Austin City Limits spotlights a Texas legend enjoying a late-career high-point, iconoclastic sculptor-songwriter Terry Allen, in a career-spanning hour, joined by his longtime Panhandle Mystery Band featuring all-stars including Lloyd Maines, Charlie Sexton and Shannon McNally. The new installment premieres January 29 at 8pm ET/7pm CT as part of the series Season 47. Check local PBS listings for times. The episode will be available to music fans everywhere, streaming online the next day beginning January 30 @10am ET at pbs.org/austincitylimits. Despite the challenges facing live music during the past year, ACL is proud to deliver a full season of performances for viewers, all recorded at ACL’s studio home in Austin, Texas in 2021, in front of limited live audiences. The Peabody Award-winning 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 following the initial broadcast.
Lubbock native, outlaw-country veteran, and groundbreaking visual artist Terry Allen makes his long-awaited return to the ACL stage in his first headline appearance since 1998. The 78-year-old cult favorite, recently profiled in The New Yorker, showcases songs from his acclaimed 2020 release Just Like Moby Dick, alongside influential classics from his storied five-decade career, including gems from his cinematic 1975 debut Juarez and the seminal 1979 Lubbock (on everything). The hour is a friends and family affair as Allen on keyboards is joined by his nine-piece Panhandle Mystery Band, featuring guitarists Charlie Sexton and Lloyd Maines, singer Shannon McNally, fiddler Richard Bowden, bassist Glen Fukunaga, drummer Davis McLarty, cellist Brian Standerfer, and his sons Bukka and Bale Allen on accordion/keyboards and percussion.
The left-of-center artist displays his signature dark wit and honesty with highlights from his catalog, including the fan favorite rocker “There Oughta Be A Law Against Sunny Southern California” and the tragicomic tale “Gimme a Ride to Heaven Boy.” Allen’s songwriting details vivid small-town characters and haunting and hilarious narratives as showcased on the beguiling new album highlight “Death of the Last Stripper.” The collaborative performance allows each bandmember to shine, and Americana artist Shannon McNally takes the lead on a new number, the slowburn “All These Blues Go Walkin’ By,” joined by ace guitarist Charlie Sexton. In a nod to his remarkable half century of work, Allen performs “Red Bird,” the first song he ever wrote, originally performed on the TV show Shindig! in 1965. The Texas legend and his longtime band of friends close the hour with the moving Moby Dick closer “Sailin’ On Through,” a mordant fare-thee-well that ruminates on the inevitable passing of time.
“Lubbock, Texas, has produced more than its share of music legends, but Terry Allen is an anomaly,“ says ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “He’s a storyteller, he’s a poet, he weaves tapestries out of songs. In that respect he’s like the ‘Leonard Cohen of West Texas’.”
Terry Allen setlist:
Death of the Last Stripper
All These Blues Go Walkin’ By
City of the Vampires
What of Alicia
There Oughta Be A Law Against Sunny Southern California
New Delhi Freight Train
Gimme A Ride To Heaven Boy
Sailin’ On Through
Season 47 upcoming:
February 5 Olivia Rodrigo | Phoebe Bridgers
February 12 (season finale) The Best of Nanci Griffith
Tune-in, log on, and let ACL be a trusted sidekick for entertainment during these challenging days. Viewers can visit acltv.com for news regarding live streams, future tapings and episode schedules or by following ACL on Facebook, Twitter, IG and TikTok. Fans can also browse the ACL YouTube channel for exclusive songs, behind-the-scenes videos and full-length artist interviews.