Encore Broadcast Episode Recap News

Encore: Alejandro Escovedo and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

Get those air guitars and horns ready, because this weekend Austin City Limits is bringing both the rock AND the funk with an encore episode featuring Alejandro Escovedo and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue.

When Alejandro Escovedo returned to the ACL stage for his third showcase (or fourth, if you count his appearance as a member of Rank & File way back in Season 8), he brought a stripped-down band and sound. Rather than the expansive sonics of his Orchestra, the mission of the Sensitive Boys is to rock the heck out. Having showcased his love of early 70s glam/proto-punk rockers like Mott the Hoople and Lou Reed on recent LPs Real Animal and Street Songs of Love, Escovedo brings that aesthetic to our stage for a blazing rock & roll set full of great tunes like “Anchor,” “Faith” and “Always a Friend.” If you’re not jumping around the room, you might need to check your pulse.

photo by Scott Newton

And as long as you’re on your feet, you want to stay there for Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. From his days as a pre-teen jazz prodigy, Troy Andrews has been absorbing every musical sound that comes out of his native New Orleans, with an emphasis on his town’s particularly groovy brand of funk. Andrews and his crack band showed their mastery on their first major label Backatown, and hit the same second line grooves hard on our stage. “Hurricane Season” and “Where Y’at?’ are greasy enough, but when the band launches into their James Brown medley, it’s time to tear the roof off the sucker.

You can check out the episode page for more details, as well as our video page for some behind-the-scenes action. Don’t forget to stop by our Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr pages for regular updates on the ACL universe. Next week: a beloved classic featuring the one and only Roy Orbison.

Encore Broadcast News

Encore: John Legend & the Roots

Wondering how you’re going to make it through this week knowing that the first weekend of the Coachella Music Festival is going on and you didn’t get tickets? Don’t be sad, get ready for an exciting performance on this week’s Austin City Limits encore episode that includes two of the biggest names in R&B, soul, and hip hop:  John Legend and The Roots.

Legend and The Roots perform most of the songs off of their 2010 collaborative album Wake Up! Inspired by the 2008 Presidential election, Wake Up! features a collection of cover songs from the 60s and ‘70s that were originally written or performed by some of the most influential and timeless artists of the era, such as Donny Hathaway, Eugene McDaniels, Curtis Mayfield, Bill Withers, and many others. Legend and The Roots both felt that something was needed in the stagnant atmosphere and lack of depth in music’s current state and that this album would deliver a sense of urgency and convey the change that was going on in the world at the time. Given the album’s themes/background and the upcoming Presidential election, this is an episode that still resonates.

A few breakthrough moments in the episode include when Legend breaks away from Wake Up! once to perform “Ordinary People,” arguably his most popular hit from his 2004 debut album Get Lifted. Following that, Legend introduces the song “I Can’t Write Left-Handed,” which he explains was written by Bill Withers during the Vietnam War. Withers dedicated it to a soldier he met who was shot in his right arm and forced to learn to use his left hand to write. The powerful and soulful ballad is heightened with ?ueslove’s brilliant and passionate drumming.

Check your local listings for showtimes to see this special episode and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr to keep up with updates on tapings and airings. Next week: Alejandro Escovedo and Trombone Shorty!

Encore Broadcast News

ACL Encore: Kris Kristofferson & Steve Earle

This week’s encore episode features two Texas natives that are arguably two of the greatest singer-songwriters in American music: Steve Earle and Kris Kristofferson.

Both artists delivered remarkably intimate sets for our celebratory 35th season of Austin City Limits; Kristofferson played hits such as “Help Me Make It Through the Night” acoustically, while Earle performed tracks from his Townes Van Zandt  tribute album, Townes. There’s no doubt that these classic performers have left their mark on the music industry with their expansive careers that stretch over several decades and expansive discography and collaborations.

Check your local listings for showtimes and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr to keep up with updates on tapings and airings!

Encore Broadcast Episode Recap News

This weekend: Cheap Trick

It’s one thing to be a band that is cited to be a heavy influence for both rock and alt rock bands alike during the late 80s and early 90s such as Guns N’ Roses, Pearl Jam, Weezer, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, and countless others. It’s an entirely different argument to continue to be a relevant band that still tours (39 years and counting) while simultaneously being one of the most covered bands all time. Hits such as “I Want You to Want Me” and “Surrender” have been featured on many commercials and soundtracks and played countless times, yet every time we hear Robin Zander sing out some of the most recognized song lyrics of our time, we can’t help but stop and give it our full attention.

Cheap Trick could have easily slid into the land where bands go to retire and after a stagnant period of time (and with the right monetary offer) return for a reunion tour, but that has never been an option for this group. They simply don’t see the need to quit. Rick Nielsen once likened their music to a coffee table book in the way that it seems to have an immediate impact for each person who comes in contact with it. Every album they have adds to the diversity of this “book” in a way that can connect with many different types of people on several levels. This couldn’t have developed had they quit years ago and it’s a process that gets better with time.

Speaking of time, it seems to have barely touched their live performance. You won’t see four aging men playing stale hits when you tune in to this Saturday’s encore episode. Whether it’s Tom Petersson rocking out on a 12-string bass with a bedazzled peacock adorning the body or Nielsen throwing out at least 100 picks into the audience all while dancing in front of black and white checkered amps, the group made sure to put a dent on their Austin City Limits debut in 2010.

Be sure to check your local listings for show times and you can find more clips and information about their taping here. This is an encore episode you won’t want to miss.


This weekend on Austin City Limits: Tom Waits

The Tom Waits episode of Austin City Limits is one of the most requested shows in our 37-year archive. In the spirit of the holiday season, we’ve put this Season 4 delight back on the air for the first time in over a decade. Tune in this Saturday 12/24 – that’s right, Christmas Eve – to see this classic episode once again.

Recorded in December 1978, the show came in through the back door, so to speak. Terry Lickona, who became producer in Season 4, was trying to book singer Leon Redbone. Redbone and Waits shared a manager, who promptly requested that Terry book his other client as well. In order to make sure the Redbone show happened, Terry agreed, even though he was nervous that the roots-oriented audience ACL had already built in its previous three seasons might think that Waits’ avant-garde gutter poetry was too radical for the show.

The rest is, well, you know the cliche. Supporting his classic LP Blue Valentine (but aren’t they all classics?), Waits was deep in the transitional phase of his career, evolving out of the jazzy beat poetry of his early work (“I Wish I Was in New Orleans”) and into the bluesier, more dissonant sounds (“Sweet Little Bullet From a Pretty Blue Gun”) for which he became known in the 80s and beyond. He acknowledged the season with the streetwise but lovely “Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis,” which incorporates a few bars of a better-known Xmas hymn. And he debuted “On the Nickel,” one of his greatest ballads, and which wouldn’t be released on record until Heartattack and Vine in 1980.

Tom Waits “Silent Night / Christmas Carol From a Hooker in Minneapolis” from Austin City Limits on Vimeo.

You can check out the episode page for pics, the set list and the original liner notes for the episode. Don’t forget to visit our Facebook and Twitter pages and/or sign up for our newsletter for the latest news on ACL happenings, or to go to our Tumblr blog for a look back at ACL’s photographic past. Next week: our New Year’s Eve blowout with Coldplay!