Episode Recap Featured New Broadcast News

Episode recap: Sarah Jarosz/Billy Strings

Austin City Limits is proud to showcase a pair of American originals: Sarah Jarosz and Billy Strings in a new installment premiering October 23 at 9pm ET/ 8pm CT as part of the series new Season 47. The roots music stars share a spell-binding hour that forecasts the genre’s future: Sarah Jarosz makes her third appearance on the ACL stage with selections from World On the Ground, the 2021 GRAMMY-winner for Best Americana Album; while fan favorite Billy Strings delivers an electrifying set with songs from Home, his 2021 GRAMMY Award-winning Best Bluegrass Album and debuts new numbers from his latest release, Renewal. Despite the challenges facing live music during the past year, ACL is proud to deliver a new season of performances for viewers, all recorded at ACL’s studio home in Austin, Texas in 2021, in front of limited live audiences. The 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 immediately following the initial broadcast.  

Sarah Jarosz makes her third appearance on the ACL stage with highlights from her acclaimed World on the Ground, a collection of songs inspired by her formative years growing up in Central Texas.  The singer, songwriter and gifted multi-instrumentalist made her ACL debut in 2010 at the age of 19, and she returns as a four-time GRAMMY Award-winning artist. “I would say this is a good way to re-emerge into the world after the last year,” notes Jarosz. Accompanied by renowned producer/musician John Leventhal, who produced World on the Ground, Jarosz delivers the bittersweet “Hometown,” a gorgeous reflection on home and the 2021 GRAMMY-nominee for Best American Roots Song. She delivers a luminous set, acknowledging the emotional resonance of returning to her home state to perform the Texas-based songs. Jarosz displays her extraordinary range, with a sparkling solo rendition of U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” turning the rock anthem into a soulful folk song, amplified by her skillful mandolin playing.

photo by Scott Newton

Billy Strings makes his ACL debut holding bluegrass music’s hottest hand, with a newly-minted 2021 GRAMMY Award and the reigning Entertainer of the Year and Guitar Player of the Year from the International Bluegrass Music Association. The Michigan-born musician, now based in Nashville, is the genre’s new superstar, taking a progressive approach to string music, folding in influences from rock, jazz and psychedelia. Strings sings of modern American woes, and opens the breathtaking set with his early career breakout, 2013’s “Dust in a Baggie,” the parable of a meth addict who heeds warnings too late. The exuberant 29-year-old flatpicking virtuoso and his band of aces deliver highlights from the 2021 GRAMMY-winning breakthrough Home and new songs from his latest Renewal, showcasing the dazzling dexterity and boundary-pushing artistry that has earned him legions of fans.

“Sarah Jarosz and Billy Strings represent the past, present and future of American roots music, and no one else even comes close,” said ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “Billy is setting the bluegrass world on fire, and beyond. Meanwhile, in her own quiet and personal way, Sarah continues to expand the horizons of Americana music.”

Sarah Jarosz setlist:








Billy Strings setlist:






Season 47 Broadcast Line-up (second half of season to be announced separately):

October 2 Miranda Lambert with Jack Ingram & Jon Randall

October 9 Jade Bird / Dayglow

October 16 Jon Batiste

October 23 Sarah Jarosz / Billy Strings

October 30 Brandy Clark / Charley Crockett

November 6 Leon Bridges / Khruangbin

November 13 Jackson Browne

November 20 Brittany Howard

Watch live, stream anytime, and let ACL be a trusted sidekick for entertainment during these challenging days. The complete line-up for the full 13-week season, including five new episodes to air beginning January 2022, will be announced at a later date.  Viewers can visit for news regarding live streams, future tapings and episode schedules or by following ACL on Facebook, Twitter and IG. Fans can also browse the ACL YouTube channel for exclusive songs, behind-the-scenes videos and full-length artist interviews.

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 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.