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Featured News

ACL salutes the 2021 Grammy winners

Austin City Limits extends our congratulations to our distinguished ACL alumni for their big wins at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards. 

For the second year in a row, Billie Eilish won the top prize Record of the Year, this year for her single “Everything I Wanted,” as well as picking up the Best Song Written For Visual Media trophy for “No Time to Die,” the title track for the upcoming James Bond film. H.E.R. collected wins for Song of the Year for her single “I Can’t Breathe” (featured on the Judas and the Black Messiah soundtrack) and Best R&B Song for “Better Than I Imagine,” her collaboration with Robert Glasper (also of August Greene) and Meshell Ndegeocello. Our beloved John Prine picked up two awards for his posthumous single “I Remember Everything,” including Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song. 

Other ACL performers that need to make space on their trophy shelves this year include: James Taylor, Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, John Legend, Vince Gill, Brandi Carlile (as part of the Highwomen), Miranda Lambert, Dolly Parton, Natalia Lafourcade, Sarah Jarosz, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, and Beck

We’re thrilled to feature many of the recent Grammy-winners on ACL’s upcoming Season 47. Miranda Lambert launches the new season with an April taping showcasing her newest collaborative project and later this season we’ll be showcasing Brittany Howard in her solo ACL debut and looking forward to hosting Sarah Jarosz in her third ACL outing. Stay tuned for more. 

You can see the full list of winners here. Congratulations to all. 

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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.

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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. 

Categories
Featured News Taping Cancelled

Sarah Jarosz taping cancelled

Austin City Limits has made the difficult decision to cancel the Sarah Jarosz Austin City Limits Season 46 taping originally scheduled for November 24. After careful consideration of our  limited resources during this holiday week, and an abundance of caution in light of concerns about Covid, we have made this decision in the best interests of  the artist, crew, staff and guests. 

We are working to reschedule this taping for our next season.

We will continue to monitor the key indicators and the guidance from the City of Austin as we determine our plans for the Sturgill Simpson taping scheduled for December 8. 

We wish you and your families a safe and healthy Thanksgiving holiday and we are thankful for our wonderful artists, fans and supporters.

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Featured News Taping Announcement

New tapings: Sarah Jarosz and Sturgill Simpson

To wrap up our Season 46 taping schedule, Austin City Limits is proud to announce the highly-anticipated return of a pair of American originals: Sarah Jarosz on November 24 and Sturgill Simpson on December 8. 

With World On the Ground, the follow-up to 2016’s two-time Grammy Award-winning Undercurrent, and her first solo album in four years, Sarah Jarosz shares a collection of stories of her Texas hometown of Wimberley, each song lit up in her captivating voice and richly detailed songwriting. World on the Ground takes its title from the album cut “Pay It No Mind,” which finds wisdom being passed down through song by a bird observing the world below: “When the world on the ground is gonna swallow you down, sometimes you’ve got to pay it no mind.” Throughout the album, the triple Grammy Award-winner explores the tension and inertia of small-town living, the desire for escape and the ease of staying put. As she inhabits characters both real and imagined, Jarosz reveals her remarkable gift for slipping into the interior lives of others and patiently uncovering so much indelible insight. 

Producer/songwriter John Leventhal (Elvis Costello, Lucinda Williams, his wife Rosanne Cash) played a vital part in Jarosz’s decision to center the album on her intricate storytelling. “The first time we met to talk about the record, John said he wanted me to try to take a step back and look out at the world, rather than inward,” says Jarosz. “It completely opened the gates for me, and I started thinking a lot about growing up in Texas and diving into those memories in a way I’d never really done before. I think it has something to do with being in my late 20s, and starting to enter the phase where I’m looking back at what got me to where I am now—as opposed to constantly looking forward, as you do when you’re younger. It felt like the right time for me to return full circle to my roots and my home.” 

In the making of World On the Ground, Jarosz – who already has two ACL appearances under her belt (in 2010 and 2014) – ultimately moved undeniably closer to one of her greatest ambitions as an artist: to create an emotionally honest body of work that continually reveals new meaning for the listener. “My favorite records are the ones I just want to play over and over again because of all the details that are there to discover,” she says. “As I was writing this record, it was the deepest I’d ever gone in terms of getting down to the very specific details in the way I told each story. The details are what make people feel something and connect the story to their own lives, and that’s really all I want for my music.” 

photo by Semi Song

Since breaking through in 2014 with his Grammy-nominated Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, shapeshifter Sturgill Simpson made his ACL debut in 2016 and has established himself as one of the most daring and acclaimed artists of our time. His music stretches across genres and styles, from the psychedelic soul of 2016’s A Sailor’s Guide To Earth (Grammy nominated for Album of the Year and winner for Best Country Album) to the fuzzed-out rock attack of 2019’s Sound & Fury. Now Simpson returns to the music of his native Kentucky with his first bluegrass project, Cuttin’ Grass Vol. 1 – The Butcher Shoppe Sessions. The surprise double album, which he calls “a mixtape for the fans,” was dreamed up while he was recovering at home after being hospitalized with Coronavirus earlier this year, and sees him reimagining songs from across his catalog backed by some of Nashville’s finest acoustic virtuosos. “This album started when I was in the third grade,” Simpson explains. “My paternal grandfather was sort of a bluegrass freak. He just lived and ate and breathed it, and every time he’d come to visit, he’d try to shove it down my throat. My palette wasn’t ready to absorb it at the time—I was probably still into the Monkees and, thanks to an older cousin, discovering bands like Cream and Led Zeppelin far too young. One night in my room, when he could sense my rejection of what I was hearing, he looked at me directly and said, ‘One day it’s gonna get in ya, and it’ll never get out.’”

“Many years later, after returning home to Kentucky from the military and living for some time out on the West coast, I was driving down the road one day and the public radio station played an old Monroe Brothers song and it absolutely floored me,” he explains. “A wave of emotion slammed me in the chest and I had to pull over on the side of the road. I was pretty much drifting at the time—completely lost, I guess you could say—and hearing that music brought everything to the surface. It sounded like home. Bluegrass music is healing. I truly believe this to be true. It is made from ancient, organic tones and, as with most all forms of music, the vibrations and the pulse can be extremely therapeutic.” After using social media to crowdfund a charity drive, Simpson had the idea to take songs from his back catalog and record them in a bluegrass style. “I had it in my mind for a long time that someday I want to cut as many of these songs as possible in this fashion, just organic and stripped down to the raw bones of the composition. If you can’t sit down and play a song like that, it’s probably a pretty shitty song. I called up my engineer/co-producer/partner in crime David Ferguson and said, ‘Get all the best players in town,’ and we went in and banged this record out in about three days, with no planning or preparation. 

“The thing I’ve realized about the ride I’ve been on these past seven years is that to me, despite what others may call and label them, all my records are simply ‘American music,’” Simpson states. “My head and my heart go different directions all the time, and when you put out a record, it becomes this definitive thing, like ‘this is who you are now’ because people need to define things for the cycle of that album. This album for me was always just supposed to be a sort of simple mixtape for my fans, so it’s somewhat funny to me to think we might play TV shows and whatnot to promote it, and for a time I’ll be considered a bluegrass musician. In all honesty, though, I guess that’s probably the closest thing to the truth that could ever be put in print about me.”

For this appearance, Simpson will be “cuttin’ grass” with the line-up of bluegrass all-stars that recorded the album, including Stuart Duncan, Sierra Hull, Tim O’Brien, Scott Vestal, Mike Bub, Mark Howard and longtime drummer Miles Miller. 

We’re proud to welcome Sarah Jarosz and Sturgill Simpson back to the ACL stage.