Categories
Episode Recap Featured New Broadcast News Uncategorized

Episode recap: Jon Batiste

Austin City Limits is thrilled to present one of America’s most versatile musicians, Jon Batiste, in a dazzling must-watch hour. The New Orleans bandleader and composer, a Grammy and Oscar-winning musician, delivers a high-energy tour-de-force backed by an 18-piece band, performing highlights from his soulful album WE ARE. The new installment premieres October 16 at 9pm ET/ 8pm CT as part of the series new Season 47. 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 pbs.org/austincitylimits immediately following the initial broadcast.   

Jon Batiste mixes his own brand of New Orleans jazz with soul, funk, R&B, gospel and hip-hop in an hour-long celebration of pure joy. Batiste may be best known as a television personality as the bandleader and musical director for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” but the scion of a New Orleans musical dynasty is a Grammy and Oscar-winning talent, and he lights up the stage in a performance for the ages in his first-ever ACL appearance. In a love letter to his southern roots and heritage, Batiste takes viewers on a journey through Black American music history from ragtime to trap. Taking the stage in a red leather suit and Stetson, he is backed by a 10-piece band for the ecstatic “We Are,” a celebratory anthem of the African diaspora and the title track to his acclaimed 2021 album. The leader’s contagious joy is on full display throughout the performance as he reveals, “This is not a concert for me—this is a spiritual practice.” 

New Orleans’ Hot 8 Brass Band joins the party with a second line groove as the energy level soars and Batiste descends into the crowd. The showman thrills as he dances across the stage, moving seamlessly from piano, his main instrument, to guitar, saxophone, and melodica. Batiste is on guitar, leading the 18-piece band for the soulful raveup “Tell the Truth,” before moving to piano and ending the number on his knees center stage. “Boyhood,” a fond ode to growing up in the Big Easy, leads into a gorgeous snippet of Bill Withers “Lean On Me.” The unstoppable Batiste delivers a fascinating medley at the piano, playfully working in everything from classical to ragtime, demonstrating his remarkable genre-defying skills. A frequent collaborator, Batiste is joined by Austin guitar great Gary Clark Jr. for the slowburn bayou lament “Cry,” before closing the hour with a stunning solo finale at the piano featuring the ballad, “Don’t Stop,” from 2018’s Hollywood Africans.

“In my over 40 years with Austin City Limits, I have never seen a performance so joyful, so inspiring, so energizing, so spiritual as Jon Batiste. It was a magical night,” said executive producer Terry Lickona. “People were laughing, singing, crying, and of course dancing. Jon Batiste is a superstar!”

Jon Batiste setlist:

WE ARE

I NEED YOU

LOVE RIOT MOMENT

BOYHOOD

WHATCHUTALKINBOUT

TELL THE TRUTH

TELL THE TRUTH reprise

PIANO MEDLEY

CRY

FREEDOM

DON’T STOP

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 acltv.com 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 acltv.com.

Categories
Featured New Broadcast News

ACL announces Season 47 broadcast schedule

Iconic television series Austin City Limits proudly announces the fall return of the program and the initial Season 47 broadcast line-up with eight all-new installments to begin airing October 2 at 8pm CT/9pm ET as part of the blue-chip broadcast’s thirteen-episode season. ACL brings fans a full season, packed with a stellar slate of ACL legends and highly-anticipated debuts from some of today’s most talked-about live acts. Despite the challenges facing live music during the last year, ACL is proud to deliver brand new performances for fans, 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 pbs.org/austincitylimits immediately following the initial broadcast.

Austin City Limits returns this fall with a singular highlight as the season opener: country superstar Miranda Lambert joined by songwriting partners Jack Ingram and Jon Randall, showcase their acclaimed The Marfa Tapes, an album recorded in the West Texas desert town of Marfa. This dazzling acoustic hour spotlights the three longtime friends and co-writers, and offers a fascinating look at the trio’s collaborative and creative process, filled with the stories behind the songs and late night tales behind the recording. 

The season continues with highly-anticipated debut appearances: New Orleans bandleader Jon Batiste, a Grammy and Oscar-winning musician, delivers a high-energy tour-de-force backed by an 18-piece band, performing selections from his soulful album WE ARE in a must-see hour. ACL spotlights next-generation standouts: acclaimed young British singer-songwriter Jade Bird brings songs from her new album Different Kinds of Light; she shares an hour with Austin indie-pop breakout artist Dayglow, who performs songs from his Harmony House. A pair of country sensations shine in a captivating double-bill with CMA Award-winner and eight-time Grammy nominee Brandy Clark showcasing her 2021 Grammy-nominated Your Life is a Record; while rising star Texas country singer Charley Crockett debuts songs from his new Music City USA. Grammy-winning bluegrass 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 debut with songs from Home, his 2021 Grammy Award-winning Best Bluegrass Album and debuts new numbers from his upcoming Renewal. Two Texas originals share a highly-anticipated hour: Grammy-winning Fort Worth R&B artist and songwriter Leon Bridges makes his second ACL appearance with highlights from his latest, Gold-Diggers Sound, and Houston eclectic groove trio Khruangbin make their ACL debut with standouts from their global sensation Mordechai

A season highpoint is the ACL return of legendary singer-songwriter Jackson Browne for the first time in nearly 20 years, as he showcases a chart-topping new collection of songs, Downhill From Everywhere, alongside career highlights from his five decade career. Celebrated singer and multiple Grammy recipient Brittany Howard rounds out the first half of Season 47, returning to the ACL stage for a long-awaited solo debut with songs from her 2021 Grammy-winning gem Jaime

“The world is still fighting its way out of this pandemic, but Austin City Limits is back – without missing a beat,” says longtime executive producer Terry Lickona. “As always, we love to mix things up with some remarkable new talent as well as fan favorites, along with a few surprises. ACL celebrates the return of live music!”

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

October 2 Miranda Lambert, Jack Ingram & Jon Randall: The Marfa 

Tapes

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 acltv.com 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 acltv.com.

Categories
Featured News Taping Recap

Jon Batiste celebrates soul on debut ACL taping

Jon Batiste may be best known to millions as the bandleader for Stephen Colbert’s late night talk show, but the full spectrum of his talents has to be seen in his own shows to be believed. The New Orleans native has a long career as a jazz and soul musician, having released his debut album in 2003 at 17. The Juilliard-educated singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has performed all over the world in dozens of contexts, streamlining down to this year’s stunning eighth studio album We Are. Thus we were understandably excited to finally have this remarkable musical polymath make his ACL debut, and Batiste rewarded everybody’s anticipation with a performance for the ages.

The cowboy-hatted ten-piece band hit the stage with a Caribbean groove before Batiste himself arrived in his own Stetson, leading the ensemble into the title track of We Are, the leader’s funky, celebratory anthem of the African diaspora, with Batiste even flexing a verse from Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy”. The high energy onstage and off signaled that this would be a show that started cranked up to eleven, and would just get higher from there. Batiste sat at the piano (briefly) to kick off the amped-up single “I Need You,” bringing gospel fervor, New Orleans funk and the leader’s cameo on saxophone together. The crowd barely had a chance to catch its breath before the unmistakable sound of a New Orleans second line floated in the air, heralding the arrival of that city’s Hot 8 Brass Band from the back of the hall. The melodica-wielding Batiste left the stage to join the band in the middle of the crowd for the Love Riot chant – “I feel good/I feel free/I feel fine just being me!” – and had the crowd in his pocket as he cued them to wave the white handkerchiefs distributed before the show began. 

Batiste came back onstage for “Boy Hood,” a tribute to his youth in the Big Easy that mixed rap, soul balladry, a trombone solo from the Hot 8, and portions of Bob Marley’s “One Love,” Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” and Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me,” which Batiste made into both a reminder that all people are in it together and into choir practice for the crowd. Batiste paced the stage, waiting for the next tune, which was “Whatchutalkinbout,” a seamless blend of rap and rock that let guitarists Brandon Niederaruer and Ari O’Neal cut loose with duelling solos. As the Hot 8 rejoined the proceedings, Batiste picked up his Bo Diddley-style axe for “Tell the Truth,” a soulful raveup that spotlighted firebrand percussionist Négah Santos. Batiste took the opportunity to preach positivity to the people, before tossing his guitar aside, adding a piano solo, and commanding the mic once again. “This is not a concert for me,” Batiste asserted after the song concluded. “This is not a concert. This is a spiritual practice. I play music to be with y’all.” 

The Hot 8 once again started a second line groove, letting the leader get in some dancing time, before he turned over the vocals to singers Tamara Jade, Desiree “DesZ” Washington and Susan Carol (playfully dubbed the Jonettes). Batiste then had the crowd go as low down as they could – “quad workout, baby!” – before, naturally, a massive audience jumpfest for the coda of “Tell the Truth.” Batiste and the horns snuck off the stage during the celebration, leaving the band to jam on some serious funk that showcased every member, including bassist Thad Tribbett, keyboardist David Grant, drummers Joe Saylor and Lunar RAE, Santos, and the two six-stringers. 

Having exchanged his red suit for a blue striped ensemble, Batiste returned, dazzling at the piano on a variety of jazz, classical and ragtime pieces, including Chopin’s “Minute Waltz,” “Chopsticks,” Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer,” Bach’s “Partita No. 1 in B-Flat Major,” and New Orleans standard  “St. James Infirmary Blues,” among many others, some lasting no more than a phrase. That last piece concluded with Batiste and the Jonettes back on vocals, leading a Cab Calloway-style call-and-response with the crowd. He finished his medley with some boogie woogie that transitioned into Jerry Lee Lewis pound. Batiste then revisited his recent Oscar-winning soundtrack for the animated film Soul with “It’s All Right,” turning it into a medley by recasting the Isley Brothers’ “Shout” in Soul’s image, before returning to “It’s All Right,” driving the audience wild. 

Then it was time for a surprise guest, as Austin favorite son Gary Clark Jr. casually walked up onstage, picked up his guitar, and traded solos with Batiste on the slinky soul tune “Cry.” “Y’all ready to get free?” Batiste asked the crowd, to off-the-charts applause. Naturally, that exchange was a harbinger for “Freedom,” a classic feel-good anthem that got band and crowd dancing with abandon. Then it was back to the second line, as the white handkerchiefs came back out, the Hot 8 Brass Band returned, and Batiste joined the fans on the floor, leading the entire room in the joyful catharsis of a reprise of “I Need You.” The Hot 8 took us out, as the crowd went wild once again. 

Amazingly, Batiste returned to stage after the finale, sitting at the piano for a captivating take on his ballad “Don’t Stop,” from 2018’s Hollywood Africans – a mic drop if we’ve ever heard one. It was an incredible show destined to be a Season 47 highlight and we can’t wait for you to see it when it hits your local PBS airwaves this fall. 

Categories
Featured News Taping Announcement

New tapings: Jon Batiste and Charley Crockett

Austin City Limits is proud to welcome a pair of highly-anticipated acts to our stage, making their ACL debuts as part of our Season 47: celebrated musician Jon Batiste on July 18, and acclaimed Texas singer-songwriter Charley Crockett on July 28.

Musician and composer Jon Batiste recently topped a banner awards season with an Academy Award for the soundtrack Soul, winning Best Score for Disney and Pixar’s hit animated film. His jazz-infused score, created alongside the work of fellow musicians Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, picked up over 35 international awards including a BAFTA, Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice award. Collecting his trophy at the Los Angeles ceremony, Batiste said: “What’s deep is that God gave us 12 notes. It’s the same twelve 12 notes that Duke Ellington had, Bach had, Nina Simone (had)…This moment is a culmination of a series of miracles. It’s so incredibly powerful to stand here and the lineage that we come from, the lineage in this film…I’m just thankful to God for those 12 notes.”

In between sessions for Soul, Jon Batiste also recorded a brand-new studio album, WE ARE, recently released on Verve Records to critical acclaim. The album debuted in the Top 10 R&B Charts, Top Album Charts, and the single “I NEED YOU” recently reached #1 on the AAA Radio Charts. Vanity Fair described the album as “a vivid turn from straight jazz to joyful, danceable pop and neo-soul”, while Billboard called it “a delightful marriage of contemporary jazz melodies and slick pop.” WE ARE represents a completely new sonic chapter for Jon Batiste. He wrote and planned much of the project in about a week from his dressing room at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he’s the musical director and bandleader. The album was recorded in New York, Los Angeles and in his native New Orleans, melding inspiration from his new home and new collaborators with that of the Batiste musical dynasty. On WE ARE, Batiste presents a captivating musical experience to the world rooted in catharsis, joy, freedom, contemplation and sensuality. It’s a love letter to his southern roots and the heritage of Black Music with guest appearances by Mavis Staples, Quincy Jones, Zadie Smith, PJ Morton, Trombone Shorty, St Augustine Marching 100, his father Michael Batiste, grandfather David Gauthier and many more. It is a meditation steeped in the sounds of the times with collaborators including POMO (Anderson.Paak), Ricky Reed (Lizzo), Jahaan Sweet (Drake, Eminem) as well as songwriter Autumn Rowe and producer Kizzo.

Batiste says, “WE ARE is a message of love for humanity, of humble reverence for our past, and of a hopeful future, in which we are the ones who can save us. The art reveals its motive to you. You just have to wait for the Spirit to tell you what it wants.” We are thrilled to welcome him for his first-ever appearance on the ACL stage.

photo by Bobby Cochran

Newly nominated for Emerging Act of the Year at the 2021 Americana Music Awards, Charley Crockett has become one of the leading lights in independent country music following a decade of busking on the streets of New York City and New Orleans, and only two years removed from life-saving open-heart surgery. The South Texas native crafts his self-proclaimed “Gulf & Western” sound by synthesizing country, blues, soul, cajun, Western Swing, R&B and other pieces of American roots music into an unmatched, truly singular sound. When Crockett’s voice comes out of your speakers, there is no confusing him for any other artist. Rolling Stone raves Crockett is “Gearing up for a breakout year” and NPR Music calls him “such a fascinating mix, very 21st century and very vintage.” The Wall Street Journal agrees, “Mr. Crockett’s unique vocal style is one third Ernest Tubb honky tonk with clipped-word diction, one third Bill Withers low-key, soulful crooning, and one third jazzy French Quarter second-line swagger.” 

Hailing from the Texas bordertown of San Benito, Crockett was raised in an isolated, rural part of the Rio Grande Valley by a single mother in a trailer surrounded by sugar cane and grapefruit fields. As a teenager he was into free-styling and rapping. He spent formative years living with his uncle in New Orleans where he first became a street performer who discovered a love for folk music. In New York City he played hip hop and blues on street corners and in subway cars. What’s important to his identity as an artist, says Crockett, is that he has lived the songs he writes and sings. The prolific artist surprise released 10 For Slim: Charley Crockett Sings James Hand, a tribute to his friend and Texas honky tonk hero James Hand in February, and will release another full-length album of new songs later this year. We’re excited to welcome Charley Crockett and his band the Blue Drifters to the ACL stage.

Categories
Featured News Taping Announcement

ACL announces Season 47 tapings

Austin City Limits proudly announces Season 47 will return in spades this year with a stellar slate of artists onboard to record new appearances, including a number of 2021 Grammy Award nominees.

ACL is thrilled to announce the first taping of Season 47, on April 28, will feature Miranda Lambert, Jack Ingram and Jon Randall debuting their just-announced, highly-anticipated album The Marfa Tapes. The country superstar and her celebrated songwriting partners open the new season showcasing the new release, out May 7, a collection of beautifully intimate and raw songs written and recorded together in Marfa, Texas. 

Season 47 will feature five-time 2021 Grammy nominee and four-time Grammy Award-winner Brittany Howard making her solo ACL debut; and multiple 2021 double Grammy nominees including singer-songwriter Sarah Jarosz, in her third headlining appearance, and the ACL debuts of jazz/soul maverick (and recent Golden Globe award-winner) Jon Batiste and acclaimed country standout Brandy Clark. Music great Jackson Browne returns for his first taping in two decades (showcasing his first new album in six years); Grammy-winning (and four-time nominated) R&B phenom Leon Bridges makes a highly-anticipated return to the ACL stage; Austin indie sensation Dayglow makes his ACL debut, and a Texas icon, singer/songwriter Terry Allen returns for the first time in almost 25 years. Taping dates will be announced at a later date and may be subject to change as we navigate the new landscape.

“Austin City Limits is excited to bring live music back (with a live audience!),” says executive producer Terry Lickona. “Along with the rest of the world, we hope to slowly but surely (and safely) get back to normal this year, and it’s obvious many artists do, too. We have a diverse mix of headliners, up-and-comers, and groundbreaking singers, songwriters and musicians ready to take the stage.”

Jon Batiste. Courtesy UMG.

ACL is uniquely thrilled to launch the new season with a trio of Texas natives: Miranda Lambert (in her third ACL appearance) alongside her longtime songwriting partners Jack Ingram (who last appeared 25 years ago in Season 22) and Jon Randall (in his ACL debut), showcasing The Marfa Tapes, a stripped-down project conceived in the Texas high desert. A tiny, middle-of-nowhere town with an outsized grip on the American imagination, Marfa is an eccentric outpost in the midst of a vast expanse of nothingness, the perfect place to lose – or find – yourself. For Lambert, Randall, and Ingram, it’s both. Over the past several years, the desolate location has become a songwriting haven for the trio, yielding both massive hits and profound personal growth. When they returned for five days this past November though, they came not to write, but to record, capturing a captivating new album inspired by the stark beauty of west Texas and the deep, lasting bonds the three have forged there. Recorded raw and loose with just a pair of microphones and an acoustic guitar, The Marfa Tapes is a stunning work of audio verité; an intimate, unadorned snapshot of a moment in time fueled by love, trust, and friendship.

The trio recorded much of the album outdoors, inviting the ambient sounds of the desert to seep into their live, bare bones performances, and the atmosphere is utterly transportive. While a couple of the tracks may already be familiar to listeners – ACM Song of the Year “Tin Man” as well as fan favorite “Tequila Does” – the vast majority of these songs have never been heard outside of Marfa. The result is a rare glimpse inside the creative process of three of the genre’s most accomplished writers and performers; a candid, unvarnished look at Lambert, Randall, and Ingram’s undeniable chemistry in its purest, most honest form.

“There’s something singular that happens in that moment of collaboration and creation, something you can never really recreate in the studio,” says Ingram. “Our hope with this album was to share a little bit of that magic with people.”

ACL is excited to share the magic of our upcoming Season 47 with our loyal fans and viewers. Stay tuned to acltv for further details on upcoming tapings.