Featured Hall of Fame News Taping Announcement Uncategorized

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

Austin City Limits is proud to announce the newest class of Austin City Limits Hall of Fame inductees, recognizing a pioneering trio of music’s great live acts: Wilco, Alejandro Escovedo and Lucinda Williams. After an absence in 2020 due to the pandemic, the ACL Hall of Fame returns to form, celebrating a stellar new class of trailblazing artists with longtime ties to ACL. The 2021 ACL Hall of Fame inductees will be saluted at a star-studded ceremony to be held October 28th, 2021 at ACL‘s studio home, ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. More information about performers, host, presenters and additional guest stars will be announced prior to the event.  Musical highlights and inductions from the ceremony will air on PBS later this year.

The event will be open to the public and tickets will be on sale July 9 at 10am CT at  Sponsor packages are available now at All proceeds benefit Austin PBS. 

The seventh class of inductees features three American originals: Roots-music icon Lucinda Williams has made four classic appearances on ACL in her remarkable four-decade career, starting with her debut on Season 15 in 1990. Celebrated Chicago band Wilco has also appeared on ACL four times over their 25-year career, beginning in 2000 for the series’ 25th Anniversary season. Texas legend Alejandro Escovedo made his debut during the first decade of the series in Season 8 in 1983 with the band Rank and File, going on to make five appearances total including a star-studded return in 2017. 

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

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

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

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

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

Established in 2014, the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame celebrates the legacy of legendary artists and key individuals who have played a vital part in the pioneering music series remarkable 47 years as a music institution. The inaugural induction ceremony in 2014 honored Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Lloyd Maines, program creator Bill Arhos and Darrell Royal. 2015’s second annual ACL Hall of Fame ceremony honored Asleep at the Wheel, Loretta Lynn, Guy Clark, Flaco Jiménez and Townes Van Zandt, along with the original crew of the show’s first season in 1974-75. The 2016 Hall of Fame honored Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt and B.B. King, alongside former ACL executive producer Dick Peterson.  2017’s Hall of Fame honored Roy Orbison, Rosanne Cash and The Neville Brothers, and the 50th Anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act.  2018’s fifth anniversary class featured the inductions of Ray Charles, Marcia Ball and Los Lobos. The 2019 Hall of Fame welcomed Lyle Lovett, Buddy Guy and Shawn Colvin to its ranks.

About the 2021 Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Honorees:


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

Lucinda Williams

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

Alejandro Escovedo

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

Austin City Limits and the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame are produced by Austin PBS. Austin PBS is a non-profit organization providing public television and educational resources to Central Texas as well as producing quality national programming. 

Austin City Limits

Austin City Limits (ACL) offers viewers unparalleled access to featured acts in an intimate setting that provides a platform for artists to deliver inspired, memorable, full-length performances. Now in its 47th Season, the program is taped live before a concert audience from The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. Austin City Limits is the longest-running music series in television history and remains the only TV series to ever be awarded the National Medal of Arts. Since its inception, the groundbreaking music series has become an institution that’s helped secure Austin’s reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World. The historic Austin PBS Studio 6A, home to 36 years of ACL concerts, has been designated an official Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Landmark. In 2011, ACL moved to the new venue ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. ACL received a rare institutional Peabody Award for excellence and outstanding achievement in 2012.  

Austin City Limits is produced by Austin PBS and funding is provided in part by Dell Technologies, Workrise, the Austin Convention Center Department and Cirrus Logic. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Austin City Limits. Learn more about Austin City Limits, programming and history at

Featured Live Stream News Taping Announcement

ACL to live stream Billy Strings taping on 7/7

Austin City Limits is excited to announce we will live stream the highly-anticipated debut taping of acclaimed Grammy Award-winning bluegrass musician Billy Strings on July 7 at 8 p.m. CT. ACL offers fans worldwide a unique opportunity to watch the ACL taping live in its entirety at this location

Michigan-born and now Nashville-based, Billy Strings is a singer, songwriter and musician, who arrived on the scene as “one of string music’s most dynamic young stars” (Rolling Stone). Strings is in the midst of a triumphant year after winning Best Bluegrass Album at the 63rd GRAMMY Awards for his critically acclaimed record, Home. Produced by Glenn Brown, the record led Strings to top Billboard’s 2020 year-end charts in both Bluegrass categories—Top Bluegrass Artists and Top Bluegrass Albums—and continues to receive widespread critical acclaim. Of the release, The Associated Press proclaims, “it is his creative musical storytelling, paired with solid vocals on Home that should seal the deal, pleasing fans of the genre and creating some new ones…the perfect blend of pure talent and pluck,” while The Wall Street Journal declares, “Billy Strings has clearly emerged as a premier guitar flatpicker of this era.” Recently named Breakthrough Artist of the Pandemic at the 2021 Pollstar Awards, Strings is nominated for Artist of the Year at the 2021 Americana Music Awards, was awarded Guitar Player of the Year and New Artist of the Year at the 2019 International Bluegrass Music Awards, selected as one of Rolling Stone’s “New Country Artists to Know” and has performed on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and PBS’ “Bluegrass Underground.” Known for his electric live shows, Strings will continue his extensive headline tour throughout 2021 including upcoming shows in Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Denver, Austin, Atlanta and Nashville among several others.

Join us here on July 7 at 8 p.m. CT for this performance by Billy Strings. The broadcast episode will air early next year on PBS as part of our upcoming Season 47.

Featured News Taping Recap

Taping recap: Jade Bird

The Texas connection continued for the fourth taping of our 47th season, with young Welsh native and current Austin resident Jade Bird delivering a stellar debut. Previewing her highly-anticipated second LP Different Kinds of Light, out in August, the singer, songwriter and guitarist brought her melodic, eclectic rootsy rock pop to the ACL stage for her debut taping, which was live streamed around the world. 

After a rousing Terry Lickona intro, the white-adorned Bird and five-piece band took the stage and came out swinging with “Headstart,” her popular new single. “Are you ready to rock, Austin?” she declared, and went blazing into the next one: the sniping rocker “Uh Huh.” The ever-smiling songwriter lowered the energy level slightly – very slightly – with “Honeymoon,” the first song from the new record, before going into the folky “Punchline,” a song inspired by the small town in Wales in which she grew up. Noting that her sets tended to volley between emotional highs and lows, Bird shifted to the melancholy “Houdini,” an acoustic guitar-driven tune influenced by the tendency of “the male figures in my life to go on walkabout.” Most of the band left the stage, leaving only Bird and guitarist Bennett Lewis to sing a two guitar/one microphone cover of Radiohead’s “Black Star,” a gorgeous arrangement borrowed from Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings. She then took to the piano for “Something American,” an early song that both celebrates her love of American music and presages her road to conquering the States. The band returned for the jaunty “Prototype,” a tune Bird’s grandmother says is a hit, because it’s one of her happy songs, and who are we to argue? 

Continuing to showcase the forthcoming record, Bird kicked the energy level back into the red with the one-two punch of the sweet “Now’s the Time” and the anthemic, angry “Candidate.” She then revisited her first LP for the snarling “I Get No Joy,” a high energy diatribe she dedicated to the year 2020. “I’ve dreamed of playing this venue for a very long time,” she declared, before putting her heart into the seething ballad  “My Motto.” Bird followed that with “Red, White and Blue,” a solo song from the new record that she had never played live before, inspired by guitarist Luke Prosser’s encounter with a Vietnam war veteran. Prosser and fellow guitarist Bennett Lewis returned with special guest singer Savannah Conley for a luminous take on legendary singer/songwriter and Bird hero Dolly Parton’s “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind” – Bird, Conley and Prosser’s harmonies would have done the Carter Family proud. Conley remained onstage as the band came back for the rocking “Trick Mirror,” another tune from the upcoming record. Bird then went back to her first LP for “Lottery,” a kiss-off to an ex set to an exuberant rock melody. “I can’t even tell you what a magical night this has been for me,” the joyful Bird exclaimed, before ending the main set with the wry, catchy “Love Has All Been Done Before.” 

After enthusiastic applause from the crowd, Bird came back with a Telecaster in hand, as she and the band romped into “Open Up the Heavens,” another basher from Different Kind of Light. She closed the evening with “Going Gone,” a spirited rocker from her first album that took off like a missile, bringing the house down. What a way to end this fabulous show! We can’t wait for you to see it when it airs this fall on your local PBS station.

Featured Live Stream News

ACL TV to live stream Jade Bird taping on 6/14

Austin City Limits is happy to announce we will live stream the debut taping of singer/songwriter Jade Bird on June 14 at 8 p.m. CT. ACL offers fans worldwide a unique opportunity to watch the ACL taping live in its entirety at this location

British native and recent Austin transplant Jade Bird, who makes her Austin City Limits debut tonight, has been earning acclaim in the U.S. since 2018, winning SXSW’s coveted Grulke Prize for developing non-U.S. act and scoring a nomination for the Americana Awards emerging artist of the year. 

The 23-year-old singer-songwriter has been writing and performing live since her teens and released her self-titled full-length debut in 2019 to critical raves. Following a yearlong U.S. tour playing on bills with artists including Jason Isbell, Sheryl Crow and Jade’s friend and collaborator, Brandi Carlile, the young artist discovered kindred spirits and became part of a nurturing community of American songwriters and career artists. In 2020 she headed to Nashville’s RCA Studios to record with mega-producer Dave Cobb (Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton) for her highly-anticipated sophomore album, Different Kinds of Light, out August 13. Jade recently dropped her first new music in over a year, a string of celebrated new singles, including “Headstart,” which the NY Times raves: “shows off the distinct, raspy twang of her vocals — which somehow find common ground between Lucinda Williams and Alanis Morissette” and Rolling Stone hailed as “electrifying.” 

With this new album, Jade has grown, she’s travelled the world, collected stories, met fascinating new people, fathomed her own emotions and settled in Austin amongst a new and empowering musical family who showed her that a happier, more holistic and sustainable way of working was possible. This journey has helped her see love and relationships in a new light from her teenage self growing up in the UK. It’s been a gateway to self-discovery and an untangling of held onto experience. “Different Kinds of Light at its most basic is about falling in love and at its most complex, the chaos of trying to get away from your past,” says Jade. “I’ve written about fictional characters, about myself and people who don’t exist, or at least only exist in my mind, memory and imagination.”

Join us here on June 14 at 8 p.m. CT for this performance by Jade Bird. The broadcast episode will air early next year on PBS as part of our upcoming Season 47.

Featured News Taping Announcement

New tapings: Jon Batiste and Charley Crockett

Austin City Limits is proud to welcome a pair of highly-anticipated acts to our stage, making their ACL debuts as part of our Season 47: celebrated musician Jon Batiste on July 18, and acclaimed Texas singer-songwriter Charley Crockett on July 28.

Musician and composer Jon Batiste recently topped a banner awards season with an Academy Award for the soundtrack Soul, winning Best Score for Disney and Pixar’s hit animated film. His jazz-infused score, created alongside the work of fellow musicians Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, picked up over 35 international awards including a BAFTA, Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice award. Collecting his trophy at the Los Angeles ceremony, Batiste said: “What’s deep is that God gave us 12 notes. It’s the same twelve 12 notes that Duke Ellington had, Bach had, Nina Simone (had)…This moment is a culmination of a series of miracles. It’s so incredibly powerful to stand here and the lineage that we come from, the lineage in this film…I’m just thankful to God for those 12 notes.”

In between sessions for Soul, Jon Batiste also recorded a brand-new studio album, WE ARE, recently released on Verve Records to critical acclaim. The album debuted in the Top 10 R&B Charts, Top Album Charts, and the single “I NEED YOU” recently reached #1 on the AAA Radio Charts. Vanity Fair described the album as “a vivid turn from straight jazz to joyful, danceable pop and neo-soul”, while Billboard called it “a delightful marriage of contemporary jazz melodies and slick pop.” WE ARE represents a completely new sonic chapter for Jon Batiste. He wrote and planned much of the project in about a week from his dressing room at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he’s the musical director and bandleader. The album was recorded in New York, Los Angeles and in his native New Orleans, melding inspiration from his new home and new collaborators with that of the Batiste musical dynasty. On WE ARE, Batiste presents a captivating musical experience to the world rooted in catharsis, joy, freedom, contemplation and sensuality. It’s a love letter to his southern roots and the heritage of Black Music with guest appearances by Mavis Staples, Quincy Jones, Zadie Smith, PJ Morton, Trombone Shorty, St Augustine Marching 100, his father Michael Batiste, grandfather David Gauthier and many more. It is a meditation steeped in the sounds of the times with collaborators including POMO (Anderson.Paak), Ricky Reed (Lizzo), Jahaan Sweet (Drake, Eminem) as well as songwriter Autumn Rowe and producer Kizzo.

Batiste says, “WE ARE is a message of love for humanity, of humble reverence for our past, and of a hopeful future, in which we are the ones who can save us. The art reveals its motive to you. You just have to wait for the Spirit to tell you what it wants.” We are thrilled to welcome him for his first-ever appearance on the ACL stage.

photo by Bobby Cochran

Newly nominated for Emerging Act of the Year at the 2021 Americana Music Awards, Charley Crockett has become one of the leading lights in independent country music following a decade of busking on the streets of New York City and New Orleans, and only two years removed from life-saving open-heart surgery. The South Texas native crafts his self-proclaimed “Gulf & Western” sound by synthesizing country, blues, soul, cajun, Western Swing, R&B and other pieces of American roots music into an unmatched, truly singular sound. When Crockett’s voice comes out of your speakers, there is no confusing him for any other artist. Rolling Stone raves Crockett is “Gearing up for a breakout year” and NPR Music calls him “such a fascinating mix, very 21st century and very vintage.” The Wall Street Journal agrees, “Mr. Crockett’s unique vocal style is one third Ernest Tubb honky tonk with clipped-word diction, one third Bill Withers low-key, soulful crooning, and one third jazzy French Quarter second-line swagger.” 

Hailing from the Texas bordertown of San Benito, Crockett was raised in an isolated, rural part of the Rio Grande Valley by a single mother in a trailer surrounded by sugar cane and grapefruit fields. As a teenager he was into free-styling and rapping. He spent formative years living with his uncle in New Orleans where he first became a street performer who discovered a love for folk music. In New York City he played hip hop and blues on street corners and in subway cars. What’s important to his identity as an artist, says Crockett, is that he has lived the songs he writes and sings. The prolific artist surprise released 10 For Slim: Charley Crockett Sings James Hand, a tribute to his friend and Texas honky tonk hero James Hand in February, and will release another full-length album of new songs later this year. We’re excited to welcome Charley Crockett and his band the Blue Drifters to the ACL stage.

Featured News Taping Recap

Sarah Jarosz comes home to ACL

Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sarah Jarosz was only nineteen the first time she appeared on Austin City Limits in 2010, but we – staff and viewers – knew she was a major talent, and not just because she hailed from our neck of the woods. Time, critical acclaim and a shelf full of Grammys and Americana Music Awards have proven us correct. So we’re always thrilled to host her again, and especially so for a taping that got delayed from last year due to the pandemic. The pent-up energy was on full display in a performance that included every song from 2020’s Grammy Award-winning World on the Ground, and was live streamed around the world. 

“This is incredibly exciting,” noted Jarosz as she took the stage with her four-piece band (which included renowned World producer John Leventhal). The conservatory-trained songwriter started with World opener “Eve,” a song that sounds like it could be a century old, while still sounding like it had to have been written in the now. Jarosz exchanged her guitar for a mandolin and went into “Pay It No Mind,” another memorable, melodic World folker. “It’s a dream to do it once, let alone three times,” she noted about her third Austin City Limits appearance as she donned her signature octave mandolin. “This is a good way to re-emerge after the last year.” She then reached back to her 2016 album Undercurrent for the brooding “House of Mercy,” the Grammy-winning song ornamented by Leventhal’s supremely subtle Telecaster. Jarosz talked about how growing up in Austin and Wimberley inspired the songs on World, which capped a rough year by winning a Grammy. Leventhal then took to the piano as Jarosz sang the beautiful “Orange and Blue,” which the two of them wrote together. 

Jarosz introduced guitarist Mike Robinson, whose ringing guitar introduced “Green Lights,” another luminous folk rock tune from Undercurrent. Clearly by this point it was time for a ballad, and Jarosz obliged with the bittersweet “Hometown” a tune that led her to note how much of an emotional experience it was to sing these Texas-based songs in her home state. The next tune “Johnny” essayed more folk rock, anchored by the memorable line “An open heart looks a lot like the wilderness.” The hopeful “Maggie” was inspired by Jarosz attending her high school reunion – “I had a blast and I got some songs out of it.” No word on whether or not “What Do I Do” was one of those, but it still made an impression with its melancholy melody and steel guitar frosting. The energy kicked up a notch on the mock-apocalyptic “I’ll Be Gone,” a jolt of gallows humor surrounded by three acoustic guitars. The band then quit the stage, as Jarosz reached into her deep well of cover songs recorded and streamed over the course of the pandemic, and a special one it was: a gentle, soulful take on U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” that turned the rock anthem into the folk song it always threatened to become. 

“The only way to follow U2 is with the banjo,” chuckled Jarosz as she strapped on said instrument for “Little Satchel,” a traditional folk tune that was one of the first songs she ever learned, back when she was participating in the Wimberly bluegrass jams at the age of nine. “This song was written about Kendall,” Jarosze said about “Empty Square,” in a nod to Succession fans – perhaps a bit cryptic for anyone who hasn’t seen that HBO show, but the song was strong regardless. She closed the main set with “one of my greatest Texas songwriting influences,” ACL two-timer James McMurtry and his stirring tune “Childish Things.” That earned the exiting Jarosz and the band wild applause, but it wasn’t over yet. She and the band encored with another key influence on the star’s writing: frequent ACL visitor Nanci Griffith and 

her lovely tune “You Can’t Go Home Again,” which fit in perfectly with the evening’s themes of coming home and was a perfect way to send the crowd gently out into the night. It was a truly special performance, and we can’t wait for you to see it when it airs this fall as part of our Season 47 on your local PBS station.