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ACL Presents: Americana 20th Annual Honors

Austin City Limits returns to Nashville for a special broadcast featuring performance highlights from the 20th Annual Americana Honors. For two decades, the annual celebration of roots music has honored the best and brightest musicians in Americana music while showcasing one-of-a-kind 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): Fisk Jubilee Singers with Leon Timbo, Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O’Donovan & Joe Henry, Allison Russell, The Highwomen, featuring Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris, Amanda Shires with Yola, Jason Isbell, Valerie June & Carla Thomas, Charley Crockett, Amythyst Kiah, Buddy Miller, Brandi Carlile & The Mavericks. The hourlong special premieres Saturday, April 2 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 3 @10am ET at pbs.org/austincitylimits. Viewers can visit acltv.com for news regarding upcoming Season 48 tapings, episode schedules and select live stream updates. 

Recorded live at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium in 2021, The Americana Music Association’s 20th Annual Americana Honors & Awards ceremony is a celebration of the confluence of roots, blues, soul, folk and country music.  For the tenth 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.  

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – SEPTEMBER 22: Fisk Jubilee Singers perform onstage at the 20th Annual Americana Honors & Awards at Ryman Auditorium on September 22, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Americana Music Association)

Lifetime Achievement Award honorees Fisk Jubilee Singers, the award-winning choir formed at Nashville’s HBCU Fisk University, open the hour and raise the Ryman roof with the stirring spiritual “I Believe” joined by gospel great Leon Timbo. Americana’s Artist of the Year Brandi Carlile delivers a gorgeous solo performance of her 2022 triple Grammy-nominated song “Right On Time” and also performs with her bandmates Maren Morris, Natalie Hemby and Amanda Shires in country supergroup the Highwomen, joined by greats Yola and Jason Isbell for the occasion. Multiple Americana Album of the Year nominees showcase highlights: Americana stalwart Sarah Jarosz performs “I’ll Be Gone,” a gem from her celebrated World on the Ground, joined by John Leventhal; Valerie June performs her Song of the Year-nominated “Call Me A Fool” from her The Moon And Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers, joined by Stax great and Lifetime Achievement honoree Carla Thomas; and one of the genre’s top stars, Jason Isbell, is joined by wife and collaborator Amanda Shires for “Letting You Go,” a poignant song written for their young daughter from his acclaimed Reunions.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – SEPTEMBER 22: Valerie June performs onstage at the 20th Annual Americana Honors & Awards at Ryman Auditorium on September 22, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Americana Music Association)

The award’s Emerging Artist honorees take the stage to showcase their talents: the year’s Emerging Artist Award-winner and “the pride of San Benito, Texas,” Charley Crockett, makes a sparkling debut with his singular brand of Gulf & Western music, performing the two-stepping “Are We Lonesome Yet.” Fellow nominee, genre-bending artist Allison Russell, delivers her 2022 double Grammy-nominated “Nightflyer,” a soulful number from her critically-acclaimed solo record Outside Child, also a 2022 Grammy nominee for Best Americana Album. Breakout singer-songwriter Amythyst Kiah showcases her bonafides with a powerhouse “Fancy Drones (Fracture Me),” forecasting the future of the genre. 

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – SEPTEMBER 22: Amythyst Kiah performs at the 20th Annual Americana Honors & Awards at Ryman Auditorium on September 22, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Americana Music Association)

The special pays tribute to a pair of Americana greats we lost in 2021: Country-folk legend Nanci Griffith, a trailblazer in the genre, is saluted with a gorgeous reading of her “Gulf Coast Highway,” performed by Aoife O’Donovan and Joe Henry;  country great Tom T. Hall is honored by famed musician Buddy Miller, who performs a memorable rendition of Hall’s classic “That’s How I Got to Memphis.” 

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – SEPTEMBER 22: Aoife O’Donovan and Joe Henry perform at the 20th Annual Americana Honors & Awards at Ryman Auditorium on September 22, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Americana Music Association)

The show closes with the eclectic rock-country-Latin band the Mavericks, recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Trailblazer Award, celebrating the diversity of the genre with “La Sitiera,” from their acclaimed Spanish-language album En Español.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – SEPTEMBER 22: Raul Malo of The Mavericks performs at the 20th Annual Americana Honors & Awards at Ryman Auditorium on September 22, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Americana Music Association)

Broadcast setlist:

Fisk Jubilee Singers ft. Leon Timbo “I Believe”

Sarah Jarosz ft. John Leventhal “I’ll Be Gone”

Aiofe O’Donovan & Joe Henry “Gulf Coast Highway” 

Allison Russell “Nightflyer”

The Highwomen (Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris, Amanda Shires, Natalie Hemby) ft. Yola & Jason Isbell 

Jason Isbell ft. Amanda Shires “Letting You Go”

Valerie June ft. Carla Thomas “Call Me A Fool”

Charley Crockett ”Are We Lonesome Yet” 

Amythyst Kiah “Fancy Drones (Fracture Me)”

Buddy Miller “That’s How I Got to Memphis”

Brandi Carlile “Right on Time”

The Mavericks “La Sitiera”

About AMERICANAFEST:

The 22nd annual AMERICANAFEST will take place September 13-17, 2022 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 www.americanamusic.org.

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.

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 Americana Music Festival with Nashville Public Television (NPT). 

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Episode Recap Featured Hall of Fame New Broadcast News

Episode premiere: ACL 7th Annual Hall of Fame Honors

A special installment, Austin City Limits 7th Annual Hall of Fame Honors, premieres January 8 at 8pm CT/9pm ET on PBS. Austin City Limits (ACL) celebrates the newest class of Hall of Fame Inductees, honoring a trio of Americana greats with longtime ties to ACL: Lucinda Williams, Wilco and Alejandro Escovedo, with best-in-class performances and highlights from the 2021 ACL Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony presented by PNC Bank, recorded live in Austin, Texas on October 28, 2021.  Music greats Jason Isbell, Rosanne Cash, Margo Price, Sheila E., Lenny Kaye, Japanese Breakfast and more salute the new class of inductees with one-of-a-kind collaborative performances and tributes. The hour-long broadcast premieres Saturday, January 8 at 8pm ET on PBS. Check local PBS listings for times. The special will be available to music fans everywhere to stream online beginning Sunday, January 9 at 10am ET at pbs.org/austincitylimits. In addition, a streaming-only, 90-minute bonus installment featuring exclusive content from the celebration will be made available for fans the same day, including acclaimed performances by John Doe, legendary Los Angeles punk band X co-founder, iconoclastic Texas singer-songwriter Terry Allen and indie icon Bill Callahan. Providing viewers a front-row seat to the best in live performance for a remarkable 47 years, the series returns January 15 ringing in a new year with all-new episodes as part of its Season 47. Viewers can visit acltv.com for news regarding future tapings, episode schedules and select live stream updates. 

Margo Price and Lucinda Williams sing “Changed the Locks” at the 2021 ACL 7th Annual Hall of Fame Honors . Photo courtesy Austin City Limits

One of today’s finest songwriters, Jason Isbell, opens the hour to salute the night’s first honoree, legendary singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams. “A lot of my songs wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t spent so much time trying to rip her off,” grins Isbell in a heartfelt induction, providing insightful examples of the way Williams uses detailed imagery to paint pictures with her lyrics. “She’s made a map,” he explains, for other songwriters, including himself, to follow. “Too rock for country and too country for rock,” Williams cracks in her acceptance, recalling the music industry’s early reaction to her sound. Isbell performs a gorgeous rendition of Williams’ “I Envy the Wind” from her Grammy-nominated 2002 album Essence. The pioneering artist takes the stage for a pair of collaborative performances featuring highlights from her groundbreaking self-titled 1988 classic. “I’m on cloud nine,” says the honoree as she is joined by her friend of 30 years, Rosanne Cash, for the gem “Crescent City.” Country star Margo Price joins Williams for her signature scorcher “Changed the Locks’ ‘ in an electrifying duet.

Sheila E. congratulates her uncle Alejandro Escovedo at the ACL 7th Annual Hall of Fame Honors. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

Punk pioneer Lenny Kaye recounts how he first met Alejandro Escovedo in 1974, and inducts his longtime friend with wit and wisdom, capturing the essence of what makes the genre-defying Mexican-American artist’s eclectic, expansive body of work important to the world. Joined by his niece, the incomparable Queen of Percussion Sheila E. behind the drum kit, Lenny Kaye on guitar, and his veteran backing singers and string section, Escovedo opens the music salute with a Spanish-language song from his acclaimed 2018 immigrant-themed album The Crossing, bringing out Alex Ruiz, frontman for Austin Latin-rock band Del Castillo for the occasion. Escovedo completes his victory lap with a titanic take on “Put You Down,” his 1996 orchestral-rock anthem with which he opened his 2006 ACL appearance, guitar-windmilling his way through the thrilling performance.

Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner joins Wilco for “Jesus, etc.” at the ACL 7th Annual Hall of Fame Honors. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

ACL Hall of Famer Rosanne Cash inducts Wilco with deep accolades, referring to the celebrated Chicago band as “heartland laborers in the tower of song, with thick skins and open hearts” and champions them for being “subversive without being destructive” with a humanity that “somehow breaks us and heals us at the same time.” With Wilco’s music, Cash says, “we don’t need certainty when we love the questions.” Bandleader Jeff Tweedy, guitarist Nels Cline, bassist John Stirratt, keyboardists Pat Sansone and Mikael Jorgensen and drummer Glenn Kotche take the stage to perform early career highlight “Shot in the Arm.” A 2022 Grammy nominee and superfan, Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner is backed by the band for a radiant spin on the pop charmer “Jesus, Etc.” from the 2002 landmark Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

The stars come out en masse for a stellar reading of Wilco’s breakout “California Stars” from 1998’s collaborative classic Mermaid Avenue, with Jeff Tweedy, Rosanne Cash and Alejandro Escovedo trading verses and the all-star ensemble of performers singing-along. Jason Isbell trades licks on the song’s solo with Wilco guitar great Nels Cline, bringing the luminous hour to an epic close.

“California Stars” via the cast of the ACL 7th Annual Hall of Fame Honors. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

The seventh class of ACL Hall of Fame inductees represent the essence of everything ACL has stood for— originality, authenticity, virtuosity. Roots-music icon Lucinda Williams has made four classic appearances on ACL over a remarkable four-decade career, starting with her debut on Season 15 in 1990. Celebrated Chicago band Wilco has also appeared on ACL four times during 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 a total of five appearances including a star-studded return in 2017.

Austin City Limits 7th Annual Hall of Fame Honors setlist:

Jason Isbell “I Envy the Wind”

Lucinda Williams & Rosanne Cash “Crescent City”

Lucinda Williams & Margo Price “Changed the Locks”

Alejandro Escovedo, Alex Ruiz, Sheila E. & Lenny Kaye “Algo Azul”

Alejandro Escovedo, Alex Ruiz, Sheila E. “Put You Down”

Wilco “Shot In the Arm”

Wilco & Japanese Breakfast “Jesus, Etc.”

Wilco “California Stars” (All-Star Finale)

Bonus performances (streaming-only):

John Doe “Sally Was A Cop” (Alejandro Escovedo tribute)

Bill Callahan “Sky Blue Sky” (Wilco tribute)

Terry Allen “One Sunday Morning” (Wilco tribute)

Austin City Limits Hall of Fame

In 2014, Austin PBS established the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame (ACL HoF) to recognize legendary musicians and key individuals who have been instrumental in making television’s longest-running popular music show an institution. The ACL HoF is a historical archive, educational resource and celebration of ACL and the Austin spirit, capturing milestones in the history of the show and celebrating the performers who have graced its iconic stage. The annual ACL HoF Induction and Celebration is Austin PBS’ largest fundraising event with performances taped for broadcast on PBS stations nationwide. The 7th Annual Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Inductions and Celebration is presented by PNC Bank with additional support for the broadcast from AXS.

Austin City LimitsAustin 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.

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Featured Hall of Fame News Taping Recap Uncategorized

Taping recap: ACL 7th Annual Hall of Fame Honors

Following last year’s pandemic-related pre-emption, we were beyond thrilled for the return of our biggest event/party of the season: the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Inductions & Celebration Presented by PNC Bank. We were proud to induct three longtime ACL favorites, all trailblazing artists who have all appeared on the show multiple times: renowned alt-country band Wilco, Austin rock icon Alejandro Escovedo, and the truly legendary singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams. Joined by a diverse and impressive line-up of musicians paying tribute to these fantastic figures, we had a grand time celebrating some of our favorite performers on our favorite night of the year. We were also excited to announce the formal unveiling of PNC Plaza at ACL Live as part of the ceremony. Our new partner PNC Bank has made a five-year commitment as the Official Bank of Austin City Limits.

Alejandro Escovedo. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

Following welcomes from Austin PBS acting CEO Lori Bolding and ACL executive producer Terry Lickona, it was time to induct the first honoree: Austin’s own Alejandro Escovedo. Legendary rock writer, producer and longtime Patti Smith guitarist Lenny Kaye did the honors. Kaye spoke of his long friendship with Escovedo, and what makes his eclectic, expansive body of work important not only to the industry, but to the world. Escovedo accepted his award in a stunning, sparkling lime-green jacket, and spoke of the influence of his wife Nancy Rankin, his Mexican family, especially his older brother, jazz great Pete Escovedo, and of his journey through music, as well as his gratitude to ACL for giving a platform to showcase his musical theater piece By the Hand of the Father in 2002. Joined by his niece, the incomparable Sheila E., behind the drum kit of the Austin All-Stars Band and his veteran backing singers and string section, Escovedo opened the music salute with “Algo Azul,” a song from his most recent album The Crossing, bringing out Alex Ruiz, frontman for Austin Latin-rock band Del Castillo and filmmaker Robert Rodriguez’s band Chingon, for an all-Spanish version of the song La Cruzada. Escovedo then welcomed another old pal, John Doe, co-founder of legendary Los Angeles punk band X, to sing the rocking story song “Sally Was a Cop,” from the 2012 album Big Station, amplified by a burning solo from house band leader Lloyd Maines on pedal steel. Escovedo finished his victory lap with a titanic take on “Put You Down,” his 1996 rock anthem with which he opened his 2006 ACL appearance. Guitars raged, the string section seared, and the audience response was deafening. 

Lucinda Williams with Rosanne Cash. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

The only way to follow that was by inducting another icon, which meant it was time to honor the singer/songwriter all other singer/songwriters bow down to: Lucinda Williams. One of her best-known disciples, Jason Isbell, inducted her into the HOF, explaining how Williams made a map for other songwriters, including himself, to follow. “This will fit real nicely next to my Grammys,” she commented wryly as she accepted her award. She praised Austin for helping give her her start, as well as Terry Lickona and the ACL staff. Isbell then took the stage to sing Williams’ beautiful “I Envy the Wind,” from her Grammy-nominated 2002 LP Essence. Williams joined her friend Rosanne Cash onstage to perform a moving version of the beguiling New Orleans tribute “Crescent City” from the Louisiana native’s groundbreaking 1988 self-titled LP, capped by a standing ovation from the crowd. Country rock star Margo Price joined Williams, presenting her hero with flowers and a heartfelt thanks for the example she sets. Along with the All-Stars, Price and Williams tore into “Changed the Locks,” the withering blues rocker also from 1988’s Lucinda Williams. After the two singers-in-arms left the stage, steel guitarist and house bandleader Lloyd Maines – the first musician to be inducted into the ACL Hall of Fame – introduced the ace ACL All-Stars Band: guitarist David Grissom, bassist Bill Whitbeck, drummer Tom Van Schiak and keyboardist Chris Gage. 

Wilco. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

Following an intermission, it was time to induct Wilco. Rosanne Cash welcomed her friends into the Hall with a speech touching on their “musical alchemy that’s just the thing if you want to spark a revolution in your audience.” Her words earned her hugs from all six members (leader Jeff Tweedy, bassist John Stirratt, guitarist Nels Cline, keyboardists Pat Sansone and Mikael Jorgenson, drummer Glenn Kotche), while Tweedy gave a speech thanking not only ACL but all the bands that gave them inspiration along the way. Wilco then picked up their instruments to do what they do best, opening their segment with Summerteeth’s rocking “A Shot in the Arm.” The band exited the stage with the exception of guitarist Nels Cline remaining to accompany their friend Bill Callahan on lap steel. The low-fi great sang “Sky Blue Sky” in his deep baritone, with Cline coloring the proceedings with keening steel lines. Legendary Texas singer/songwriter Terry Allen took the stage solo, for a stately piano performance of “One Sunday Morning.” Wilco returned to the stage joined by Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner, along with Lloyd Maines (who played on Wilco’s 1995 debut A.M.) for “Jesus, Etc.,” the pop charmer from 2002’s landmark Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

“We’d like to invite everybody back on the stage,” said Tweedy, bringing the all-star cast out for a stellar reading of “California Stars.” Escovedo, Cash, Isbell, Allen, Sheila E., Price, Callahan, Kaye, Zauner, Doe, Maines, and the string players joined in on Wilco’s early career highlight for a powerhouse closer. It was a great way to end the show, and stay tuned for highlights on Austin City Limits 7th Annual Hall of Fame Honors when it airs January 8 on PBS.

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Featured Hall of Fame News Uncategorized

ACL announces 2021 HOF guest performers

Austin City Limits announces an all-star slate of guest performers for the 2021 ACL Hall of Fame Inductions & Celebration on October 28, 2021. Music greats Jason Isbell, Margo Price, John Doe, Sheila E., Lenny Kaye, Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner, Rosanne Cash, Bill Callahan, Terry Allen and Del Castillo’s Alex Ruiz will take part in saluting the newest class of inductees with one-of-a-kind music performances and tributes. After an absence in 2020 due to the pandemic, the ACL Hall of Fame returns, celebrating a stellar new class of trailblazing artists with longtime ties to ACL: Lucinda Williams, Wilco and Alejandro Escovedo. The 2021 ACL Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at the star-studded ceremony on October 28th, 2021 at ACL’s studio home, ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. Musical highlights and inductions from the celebration will air as a special Austin City Limits on January 8, 2022 on PBS.

The event is open to the public and a limited number of newly released tickets are on sale at acltv.com/hall-of-fame.  Sponsor packages are available now at acltv.com/hall-of-fame. All proceeds benefit Austin PBS. 

All-star guests will handle induction honors for this epic night: Jason Isbell will induct Lucinda Williams and perform in tribute along with Margo Price and Rosanne Cash. Cash will also induct Wilco, and indie legend Bill Callahan, Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner and Texas icon Terry Allen will salute the celebrated band. A godfather of punk, Lenny Kaye, will induct Alejandro Escovedo; joining the musical tribute will be John Doe, founder of seminal LA punk band X, Queen of percussion Sheila E. and Alex Ruiz, frontman for Austin Latin rock band Del Castillo. Inductees Lucinda Williams, Wilco and Alejandro Escovedo will all perform at the ceremony. ACL Hall of Famer, renowned steel guitarist and producer Lloyd Maines, returns as Music Director, leading the ACL All-Stars house band.

The seventh class of inductees represent the essence of everything ACL has stood for— originality, authenticity, virtuosity. Roots-music icon Lucinda Williams has made four classic appearances on ACL over a remarkable four-decade career, starting with her debut on Season 15 in 1990. Celebrated Chicago band Wilco has also appeared on ACL four times during 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 a total of five appearances including a star-studded return in 2017.

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.

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 acltv.com.

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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 pbs.org/austincitylimits

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 acltv.com 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 acltv.com.