Featured News Taping Recap

Taping recap: Duran Duran

At a time when so many of their early eighties peers have succumbed to nostalgia tours and the revival circuit, Duran Duran has remained on top, not only popular but relevant. That’s partly because the Birmingham superstars still clearly enjoy what they do – no paycheck-cashing cynicism here. But it’s also because the band acknowledges its past while continuing to move forward, making new music with the same interest and passion as it has since its eighties beginnings. As they proved with their debut taping for Austin City Limits, and with new album Future Past imminent, Duran Duran still has the fire. 

When Terry Lickona introduced the band, the crowd gave a roar like a tidal wave, the likes of which we rarely hear. Following a couple of minutes of funky instrumental groove building anticipation, the superstar act took the stage and the roar returned, singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor, drummer Roger Taylor, joined by guitarist Dom Brown, saxophonist Simon Willescroft and singers Anna Ross and Erin Stevenson, reveling in the kind of attention a group that’s thrived for decades deserves. The Durans opened with new song “Invisible,” a minimalist synth funker from the upcoming record that bodes well for the new music to come. Bona fides thus established, the band went right into one of its biggest hits: the 1985 #1 smash “A View to a Kill,” the theme song for the James Bond film of the same name. The energy level went up even higher with “Notorious,” the song’s funk beat clearly galvanizing Le Bon and John Taylor, to the audience’s delight. “Anybody celebrating a birthday tonight?” the perpetually smiling singer asked. “We celebrate our birthday every night!” That was the lead-in to new single “Anniversary,” a pop banger that doubles as a nod to the forty years that have passed since the release of the Durans’ first album. 

Backup vocalist Ross joined Le Bon at the front of the stage to duet on the melodic 1993 top ten hit “Come Undone,” from the group’s second self-titled album (AKA “The Wedding Album”). Doffing his white jacket, Le Bon got his groove on for “Pressure Off,” a late-career high point from the 2015 LP Paper Gods that reminded everybody that this band has never forgotten how to be danceable, the vocalist leading the eager crowd into a disco clap-along. The Durans then dug deep into their catalog for the cheeky rocker “Friends of Mine,” a highlight of the band’s very first album, and a song Le Bon seemed to particularly enjoy singing. “This is one of the best little shows we’ve played all year!” he claimed after the song finished. The band then got serious for a minute, with Le Bon dedicating the next song to everyone struggling in the past eighteen months. That song was, of course, “Ordinary World,” the band’s massive, ice-melting ballad from 1993, given new resonance in 2020s reality. From that undeniable classic the Durans offered up another new song, another upbeat dance rocker entitled “Tonight United,” driven by John’s grooving bass. 

The band kept the energy level high with “(Reach Up For the) Sunrise,” a vibrant, guitar-heavy rock anthem from their 2004 album Astronaut. “Put your hands up,” the song demanded, and the audience eagerly acquiesced. Ross and Stevenson returned to the front of the stage to assist the band for their outside-the-box cover of Grandmaster Flash’s anti-cocaine protest tune “White Lines (Don’t Do It),” just in case anyone had forgotten Duran Duran’s essential eclecticism. The group then boomeranged back to the beginning, with the distinctive synth intro and new wave groove to the band’s first hit, the still-thrilling “Planet Earth.” The audience went wild, but really upped their game when Le Bon asked, “Did you drink your champagne and eat your caviar…or is anybody hungry?” That led, of course, into “Hungry Like the Wolf,” the band’s hit of all hits, and one that turned the Moody into a monster dance party. The band wasted no time going right into “Girls On Film,” taking the performance and the crowd straight up to nirvana. The song segued into an appropriate cover of Calvin Harris’ “Acceptable in the 80s,” the groove of which Le Bon used to introduce the band, before going into the song’s chorus of “shooting star” – as appropriate a send-off to the set as could be hoped. The Durans quit the stage to wild cheers and applause. 

They returned, of course, as Le Bon extolled the crowd to raise their cell phones and turn the lights on. Sea of lights thus established, the band performed “Save a Prayer,” letting the fans sing the chorus and taking them out on a wave of  beauty instead of the expected bombast. “Austin City Limits, thanks for having us!” John Taylor said, with firm agreement from Le Bon, and Duran Duran left the stage for the final time. It was a terrific show, one for the ACL ages, and we can’t wait for you to see it when it airs early next year as part of our Season 47 on your local PBS station. 

Featured News Taping Recap

Taping recap: Joy Oladokun

Melody. Intelligence. Heart. Conscience. Soul. These are the hallmarks of singer/songwriter Joy Oladokun, a singular artist from Arizona who’s made major waves with her acclaimed debut album In Defense of My Happiness. She is exactly the kind of artist – fresh, distinctive, and extraordinarily talented – that we like to capture on ACL in the early stages of their career, so we were thrilled to showcase her debut taping.

Dressed in a “black sheep” cap and an obviously beloved Prince tee shirt, the musician and her five-piece band took the stage and began with “If You Got a Problem,” a slice of reggae-tinged, devotional R&B. “It’s been a weird year,” Oladokun noted as she donned her electric guitar at the end of the song. “I’m so honored that we can do this together.” After noting that “Problem” was about her girlfriend, she set up the folk-popping next song “Smoke” by explaining her use of weed to cut through the social anxiety from which she suffers. “This is a Fleetwood Mac rip-off song,” she cheekily admitted as she and harmony singer Jaime Woods went into the intro of “Sorry Isn’t Good Enough,” another subtly reggae-influenced pop song that injected venom into its sweet melody. Oladokun switched from the personal to political with “I See America,” a song reflecting both her anger at the continuing police brutality directed at Black Americans, as well as a commentary on the cycle of violence that’s been prevalent her entire life—she was born the same year as Rodney King—with the through line to George Floyd’s murder at the hands of police. The 70s soul groove made the acid easier to ingest, though switching to electric guitar and a faithful cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” kept the rage boiling, especially when it interpolated the chorus of “I See America.” 

“This next song is about going to Thai food with an ex,” Oladokun said as she re-donned her acoustic guitar. “That’s honestly more of an intro than she deserves.” Accompanied only by her acoustic, she, Woods and guitarist Elliot Skinner sang the ballad in soulful three-part harmony. She then addressed another old pal with “Breathe Again,” taking on her previously mentioned social anxiety with a luminous ballad. Inspired by the death of her friend, the late rapper Mac Miller, she sang “Taking the Heat” as a reminder to take care of yourself and your friends and not to assume everything’s always alright. Oladokun and band then reworked a Stevie Wonder classic, turning “Jesus Children of America” into a rock/funk/country hybrid that sounded distinctly her own. To keep the good vibes coming, she presented “Look Up,” a song intended to send courage into the darkness: “You know trouble’s always gonna be there/Don’t let it bring you to your knees.” Oladokun returned to her own life experience for “Jordan,” a song that deals with growing up gay while raised in a church that didn’t recognize the legitimacy of that life path. The track sublimated gospel into its passionate folk pop to shine the light of hope into what could have been a dark time of her development. “Trauma, processed through psychedelics” was how she describe the penultimate tune “Somebody Like Me,” a catchy new song that was a plea for understanding, patience and contact for folks with anxiety and inner pain. 

Oladokun ended the show with a “smoosh” of Prince’s Sign O’ the Times anthem “The Cross” with her own spiritual examination “Sunday.” It was a one-two punch of the desire for divine love and earthly acceptance, and a perfect way to end the powerful set. Oladokun is a treasure waiting to be discovered, and we’re thrilled that viewers will get the chance when the episode airs later this year as part of our Season 47 on your local PBS station. 

Featured News Taping Recap

Taping recap: Olivia Rodrigo

Few artists have had as stratospheric a rise as Olivia Rodrigo-the 18-year-old California native spent her teens writing songs, performing, acting and playing piano, so she was ready for the spotlight when it came to the smash success of “Drivers License,” her first single and first #1 hit. Her platinum-selling, self-penned debut LP Sour has turned her into a star-as reflected in her debut appearance on Austin City Limits

Rodrigo’s all-female five-piece band took the ACL stage and laid down an atmospheric intro before the star herself came bounding out barefoot for the defiant self-doubt of “Brutal,” the chorus of which immediately became call-and-response. The singer and band went immediately into the anthem “Déjà Vu,” on which the eager crowd became her backup singers. It was clearly time for a power ballad, which meant the heartbroken waltz “Happier” – “I hope you’re happy, but don’t be happier.” That was followed by the angry, power chord-kissed rocker “Jealousy, Jealousy,” an attack on the false expectations fueled by social media. Rodrigo introduced her all-girl band before sitting down at the piano for “the first song I ever put out, and it’s really special to me.” That, of course, meant the colossal hit “Drivers License,” amplified by delirious audience participation – adding handclaps on the build and singing a chorus on their own. 

Rodrigo remained at the piano for “Traitor,” a heart-on-sleeve piano ballad that turned into a showcase for her ability to channel her emotions into universal understanding. Guitarist Heather Baker fingerpicked her acoustic guitar, while fellow axeperson Arianna Powell moved to pedal steel for the folky “Favorite Crime,” which was clearly a crowd favorite. A crewmember brought a stool and acoustic guitar, which Rodrigo used for “Enough For You,” a compelling solo performance. She and the band ended the show with megahit “Good 4 U,” the blazing rocker that’s equalled the success of “Drivers License” on the charts and earned high-energy pogoing from the ecstatic audience. “Thank you, guys!!”, said Rodrigo, as the crowd went wild. It was a standout performance from a performer with a long and exciting career ahead of her, and we can’t wait for you to see it when it airs this December on your local PBS station. 

Featured News

Omnivore Recordings releases Walter Hyatt tribute from the ACL vault

Longtime fans of Austin City Limits and proto-Americana take note: we’re thrilled to announce the release via Omnivore Recordings of Mighty Fine: An Austin City Limits Tribute to Walter Hyatt today, October 1. The CD contains the music from the Walter Hyatt tribute episode 2204 of ACL, recorded in 1997. The disk can be ordered from the ACL shop here, or anywhere you purchase music. 

Uncle Walt’s Band (David Ball, Champ Hood, and Walter Hyatt) were one of the most popular acts in late ’70s/early ’80s Austin, Texas, where the South Carolina band relocated after a long stint in Nashville. Their on-point songwriting, playing, and singing garnered them local fans, but also Texas luminaries like Willis Alan Ramsey (in a very rare appearance), Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and (then Texas A&M student) Lyle Lovett. After a few self-released albums and cassettes (all available again via Omnivore), the band went their separate ways, with Hyatt returning to Nashville with his wife, Heidi. 

In 1990, Lovett produced Hyatt’s major label debut, King Tears, and went on the road with Walter as his opening act. Three years later, Hyatt released Music Town. Then, sadly, he died in the 1996 ValueJet plane crash that took the lives of all passengers and crew. Lovett helped organize tribute concerts to benefit Hyatt’s wife and children. In 1997, Austin City Limits broadcast one of those tributes featuring friends and fans including Lovett, Ramsey, Gilmore, Junior Brown, Marcia Ball, Allison Moorer, David Halley, Shawn Colvin, and his Uncle Walt’s Band partners, Ball and Hood. 

Now, nearly 25 years later, the 11 songs from that original broadcast are available on CD and Digital for the first time as Mighty Fine: An Austin City Limits Tribute to Walter Hyatt. Due from Omnivore on October 1, 2021, the set adds six tracks recorded for, but not shown on Austin City Limits. To make this collection even more special, four previously unissued Hyatt recordings make their debut. The packaging features photos and a new essay from North Carolina author and musician Thomas Goldsmith. It truly is Mighty Fine.

Track list 

Austin City Limits Tribute to Walter Hyatt

1. As The Crow Flies – Willis Alan Ramsey

2. Houston Town – David Ball

3. Georgia Rose – Jimmie Dale Gilmore

4. Are We There Yet Momma – Marica Ball

5. Lonely In Love – Willis Alan Ramsey

6. Motor City Man – David Halley

7. Tell Me Baby – Allison Moorer

8. Diggeroo – Junior Brown

9. Babes In The Woods – Lyle Lovett with Shawn Colvin

10. I’ll Come Knockin’ – Lyle Lovett

11. Aloha – Ensemble

Bonus Austin City Limits Recordings not Included in Original Broadcast

12. Rollin’ My Blues – Champ Hood

13. Teach Me About Love – Lyle Lovett

14. Going To New Orleans – Champ Hood

15. Message In A Bottle – David Ball

16. I’m Calling – Lyle Lovett

17. River Road – Champ Hood

Previously Unissued Walter Hyatt Recordings

18. Jungle Flower

19. In A Christmas Dream

20. Early Days

21. Shouldn’t Have Told Me That

Featured News Taping Recap

Taping recap: St. Vincent

We’re always happy to welcome St. Vincent back to Austin City Limits. The Texas-raised Annie Clark and her renowned project have gone from strength to strength since she first alighted on our stage back in Season 35 in 2009. Her latest record Daddy’s Home may be her most acclaimed yet, and we were thrilled to have her showcase it for her third taping in an electrifying career-wide set filled with highlights.

After a brief fakeout with a trench-coated double (Arianna Henry, who would make frequent appearances as roadie and dancer), Clark joined her crack band to open the show with a slinky, groove-approved version of “Digital Witness.” They launched into the first song from Daddy’s Home, the seething funk rocker “Down,” on which Clark was joined at the front of the stage by backing singers Navonnah Holley, Stephanie Alexander and Danielle Withers. She and ace co-guitarist Jason Falkner traded dissonant licks to kick off “Birth in Reverse,” a perfect example of how she’s re-written the rules of rock & roll. After a particularly egregious dad joke, she then powered, appropriately enough, into “Daddy’s Home,” the sleazy title track of the latest album. Keyboardist Rachel Eckroth hit the familiar piano open of “New York,” with the singers leading the crowd to add handclaps to the melancholy anthem. Falkner donned an acoustic guitar as the dancer returned in a waitress outfit to serve up drinks to the musicians, leading to Clark giving a toast – “To Austin City Limits and our third time here, and to all of us being back together again!” Then she sang “…At the Holiday Party,” a sedate but acidic pop tune on which she played tabletop steel with her microphone. 

Bassist Justin Meldal-Johnsen (last seen on our stage with Beck) began a synth pulse, joined by drummer Mark Guiliana’s rock-solid groove, to lay the foundation for the widescreen pop of Masseduction’s “Los Ageless” – “You know this one,” Clark said as she ripped out the signature guitar lick. She stuck with that album for the jittery glam rock of “Sugarboy,” which climaxed in an orgy of skronk, clatter and feedback.  The band then looked back to the early St. Vincent album Actor for the noisy art popper “Marrow.” The atmosphere subtly altered to a both more ethereal and more rhythmic vibe, which meant it was time for the brilliant “Slow Disco,” which showcased the singers and brought dancer Henry back onstage. After a round of band introductions, it was time for the bitter synth funk of “Pay Your Way to Pain,” which allowed Clark to remind us that she’s a powerhouse vocalist as well as a full-on guitar god. The band then took another trip to the past with the loud/soft dynamics of “Cheerleader,” from her third LP Strange Mercy, culminating with Clark and Falkner using each other’s guitars as plectrums in a hail of six-string noise. No respite for the weary, as everyone went right into the steely crunch of “Fear the Future,” which ended with more guitar raunch. 

Clark then reached way back, riding Guiliana’s pounding rhythm for the menacing “Your Lips Are Red,” hailing from St. Vincent’s very first album Marry Me. The band then ascended gently into space for the shimmering, floating “Live in the Dream,” leading the vocalists to traverse the stage in slow motion and Clark to finally indulge in some guitar heroism before ending in complete silence. Eckroth took to the Wurlitzer electric piano to begin “The Melting of the Sun,” a tribute to notable women performers from Joni Mitchell, Nina Simone and Marilyn Monroe to Clark herself. It was a great note on which to end the stunner of a set, as the crowd showed its love and the musicians took a bow. It was such a good show, and we can’t wait for you to see it when it airs this coming winter on your local PBS station as part of our Season 47. 

Episode Recap Featured New Broadcast News

Episode recap: Miranda Lambert with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall

Austin City Limits is thrilled to launch Season 47 with a gem: an intimate hour of songs and friendship with country superstar Miranda Lambert joined by songwriting partners Jack Ingram and Jon Randall. The trio showcase their acclaimed collaborative project The Marfa Tapes, an album recorded in the West Texas desert town of Marfa, in a new installment premiering Saturday, October 2 @9pm ET/8pm CT. 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. 

Despite the challenges facing live music during the past year, ACL is proud to deliver a new season of performances for viewers, 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 immediately following the initial broadcast. 

“Welcome to Marfa” hollers Texas songwriting legend Jack Ingram, as he kicks off the captivating hour. “We’re on a journey together, to Marfa, Texas,” explains Miranda Lambert. “Thank you in advance for going down this songwriter trail with us—we hope you have some fun and cry a little and laugh a little and drink a lot.” The co-writers and longtime friends perform highlights from their recent trio record, The Marfa Tapes, alongside hits from their songwriting catalog including “Tin Man” and “Tequila Does.” The native Texan singer-songwriters, armed with acoustic guitars and intricate harmonies, take viewers on a “journey together out to the West side” of Texas where, Lambert says, “there’s a special kind of magic” and where the stripped-down songs were conceived, intentionally capturing the “dust, wind and the cactus” of the high desert. “Thanks for enjoying this campfire we’re trying to bring to you,” says ace guitarist Randall. The songwriters share the stories behind the songs: “There’s been some men in my life that have driven me to drink a little bit more,” confesses Lambert, introducing the soul-baring heartbreaker “Ghost.” The trio perform the first song they wrote on their initial trip to Marfa together in 2015, the gutpunch “The Wind’s Just Gonna Blow” with Lambert adding, “it started the whole shebang.” The entertaining hour offers laughter and levity with the country-cheater anthem “Am I Right or Amarillo,” and finds Lambert staring down a backstage temptress on “Geraldene,” with the takeaway “You’re trailer park pretty but you’re never gonna be Jolene.” Each songwriter shines in the spotlight, taking turns in the lead. The three trade verses on “Tin Man” for a stunning rendition of their 2018 ACM Song of the Year and close out the memorable hour with the rollicking ode to late nights and liquor with the spirited “Tequila Does.” 

photo by Scott Newton

“This hour will take you out to the wide open spaces of West Texas, where these songs came to life, and give you a rare look at the creative process of three of Country’s best songwriters,” said ACL Executive Producer Terry Lickona. “The only thing missing is the tequila.”

Episode setlist:

Two-Step Down to Texas

Am I Right or Amarillo



In His Arms

Tin Man



Wind’s Just Gonna Blow

Amazing Grace – West Texas

I Don’t Like It 

We’ll Always Have the Blues

Tequila Does

Season 47 Broadcast Line-up (second half of season to be announced separately):

October 2 Miranda Lambert with Jack Ingram & Jon Randall

October 9 Jade Bird / Dayglow

October 16 Jon Batiste

October 23 Sarah Jarosz / Billy Strings

October 30 Brandy Clark / Charley Crockett

November 6 Leon Bridges / Khruangbin

November 13 Jackson 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 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 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