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Featured Hall of Fame News Taping Recap

Taping recap: Austin City Limits 8th annual Hall of Fame induction

It goes without saying that an ACL Hall of Fame taping is something special. The combination of ACL greats being saluted by their peers and fans always makes for an emotional, exciting evening. For our eighth HOF show, we were privileged to honor Austin music icon Joe Ely and superstar singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow. This year’s Hall of Fame, honoring a pair of inductees, featured a deeper dive into each artist’s work, highlighted by extended tributes, allowing the guest performers to share personal stories about their connection for a very special night.

Joe Ely accepts his ACL Hall of Fame trophy from author Lawrence Wright, Oct. 2022. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

Following introductions from Austin PBS CEO Luis Patiño and Austin City Limits executive producer Terry Lickona, who introduced perennial bandleader Lloyd Maines and the ACL All-Stars house band, renowned Texas author Lawrence Wright arrived to induct hometown hero Joe Ely. “The driving beat of a Joe Ely anthem tells us right away where he’s coming from,” Wright noted. “He’s a honky-tonk poet, an outlaw country minstrel, a corrido balladeer, a rocker with a broken heart, all these traditions experienced, captured, and transformed into his own distinctive style. The traditions that shaped Joe have been shaped by him in turn. He absorbed the legends and became the legend, and because of his gifts to our culture, the emptiness is filled with understanding, with connection, with meaning.” Ely accepted his award graciously, encouraging the show to get back to the music, which roared to life at the piano bench of ACL Hall of Famer Marcia Ball. The Austin legend recalled with obvious pleasure how she was introduced to Ely’s music in the seventies, watching the Amarillo native move from Lubbock expatriate to Texas rock star. That led immediately into a joyous take on Ely’s rip-roaring piano tribute “Fingernails,” because what other song should be in Ball’s capable hands?

Marcia Ball performs “Fingernails” in tribute to Joe Ely’s induction into the ACL Hall of Fame, Oct. 2022. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

While the audio crew struck Ball’s piano, Lloyd Maines came to the front of the stage to introduce the ACL All-Stars: ace players David Grissom, Chris Gage, Bill Whitbeck and Tom Van Schaik, plus special guests Jimmy Pettit and Davis McLarty, both mainstays (along with Grissom) of Ely’s band in the 80s and 90s. Country great Rodney Crowell took the stage next to sing Ely’s rockabilly anthem “Cool Rockin’ Loretta,” including an improvised testimony in the midsection paying tribute to “cool rockin’ Joe Ely.” Then it was time to hear from the man himself, who returned to the stage, guitar in hand, turning in a spirited performance of his classic tune “All Just to Get to You” to loud applause. 

Joe Ely performs his classic “All Just to Get to You” during his ACL Hall of Fame induction, Oct. 2022. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

The only way to follow that was for Ely to be joined by his decades-long pals and peers Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore – AKA the Flatlanders. Sitting in a row on stools, the trio jumped into a rollicking “I Had My Hopes Up High,” not only the first song on Ely’s 1977 debut album, but also the song that kicks off Ely’s debut ACL episode in 1980. “This is one of the most beautiful West Texas songs you’ll ever hear,” remarked Hancock, as Gilmore led them into Ely’s extraordinary ballad “Because of the Wind.” As another pair of mics were set up, Gilmore talked about what music means to humanity, and specifically to his old friend Joe. “One thing all of us had in our homes was Woody Guthrie,” he said, as Ball and Crowell returned for a round robin, Western swing-flavored take on the great American troubadour’s “Goin’ Down That Old Dusty Road,” a staple of Ely’s sets for many years. Leave it to Ely, at his own tribute, to insist on paying tribute to his own primary influence. “Thank you, Austin City Limits!” said Gilmore, as the crowd cheered and the Flatlanders took a grateful bow. 

L-R: Rodney Crowell, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock and Marcia Ball sing Woody Guthrie’s “Goin’ Down This Old Dusty Road” for Ely’s ACL Hall of Fame induction, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

While the crew reset the stage for the next segment, the audience was treated to a pair of videos from the ACL archive, both featuring the late, great Loretta Lynn, in tribute to her passing earlier this month. Brandi Carlile took the stage to induct her friend Sheryl Crow. “She’s so charming and humble you almost forget that she’s Sheryl fucking Crow,” Carlile said about her mentor. “But we must never forget. When it comes to empowerment, Sheryl has always been on the right side of history.” A clearly moved Crow thanked Brandi and ACL, noting how many of her heroes performed on the show and how much it’s meant to her. Then her pal Jason Isbell took the stage, mentioning how Crow became the rock star she is while remaining a normal person – a rarity in this business. Joined by Crow’s longtime guitarist Peter Stroud, Isbell and the All-Stars then laid down a devastating version of Crow’s masterfully crafted ballad “Run Baby Run.” 

Sheryl Crow accepts her ACL Hall of Fame trophy as inductor Brandi Carlile looks on, Oct. 2022. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

The show then welcomed a very special guest: breakout country singer Brittney Spencer. She recounted first encountering Crow at her day job in a coffee shop, which became the root of a continuing friendship. It was also the spark that led to Spencer appearing on our stage to pay tribute to her hero with a soulful take on Crow’s soulful rocker “My Favorite Mistake.” Singer/songwriter Jess Wolfe from Lucius arrived to “literally sing the praises” of her friend. With Wolfe’s Lucius partner Holly Laessig sidelined by illness, Crow herself took Laessig’s place for a lovely version of her hit “Strong Enough” with Wolfe. The duo quit the stage to make way for the return of Carlile, who thrilled in getting to sing “the most fun Sheryl Crow song,” i.e. the Crow staple “If It Makes You Happy,” a tune perfect for Carlile’s lonesome wail. She didn’t leave, however, welcoming the inductee back onstage to duet on the massive hit and fan favorite “Every Day is a Winding Road.” The pair’s obvious joy in singing together translated to both the band and the audience, leading to a delightfully fun performance that earned enthusiastic applause. 

Alongside guitarist Peter Stroud, Sheryl Crow and Brandi Carlile sing “Every Day is a Winding Road” for Crow’s ACL Hall of Fame induction, Oct. 2022. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

With a Wurlitzer piano arriving onstage, Crow, Carlile, Isbell, Spencer and Wolfe returned for the grand finale. “It’s a huge honor to share a stage with Joe Ely,” Crow said, also praising the ACL All-Stars and her friends. With Carlile, Spencer and Wolfe acting as a gospel chorus and Isbell contributing guitar solos, Crow passionately sang “I Shall Believe,” turning the brokenhearted ballad into a rousing optimistic anthem. “Thank you, Terry Lickona! Thank you, Austin City Limits! I love you so much!” The audience gave that love back to her with huge applause. And it was over – a fantastic Hall of Fame show that we can’t wait for you to see when it airs January 7, 2023 as part of our Season 48 on your local PBS station. 

Sheryl Crow leads Peter Stroud, Jason Isbell, Jess Wolfe, Brandi Carlile, Brittney Spencer and Lloyd Maines and the ACL All-Stars through her classic “I Shall Believe” during the eight annual ACL Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo courtesy Austin City Limits.

Austin City Limits 8th Annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony, honoring Joe Ely and Sheryl Crow, Oct. 27, 2022. Photos courtesy Austin City Limits.

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Featured Hall of Fame News

ACL Hall of Fame 2022 adds new talent for next week’s ceremony

Austin City Limits proudly announces additional guest performers for the 2022 ACL Hall of Fame Inductions & Celebration on October 27. Acclaimed act Lucius and country legend Rodney Crowell will join the previously announced line-up of music luminaries slated to perform: Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, Brittney Spencer, Marcia Ball, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock. We regret to announce that Mavis Staples will no longer be appearing at this event due to unforeseen circumstances. The all-star line-up will salute a pair of American originals—superstar singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow and legendary Texas music pioneer Joe Ely—with one-of-a-kind music performances and tributes as they are inducted into the ACL Hall of Fame. The star-studded ceremony takes place on Thursday, October 27th, 2022 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 7, 2023 on PBS.  

All-star guests will handle induction honors on this epic night: Americana great and six-time Grammy Award winner Brandi Carlile will induct nine-time Grammy Award winner Sheryl Crow and perform in tribute along with celebrated songwriter Jason Isbell, power vocalists Lucius and country breakout Brittney Spencer. Texas music legend Joe Ely will be inducted by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright along with a musical salute featuring revered Lone Star musicians: Ely’s longtime collaborators in Texas supergroup The Flatlanders, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock, will salute the pioneer; joining the musical tribute are country music trailblazer Rodney Crowell and blues legend and ACL Hall of Famer Marcia Ball. Inductees Sheryl Crow and Joe Ely will perform at the celebration. 

ACL Hall of Famer, renowned steel guitarist and producer Lloyd Maines, returns as Music Director, leading the ACL All-Stars house band featuring guitarist David Grissom, keyboardist Chris Gage, bassist Bill Whitbeck and drummer Tom Van Schaik.

The event is open to the public and a limited number of 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.

The eighth class of inductees features two iconic acts: Celebrated singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow has made two classic hourlong appearances on ACL in her remarkable three-decade career, starting with her debut on Season 22 in 1997 and returning in 2004. She also co-hosted ACL’s 40th anniversary special in 2014, the same year the Hall of Fame was established. An icon of Texas music, Joe Ely has made 11 appearances on ACL: including as a headliner five times beginning with his 1980 ACL debut in Season 5; also joining Los Super 7 in 1999, Texas supergroup The Flatlanders in 2002, and a Songwriters Special with Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt and Guy Clark in 2008. The influential artist has made guest appearances with multiple acts, including Kevin Welch in 1992, Ryan Bingham in 2009 and joined Steve Earle and the Dukes in 2019 for a tribute to Guy Clark.

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 nearly half-century as a music institution. The Hall of Fame has inducted over twenty artists at seven previous ceremonies including Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Lloyd Maines, Asleep at the Wheel, Loretta Lynn, Guy Clark, Flaco Jiménez, Townes Van Zandt, Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Roy Orbison, Rosanne Cash, The Neville Brothers, Ray Charles, Marcia Ball, Los Lobos, Lyle Lovett, Buddy Guy, Shawn Colvin. The seventh annual Hall of Fame in 2021 welcomed Lucinda Williams, Wilco and Alejandro Escovedo 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 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 Hall of Fame News Uncategorized

ACL Hall of Fame 2022 guest talent announced

Austin City Limits announces an all-star slate of guest performers for the 2022 ACL Hall of Fame Inductions & Celebration on October 27, 2022 celebrating a pair of American originals: superstar singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow and legendary Texas music pioneer Joe Ely. Music greats Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, Mavis Staples, Brittney Spencer, Marcia Ball, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock will take part in saluting the newest class of inductees with one-of-a-kind music performances and tributes. The inductees will be honored at the star-studded ceremony on October 27th, 2022 at ACL’s studio home, ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. More information about presenters and additional guest stars will be announced prior to the event. Musical highlights and inductions from the celebration will air as a special Austin City Limits on January 7, 2023 on PBS.

The event is open to the public and a limited number of 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. 

An all-star line-up of special guests will salute the honorees on this epic night: Americana great and six-time Grammy Award recipient Brandi Carlile, celebrated songwriter Jason Isbell, living legend Mavis Staples and country breakout Brittney Spencer will perform in tribute to nine-time Grammy Award winner Sheryl Crow. Texas music legend Joe Ely will be honored by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright along with a musical salute from revered Lone Star musicians and Ely’s longtime collaborators in Texas supergroup The Flatlanders, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock, along with blues legend and ACL Hall of Famer Marcia Ball. Inductees Sheryl Crow and Joe Ely will perform at the celebration. ACL Hall of Famer, renowned steel guitarist and producer Lloyd Maines, returns as Music Director, leading the ACL All-Stars house band featuring guitarist David Grissom, keyboardist Chris Gage, bassist Bill Whitbeck and drummer Tom Van Schaik.

The eighth class of inductees features two iconic acts: Celebrated singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow has made two classic hourlong appearances on ACL in her remarkable three-decade career, starting with her debut on Season 22 in 1997 and returning in 2004. She also co-hosted ACL’s 40th anniversary special in 2014, the same year the Hall of Fame was established. An icon of Texas music, Joe Ely has made 11 appearances on ACL: including as a headliner five times beginning with his 1980 ACL debut in Seasaon 5; also joining Los Super 7 in 1999, Texas supergroup The Flatlanders in 2002, and a Songwriters Special with Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt and Guy Clark in 2008. The influential artist has made guest appearances with multiple acts, including Kevin Welch in 1992, Ryan Bingham in 2009 and joined Steve Earle and the Dukes in 2019 for a tribute to Guy Clark.

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 nearly half-century as a music institution. The Hall of Fame has inducted over twenty artists at seven previous ceremonies including Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Lloyd Maines, Asleep at the Wheel, Loretta Lynn, Guy Clark, Flaco Jiménez, Townes Van Zandt, Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Roy Orbison, Rosanne Cash, The Neville Brothers, Ray Charles, Marcia Ball, Los Lobos, Lyle Lovett, Buddy Guy, Shawn Colvin. The seventh annual Hall of Fame in 2021 welcomed Lucinda Williams, Wilco and Alejandro Escovedo 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 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

Omnivore Recordings releases Walter Hyatt tribute from the ACL vault

Longtime fans of Austin City Limits and proto-Americana take note: we’re thrilled to announce the release via Omnivore Recordings of Mighty Fine: An Austin City Limits Tribute to Walter Hyatt today, October 1. The CD contains the music from the Walter Hyatt tribute episode 2204 of ACL, recorded in 1997. The disk can be ordered from the ACL shop here, or anywhere you purchase music. 

Uncle Walt’s Band (David Ball, Champ Hood, and Walter Hyatt) were one of the most popular acts in late ’70s/early ’80s Austin, Texas, where the South Carolina band relocated after a long stint in Nashville. Their on-point songwriting, playing, and singing garnered them local fans, but also Texas luminaries like Willis Alan Ramsey (in a very rare appearance), Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and (then Texas A&M student) Lyle Lovett. After a few self-released albums and cassettes (all available again via Omnivore), the band went their separate ways, with Hyatt returning to Nashville with his wife, Heidi. 

In 1990, Lovett produced Hyatt’s major label debut, King Tears, and went on the road with Walter as his opening act. Three years later, Hyatt released Music Town. Then, sadly, he died in the 1996 ValueJet plane crash that took the lives of all passengers and crew. Lovett helped organize tribute concerts to benefit Hyatt’s wife and children. In 1997, Austin City Limits broadcast one of those tributes featuring friends and fans including Lovett, Ramsey, Gilmore, Junior Brown, Marcia Ball, Allison Moorer, David Halley, Shawn Colvin, and his Uncle Walt’s Band partners, Ball and Hood. 

Now, nearly 25 years later, the 11 songs from that original broadcast are available on CD and Digital for the first time as Mighty Fine: An Austin City Limits Tribute to Walter Hyatt. Due from Omnivore on October 1, 2021, the set adds six tracks recorded for, but not shown on Austin City Limits. To make this collection even more special, four previously unissued Hyatt recordings make their debut. The packaging features photos and a new essay from North Carolina author and musician Thomas Goldsmith. It truly is Mighty Fine.

Track list 

Austin City Limits Tribute to Walter Hyatt

1. As The Crow Flies – Willis Alan Ramsey

2. Houston Town – David Ball

3. Georgia Rose – Jimmie Dale Gilmore

4. Are We There Yet Momma – Marica Ball

5. Lonely In Love – Willis Alan Ramsey

6. Motor City Man – David Halley

7. Tell Me Baby – Allison Moorer

8. Diggeroo – Junior Brown

9. Babes In The Woods – Lyle Lovett with Shawn Colvin

10. I’ll Come Knockin’ – Lyle Lovett

11. Aloha – Ensemble

Bonus Austin City Limits Recordings not Included in Original Broadcast

12. Rollin’ My Blues – Champ Hood

13. Teach Me About Love – Lyle Lovett

14. Going To New Orleans – Champ Hood

15. Message In A Bottle – David Ball

16. I’m Calling – Lyle Lovett

17. River Road – Champ Hood

Previously Unissued Walter Hyatt Recordings

18. Jungle Flower

19. In A Christmas Dream

20. Early Days

21. Shouldn’t Have Told Me That