back to his past. “Fountain of Sorrow,” from 1974’s Late For the Sky, rocked the house and allowed guitarist Val McCallum to contribute an appropriately epic solo. Browne and the band kept the energy level high with the title track of Downhill From Everywhere, an environmentally-charged rocker with a classic descending melody and gospel fervor from singer/organist Jeff Young. They stuck with the new record for “My Cleveland Heart,” the optimistic single about trading in our breakable human heart for a resilient, artificial replacement, on which Browne shares the vocals with McCallum and the riffs with steel guitarist Greg Leisz. That organ continued to occupy the stage when Browne went into “In the Shape of a Heart,” one of his most poignant and beautiful songs.
Browne brought backup singers Alethea Mills and Chavonne Stewart to the front for “The Dreamer,” a bilingual song paying tribute to people brought to the U.S. as children and now facing deportation that earned plenty of cheers. It’s one of the new record’s most powerful tunes, both because of its topical lyrics and its Latin groove. The trio kept the themes of social justice going with the rollicking “Until Justice is Real,” another strong Everywhere track. Browne then went from the latest to the earliest with “These Days,” originally recorded in the sixties by both the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Nico (years (before Browne himself put it on his 1973 album For Everyman), and a song that holds up nicely over fifty years since its conception. Then it was back to Everywhere for the duet “A Human Touch,” for which Browne brought on co-writer and singer Leslie Mendelson, who sang it on the record. The songwriter then took to the piano for “Doctor My Eyes,” his first hit and another stone cold classic with another blazing solo from McCallum and a standing O from the audience. Browne stayed with the keyboard for the gorgeous “Late For the Sky,” still a masterpiece of tunesmithery.
The way to follow up a song that good is with more classics: the beautifully melodic anthem “The Pretender” and the driving rocker “Running On Empty,” both of which earned wild crowd applause. Leisz, McCallum and pianist Jason Crosby traded solos before Young led the band into incorporating the Spencer Davis Group nugget “Gimme Some Lovin’.” The band brought the original tune crashing down to a massive response from the crowd. The musicians left the stage, but there was no way they weren’t coming back. They did, of course, with “Take It Easy,” the Eagles staple that many forget Browne co-wrote – “Sing it so Glenn Frey can hear you,” the singer exclaimed. That song segued seamlessly into For Everyman’s wistful “Our Lady of the Well,” with round robin solos from McCallum, Leisz, Crosby, Young, bassist Bob Glaub (who’s been with Browne for over forty years), Mills and Stewart and handclaps from the audience.
The band once again quit the stage, but Browne returned to the piano. This is a song that turns the tradition of the encore on its head,” he said. This is where we ask you for an encore.” Then he rang out the familiar chords to “The Load Out,” his classic song commemorating both the end of a show and the hardworking crew that keep bands on the road. The musicians returned to the stage by the second verse, and, as on the record, the song went straight into Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs’ doo-wop classic “Stay.” Mills and Young shared the vocals with Browne, before the audience itself took a chorus, singing loud and proud. “Stay!” they yelled, turning the song into a call-and-response with the band. “Come one come on come on – stay,” Browne and the singers (now including Mendelson), as the song came casually to a close. Bringing down the house once again, that was the end of a show for the ACL ages. We can’t wait for you to see it when it airs this fall on your local PBS station.
Austin City Limits is thrilled to announce a stellar slate of October tapings as part of our Season 47. Multi-platinum singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo makes her ACL debut on Oct. 2; acclaimed singer/songwriter Joy Oladokun makes her debut on Oct. 3; international superstar rock legends Duran Duran hit the ACL stage for the first time on Oct. 5; multiple GRAMMY-winner Brittany Howard returns to our stage in her first appearance as a solo artist on Oct. 6; and indie original Phoebe Bridgers makes her long-awaited ACL debut on Oct. 7.
Multi-platinum singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo dominated the charts and smashed streaming records in a breakout year, earning multiple No. 1 hits with her record-breaking, RIAA Platinum Certified debut album SOUR. It all started with her debut single “drivers license,” which landed at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early January in its first week out. The anthem has since become one of the most streamed songs in the world, surpassing 1 billion total Spotify streams and 1.2 billion global streams on Apple Music. The breakout pop phenom is now officially in the driver’s seat and not slowing down, she earned the most U.S. audio streams from a female debut album ever, broke the record for the most-streamed album in a week by a female artist in Spotify history and cemented her status as one of the most promising young artists to emerge in recent years: “All of pop music is Olivia Rodrigo’s playground… She’s a whole new pop-queen paradigm, ripping up the old playbook and starting again.” – ROLLING STONE; “…Rodrigo has become a voice of her generation” – VARIETY; “…SOUR stakes its claim as the pop album of the year so far.” – BILLBOARD. The L.A.-based artist displays her remarkable talent for capturing complex emotions in high-impact pop songs on SOUR and continues her chart-topping reign with No. 1 singles “deja vu,” “good 4 u” and her latest “brutal.” SOUR embodies a minimalist but mesmerizing form of alt-pop, each song centered on the Southern California native’s beautifully detailed storytelling and unforgettably original narrative voice. But while she never shies away from sharing her messiest and most painful feelings, Rodrigo endlessly matches her sensitivity with an undeniable boldness. To that end, SOUR fully reflects the moody intensity that informed its title. “I’m fascinated by the idea of a relationship going sour,” says Olivia. “For me the goal of all music is to take these complicated feelings and externalize them in a way that makes people feel seen—but then when someone tells me that one of my songs resonates with them, it makes me feel seen too. It’s so inspiring to see my music affect people and maybe help them to feel less alone, and I just want to keep doing that for the rest of my life.
Breakthrough singer, songwriter and musician Joy Oladokun is having a banner year with the release of her major label debut album, in defense of my own happiness. The acclaimed record features collaborations with Maren Morris, Jensen McRae and Penny & Sparrow and has recently been named one of the “Best Albums of 2021 So Far” by Variety and Rolling Stone, with the latter hailing Oladokun, “a serious talent with a kind of low-key, casual ease…she’s always seeking out the light to point the way, making for one of the year’s most uplifting listens.” NPR Music raves “Oladokun’s songwriting is brutally honest, yet inviting, as she fearlessly tackles tough topics…while the theme is heavy, the delivery is uplifting, once again demonstrating how Oladokun’s penetrating gaze into the human psyche yields beautiful storytelling in spite of the pain that surely inspired it.” Additionally, NPR Music declares, “She has a remarkable ability to distill how forces at work in the world…she can make even social and political protest feel like an intimate, warmly human act.” A special deluxe edition, in defense of my own happiness (complete), was released this summer via Amigo Records/Verve Forecast/Republic Records, and features all 14 tracks from in defense of my own happiness, ten songs from her self-released 2020 record in defense of my own happiness (the beginnings), and new track “judas,” a highlight Billboard praises, “As per usual with the fast-rising singer-songwriter, it’s a beautiful song that will have you thinking about it for the rest of the day.” Oladokun continues to forge her own path, sharing the unique perspective she’s gained from living in today’s world as a black, queer woman and first-generation child of Nigerian immigrants. Born in Arizona and now living in Nashville, her musical exploration began at age ten when she was inspired to learn guitar after seeing a video of Tracy Chapman—the first time she’d ever seen a black woman play the instrument. In the years since she has garnered a devoted fanbase and her music has been featured on popular television shows including “Grey’s Anatomy” and “This Is Us.” After performing special shows earlier this summer with Leon Bridges, Cautious Clay, and Dermot Kennedy, Oladokun will continue to tour throughout the fall, including an appearance at ACL Fest and several dates supporting Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit and Pink Sweat$.
Duran Duran make their ACL debut on the eve of the release of their highly anticipated 15th studio album, FUTURE PAST, out October 22. Duran Duran is singer Simon Le Bon, bassist John Taylor, keyboardist Nick Rhodes and drummer Roger Taylor. Internationally acclaimed, award-winning, and among the best-selling acts of all time, the Birmingham, England natives celebrate their 40th Anniversary this year with several high-profile appearances including headlining slots at ACL Fest and the upcoming Global Citizen LIVE. FUTURE PAST, Duran Duran’s first album in six years,boasts esteemed producers and collaborators including pioneering Italian composer/producer Giorgio Moroder, the critically acclaimed British DJ/producer Erol Alkan, and Grammy and Academy award-winner Mark Ronson, plus special guests Graham Coxon of Blur, Swedish hitmaker Tove Lo, Japan’s CHAI and more. The album was recorded across studios in London, LA and Tokyo over lockdown.
Earlier this year, Duran Duran captivated American audiences with their spellbinding set at the Billboard Music Awards, where they they performed the first single from the new record, “INVISIBLE,” as well as classics “Notorious” and “Hungry Like The Wolf.” Four decades on from the release of their legendary 1981 self-titled debut album, the influential British music icons recently released their latest single “ANNIVERSARY,” about which John Taylor said, “‘ANNIVERSARY’ is a special song for us. Obviously we were conscious of our own impending 40th anniversary of making music together, but we wanted the song’s meaning to be inclusive in the broadest possible way. After playing and working together for so long, we very much appreciate what ‘being together’ and ‘staying together’ can really mean – it’s not something we would have thought song worthy 40 years ago but we do today!” Like the album from which it comes, “ANNIVERSARY” is Duran Duran at their exhilarating best, and continues to show why they’re still one of the most exciting and progressive bands on the planet. Said frontman Simon Le Bon,“When we first went into the studio in late 2018, I was trying to persuade the guys that all we needed to do was write two or three tracks for an EP. Four days later, with the nucleus of 25 plus strong songs in the can, that all deserved development, I realized we’d be in it for the long haul, but that was before COVID. So here we are in 2021 with our 15th studio album, FUTURE PAST, straining at the leash. I’m not saying it’s epic, but well … yes I am.”
As the frontwoman and guitarist for Alabama Shakes, Brittany Howard became one of music’s most celebrated figures – the band won four GRAMMYs (out of its nine nominations) and she has performed everywhere from the Obama White House to the main stage at Lollapalooza, where she sang with Paul McCartney at his invitation. But for her solo debut Jaime, Howard boldly decided to explore new directions, with diverse instrumentation and arrangements and intimate, revelatory lyrics. Howard titled the album after her sister, who taught her to play the piano and write poetry, and who died of cancer when they were still teenagers. Jaime was awarded four stars by Rolling Stone, MOJO and Q, named the Best Album of 2019 by NPR and nominated for a GRAMMY Award in the Best Alternative Music Album category. Praising Jaime as “a candid autobiography in funk,” The New York Times said, “With a voice that can go to the roadhouse, the church or deeply private places, she exorcises troubles with the music’s sheer pleasure.” “Stay High” won a GRAMMY for Best Rock Song after spending three weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult Alternative Songs chart. It was Public Radio’s Most Popular Song of 2019 and named by Pitchfork and others as one of the year’s best songs. “History Repeats,” “Goat Head” and “Short And Sweet” received GRAMMY nominations in the rock, R&B and American roots categories respectively. She makes her solo debut on Austin City Limits after appearing twice on the program with Alabama Shakes.
Phoebe Bridgers’ second album Punisher, was one of 2020’s best-loved records, earning four 2021 Grammy nominations, including Best New Artist. The Pasadena, California-born and raised singer and songwriter doesn’t write love songs as much as songs about the impact love can have on our lives, personalities, and priorities. To say Bridgers writes about heartbreak is to undersell her blue wisdom; to say she writes about pain erases all the strange joy her music emanates. Punisher, her second solo album,cements Bridgers as one of the most clever, tender and prolific songwriters of our era. Bridgers releasedStranger In The Alps, her 2017 debut album, as a relatively unknown singer-songwriter living in Los Angeles. Four years later, she’s become an internationally recognized musician with four acclaimed bodies of work to her name: her two solo albums, the boygenius EP, a collaboration withJulien Baker and Lucy Dacus; and Better Oblivion Community Center, a surprise release with Conor Oberst in 2019. Co-producing Punisher with Tony Berg and Ethan Gruska further sharpened her instincts, and the resulting work is an even weirder, more dynamic, and stylistically diverse song cycle. The album’s breakout single, “Kyoto,” a 2021 Grammy double-nominee for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance, registers as one of the most upbeat Bridgers has ever released, but touches on heavy subjects.“I love my life, my real actual dreams came true, but sometimes when I feel depressed, I also feel really guilty,” she said. “That song is about being in Japan for the first time, somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, playing my music for people who really want to hear it, and feeling…bad.” Punisher is fascinated with, and driven by, that kind of impossible tension. Whether it’s writing tweets or songs, Bridgers’ singular talent lies in bringing fierce curiosity to uncomfortable and painful things, interrogating them until they yield up answers that are beautiful and absurd, or faithfully reporting the reality that, sometimes, they are neither. This is Punisherin a nutshell: devastating elegance punctuated by a moment of deeply witty self-awareness. We’re thrilled to welcome Bridgers in her ACL debut.
The broadcast episodes will air this fall and winter as part of our upcoming Season 47, which premieres October 4 on PBS.
Due to implemented safety measures amid the ongoing uncertainty relating to COVID-19, there is currently no public ticket giveaway for access to attend these upcoming ACL tapings. With the safety of the artists, crew and guests top of mind, the limited studio audience will be prioritized to our donors who make Austin City Limits possible and who have continued to support the show during this challenging time and beyond. Effective 8/23/21, Austin PBS has adopted updated health & safety protocols for those in attendance at tapings until further notice. As public health conditions for live entertainment change, ACL will remain flexible and adapt to applicable health protocols. We will expand the audience as safety measures allow and will post giveaway opportunities on acltv.com as available. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we continue to respond to ever-changing conditions. Our top priority is bringing y’all great music and keeping everyone who attends ACL tapings safe.
About 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 KLRU 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, KLRU-TV 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.
It’s been six years since we first had R&B singer/songwriter Leon Bridges on the Austin City Limits stage in his debut appearance. Since that time, the Fort Worth native has earned a Grammy, alongside multiple nominations, released three acclaimed albums and become one of music’s most sought-after collaborators. Gold-Diggers Sound, his latest, is one of his most anticipated records to date, featuring a mix of twenty-first century R&B producers and jazz musicians that expands his sound far beyond the traditionalist soul of his first album. We were thrilled to have him back on the ACL stage in a magnetic 17-song career-spanning performance.
The leather-clad Bridges and his seven-piece band took the stage to some pre-recorded soul, before the singer led his musicians into “Shy,” a slinky ballad from his second LP Good Thing. “Has anyone been listening?” he asked in reference to Gold-Diggers Sound, garnering applause before launching into the sexy grooves of “Steam.” Then it was back to balladry for “Why Don’t You Touch Me,” a romantic plea done Bridges style. Next up, bassist Joshua Crumbley brought the funk for “You Don’t Know,” as Bridges was joined in the front line by backup singers Brittni Jesse and Brandon “Marcel” Mills. “It’s an honor to bring Gold-Diggers Sound to Austin, Texas tonight,” Bridges noted, reinforcing that statement with the smoldering “Born Again,” powered by axeman Brandon Thomson’s whammy-bar swells. The dreamy slow jam “Details” followed, but was nearly upstaged by the next track, the shimmering single “Motorbike.”
“Make some noise if you missed live music,” Bridges said. “I know I did.” As the audience cheered, he and the band began the smooth come-on “Magnolias” – “Tell me what you want – let me spoil ya,” he crooned, but the crowd probably already felt spoiled. A pair of roadies then brought out a stand-up bass for Crumbly, which he played arco style to kick off the beautiful, introspective “Blue Mesas.” Crumbly went back to his electric bass, as Bridges told him, “I think Austin, Texas wants to hear something funky.” And that’s what we got, with an extended introduction leading into the groove-addicted “Lions,” from Good Thing. “That was an icebreaker,” he noted playfully. Bridges then asked if he and the group could “get a little country,” which led into “Beyond,” a Good Thing highlight that earned a big ovation.
After that song of devotion, Bridges led the band into “Sweeter,” his soulful response to the death of George Floyd, and a clear crowd fave. After making fun of the outfit he wore during his Season 41 debut, with a good-natured “I hope I did better this time,” he rode the mellow but insistent groove of the earnest “Don’t Worry” on home, with the help of guitarist Kenneth Hollingsworth’s terse solo and keyboardist Joshua Johnson’s sinuous sax. “That’s the feeling I need more of,” Bridges asserted on the next song, the undulating “Sho Nuff.” Crumbly and drummer Brandon Combs then kicked the groove back into high gear for the jazzy, jamming “Bad Bad News,” which really worked up a head of funky steam.
As the set neared its end, it was time for Bridges to pull out the songs that put him on the map. “I guess it’s time for me to play some music off my first album,” he commented – the signal for his gold-selling single “Coming Home,” as smart and stylish an evocation of smooth old-school soul as has been recorded in the past decade. The singer then donned a guitar as the band stripped down to just Johnson and Jesse. That could only mean one thing: the final song would be the luminous, gospel-tinged “River,” a fan favorite that Bridges will likely play (happily) at every show for the rest of his career. It was a perfect way to end a world-class set, and we can’t wait for you to see it when it broadcasts November 6 on your local PBS station.
There hasn’t been a band as unique as Khruangbin striding across the music landscape in some time. With a sonic wave that draws in disparate elements of Thai funk, classic soul, dub, hip-hop, Afghan music, psychedelia and pretty much any other sound that strikes their fancy, the Houston trio has found a huge global audience through a combination of hard roadwork and being really, really good at what they do. So it was with no small pleasure that we welcomed the group to the ACL stage for their first taping, which we streamed live around the world.
Interestingly, Khruangbin presented a seeming career retrospective, starting with some of their earliest work before heading to tracks from last year’s critically acclaimed LP Mordechai. After Terry Lickona’s introduction, the trio took the stage with bassist Laura Lee resplendent in silver, guitarist Mark Speer casually cool in white with colored accents, and drummer Donald “DJ” Johnson, Jr. in his usual black cape. The group began almost gently with “The No. 3,” from their 2014 10-inch EP The Infamous Bill, a song that serves as an introduction to the Khruangbin aesthetic: reverb-heavy psychedelic guitar, simple but singular bass grooves, and DJ’s steady-as-a-statue drum rhythms. (One live stream viewer playfully noted, “Metronomes use DJ to keep time.”) It’s a vision both minimalist in arrangement and maximumalist in musicality. The band continue to pull from Bill for the next two songs, the groovy psych funk of “The No. 4” (a reworking of a song from their very first cassette EP) and the surf-inflected soul of the title track. The band then visited their debut album The Universe Smiles Upon You, first with the effortlessly funky, “disco country” (according to a live stream watcher) “People Everywhere (Still Alive),” a song that highlights the sly contrast between Lee’s funky strut and Speer’s laidback stoicism. “Still alive,” Lee repeated into the mic as an affirmation, adding the aside “after 2020.” Khruangbin stuck with the same record for “White Gloves,” a smouldering, starkly pretty near-ballad that would melt an ice cap. “Zionsville” followed, like an easy listening classic played by the hippest musicians in H-Town, as prelude to “August 12,” a clever blend of dub, spaghetti western soundtrack music, psychedelic funk and proto-punk.
With that, Khruangbin moved to “Friday Morning,” an acid soul ballad from their breakthrough LP Con Todo El Mundo that shifts from close harmony vocals to an epic guitar solo. With that brief stop, it was on to Mordechai, their most lauded and successful record so far. The minimal lyrics of “First Class” acted almost as another instrument to the wah-wah soaked tune, shimmering like the sun rising over the clouds. Lee’s bass took the lead for “Father Bird, Mother Bird,” a surprisingly brief but melodically languorous groover. The pace picked up considerably for the catchy Latin rock of “Pelota,” which garnered the biggest round of applause yet. The trio then went into the particularly mesmerizing, genre-defiant “Shida,” all reverbed guitar licks, DJ’s rocksteady rhythms and Lee’s enigmatic vocal interjections. The band closed the set with “So We Won’t Forget,” a disco-laced pop song that kept to the Khruangbinic virtues while saluting the good times the music brought them and the audience. With that the band quit the stage to enthusiastic applause, every clap of which they earned. It was an amazing set unlike anything else on our stage, and we can’t wait for you see it when it airs November 6 on your local PBS station.
Austin City Limits is excited to announce we will live stream back to back tapings showcasing a pair of Texas originals: Houston’s eclectic groove trio Khruangbin in their ACL debut on Sept. 13, performing standouts from their global sensation Mordechai, and Fort Worth R&B singer-songwriter Leon Bridges with highlights from his latest, Gold-Diggers Sound, in his second appearance on the ACL stage on Sept. 14. ACL offers fans worldwide a unique opportunity to watch these ACL tapings live in their entirety. Join us here on Sept. 13 for the debut by Khruangbin, and here on Sept. 14 for the return of Leon Bridges, at 8 p.m. CT on both nights.
Taking their name from a Thai word that means airplane, Khruangbin has always been multilingual, weaving far-flung musical languages like East Asian surf-rock, Persian funk, and Jamaican dub into mellifluous harmony. The atmospheric Texan trio is formed by bassist Laura Lee Ochoa, guitarist Mark Speer, and drummer Donald ‘DJ’ Johnson Jr. Khruangbin’s widely-acclaimed recent album Mordechai represents a shift for the primarily instrumental act, featuring vocals prominently on nearly every song, It’s a shift that rewards the risk, reorienting Khruangbin’s transportive sound toward a new sense of emotional directness, without losing the spirit of nomadic wandering that’s always defined it. And it all started with them coming home. By the summer of 2019, the Houston act had been on tour for nearly three-and-a-half years, playing to audiences across North and South America, Europe, and southeast Asia behind its acclaimed debut The Universe Smiles Upon You and their breakthrough second album Con Todo El Mundo. They returned to their farmhouse studio in Burton, Texas, ready to begin work on their third album. But they were also determined to slow down, to take their time and luxuriate in building something together. Khruangbin had worked with lyrics before, but this time Ochoa had found she had something to say—and so did the songs. Letting those words ring out gave Khruangbin’s cavernous music a new thematic depth. Musically, the band’s ever-restless ear saw it pulling reference points from Pakistan, Korea, and West Africa, incorporating strains of Indian chanting boxes and Congolese syncopated guitar. But more than anything, the album became a celebration of Houston, the eclectic city that had nurtured them, and a cultural nexus where you can check out country and zydeco, trap rap, or avant-garde opera on any given night. In those years away from that home, Khruangbin’s members often felt like they were swimming underwater, unsure of where they were going, or why they were going there. But Mordechai leads them gently back to the surface, allowing them to take a breath, look around, and find themselves again. The just-dropped Mordecai Remixed embodies the band’s creative aesthetic: “We write our music to be interpreted; this is another wonderful interpretation of the music. There is something very vulnerable about letting others work on your music. But through the correspondence with the different artists, we gained a bigger connection to the songs themselves.” Frequent collaborators, Khruangbin teamed up with Leon Bridges to pay tribute to the state that raised them with 2020’s EP Texas Sun.
Grammy Award-winning R&B artist and songwriter Leon Bridges returns to our stage for the first time since his 2016 ACL debut, showcasing his third release, the acclaimed Gold-Diggers Sound, whose name comes from the East Hollywood studio where the album was made. Gold Diggers Sound is a literal place: a studio, speakeasy-style bar and hotel on an unassuming block in Los Angeles. The Fort Worth native spent over two years in residence conceptualizing, writing and recording, and the result is his most confident, intimate and sensual album to date. Hailed a Critics Pick by The New York Times, Gold-Diggers Sound is a modern R&B album with touches of soul and psychedelia, featuring twelve tracks, including previously released tracks “Motorbike”, “Why Don’t You Touch Me” and “Sweeter,” which Bridges released last June after the police murder of George Floyd. The record is birthed from extended late nights at the Los Angeles complex and celebrates Bridges’ immersive experience of creating music in the same space in which he lived, worked, and drank. What began as nightly all-night jam sessions where Leon and his fellow musicians could just vibe and let loose away from crowds, cameras, and structured studio schedules, quickly began to form into what he realized was an album. Says Bridges, “I spent two years jamming in what often felt like a musician’s paradise. We effortlessly moved from the dance floor to the studio. We would be finishing our tequilas at 10AM and waking up with coffee and getting to work at 10PM. It was all for the love of R&B and musicianship.” Gold-Diggers Sound is also the culmination of three years of musical experimentation: recording the Texas Sun EP with Khruangbin, duetting with Kacey Musgraves, collaborating with artists including Diplo, Luke Combs, Odesza, Lucky Daye and John Mayer, and contributing vocals to The Avalanches’ haunting “We Will Always Love You.” It positions him as a dynamic artist unbound by expectations, yet always focused on delivering outstanding performances guided by soulful commitment. “I love staying unpredictable. I get high off of that,” says Bridges. “R&B and soul aren’t linear things; they have different outputs. I want my fans to embrace the direction I’m going in. My music is going to continue to evolve, but it’s always going to stay meaningful and soulful.”
Join us here on Sept. 13 for the debut by Khruangbin, and here on Sept. 14 for the return of Leon Bridges, both at 8 p.m. CT. Both performances will air in an hour-long broadcast episode airing November 6, 2021 on PBS as part of our upcoming 47.
Iconic television series Austin City Limits proudly announces the fall return of the program and the initial Season 47 broadcast line-up with eight all-new installments to begin airing October 2at 8pm CT/9pm ET as part of the blue-chip broadcast’s thirteen-episode season. ACL brings fans a full season, packed with a stellar slate of ACL legends and highly-anticipated debuts from some of today’s most talked-about live acts. Despite the challenges facing live music during the last year, ACL is proud to deliver brand new performances for fans, all recorded at ACL’s studio home in Austin, Texas in 2021, in front of limited live audiences. The program continues its extraordinary run as the longest-running music television show in history, providing viewers a front-row seat to the best in live performance for a remarkable 47 years. ACL airs weekly on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings) and full episodes are made available to stream online at pbs.org/austincitylimits immediately following the initial broadcast.
Austin City Limits returns this fall with a singular highlight as the season opener: country superstar Miranda Lambert joined by songwriting partners Jack Ingram and Jon Randall, showcase their acclaimed The Marfa Tapes, an album recorded in the West Texas desert town of Marfa. This dazzling acoustic hour spotlights the three longtime friends and co-writers, and offers a fascinating look at the trio’s collaborative and creative process, filled with the stories behind the songs and late night tales behind the recording.
The season continues with highly-anticipated debut appearances: New Orleans bandleader Jon Batiste, a Grammy and Oscar-winning musician, delivers a high-energy tour-de-force backed by an 18-piece band, performing selections from his soulful album WE ARE in a must-see hour. ACL spotlights next-generation standouts: acclaimed young British singer-songwriter Jade Bird brings songs from her new album Different Kinds of Light; she shares an hour with Austin indie-pop breakout artist Dayglow, who performs songs from his Harmony House. A pair of country sensations shine in a captivating double-bill with CMA Award-winner and eight-time Grammy nominee Brandy Clark showcasing her 2021 Grammy-nominated Your Life is a Record; while rising star Texas country singer Charley Crockett debuts songs from his new Music City USA. Grammy-winning bluegrass stars share a spell-binding hour that forecasts the genre’s future: Sarah Jarosz makes her third appearance on the ACL stage with selections from World On the Ground, the 2021 Grammy-winner for Best Americana Album; while fan favorite Billy Strings delivers an electrifying debut with songs from Home, his 2021 Grammy Award-winning Best Bluegrass Album and debuts new numbers from his upcoming Renewal. Two Texas originals share a highly-anticipated hour: Grammy-winning Fort Worth R&B artist and songwriter Leon Bridges makes his second ACL appearance with highlights from his latest, Gold-Diggers Sound, and Houston eclectic groove trio Khruangbin make their ACL debut with standouts from their global sensation Mordechai.
A season highpoint is the ACL return of legendary singer-songwriter Jackson Browne for the first time in nearly 20 years, as he showcases a chart-topping new collection of songs, Downhill From Everywhere, alongside career highlights from his five decade career. Celebrated singer and multiple Grammy recipient Brittany Howard rounds out the first half of Season 47, returning to the ACL stage for a long-awaited solo debut with songs from her 2021 Grammy-winning gem Jaime.
“The world is still fighting its way out of this pandemic, but Austin City Limits is back – without missing a beat,” says longtime executive producer Terry Lickona. “As always, we love to mix things up with some remarkable new talent as well as fan favorites, along with a few surprises. ACL celebrates the return of live music!”
Season 47 Broadcast Line-up (second half of season to be announced separately):
October 2Miranda Lambert, Jack Ingram & Jon Randall: The Marfa
October 9Jade Bird / Dayglow
October 16Jon Batiste
October 23Sarah Jarosz / Billy Strings
October 30Brandy Clark / Charley Crockett
November 6 Leon Bridges / Khruangbin
November 13Jackson Browne
November 20 Brittany Howard
Watch live, stream anytime, and let ACL be a trusted sidekick for entertainment during these challenging days. The complete line-up for the full 13-week season, including five new episodes to air beginning January 2022, will be announced at a later date. Viewers can visit acltv.com for news regarding live streams, future tapings and episode schedules or by following ACL on Facebook, Twitter and IG.Fans can also browse the ACL YouTube channel for exclusive songs, behind-the-scenes videos and full-length artist interviews.
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.