Episode Recap Featured New Broadcast News

Broadcast debut: ACL Presents the Americana 21st Annual Honors

Austin City Limits returns to Nashville for a special broadcast featuring performance highlights from the 21st Annual Americana Honors. For over two decades, the annual celebration of roots music has honored the leading lights of Americana music while showcasing unique performances and collaborations. The program is filled with musical highlights from many of the event’s award-winners and honorees, among them (in order of appearance): Phosphorescent, Brandi Carlile, Lucius, The Fairfield Four, James McMurtry, The War And Treaty, Lukas Nelson, JP Harris, Sierra Ferrell, Chris Isaak, Buddy Miller, Lyle Lovett, The Milk Carton Kids, Allison Russell, and The McCrary Sisters. The hourlong special premieres Saturday, April 1 at 7pm CT/8pm ET on PBS and varies by market (check local listings for times).  Check PBS listings for local airtimes. The special will be available to music fans everywhere to stream online beginning Sunday, April 2 @10am ET at Viewers can visit for news regarding upcoming Season 49 tapings, episode schedules and select live stream updates. The program’s official hashtags are #acltv and #americanafest. 

Recorded live at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium in September 2022, The Americana Music Association’s 21st Annual Americana Honors & Awards ceremony is a celebration of the confluence of roots, blues, soul, folk and country music.  For the eleventh year, the producers of Austin City Limits, in conjunction with producers Martin Fischer, Michelle Aquilato, and Jed Hilly for the Americana Music Association, proudly deliver a special ACL Presents.

One of the genre’s biggest stars, Song of the Year-winner Brandi Carlile, takes the stage joined by indie-folk duo Lucius for an exuberant performance of Carlile’s gem “You and Me On the Rock,” a triple 2022 Grammy nominee for Record of the Year, Best Americana Performance and Best American Roots Song, from her 2022 Grammy-winning Best Americana Album In These Silent Days. Husband and wife duo The War and Treaty, named Duo/Group of the Year, deliver an electrifying performance of their soulful duet “That’s How Love Is Made,” that brings the Ryman audience to its feet. Americana stalwart Sarah Jarosz introduces “one of her all-time favorites,” Texas songwriter James McMurtry, who sings a sterling rendition of his Song of the Year nominated “Canola Fields.” The Awards’ Emerging Act of the Year honoree Sierra Farrell makes a sparkling debut with her buoyant hot jazz number “At the End of the Rainbow.” Album of the Year winner, singer-songwriter Allison Russell, performs her empowering anthem “You’re Not Alone” from her celebrated debut solo record, Outside Child; she is joined by frequent collaborator Brandi Carlile backed by an all-female ensemble of musicians featuring cellist and Instrumentalist of the Year Larissa Maestro. 

Lifetime achievement honorees showcase their incredible legacies: Fairfield Four, a harmony singing group that originated in the 1920s at Nashville’s Fairfield Baptist Church, are honored with the Legacy of Americana Award for preserving traditional Black a cappella gospel music; they perform a stirring a capella “Rock My Soul.” Americana great Lyle Lovett introduces Chris Isaak, lifetime achievement honoree for performance, calling him “a remarkable artist and remarkable human being” and Isaak delivers a spirited rendition of his classic “Somebody’s Crying.” Rock legend and Americana champion Robert Plant makes a surprise appearance to honor genre icon and long-standing Americana house band leader Buddy Miller with a Lifetime Achievement Award; Miller takes the stage to perform an emotional rendition of Americana forebear Levon Helm’s “Wide River to Cross,” a song Miller co-wrote. Lukas Nelson pays homage to an influential late country great, Don Williams, the gentle giant of country music, with a moving version of the Texas-born singer and songwriter’s “Lord, I Hope This Day is Good.”

The hour celebrates a trio of seminal American roots music albums marking their 50th anniversary: Phosphorescent, the stage name of singer-songwriter Matthew Houck, opens the hour in salute to Neil Young’s landmark Harvest with a rendition of Young’s classic “Are You Ready for the Country?” Lyle Lovett takes the stage to perform an acoustic version of the Little Feat ballad “Willin’” in tribute to the band’s Sailin’ Shoes, joined by Little Feat’s Bill Payne on piano; Americana’s dynamic acoustic duo The Milk Carton Kids salute Jackson Browne’s 1972 self-titled debut with a gorgeous rendition of the singer-songwriter legend’s “Something Fine.”

The special also pays tribute to Americana greats lost in 2022: Iconic gospel group The McCrary Sisters, longtime performers at the Americana Awards, honor their late sister and bandmate Deborah McCrary with the powerful elegy “Amazing Grace.” Luke Bell, a gone-too-soon cult favorite among indie country fans, is saluted by roadhouse country singer JP Harris. Harris performs Bell’s “The Bullfighter,” saying “Luke never got a chance to sing this song himself from this stage like he should’ve, so I’m going to do my damnedest in your stead, little brother.”

Broadcast setlist:

Phosphorescent “Are You Ready for the Country”

Brandi Carlile ft. Lucius “You and Me on the Rock”

The Fairfield Four “Rock My Soul”

James McMurtry “Canola Fields”

The War And Treaty “That’s How Love is Made”

Lukas Nelson “Lord I Hope This Day is Good”

JP Harris “Bullfighter”

Sierra Ferrell “At the End Of the Rainbow”

Chris Isaak “Somebody’s Crying”

Buddy Miller “Wide River To Cross”

Lyle Lovett “Willin’”

The Milk Carton Kids “Something Fine”

Allison Russell ft. Brandi Carlile “You’re Not Alone”

About the Americana Music Association:

The Americana Music Association is a professional not-for-profit trade organization whose mission is to advocate for the authentic voice of American roots music around the world. The Association produces events throughout the year; including AMERICANAFEST and the critically acclaimed Americana Honors & Awards program. The Americana Music Association receives enormous support from the Tennessee Department of Tourism, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC.


The 23rd annual AMERICANAFEST will take place September 19-23, 2023 in Nashville, Tenn., once again bringing together music industry professionals and fans alike for five days of discovery, insight and connections. Declared a “veritable juggernaut” by American Songwriter, AMERICANAFEST showcases hundreds of artists and bands throughout many notable venues in Nashville, TN. The destination event also features a first-rate industry conference, bringing together the top tier of the music business to discuss current industry topics and issues. Musical festivities are kicked off by the critically acclaimed Americana Honors & Awards, which celebrates luminaries and welcomes the next generation of trailblazers while offering one-of-a-kind performance pairings at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium. For more information, please visit

About ACL Presents:

ACL Presents is music programming created by, or in association with, Austin PBS, the producers of Austin City Limits (ACL). ACL Presents programming includes television specials, live events, web series and recorded music presentations and is made in the spirit and standards of the legendary PBS series Austin City Limits, the longest-running live music series in television history. ACL Presents collaborations have included: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass with KQED and AMERICANAFEST with Nashville Public Television (NPT).

Featured News Taping Recap

Taping recap: Lyle Lovett & His Large Band

Guy Clark once sang, “Old friends – they shine like diamonds.” That feels appropriate as we welcomed back our pal, noted Guy Clark fan, and ACL frequent flyer Lyle Lovett to our stage for a headliner show for the first time in a dozen years. (In fact, the last time Lovett did his own taping was the final show in our original home in Studio 6A in 2010.) So the show felt like a reunion, not only for us, but for the devoted fans that packed ACL Live at the Moody Theater. The Texas hero was here to support his latest album 12th of June, of course, and pulled from it generously. But the show was as much a homecoming as a showcase. 

The lights on stage went down, before pianist Jim Cox and violinist Luke Bulla played the bandleader onstage for the lovely old-school ballad “Are We Dancing.” Lovett then quit the stage and the band swung into “Cookin’ at the Continental,” the classic jazz tune from the pen of piano great Horace Silver that throws a spotlight on every member of the twelve-piece Large Band. Lovett and his four singers (including longtime compatriot Francine Reed) returned for “Pants is Overrated,” a prime slice of the songwriter’s wry humor. After noting how glad he was to return to the ACL stage, Lovett told the story of meeting Francine Reed, who’s sung with him since the mid-eighties. Reed announced her retirement from the road this year, but not before she joined the Large Band for this performance. She and Lovett sang two duets drawn from the repertoire of jazz vocal great Nat King Cole and recorded on 12th of June: “Straighten Up and Fly Right” and “Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good To You,” the latter of which featured Lovett taking Reed for a brief spin on the dance floor. 

Lovett talked about his time on the show, reminiscing about how he used to come to tapings long before he ever performed himself. He segued into introducing the core members of the Large Band, many of whom he’s played with for thirty-plus years, before playing the country waltz “Her Loving Man.” After bemusedly describing his early years being mislabeled a folk singer, introducing his friends in the audience, Lovett claimed the next song as a commemoration of a successful co-headlining tour with singer/songwriter Chris Isaak – who walked out onstage midway through the wry “Mirrored Man’s Lament” to sing along, to the surprise and delight of the crowd. Of course, you can’t invite the sparkle-jacketed rocker onstage and not sing a Roy Orbison song, and that was “Dream Baby,” the song they performed together every night during the tour. Following one quick (and, sadly, temporary) jacket exchange, Isaak left and Lovett sang the melancholy ballad “The Mocking Ones.” 

Prefaced by a story about his family’s history and traditions, Lovett paid tribute to his wife and children with the beautiful title track to 12th of June. He continued the nods to family with “Pig Meat Man,” a bluesy stroll through his son’s love of bacon that featured some sizzling improvisations from University of North Texas saxophone professor Brad Leeli. The Large Band ended the first set with the barrelhouse piano-led “On a Winter’s Morning,” the same song that concludes 12th of June. Following a short period of rest, Lovett and the band returned for a hearty five-song encore, starting with Lovett and Isaak sharing an impromptu duet on the Delmore Brothers’ “Blues Stay Away From Me” with trombonist Charles Rose. The blues feel continued with “My Baby Don’t Tolerate,” with round-robin solos from guitarist James Harrah, steel player Buck Reid, guitarist Dean Parks and drummer Russ Kunkel.   

The fan favorites continued with “I’ve Been to Memphis,” the rollicking opener to Lovett’s classic Joshua Judges Ruth that spotlighted bassist Leland Sklar, fiddler Luke Bulla, pianist Jim Cox, acoustic guitarist Jeff White, singers Reid, Willie Greene, Jr., Lamont Van Hook and Jason Eskridge, the four-piece horn section of Lesli, Rose, trumpeter Steve Hermann and saxophonist Mace Hibbard and stalwart cellist John Hagen, with whom Lovett began playing in 1979. Lovett enthused about his old friend’s history before telling him, “Let’s play one we’ve played many times.” That was “If I Had a Boat” from Lovett’s second album Pontiac, a Lovett standard and a crowd favorite. There was only one way to follow that and end the evening, and that was with “That’s Right (You’re Not From Texas),” Lovett’s lively and beloved homage to his home state. The audience went justifiably wild as the Large Band played their leader off with a burst of “Here I Am.” It was a great show and a proper homecoming, and we can’t wait for you to see it when it airs this fall on your local PBS station. 

Episode Recap Featured New Broadcast News

ACL TV presents ACL Hall of Fame: The First 6 Years

Kick off the New Year with a good ‘un: Austin City Limits presents ACL Hall of Fame: The First 6 Years, a special broadcast featuring a victory lap of some of the finest performances from the first six years of the annual ACL Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, from the inaugural induction celebration in 2014 to 2019’s sixth annual ceremony. The Austin City Limits Hall of Fame was established in 2014 to honor beacons of American music who have played an instrumental role in making the iconic music series a music institution. The 14-song, all-star salute, recorded live in Austin, Texas, features bestin-class performances and collaborations, many never-before-broadcast, from the annual celebrations in a performance-packed hour with Hall of Fame honorees including Willie Nelson, Buddy Guy, Los Lobos, Bonnie Raitt, Rosanne Cash and Kris Kristofferson performing alongside special guests. ACL Hall of Fame: The First 6 Years premieres Saturday, January 2 at 8pm CT/9pm ET. Check local PBS listings for times. The special will be available to music fans everywhere to stream online beginning Sunday, January 3 @10am ET at

The Hall of Fame celebration captures one-of-a-kind performances and emotional moments as the hour kicks off with the very first inductee into ACL’s inaugural Hall of Fame in 2014:  Willie Nelson, who appeared on ACL’s pilot episode in 1974, and performs his classic “On the Road Again” joined by special guests Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett. Blues giant Buddy Guy, a 2019 inductee, performs an electrifying take on his gem “Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues” joined by a longtime friend, bluesman Jimmie Vaughan. For her induction in 2017, Rosanne Cash shares the stage with friends Elvis Costello and Neko Case, trading verses on her early chart-topping anthem “Seven Year Ache,” joined by legendary guitarist Ry Cooder. A trio of music’s most expressive vocalists, Chris Isaak, Brandi Carlile and Raul Malo, join forces to celebrate the legendary Roy Orbison’s 2017 induction with a joyous rendition of the pioneering rocker’s signature “Oh, Pretty Woman.” Acclaimed singer-songwriter Jason Isbell performs a moving solo rendition of Texas singer-songwriter Guy Clark’s classic, “Desperados Waiting For A Train,” saluting the 2015 inductee. Bonnie Raitt celebrates her induction in 2016 teaming up with handpicked guests Mavis Staples and Taj Mahal on a blazing rendition of her smash “Thing Called Love.” Kris Kristofferson, a fellow 2016 inductee, lights up the stage with a moving, solo acoustic performance of his early 70s classic “Lovin’ Her Was Easier.” Celebrating her induction in 2019, Shawn Colvin delivers a captivating performance of her early gem “Diamond In the Rough,” from her 1989 debut Steady On, joined by a pair of Texas singer-songwriters, Sarah Jarosz and fellow inductee Lyle Lovett. The queen of country music, Loretta Lynn, who first appeared on the series in 1983, is celebrated during her 2015 induction by country singer Patty Loveless, with a stirring rendition of the living legend’s first number one country hit “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’”. 

Photo by Gary Miller

The “first family of funk,” The Neville Brothers, the first New Orleans act to appear on ACL in 1979, are saluted by Trombone Shorty and members of the next-generation Nevilles Band for a scorching NOLA-style tribute to the influential funk ‘n’ soul collective in honor of their 2017 induction. Legendary Texas singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt is inducted in 2015 with an all-star tribute of his “White Freightliner Blues” with music greats Lyle Lovett, Ray Benson, Vince Gill, Gillian Welch, Dwight Yoakam and more trading verses on the classic. Blues-rock star Gary Clark Jr. puts down his guitar for the occasion and steps up to the mic to pay vocal tribute to 2018 inductee Ray Charles, delivering a radiant “Night Time Is the Right Time” while vocalists Ruthie Foster, Carolyn Wonderland and Shelley King do The Raelettes proud with show-stopping backing chorus. American originals Los Lobos join the fifth class of inductees in 2018 performing a classic from their celebrated four-decade career, “La Pistola Y El Corazon”. The broadcast comes to an epic close saluting blues-rock icon Stevie Ray Vaughan’s 2014 induction into the first class of inductees, as a murderers’ row of guitar greats, including Willie Nelson, Buddy Guy and Johnny Lang, perform a blistering “Texas Flood,” the Lone Star classic Vaughan made famous when he performed it on his now-classic 1983 ACL debut, in a performance for the ages.

Austin City Limits Hall of Fame: The First Six Years setlist:

Willie Nelson w/ Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett “On the Road Again”

Buddy Guy w/Jimmie Vaughan “Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues”

Rosanne Cash w/Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Ry Cooder “Seven Year Ache”

Chris Isaak w/Brandi Carlile, Raul Malo “Oh Pretty Woman”

Jason Isbell “Desperados Waiting For A Train”

Bonnie Raitt w/ Mavis Staples, Taj Mahal “Thing Called Love” 

Kris Kristofferson “Lovin’ Her Was Easier”

Shawn Colvin w/Lyle Lovett & Sarah Jarosz “Diamond in the Rough”

Patty Loveless “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’”

The Nevilles Band w/Trombone Shorty “Meet De Boys on De Battlefront”

All-Star Cast f. Lyle Lovett, Ray Benson, Vince Gill, Gillian Welch, Dwight Yoakam  “White Freightliner Blues” 

Gary Clark Jr. w/Ruthie Foster, Carolyn Wonderland, Shelley King “Night Time Is the Right Time”

Los Lobos “La Pistola Y El Corazon”

All-Star Finale f. Willie Nelson, Buddy Guy, Johnny Lang, Lukas Nelson, Doyle Bramhall II, Robert Randolph “Texas Flood”

Photo by Scott Newton

Viewers can visit for news regarding future tapings, episode schedules and select live stream updates. 

About 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 46th 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 KLRU 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.

ACL Hall of Fame: The First 6 Years is produced by Austin PBS, KLRU-TV and funding is provided in part by AXS, Dell Technologies, and Cirrus Logic. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Austin City Limits. Learn more about Austin City Limits, programming and history at