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Featured News

ACL artists collect 2023 Grammy Award nominations

Grammy season is upon us, as the nominations for the 65th Annual Grammy Awards were announced on Tuesday. We’re proud to see so many of our featured artists and distinguished alumni rack up nominations. Our Season 48 opener Brandi Carlile received seven nods, including Album of the Year for In These Silent Days, Record of the Year, Best Americana Performance and Best American Roots Song for “You and Me On the Rock,” on which she collaborated with fellow 48ers Lucius, and Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance for “Broken Horses.” She showcased both nominated songs in her dazzling season premiere along with highlights from the celebrated album, which will encore on your local PBS station next year, check acltv.com for episode schedules.

Maren Morris on Austin City Limits, Oct. 2022. Photo by Scott Newton.

We’re thrilled to showcase many of the nominees, including Maren Morris, Spoon and The War on Drugs, in full-hour performances in the second half of our Season 48, which will begin airing early next year, and the complete broadcast line-up will be announced in early December. Country star Maren Morris, who recently taped her first-ever ACL appearance, received a trio of nominations, including Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Song for “Circles Around This Town” and Best Country Album for Humble Quest. Austin-bred indie rockers Spoon received their first-ever nomination, Best Rock Album, for their acclaimed LP Lucifer On the Sofa. The War On Drugs scored a Best Rock Song nod for “Harmonia’s Dream” from their I Don’t Live Here Anymore.

Cimafunk on Austin City Limits, May 3, 2022. Photo by Scott Newton.

Current Season 48 standouts garnering accolades include Cuban sensation Cimafunk, who recently debuted on ACL in a performance for the ages, and received his first nomination (but surely not his last) for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album for El Alimento, while genre-defying songstress Allison Russell got nods for Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song for “Prodigal Daughter,” her collaboration with singer/songwriter Aoife O’Donovan. ACL Hall of Famer Lyle Lovett picked up a nomination for Best Americana Performance for “There You Go Again” alongside his pals and fellow AC Hall of Famers Asleep at the Wheel.

Sheryl Crow sings “I Shall Believe” with Brandi Carlile, Brittney Spencer and Lucius’ Jess Wolfe during the 8th annual ACL Hall of Fame induction, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

Cheers to this year’s esteemed ACL Hall of Fame inductee Sheryl Crow, who returns to the Grammys with a nom for Best American Roots Song for “Forever,” a new song from her acclaimed 2022 documentary Sheryl. Stay tuned for our upcoming ACL Hall of Fame broadcast featuring the nine-time Grammy winner, which airs early next year and features one-of-a-kind collaborations including Sheryl and Brandi Carlile.

Kendrick Lamar performs on Austin City Limits, 2015. Photo by Scott Newton.

Season 48 artists aren’t the only ones who need to clear space on their mantle, however. Season 41 standout Kendrick Lamar collected a whopping eight nominations, including Record, Song and Album of the Year, plus the four Rap categories and Music Video of the Year. ACL four-timer Miranda Lambert garnered four nominations, including Best Country solo performance for “In Her Arms,” a song she first performed on last year’s Season 47 season premiere alongside co-writers Jon Randall and Jack Ingram. Our friend and ACL Hall of Famer Bonnie Raitt also scored four nods, including Song of the Year for “Just Like That” the title track from her acclaimed 2022 album. We here at the house that Willie built, are beyond thrilled to see Willie Nelson earn four nominations, including three in the Country field, proving that, at 89 years young, his career keeps rolling on.

Dolly Parton performs her ACL debut in 2000. Photo by Scott Newton.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, of course. Our prestigious alumni who received multiple nominations include Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton, Billie Eilish, Coldplay, Rosalía, the Black Keys and Angelique Kidjo, while single nods were had by Buddy Guy, Norah Jones, Elvis Costello, the late Dr. John, Florence + the Machine, and far too many more to list here. We encourage you to check out the full list of nominations is here. Co-produced by ACL executive producer Terry Lickona, the 65th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony will broadcast on Sunday, February 5, on CBS. Good luck to everyone nominated.

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Episode Recap Featured News

Episode premiere: Lyle Lovett & His Large Band

Austin City Limits presents a season highlight and homecoming: the long-awaited return of celebrated singer-songwriter and bandleader Lyle Lovett, joined by his iconic Large Band, making his first appearance in over a decade with songs from his first new album in 10 years, 12th of June. One of music’s most vibrant and iconic performers, the Grammy Award-winning Lovett is accompanied by his 16-piece band for an entertaining hour of new songs and extraordinary musicianship. The new installment premieres November 5 at 8pm CT/9pm ET as part of ACL’s Season 48. The program, recorded live at ACL’s studio home in Austin, Texas, continues its run as the longest-running music television show in history, providing viewers a front-row seat to the best in live performance for 48 years as the music institution nears a remarkable half-century milestone. 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.  The show’s official hashtag is #acltv.

Lyle Lovett made his first headlining appearance on Austin City Limits during Season 12 in 1987 with songs from his landmark self-titled debut, and has since been featured on ACL more times than any artist, save for one Willie Nelson. This beloved performer and ACL Hall of Famer returns for a remarkable seventeenth appearance, with his recent album 12th of June as the centerpiece. The Texas hero is accompanied by his impeccably dressed Large Band for a radiant 10-song set showcasing new gems. Lovett shares the love and joy of home life with his trademark wry humor on new numbers such as “Pants Is Overrated” and the bluesy stroll “Pig Meat Man,” which Lovett explains he wrote for his 5-year-old son “who is a vegetarian except he loves bacon.” Lovett’s longtime backing singer Francine Reed, who recently retired from the road, returns for the occasion and joins Lovett center stage for a gorgeous rendition of the Nat King Cole classic “Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good to You?” He welcomes friend and frequent touring partner Chris Isaak for a pair of songs, including a lively duet on Roy Orbison’s “Dream Baby.” Lovett celebrates life’s joys with his wife and children with the tender title track “12th of June” and closes with the barrelhouse piano-led “On A Winter’s Morning,” which revels in the simple magic of being alive.

“Lyle has always been a big part of the ACL family – in more ways than one,” said executive producer Terry Lickona. “He was there when ACL had barely hit its first 10 years, and even before his career took off. It’s been a joy to capture his music as we both grew and evolved, and it’s obvious that we both still have lots more new music to offer to the world!”

Lyle Lovett and His Large Band setlist:

ARE WE DANCING

PANTS IS OVERRATED

GEE BABY, AIN’T I GOOD TO YOU?

HER LOVING MAN

MIRRORED MAN’S LAMENT (with Chris Isaak)

DREAM BABY (with Chris Isaak)

THE MOCKING ONES

12TH OF JUNE

PIG MEAT MAN

ON A WINTER’S MORNING

Season 48 Broadcast Line-up (first half of season)

October 1 Brandi Carlile

October 8 Japanese Breakfast/Arlo Parks

October 15 Sylvan Esso/Lucius

October 22 Allison Russell/The Weather Station

October 29 Parker McCollum/Robert Earl Keen

November 5 Lyle Lovett and His Large Band

November 12 Cimafunk and The Tribe

Watch live, stream anytime, The complete line-up for the full 14-week season, including seven new episodes to air beginning January 2023, 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 48th 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, Cirrus Logic and AXS Ticketing. 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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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. 

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Featured New Broadcast News

ACL announces Season 48 lineup

Iconic television series Austin City Limits proudly announces the fall return of the program and the initial Season 48 broadcast line-up with seven all-new installments to begin airing October 1 at 8pm CT/9pm ET as part of the esteemed broadcast’s fourteen episode season. ACL brings fans a new season, packed with a stellar slate of ACL legends and highly-anticipated debuts from some of today’s most talked-about live acts. The program, recorded live at ACL’s studio home in Austin, Texas, 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 48 years as the music institution nears a remarkable half-century milestone. 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 season opener featuring celebrated singer-songwriter and six-time Grammy Award recipient Brandi Carlile in her third appearance on the ACL stage. The acclaimed Americana artist is at the top of her game in a sterling hour, and delivers a career-spanning performance alongside selections from her latest In These Silent Days, backed by a nine-piece band. 

The new season continues with a number of highly-anticipated debut appearances from a diverse slate of artists. ACL spotlights a pair of 2022 Grammy Best New Artist nominees: Japanese Breakfast, featuring acclaimed indie singer-songwriter Michelle Zauner, perform songs from their breakthrough Jubilee; sharing the hour with 21-year old British singer-songwriter Arlo Parks in a soaring set filled with numbers from her Mercury Prize-winning Collapsed in Sunbeams. A pair of indie sensations shine in a captivating double-bill with synth-pop duo Sylvan Esso performing songs from Free Love, a 2022 Grammy nominee for dance/electronic album, as well as the forthcoming No Rules Sandy; and indie-pop duo Lucius debut songs from their latest Second Nature, stunning with spellbinding harmonies. ACL showcases a pair of standout Canadian singer-songwriters: Montreal native Allison Russell makes her ACL debut with a radiant set featuring songs from her 2022 triple Grammy-nominated solo debut album Outside Child, backed by an all-female band; sharing the hour is The Weather Station, the performance name of Toronto indie-folk singer-songwriter Tamara Lindeman, in a mesmerizing set featuring selections from Ignorance, which topped many 2021 year-end-best-of album lists. Two Texas originals are paired in a highly-anticipated hour: Fast-rising country star Parker McCollum makes his ACL debut with songs from his major label debut Gold Chain Cowboy and in a special appearance, ACL veteran and Americana great Robert Earl Keen, who announced his retirement from touring this year, returns for a poignant final bow featuring beloved classics from across his over four-decade career.

A season highlight is the long-awaited return of ACL Hall of Famer Lyle Lovett, joined by his iconic Large Band, making his first appearance in a decade with songs from his first new album in 10 years, 12th of June. Cuban funk sensations Cimafunk and The Tribe round out the first half of Season 48 with an ecstatic hour; the nine-piece powerhouse band make a thrilling ACL debut with standouts from their soulful album El Alimento in a must-see installment.

“We’re especially proud of what is truly a historic line-up for our new season, and we’re only half-way there,” said longtime ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “Never before have we showcased such an amazing mix of such diverse and eclectic female artists, each making their mark on contemporary music with their own unique talents. We continue our musical journey from Country to Funk, plus the return of a tried-and-true favorite.”

Season 48 Broadcast Line-up (second half of season to be announced separately)

October 1 Brandi Carlile

October 8 Japanese Breakfast/Arlo Parks

October 15 Sylvan Esso/Lucius

October 22 Allison Russell/The Weather Station

October 29 Parker McCollum/Robert Earl Keen

November 5 Lyle Lovett and His Large Band

November 12 Cimafunk and The Tribe

Watch live, stream anytime, The complete line-up for the full 14-week season, including seven new episodes to air beginning January 2023, 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 48th 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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Featured News Taping Announcement

New taping: Lyle Lovett and His Large Band 8/24

Austin City Limits is thrilled to announce the long-awaited return of a favorite Texas son on August 24th—singer, songwriter and ACL Hall of Fame legend Lyle Lovett—appearing with his iconic Large band to showcase 12th of June, his first new album in ten years.  

Lovett first appeared on ACL in 1985, and has notably appeared on the series more times than any act with the exception of Willie Nelson. He returns for his ninth headlining appearance on the ACL stage, after having been memorably inducted into the ACL Hall of Fame in 2019 by actor Sean Penn. The highly-anticipated 12th of June, produced by Chuck Ainlay and Lovett, is his first for new label Verve Records and features a mix of new originals, including the singles “12th of June” and “Pants Is Overrated,” standards by Nat King Cole and Dave Frishberg, and a Horace Silver instrumental, representing Lovett’s dynamic live performances with his Large Band. Coupled with his gift for storytelling, the new album continues to highlight Lovett’s ability to fuse elements of jazz, country, western swing, folk, gospel and blues in a convention-defying manner that breaks down barriers.

When Lyle Lovett introduces his band, he makes a point to cite the place each artist calls home. Home—both a physical space and a metaphorical concept that includes people, space and time—plays formidably into Lovett’s new album 12th of June. His first new recording in a decade tells the stories of specific people in specific places, some operating on a different plane. And while he’s sung about cowboys and creeps, bird-snarfing preachers and the guy who reads a newspaper over your shoulder, a sense of place is as important as the people who populate his songs. “My songs are rarely fiction,” he says. “That’s how I approach my work. My songs are from my life. I am the character in these songs. I get to spend my life for the most part doing a job where I get to be myself.” That has been a guiding principle for Lovett even before he announced his arrival with Lyle Lovett more than 35 years ago. Having studied journalism in college, he sharply draws his who and where. A sense of home and place have proven the base of operations for him to imagine a set of characters to operate. Lovett’s discography isn’t like a Robert Altman film. It’s like an Altman filmography, a collection of true fictions, akin to the happenings in the Yoknapatawpha of Faulkner or the Dublin of Joyce. Like a paper boat set loose in the San Jacinto, 12th of June—the album—cuts a smooth and distinctive path, bobbing through life and death and food, contemplation and humor – signatures that have informed Lovett’s songbook since he started writing songs in his native Klein, Texas, and in College Station, where he attended Texas A&M in the 1970s. He learned from writers who appreciated character, setting, and economy of language. They did it all with ample melody, too.  “This album reflects the music I grew up around,” he says. “My music is like me: I live on land that belonged to my grandfather. I live next door to my mother. I think the music reflects where I’m from and who I am.”

Lyle Lovett has broadened the definition of American music in a career that spans 14 albums. Whether touring with his Acoustic Group or his Large Band, Lovett’s live performances show not only the breadth of this Texas legend’s deep talents, but also the diversity of his influences, making him one of the most compelling and captivating musicians in popular music. Since his self-titled debut in 1986, Lovett has evolved into one of music’s most vibrant and iconic performers. Among his many accolades, including four Grammy Awards, he was given the Americana Music Association’s inaugural Trailblazer Award, was named Texas State Musician and is a member of both the Texas Heritage Songwriters’ Association Hall of Fame and the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.

Lovett made his ACL debut in 1985 as a member of Nanci Griffith’s backing band and he’s made eight headlining appearances: 1987, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2004 and the final taping in ACL’s original Studio 6A in 2011.  He’s appeared on two Songwriters Specials in 1994 and 2008, and in tributes to Walter Hyatt in 1997 and Townes Van Zandt in 1998, and as a featured guest of Leo Kottke in 1988, Delbert McClinton in 1997 and Shawn Colvin in 2001.  Lovett was handpicked by his longtime friend Willie Nelson to perform at his own induction into the inaugural ACL Hall of Fame in 2014. Lovett was inducted into the ACL Hall of Fame in 2019. We’re thrilled to welcome him back to our stage.

Want to be part of our audience? We will post information on how to get free passes as we get a week out from each date. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for notice of postings. The broadcast episode will air this fall on PBS as part of our upcoming Season 48.

Please look for safety updates regarding entry to Austin City Limits tapings. Austin PBS will continue to monitor local COVID-19 trends and will meet or exceed protocols mandated by local governments.

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Episode Recap Featured New Broadcast News

New broadcast: The Best of Nanci Griffith

Austin City Limits proudly wraps up Season 47 with a gem: a salute to late folk and country singer-songwriter legend Nanci Griffith. A beacon in the Texas music scene, the Austin original had a deep association with Austin City Limits, performing on the program eight times between 1984 and 2001. Sadly we lost Griffith in 2021, but ACL celebrates her life and legacy with twelve classic performances. “The Best of Nanci Griffith” offers a fascinating look at the renowned country-folk artist through her many appearances and premieres February 12 @ 8pm ET/7pm CT. Check local PBS listings for times. The episode will be available to music fans everywhere, streaming online the next day beginning February 13 @ 10am ET at pbs.org/austincitylimits. The Peabody Award-winning 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. Despite the challenges facing live music during the past year, ACL is proud to have delivered a full season of performances for viewers, all recorded at ACL’s studio home in Austin, Texas in 2021, in front of limited live audiences. In the following weeks, ACL will continue to broadcast fan-favorite encore episodes until the new season premieres this fall. Viewers can visit acltv.com for news regarding future Season 48 tapings, encore broadcast schedules and select live stream updates.

One of the most acclaimed singer-songwriters of her generation, Nanci Griffith released more than 20 albums, sold millions of records and won a Grammy. Her previously uncategorizable blend of folk music and country provided an early blueprint for Americana. She is recognized as a pioneer in the genre whose influence has been felt on nearly every Texas singer-songwriter who came afterward, and broke ground for countless artists including Lyle Lovett, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Robert Earl Keen. Her songs have been covered by a wide range of artists and she has earned worldwide recognition for her music.

Born in Central Texas and raised in Austin, Nanci Griffith became an early favorite on the Texas singer-songwriter circuit, and this poignant hour chronicles her times on the program from her ACL debut in Season 10 to her final appearance during Season 27 in 2001. For that first appearance on Austin City Limits she wore a bright yellow, flowered dress she made herself especially for the occasion, and showcased songs from her 1984 career breakthrough Once in a Very Blue Moon, including the title track, later covered by Dolly Parton. Joined by a mini-orchestra of Nashville and Austin luminaries (including a young singer-songwriter named Lyle Lovett on backing vocals), the sweet-voiced singer and storyteller wowed the hometown crowd. 

Nanci Griffith on Austin City Limits, Season 10. Photo by Scott Newton.

Upon her 1988 ACL return she tells the audience “It’s nice to be home again,” and performs selections from her 1986 folk-country classic The Last of the True Believers. A set highlight is her early rendition of the Julie Gold penned “From A Distance,” an anthem first recorded by Griffith that became her first international #1 hit, and was later famously covered by Bette Midler. She captivates the crowd with “Love at the Five and Dime,” a small-town tale featuring Austin’s original Woolworth’s at its centerpiece, filled with Griffith’s keen eye for detail and emotion. 

A frequent collaborator whose peers lined up to play with her, the hour also highlights her work alongside other artists. An outspoken social justice advocate, Griffith appears on a Songwriters Special in 1991, and performs her powerful social commentary, the anti-racism ode “It’s A Hard Life Wherever You Go,” joined by songwriters Mary Chapin Carpenter and Indigo Girls on harmonies. She appears in 1994 performing songs from Flyer, an album which featured guest appearances from members of R.E.M. and U2. For a 1997 appearance, she performs a pop-country set with her longtime heroes, Buddy Holly’s Crickets, as her backing band, and pays tribute to the songwriters of West Texas she credits as her earliest influences. She returns in 1997 for one of the most revered episodes in the ACL archives, a Celebration of Townes Van Zandt, appearing with fellow greats including Willie Nelson, Guy Clark, Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle, and sings the legendary Texas songwriter’s classic “Tecumseh Valley,” a version from her repertoire widely-known to have been favored by Townes himself, featured on her Grammy-winning 1993 all-covers album Other Voices, Other Rooms. Griffith’s influence transcended genre and generations: in 1999 she appears as a guest of Hootie & the Blowfish’s Darius Rucker for a gorgeous duet of her “Gulf Coast Highway,” singing the lyrics: “And when we die we say, we’ll; Catch some blackbirds wing; Then we will fly away to Heaven come; Some sweet blue bonnet spring.”

“Nanci was literally an Austin original, but besides being her hometown, she epitomized Austin’s influence on her generation of singer-songwriters,” said ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “Her songs were mini literary masterpieces, filled with vivid stories and imagery – all set to great melodies!”

The Best of Nanci Griffith setlist:

The Ballad of Robin Winter-Smith

Once In A Very Blue Moon

The Last of the True Believers

From A Distance

Love at the Five and Dime

It’s A Hard Life Wherever You Go

Listen to the Radio

These Days In An Open Book

This Heart

Tecumseh Valley

Gulf Coast Highway

Traveling Through This Part of You

Watch live, stream anytime, and let ACL be a trusted sidekick for entertainment during these challenging days. Viewers can visit acltv.com for news regarding live streams, future Season 48 tapings and encore episode broadcast and streaming 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.

ACL’s Season 47 premiered in October 2021 with standout performances featuring many 2022 Grammy nominees, including New Orleans musician/bandleader Jon Batiste, multi-platinum Olivia Rodrigo, country superstar Miranda Lambert, bluegrass star Billy Strings, legendary Jackson Browne, R&B singer-songwriter Leon Bridges, indie-rock original Phoebe Bridgers, country standout Brandy Clark, alt.rock icon St. Vincent and Americana singer-songwriter Sarah Jarosz alongside acclaimed performances from eclectic groove trio Khruangbin, celebrated singer Brittany Howard, UK singer-songwriter Jade Bird, “Gulf & Western” country sensation Charley Crockett, breakthrough singer-songwriter Joy Oladokun, superstars Duran Duran, cult songwriting favorite Terry Allen and more. ACL returned in January 2022 with a special installment, Austin City Limits 7th Annual Hall of Fame Honors, celebrating a new class of inductees: Wilco, Lucinda Williams and Alejandro Escovedo, featuring all-star music salutes and collaborations from Jason Isbell, Margo Price, Japanese Breakfast, Rosanne Cash, Sheila E., John Doe, Lenny Kaye, Bill Callahan, Terry Allen and more.