Episode Recap

ACL Season 37 Episode 4: The Decemberists and Gillian Welch Return To ACL October 22

Here at ACL HQ we’re basking in a benevolent cold front. Fall weather prompts giddy excitement as the cool wind sweetly sings the words, “new episodes” in our ears.

It’s with great pride that we welcome every featured artist to our hallowed halls, be they up-and-comers or grizzled veterans. This weekend’s new, primo episode of Austin City Limits fits in the latter category. Please tune in this Saturday to join us in welcoming back ACL veterans The Decemberists and Gillian Welch.

Portland’s finest take our stage for the second time, having last visited in Season 33 supporting The Crane Wife. Now they’re back with a terrific set highlighting their most excellent LP The King is Dead. Highlights include a rousing “Calamity Song,” a lovely “Rise to Me” and a cheeky “The Rake’s Song” (the sole non-King track, for those keeping score). And just to add to the folk rock goodness, the Decemberists perform a countrified “All Arise!” and the ridiculously catchy “Down By the Water” with Welch and her partner David Rawlings singing and stringing along.

Speaking of Welch and Rawlings, they make their third appearance on ACL in the second half of this episode. Brandishing the brilliant new record The Harrow & the Harvest, the duo take us back to a timeless place where superior songcraft and hushed emotion rule. Whether it’s the elegiac “Look at Miss Ohio,” the lively “Six White Horses” or the defiantly beautiful “Hard Times” (song of the year, we’re tellin’ ya), the performance presents an artist hitting her stride and still moving forward. The pair’s uplifting take on the bluegrass standard “I’ll Fly Away” brings it all back home.

Make sure to tune in Saturday to catch this instant classic. In the meantime head on over to the episode page for a gaggle of clips, photos, additional information and for your local PBS listings.

While you’re at it, hit us up on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr or sign up for our newsletter for the latest happenings in the wonderful world of ACL. That’s where we’ll be posting about next week’s episode: some classic rock and old-school jazz with the Steve Miller Band and Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

Get outside; go on a walk and tune in this weekend!

Episode Recap

ACL Season 37: Widespread Panic Takes the ACL Stage in Energetic Performance

So far in Season 37 of ACL we’ve pumped your blood with the passionate folk rock of Mumford & Sons and Flogging Molly and twitched your hips with the slinky grooves of Raphael Saadiq and Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears. Now it’s time to blow your minds with the amazing musicianship of Widespread Panic.

Be sure to check your local listings to get broadcast times for ACL on the PBS station closest to you. And if you are a good friend be sure and share this post!

The long-running Athens (that’s Georgia, not Greece) jam band is no stranger to the ACL stage – you’ve seen them on the show twice before. But this performance is different. It was shot during the South By Southwest Music Festival on St. Patrick’s Day – so you know the crowd was in the mood. Plus the band celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and we’re thrilled they included us in the year-long party.

Like any good band, Panic promotes its recent work, with burning takes on “Saint Ex” and “Dirty Side Down” and a shimmering drift through the ballad “May Your Glass Be Filled.” But the group digs deep into its catalog here, treating y’all to fiery jams on fan faves “Junior,” “Pigeons” and even “Chilly Water” – the first song on their very first album Space Wrangler. Now that’s closing a circle.

As ACL TV head honcho Terry Lickona put it, “This was a night I’ll never forget – Widespread Panic making their debut at SxSW, celebrating their 25th anniversary and the first season in our new ACL home. We all know how wild Panic fans can be, so throw in the fact that it was St. Patrick’s Day and you can only begin to imagine how over the top this show was!”

Want a little taste? Head over to the episode page for performance and interview clips, band info, the set list and the usual batch of cool photos. Then check the listings of your local PBS station to find out when you can get in on the jams.

And hit us up on Facebook and Twitter for the latest ACL scuttlebutt, check out our Tumblr page for a trip through our back pages and sign up for the monthly newsletter for even more ACL goodness.

Tune in next week for another couple of ACL vets – the brilliant Gillian Welch and the ever-awesome Decemberists. Details coming soon.

Taping Recap

Taping Recap: Fleet Foxes Make Special Trip Back to Austin to Captivate ACL Audience with Lush Harmonies

Some musicians work like dogs to perfect their sonic signatures and find the most distinctive part of their sound, then massage it until it shines like a polished gem; others just fall into their talent so naturally it’s as if their sound grew on a tree and was simply plucked for the taking.

Not fair – we know – but we’re so thankful when such artists grace our stage.

When it comes to their infamous vocal harmonies, Fleet Foxes definitely fall into the latter category – Robin Pecknold and his bandmates sound as if they were born to sing together, as their recent ACL taping last Friday (10/7) proved.

The Fleet Foxes made the trek back to Austin for this special taping and even Pecknold’s cold couldn’t dull the edges of their signature harmony blend. If you caught the show you probably noticed he was medicating his throat with tea between songs – no matter, the band still sounded incredible every time.

Frontloading the set with tunes from the latest LP Helplessness Blues, the band indulged its atmospheric acid folk side with the soaring “Sim Sala Bim” and the ambitious “The Shrine/An Argument,” whose sweeping acoustica and churning electricity in the second got spiked by multi-instrumentalist/MVP Morgan Henderson’s skronking bass clarinet.

On the downhill side of the set, the group performed a gorgeous take on “Helplessness Blues,” — augmented by Henderson’s mbira-equipped 12-string guitar (AKA the poor man’s hammer dulcimer) — then transitioned into the band into the second half of the show, which leaned most heavily on the melodic folk/pop of the band’s first album.

The lights in our studio were magical during “White Winter Hymnal” making the band appear to glow. From the Sun Giant EP we heard “Ragged Wood” and “Mykonos” fill ACL Live at the Moody Theater to the rooftop with sweet melodies – not to mention our great fans harmoniously singing along.

The group closed out the night with “Blue Ridge Mountains” – a cascade of everything that makes Fleet Foxes great. As Do512_Rachel said on Twitter, “Fleet Foxes always make me wish it was snowing out and I had hot cocoa #acltv.”

But don’t take our word for it – you can check out what other fine folks said about the show on and And on January 21, you’ll be able to see – and, most importantly, hear – the set for yourselves. We’ll be pairing Fleet Foxes with fellow traveler Joanna Newsom – don’t miss it!

The two last tapings of season 37 are Lykke Li and Wilco. Stay tuned to our blog for ticket giveaways!

Episode Recap

ACL Season 37/Episode 2: Groove Along With Raphael Saadiq and Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears

Howdy folks,

The new season of Austin City Limits hit airwaves last weekend featuring rocking performances by Mumford & Sons and Flogging Molly. If you missed it check it out here, but stay tuned because we’re just getting started….

Tonight, Saturday, October 8th, we cordially invite you to join us for our second episode featuring Raphael Saadiq and Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears – and it’s a killer lineup if we do say so.

Tune-in by checking your local listings for air times on PBS affiliate stations closest to you, and get in the mood with a little behind the scenes video we dug up just for you…

Veteran R&B genius Raphael Saadiq and his crack band kick things off with a set heavy on his most recent and most excellent record Stone Rollin’. Few artists translate old-school soul moves into contemporary R&B magic quite like this Oakland native.

In anticipation of tomorrow you can look forward to “Heart Attack,” “Day Dreams” and the bluesy strut “Stone Rollin,” featuring special guest Fabulous Thunderbirds’ frontman and blues legend Kim Wilson on harmonica – if your hips don’t move in a way illegal in most states, you might want to check your pulse.

Our advice: for this show keep the lights down low and your sweetheart nearby.

Also featured in episode two, get ready for Austin’s own Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears. The band’s blazing blend of North Mississippi Hill Country blues, New York punk rock and Stax/Volt soul inspires as much air guitar as dancing, especially when Joe’s overdriven Telecaster gets into it with the bursting horn section.

The Honeybears spread the love across their career with the roiling “Bobby Booshay,” the groovin’ “I’m Broke” and an amp-frying cover of the Dead Boys’ “What Love Is.” And don’t miss the epic closer “You Been Lyin,” featuring roof-raising gospel soul group the Relatives.

And yes – for our sharp-eyed viewers, you are correct – that is indeed Spoon drummer and Honeybears producer Jim Eno shaking the maracas and tambourine in the background. 

Just can’t wait until Saturday? Mosey on over to the episode page for performance and interview clips, bio info, the full set list, a pile of cool photos and more. Then hit up your local PBS listings for the broadcast date nearest you.

And don’t forget, you can get the latest and greatest ACL news by following us on Twitter and Facebook, or signing up for our snazzy monthly newsletter, and check out our “Experience ACL” Tumblr blog while you’re at it.

What’s on tap for episode 3? Tune in next week for a return engagement from jamming rock favorites who need little intro, Widespread Panic. Check back in here for more details.

Taping Announcement

Catch The Last Tapings of Season 37, Lykke Li and Wilco To Perform [Ticket Giveaway Coming Up]

ACL season 37 has been a riot.

In case you missed it, the first episode of our new season aired over the weekend featuring foot-stomping performances by Mumford & Sons and Flogging Molly. Just a few weeks ago, over ACL Festival weekend, we blew our ear drums with five performances in five days, and now, coming up this week, we’re proud to announce the last two tapings that will air this season: electro goddess Lykke Li and magnificent rockers Wilco.

On Friday, November 4th, we welcome the Swedish singer-songwriter Lykke Li, whose music has been described as a mixture of soul, electro and “powdered-sugar pop.” She recently performed during New York Fashion Week and it’s not hard to see why her stylish looks paired with her sophisticated singing make a lasting impact on fans. Check out some footage we dug up of a VIP show that week:

We’re excited to welcome Lykke Li to our new home at ACL Live at The Moody Theater. Keep your eyes peeled for ticket giveaways coming up for the Lykke Li taping on November 4th.

On November 30th, we close out season 37 with a group that needs very little introduction — Wilco will perform in a very special performance featuring songs from their latest album hot off the presses, The Whole Love, which recent reviews call, “otherworldly.” This performance marks the band’s third triumphant return to ACL — in what we wholeheartedly expect will be a “new peak” for the band. Check out some video from Wilco performing at ACL back in season 33 (2007) below.

Watch the full episode. See more Austin City Limits.

If you haven’t made it out to ACL yet this season, this is your chance to catch the final two tapings. Stay tuned and check this blog for ticket giveaways about a week before taping dates (November 4th & 30th), and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more up-to-date information.

Until then, watch Austin City Limits with fans nationwide on PBS.

Episode Recap

First Episode Of Season 37 Debuts Tomorrow, Featuring: Mumford & Sons And Flogging Molly

Ahem… Is this thing on?

Ladies and gentlemen, the time to tune in has come. Wait no more – the season opener is upon us!

Tomorrow we proudly kick off the 37th season of Austin City Limits on PBS, and what a better way to do it than with two of the rowdiest, most enthusiastic bands around: folk rockers Mumford & Sons and Celtic punkers Flogging Molly. Both bands performed at ACL for the first time — and they did not disappoint.

The groups showed up ready to rock and they put on killer performances. It’s going to be one heck of an
inaugural episode and we highly recommend you don’t miss it.

Be sure to check your local listings to get air times for ACL on PBS affiliate stations closest to you. Here’s what you can expect…

Mumford & Sons “The Cave” from Austin City Limits on Vimeo.

Kicking off the first episode of season 37, Mumford & Sons will dazzle viewers with fan favorites “The Cave” and “Roll Away Your Stone.” Additionally, poignant ballads like “Timshel” and “Awake My Soul” will be featured. And, if you’re a super fan, you’re in for a special treat with “Lover of Light,” a previously unrecorded track.

The energy the night of the taping was truly amazing, especially considering the band was in the midst of the Railroad Revival Tour (btw, did you catch their Austin show? Remember that crazy cloud?).

Flogging Molly “Saints and Sinners” from Austin City Limits on Vimeo.

But that’s not all. Also featured in the first episode of season 37 — Flogging Molly.

Bandleader Dave King called their ACL taping “the most important live performance they’ve ever done.” During the taping Flogging Molly stormed the stage with astounding melodies and put on one amazing show with their unique brand of Celtic punk that has captured a dedicated fan base for the past decade.

We hope you tune in with us tomorrow to enjoy a lively rendition of “Requiem For A Dying Song,” “Tobacco Island,” “Devil’s Dance Floor,” and “Likes of You Again.”

If you’re a first-time ACL viewer – welcome — we’re confident these two bands will get you hooked and have you coming back to tune in for the rest of the awesome lineup we’ve masterminded this season.

Get excited ya’ll — in anticipation of the new episode we invite you to dig into video clips, special interviews, a slew of photos, set list information and more at the episode page for the show. We went ahead and included a few below for you to enjoy.

Check our blog again next week for more information on our second episode featuring a killer R&B matchup with Raphael Saadiq and local favorites Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears (October 8).

Follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook for more info. Also, we also have a most-excellent, newly designed newsletter you can sign up for here. Just sayin’…

If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should visit our “Experience ACL” Tumblr where we’re spotlighting some of our best photos from the ACL vault— interestingly, we kicked it off with one of our favorite photos from the Mumford & Sons taping. The blog is a look-back at our heritage and a little walk through ACL history: