When we first hosted singer/songwriter Margo Price in Season 42, we knew, as did everyone, she was something special. Watching her blossom from a soulful C&W traditionalist into a brilliant, multi-faceted artist (not to mention bestselling author, via her 2022 memoir Maybe We’ll Make It) has been a pleasure, and we were thrilled to have her back, as both victory lap and in celebration of her acclaimed fourth LP Strays.
Following a Season 49 welcome from Austin mayor Kirk Watson, Price and her six-piece band took the stage to the strains of a Willie ‘n’ Waylon classic before going straight into “Been To the Mountain,” the hard rocking opener of Strays. Closing with a flourish of cowbell, Price, in a blue flowered Loretta Lynn-style vintage dress, donned an acoustic guitar for “Letting Me Down,” a driving country rocker from her 2020 album That’s How Rumors Get Started. She and the band then revisited her 2016 breakthrough debut Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, giving fan favorite “Four Years of Chances” a Southern psych rock makeover. Back to Strays with “Hell in the Heartland,” a minor key country rock epic that broke its tension by moving from trot to gallop. The band followed with “Change of Heart,” its theme of self-assertiveness and defiance emphasized by a loping guitar solo from Alex Munoz and Price herself bashing away at a second drum kit. She closed off this stunning mini-set of Strays with the melancholy “County Road,” driven by Micah Hulscher’s piano and a powerhouse James Davis lead, and the stirring rock anthem “Light Me Up,” which Price described as the product of her and husband/co-writer/rhythm guitarist Jeremy Ivey’s ingestion of psilocybin mushrooms on vacation.
Price went back to her debut for the Southern rock anthem “Tennessee Song,” bringing it in line to her current, more expansive sound. She and Ivey then faced each other with acoustic guitars for Strays’ shimmering, lovely ballad “Landfill.” The band eased into the psychedelic folk rock of “That’s How Rumors Get Started,” its extended coda allowing Price time to leave the stage for a wardrobe change into a sparkly Tina Turner-style showgirl number and man the second drum kit once again. Without a second’s breath, she led her group into the hard-rocking “Twinkle Twinkle,” which earned loud approval from the audience. C&W made a re-appearance with the cheerfully defiant “Don’t Say It,” dragging the arena back to the honkytonk for a tune. While the band was busy rocking out, a pink telephone quietly appeared onstage, heralding “Radio” and its handset vocals. Price closed the main set like a pageant queen with the brisk Rumors rocker “Heartless Mind,” while handing out red roses to the audience as Davis and Munoz squared off over Dillon Napier’s syncopated drumming.
The adoring crowd cheered Price and the band’s return for an encore. “You can’t come down to Texas and not play a drinkin’ song,” she joked as she launched into “Hurtin’ On the Bottle,” her breakout hit and one of the best honkytonkers written in the last decade. She smoothly segued into her thematic inspirations via Merle Haggard’s “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink” and Willie Nelson’s classic “Whiskey River,” the first song ever broadcast on Austin City Limits. It was a hell of a way to close out her smoking return to ACL, and we can’t wait for you to see the broadcast episode during our upcoming Season 49 on your local PBS station.
Austin City Limits is excited to announce that we will be live streaming our debut taping of Season 49 with iconoclastic singer/songwriter/author Margo Price on March 19. ACL offers fans worldwide the unique opportunity to watch this highly-anticipated taping here in its entirety on our ACLTV YouTube Channel.
Margo Price returns to the ACL stage with Strays, her “strongest, most cohesive record yet” (Rolling Stone). Featuring “volcanic vocal performances and sharp character studies” (Vulture), as well as Sharon Van Etten, Lucius, and The Heartbreakers’ Mike Campbell, the record “struts through big-hearted indie country, honky-tonk stomp and ’70s guitar-explosion psychedelia” (The New York Times). The new album serves as a resilient proclamation of freedom for Price, who surmounts a lifetime of loss, lies, trauma and substance abuse (as chronicled in her best-selling memoir Maybe We’ll Make It, hailed as one of the best books of 2022) with ten new songs that prove her place as an independent artist, singular storyteller and endlessly experimental explorer, with so much to say but nothing to prove.
While much of Strays was written in a South Carolina cottage – during six days that the Nashville-based Price spent eating psychedelic mushrooms with her husband and musical partner Jeremy Ivey – the album was primarily recorded in California’s Topanga Canyon. There at producer Jonathan Wilson’s studio in the summer of 2021, Price and her longtime band of Pricetags channeled their telepathic abilities into their best recording sessions and most ambitious array of sounds, styles and arrangements to date. Having been together since the days before Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, her breakthrough 2016 debut that Rolling Stone named one of the Greatest Country Albums of All Time, Price and her band tracked live in the same room, simultaneously expanding upon and completely exploding the notions of every other album they have made together. Price sings unabashedly about self-worth, bodily autonomy and a woman’s right to choose. Across the rest of the LP, she writes about losing herself in sex, overcoming marital conflict, tuning out haters, the aftermath of quitting drinking and more, as “Strays bursts with easy confidence and kind, stoic pearls of wisdom” (Pitchfork).
“I feel this urgency to keep moving, keep creating,” says Price. “Maybe it’s getting older, or the years the pandemic stole from us all. I feel more mature in the way that I write now, I’m on more than just a search for large crowds and accolades. I’m trying to find what my soul needs.”
Join us hereMarch 19 at 8 p.m. CT for Margo Price; the broadcast episode will air on PBS as part of our Season 49. Tune in to your local PBS station on Saturday nights for encore episodes of Austin City Limits; watch live on PBS, or stream anytime at PBS.org.
UPDATE giveaway is now over. Austin City Limits will be taping a performance by Margo Price on Sunday, March 19th at 8 pm at ACL Live at The Moody Theater (310 W. 2nd Street, Willie Nelson Blvd). We will be giving away a limited number of passes to this taping. Enter your name and email address on the below form by Wednesday, March 15th at 2 pm.
Winners will be chosen at random and a photo ID will be required to pick up tickets. Winners will be notified via email. Duplicate entries for a single taping will be automatically voided. Tickets are not transferable and will be voided if sold. Standing may be required. No photography, recording or cell phone use in the studio. No cameras, computers or recording devices allowed in the venue.
Join Austin City Limits and Austin PBS on Thursday, March 16th from 10am – 2pm at GSD&M’s backyard for our 9th annual Bloody Mary Morning party during SXSW with music from The Zombies, Danielle Ponder, Hermanos Gutierrez, Katie Schecter, Como Las Movies, and Husbands.
Enjoy breakfast tacos thanks to our friends at Tacodeli along with Bloody Marys and refreshments thanks to our friends Tito’s Vodka, Bloody Revolution, Brown Distributing, Austin Eastciders, Twisted X, and Rambler while supplies last. Food vendors will also be onsite with food available for purchase.
Admission is free as always, but you must RSVP for entry. A ticket does not guarantee entry. Access is based on capacity. Special thanks to our event sponsors AXS Ticketing, Central Texas Honda Dealers, and PNC Bank for making this event free to attend.
Iconic television series Austin City Limits closes out Season 48 with a special installment, Austin City Limits 8th Annual Hall of Fame Honors Joe Ely, celebrating the Texas music legend and new inductee with a song-filled salute from revered Lone Star musicians and Ely’s longtime collaborators, Texas all-stars The Flatlanders, with Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock, alongside fellow Texans Rodney Crowell and Marcia Ball. The hour features a memorable induction by renowned Texas author Lawrence Wright along with historic highlights from the influential Ely’s eleven appearances on the ACL stage. The hour-long broadcast premieres Saturday, February 25 at 8pm ET/7pm CT on PBS. Check local PBS listings for times. The special will be available to music fans everywhere to stream online beginning Sunday, February 26 at 10am ET at pbs.org/austincitylimits. The Peabody Award-winning program, recorded live at ACL’s studio home in Austin, Texas, continues its extraordinary run as the longest-running music television show in history. ACL provides viewers a front-row seat to the best in live performance as this American music institution nears its remarkable half-century milestone. ACL airs weekly on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings) and full episodes are made available to stream online at pbs.org/austincitylimits following the initial broadcast.
In this special installment, ACL Hall of Fame honoree Joe Ely gets his flowers in a magical, memorable salute. A trailblazing artist with longtime ties to Austin City Limits, Ely has made eleven appearances on the series beginning with his 1980 ACL debut in Season 5 and the hour features vintage ACL clips showcasing his distinctive performances across the decades. From the moment he debuted in the 1970s, Ely has mixed a rock-and-roll sensibility with hardcore honky tonkin’ and become one of the most recognized and respected artists to hail from the Lone Star 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. Over his remarkable five-decade-plus 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. He has been embraced as a kindred spirit by artists as diverse as The Clash, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen.
Renowned author Lawrence Wright salutes Ely with a heartfelt and hilarious induction, recounting joining Ely on a trip to Lubbock, where Ely was raised and first started playing music more than 50 years ago. In response to the Texas Panhandle’s flat desolation, Wright recalled, Ely told him that “I think all the emptiness made me want to fill it up.” Wright fondly recalls Joe taking him to Buddy Holly’s gravesite in Lubbock where Ely had taken The Clash many decades prior to pay tribute to the legend. “The driving beat of a Joe Ely anthem tells us right away where he’s coming from,” explains Wright. “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 musical tribute kicks off with Austin piano legend and ACL Hall of Famer Marcia Ball taking the stage to perform Ely’s song “Fingernails,” a rollicking Jerry Lee Lewis-style number that Ball jokes “he wrote just for me, whether he knew it or not.” The ACL house band features longtime Joe Ely Band members Lloyd Maines (pedal steel), David Grissom(guitar), Davis McLarty (drums) and Jimmy Pettit(bass) along with Chris Gage(keyboards), Bill Whitbeck (bass) and Tom Van Schaik(percussion). Country great Rodney Crowell delivers a revved-up “Cool Rockin’ Loretta,” ad-libbing an entertaining testimony to Ely’s talents: “This is where I have to testify. It was Guy Clark who put me on to Joe, he said, ‘Hey man, there’s this guy from up in the Panhandle who ran away to join the circus and write songs about Indian cowboys and he can rock it all night long.’ The time has come for the man to be sworn into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame.”
Ely steps out front for the spirited, guitar-driven classic “All Just to Get to You,” from his landmark 1995 album Letter to Laredo. For this special occasion Ely is joined by his longtime Flatlanders bandmates Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock for a rare trio appearance. Hancock good-naturedly recalls the time Ely “got thrown out of his own show,” before the trio trade verses on the rockin’ “I Had My Hopes Up High” — the first song on Ely’s very first record in 1977 and the song that kicked off his 1980 ACL debut. “Joe isn’t just a knocked out rocker,” explains Gilmore, “He’s also got this amazingly beautiful sweet side.” Hancock calls the Ely-penned gem “Because Of The Wind,” “One of the most beautiful West Texas songs you’ll ever hear,” as the trio launch into the exquisite acoustic number. Gilmore sums up the essence of Ely, saying, “There’s nobody that loves the music and loves his audience more than Joe Ely.” The finale, at Ely’s request, features a Woody Guthrie song the Flatlanders have often performed, “Goin’ Down the Road (Ain’t Gonna Be Treated This Way).” The stars come out in the Texas sky as Crowell and Ball join in, with everybody taking a verse to bring the luminous hour to a close.
“There are Texas legends, then there is Joe Ely,” said ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “He belongs in a class all his own. He personifies a whole era of Texas music, and there’s no more perfect candidate for the ACL Hall of Fame, considering his impact across the board.”
Austin City Limits 8th Annual Hall of Fame Honors Joe Ely setlist:
Marcia Ball “Fingernails”
Rodney Crowell “Cool Rockin’ Loretta”
Joe Ely “All Just To Get To You”
Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, Jimmie Dale Gilmore “I Had My Hopes Up High”
Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, Jimmie Dale Gilmore “Because Of the Wind”
Joe Ely & All-Star Finale “Goin Down That Old Dusty Road”
Fellow newly-minted Hall of Fame inductee Sheryl Crow was celebrated with a companion Hall of Fame tribute that kicked off the second half of ACL’s Season 48 in January 2023 and featured music greats Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, Brittney Spencer and Lucius’ Jess Wolfe saluting the Grammy Award-winning artist. Season 48 premiered in October 2022 with a historic line-up spotlighting an unprecedented number of female artists, including a sterling season opener featuring singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile, who recently earned a trio of 2023 Grammys. Season 48 also showcased many highly-praised acts who topped 2022 Year-End Best Lists, including electronic duo Sylvan Esso, Americana singer-songwriter Allison Russell and indie pop duo Lucius. Other highlights were ACL debuts from breakout artists including Japanese Breakfast, Arlo Parks and Cuban funk sensations Cimafunk and The Tribe along with deep-dive hours spotlighting acclaimed rock act The War on Drugs, country superstar Maren Morris and legendary alternative rock pioneers Pavement. The first tapings of ACL’s Season 49 have been announced and include acclaimed singer-songwriter Margo Price and indie-pop band MUNA.
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.
Watch live on PBS, or stream anytime on PBS.org. Viewers can visit acltv.com for news regarding upcoming Season 49 tapings, live streams 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 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, Cirrus Logic and AXS Ticketing. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Austin City Limits. Learn more about Austin City Limits, programming and history at acltv.com.
Austin City Limits Hall of Fame
In 2014, Austin PBS, KLRU-TV — creator and producer of the legendary PBS show Austin City Limits — established the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame to recognize legendary musicians and key individuals who have been instrumental in making television’s longest-running popular music show an institution. Each year a new class of honorees are inducted and celebrated at a live event taped to air on PBS. It is also a historical archive, educational resource and celebration of Austin City Limits —telling the story of the show through photos, a timeline/anthology mural and in the near future, an interactive database of vintage Austin City Limits performances and video footage of interviews, behind-the-scenes and never before seen performances throughout the decades. Honorees to-date include Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Lloyd Maines, Asleep at the Wheel, Loretta Lynn, Flaco Jiménez, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Bonnie Raitt, Kris Kristofferson, B.B. King, Rosanne Cash, The Neville Brothers, Roy Orbison, Marcia Ball, Ray Charles, Los Lobos, Lyle Lovett, Shawn Colvin, Buddy Guy, Lucinda Williams, Wilco, Alejandro Escovedo, Joe Ely and Sheryl Crow.
Austin City Limits 8th Annual Hall of Fame is produced by Austin PBS and funding is provided in part by AXS Ticketing, American Honda Motor Company, Netspend Corporation and YETI.
Austin City Limits proudly announces the first tapings of Season 49 with a pair of highly-anticipated tapings showcasing American originals. On March 19, acclaimed author/singer/songwriter Margo Price returns to our stage for the first time since Season 42. Fast-rising trio MUNA take time from their US headlining tour and stadium dates opening for Taylor Swift to make their ACL debut on April 24.
Margo Price returns to the ACL stage with Strays, her “strongest, most cohesive record yet” (Rolling Stone). Featuring “volcanic vocal performances and sharp character studies” (Vulture), as well as Sharon Van Etten, Lucius, and The Heartbreakers’ Mike Campbell, the record “struts through big-hearted indie country, honky-tonk stomp and ’70s guitar-explosion psychedelia” (The New York Times). The new album serves as a resilient proclamation of freedom for Price, who surmounts a lifetime of loss, lies, trauma and substance abuse (as chronicled in her best-selling memoir Maybe We’ll Make It, hailed one of the best books of 2022) with ten new songs that prove her place as an independent artist, singular storyteller and endlessly experimental explorer, with so much to say but nothing to prove. While much of Strays was written in a South Carolina cottage – during six days that the Nashville-based Price spent eating psychedelic mushrooms with her husband and musical partner Jeremy Ivey – the album was primarily recorded in California’s Topanga Canyon. There at producer Jonathan Wilson’s studio in the summer of 2021, Price and her longtime band of Pricetags channeled their telepathic abilities into their best recording sessions and most ambitious array of sounds, styles and arrangements to date. Having been together since the days before Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, her breakthrough 2016 debut that Rolling Stone named one of the Greatest Country Albums of All Time, Price and her band tracked live in the same room, simultaneously expanding upon and completely exploding the notions of every other album they have made together. Price sings unabashedly about self-worth, bodily autonomy and a woman’s right to choose. Across the rest of the LP, she writes about losing herself in sex, overcoming marital conflict, tuning out haters, the aftermath of quitting drinking and more, as “Strays bursts with easy confidence and kind, stoic pearls of wisdom” (Pitchfork). “I feel this urgency to keep moving, keep creating,” says Price. “Maybe it’s getting older, or the years the pandemic stole from us all. I feel more mature in the way that I write now, I’m on more than just a search for large crowds and accolades. I’m trying to find what my soul needs.”
Working the source code of pop, MUNA is magic. Coming up on ten years of friendship, singer/songwriter Katie Gavin and guitarists Naomi McPherson and Josette Maskin began making music together in college, at USC, and released an early hit in the 2017 single “I Know a Place,” a pent-up invocation of LGBTQ sanctuary and transcendence. Now in their late twenties, the trio has become something more like family. Their now viral single “Silk Chiffon,” 2021’s life-affirming, queer anthem, which features MUNA’S new label head Phoebe Bridgers, hit the gray skies of the pandemic’s year-and-a-half mark like a double rainbow. For Naomi McPherson, MUNA’s guitarist and producer, it was a “song for kids to have their first gay kiss to.” “Silk Chiffon” leads off MUNA, their self-titled third release and a feat of an album — the forceful, deliberate, dimensional output of a band who has nothing to prove to anyone except themselves. The synth on “What I Want” scintillates like a Robyn dance-floor anthem; “Anything But Me,” galloping in 12/8, gives off Shania Twain in eighties neon; “Kind of Girl,” with its soaring, plaintive The Chicks chorus, begs to be sung at max volume with your best friends. MUNA earned widespread acclaim and the album landed on multiple best of 2022 year end lists including Billboard, Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Stereogum and TIME Magazine. The band was also hailed as Consequence’s 2022 Band of the Year. MUNA sold out shows all over the world in 2022 and were handpicked by Taylor Swift for a coveted opening slot on her upcoming “Eras” 2023 stadium tour in between their own US headlining “Life’s So Fun” tour and festival slots at 2023’s Coachella and Bonnaroo. “What ultimately keeps us together,” Maskin said, “is knowing that someone’s going to hear each one of these songs and use it to make a change they need in their life.” McPherson added, “I hope this album helps people connect to each other the way that we, in MUNA, have learned to connect to each other.” What MUNA does, in the end is carve out a space in the middle of whatever existential muck you’re doing the everyday dog-paddle through and transports you, suddenly — you who’ve come to music looking for an answer you can’t find anywhere else — into a room where everything is possible. We’re thrilled to welcome MUNA to the ACL stage.Want to be part of our audience? We will post information on how to get free passes a week in advance of the taping. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for notice of postings. The broadcast episodes will air on PBS as part of our upcoming Season 49.