Monday, August 31, 2015

Daryl Hall and John Oates, Mayer Hawthorne deliver a night of pop, rock and plenty of soul in Irvine

Photo credit: Kelly A. Swift
Daryl Hall and John Oates, Mayer Hawthorne
Where: Irvine Meadows
When: Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015

The resurgence and reemergence of Daryl Hall and John Oates over the past few years has been extraordinary. Among the first few times I caught the pair live in the mid-90s included one that was a free show (with the price of admission to The Orange County Fair) at Arlington Theater, while another performance played out inside an intimate venue inside a casino in Las Vegas. 

But over the years the rock 'n' soul pioneers' reach has continued to grow. Big time. In 2013, the twosome played at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa, filling the 8,500-seat outdoor venue. In April 2014, there was universal praise when Hall and Oates were finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Daryl Hall, left, and John Oates on Aug. 30, 2015 in Irvine.
Photo credit: Kelly A. Swift

Fast forward to a beautiful late summer night in 2015. Performing at the largest major concert venue in Orange County, CA on Aug. 30, the duo and an amazing six-member band performed a 90-minute headlining show at Irvine Meadows (with a capacity of about 16,000) packed with fans who were cheering, clapping and singing along with an energy that was never less than infectious. Frankly, I had to smile thinking about how the Philadelphia-spawned duo long ago perfected a fusion of rock, pop, and rhythm and blues that has finally been recognized with the widespread accolades  and good-sized audiences  they deserve. Just as The Beatles are widely and wisely recognized as the greatest rock band of all time, Hall and Oates shine as the most successful duo of the rock era. 
Daryl Hall on Aug. 30.
Photo credit: Kelly A. Swift

Whether performing their number one radio hits or timeless soul classics, there was a power and authenticity that kept the concert on track. When a driving dance-minded version of "Maneater" and vibrant "Out of Touch" (both No. 1 Billboard hits) kicked off the set, there was a sense this was going to be a special night. Although Hall and Oates are both in their sixties, their vocals and musical chops remain fully intact. 

Hall's still-amazing voice is often the first thing that jumps out to casual listeners, but the Irvine concert allowed the rich range of oft-hidden elements to be showcased that make Hall and Oates' singular sound so essential. Both men are terrific singers and songwriters, and Oates' outstanding rhythm and lead guitar work added magic to a number of songs, notably during the introduction of "Did It in a Minute" and "Say It Isn't So," the latter where he traded playful licks with long-time celebrated sax player Charles DeChant
John Oates rocking on Aug. 30.
Photo credit: Kelly A. Swift

Oates and Hall shared lead vocals on "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," featured on the Hall and Oates 1980 album Voices. It was a powerful performance, bringing together the strengths of all the musicians and singers on stage. When the song ended, Hall couldn't help but remark: "Now that's a good song."

And plenty of good songs (make that, great songs) were embraced by the crowd all night. Oates' delivery of the early gem "Las Vegas Turnaround (The Stewardess Song)" from the duo's 1973 album Abandoned Luncheonette and Hall's vocal gymnastics on "Do What You Want, Be What You Are" showcased the deeper parts of the pair's rich catalog.

And of course, the crowd couldn't get enough of the hits. "She's Gone," "Sara Smile," "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)," "Rich Girl"  (with guitarist Shane Theriot and Oates trading solos), "You Make My Dreams," "Kiss on My List" and the celebratory night-ending "Private Eyes" were among the many sonic riches delivered with style and sway.

Singer-songwriter Mayer Hawthorne opened the night
with a solid set of memorable songs.
Photo: Kelly A. Swift
Concert opener Mayer Hawthorne impressed with a solid and entertaining 40-minute set of pop 'n' soul that was accessible and recalled a range of influences including Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Hall and Oates too.

This was my formal in-depth introduction to Hawthorne, and I was impressed by a number of his selections, notably the irresistible ballad "I Wish It Would Rain" featuring Hawthorne's amazing falsetto vocals, the reggae-meets-R&B tune "Allie Jones" and funky set-ending "The Stars Are Ours."

Review by Robert Kinsler

Photos courtesy of Kelly A. Swift

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Eclectic sonic stew: The Textones, Black Veil Brides, The Boomtown Rats, Robert Cray, von Grey

Terrific reissues of the Textones' first two albums, the first-ever DVD release from Black Veil Brides, an early 1978 concert featuring Boomtown Rats, a 40th anniversary collection celebrating Robert Cray, as well as the latest EP from von Grey are all worth exploring.

Artist: The Textones
Titles: Midnight Mission, Cedar Creek (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: Lone Justice, Carla Olson, Tom Petty
Tell me more: The Textones' 1984 debut "Midnight Mission" and 1987 follow-up "Cedar Creek" were not only terrific albums, but showcased the talents of a band that was a generation ahead of its time via a mix of guitar-anchored New Wave and what would someday be known as Americana. 
Recalling most closely the rollicking sound of early Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Textones featured lead singer/guitarist Carla Olson, guitarist George Callins, bassist Joe Read, multi-instrumentalist  Tom Junior Morgan and drummer Phil Seymour (later replaced by Rick Hemmert). "Midnight Mission" features a number of excellent songs, including the high-energy "Hands of the Working Man" and "No Love In You," along with the lovely countrified "Number One Is to Survive." "Cedar Creek" is an equal joy. The spirited lead-off track "Not Afraid," rousing "Gotta Get You Back" and Rolling Stones-styled "You Can Run" are balanced by tracks such as the mid tempo "Another Soul Searcher" (bolstered by Olson's slide guitar work), piano-anchored ballad "Austin" and textured "We Can Laugh About It" fully displaying the richness of the band's rootsy rock approach. The reissue of "Midnight Mission" includes five bonus tracks, while "Cedar Creek" boasts an 8-song live set recorded in Santa Cruz, CA in November 1987. Information:

Purchase "Midnight Mission" here

Buy 'Cedar Creek' here

Artist: Black Veil Brides
Title: Alive and Burning (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
You might like if you enjoy: Pierce the Veil, Motionless in White, Rise Against
Tell me more: While there is little subtle about Black Veil Brides' hard rock approach, the quintet uses its first-ever live concert DVD ("Alive and Burning") recorded in late 2014 to deliver the goods to a solidly-engaged capacity crowd at the Wiltern Theater in its hometown of Hollywood, CA in connection with the band's "Black Mass" tour. The 17-track "Alive and Burning" features well-known tracks plucked from across Black Veil Brides' career. Standouts include the hard-hitting melodic opener "Heart of Fire," '80s-styled "Last Rites," the crowd-pleasing "Wretched & Divine" and anthemic closer "In The End." The bonus feature provides an intense and interesting look at the band's relationship with its hardcore fan base. Information:

Purchase "Alive and Burning [DVD]" here

Artist: The Boomtown Rats
Title: Live Germany '78 (Gonzo Multimedia)
You might like if you enjoy: The Boomtown Rats, '70s-era Rolling Stones
Tell me more: Far better known in their native Ireland and neighboring U.K. than here in the U.S., the Boomtown Rats' groundbreaking mix of Sticky Fingers-era Rolling Stones, early punk rock and reggae is fully celebrated on Live Germany '78, a two-disc collection featuring a concert film with bonus tracks on the DVD and an audio CD of the 1978 performance. Singer Bob Geldof leads the band through more than a dozen originals including the old school punk rocker "Never Bite the Hand That Feeds You," the New Wave-minded "Neon Heart" and loose rocker "(It Feels) So Strange." 


Artist: The Robert Cray Band
Title: 4 Nights of 40 Years Live (Provogue / Mascot Label Group)
You might like if you enjoy: Robert Cray, Kim Wilson, Eric Clapton
Tell me more: Long celebrated for his nuanced and precise guitar playing, Robert Cray's talents have long extended to his top-flight vocals and wonderful songwriting. The five-time Grammy Award winner has just released the aptly-titled "4 Nights of 40 Years Live," an ambitious multi-format commemoration of the Georgia native's career. The audio CD portion of the title (disc 1 is reviewed here) features 13 tracks collecting live recordings captured across four nights in four different venues. Every performance is a winner; my favorites include the leadoff track "Shiver" highlighting both Cray's soulful vocals and artful guitar work, the infectious "Bad Influence," the guitar-anchored "These Things" and a freewheeling version of the Fabulous Thunderbirds' "Wrap It Up" where Kim Wilson joins in the fun. "4 Nights of 40 Years Live" is available on Blu-ray + CD, DVD + CD or on vinyl. Information:

Get "4 Nights of 40 Years Live (2LP)" on vinyl here 

Artist: von Grey
Title: Panophobia (VG Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Lindsey Stirling, Pentatonix, Della Mae
Tell me more: The Beach Boys, Bee Gees, Sparks and Dawes are among the far-flung musical ensembles that have created a unique and compelling sound with a line-up comprised from all (or mostly) siblings. Atlanta's indie-alt group von Grey may be making a case to join its illustrious ancestors based on the strength of the EP "Panophobia." Sisters Annika (vocals, violin, guitar, keys), Fiona (vocals, guitar, violin, percussion), Petra (keys, electronic percussion, backing vocals) and Kathryn (cello, bass pedals, keys, backing vocals) have followed up 2014's "Awakening" with their best release to date, one that fully showcases their artistry. Everywhere the songs, performances and arrangements are involving and dynamic. Blending acoustic instincts, lovely voices, and electronica and world music touches with a consistently deft touch, the infectious "Katie" (a song magically capturing the spirit of unrequited romantic longing) and "Say My Name" (with its hypnotic rhythm) are among the wonderful works here.  Information:

Purchase "Panophobia" here 

Robert Kinsler, August 2015

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Concert Review: Pugwash brings its masterful melodic rock to Molly Malone's

Lead guitarist Tosh Flood, left, and singer-guitarist Thomas
Walsh at Molly Malone's on Aug. 28, 2015. Photo: Robert Kinsler
Ever since hearing Pugwash for the first time earlier this year (thanks to the release of the amazing 2014 Omnivore Recordings collection A Rose In a Garden of Weeds), I had hoped I might get to see the Dublin-based quartet perform live. Fortunately I didn't have to wait long; the band is in the midst of a U.S. tour and I was able to get to Los Angeles on Friday night (Aug. 28, 2015) to catch the Irishmen deliver an outstanding 100-minute set of masterful rock.

Touring in support of the band's new studio album Play This Intimately (as if among friends) (set for release on Friday, Sept. 4), lead singer-songwriter/rhythm guitarist Thomas Walsh, lead guitarist Tosh Flood, bassist-singer Shaun McGee and drummer Joe Fitzgerald brought a loose pub-styled approach in terms of their casual stage banter and frequent musical partial song bits offered up (Tom Petty's "Runnin' Down A Dream," Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds," ABBA's "Fernando" among them) and faithful full-length covers (The Tokens' "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" was pure joy), but when they performed their stunning original masterworks it was all business and magic on steroids. 

Opening with the first track off their new album, the driving "Kicking And Screaming," Pugwash immediately showcased their ability to weave nuanced musicianship, smart harmonies and top-tier arrangements in the presentation of songs that are never less than perfect. "Keep Movin' On" (with its mix of folk and power-pop) and ELO-styled "Hung Myself Out To Dry" (the latter featuring a phenomenal guitar solo from Flood) and the wistful ballad "Finer Things In Life" were highlights of the first part of the set. "Oh Happy Days," a sparse and artful track on Play This Intimately (as if among friends) included a story of how the band got to get legendary Kinks frontman Ray Davies to sing backing vocals on the track.

Thomas Walsh at Molly Malone's on Aug. 28, 2015.
Photo: Robert Kinsler
Those assuming the band's songbook is restricted to melodic rock and sweet harmony-filled '60s-minded power-pop were likely shocked (and wonderfully surprised) in the potent rocker "Anyone Who Asks" (which recalls the early '90s spirit and approach of Radiohead). The song built fire as it moved along, with the guitars, rhythm section and Walsh's wonderful voice in creative sync as the song's dynamic firepower was unleashed.

Several of the troupe's strongest songs came late. The shimmering study of romantic dissolution "Fall Down," sweeping "Fool I Had Become" (a gem on the new album) and joyful harmonies-filled "It's Nice To Be Nice" assured this night was a memorable one from start to finish.

Opening the night was Los Angeles' own Cherry Bluestorms, a talented quartet that delivered 40 minutes of inspired '60s-styled power-pop and psychedelic-styled rock informed by the sonics of The Beatles, Zombies and other greats from the era. 

Review by Robert Kinsler

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Chris Isaak to release first album of original tunes in six years – 'first Comes the Night' out November 13, 2015

Earlier this month, I enjoyed a fantastic performance from Chris Isaak when he headlined a concert in Anaheim (read my Orange County Register review here). Today comes word the talented singer-songwriter-actor-guitarist is set to issue a new album or original music this fall. Here is the media release...

Rocker Chris Isaak scheduled to release first album of original songs in six years

First Comes the Night set for release on Vanguard Records on November 13, 2015

Photo By Andrew Macpherson
August 27, 2015 - Chris Isaak’s  new album  FIRST COMES THE NIGHT  produced by Paul  Worley (Dixie Chicks, Lady Antebellum), Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell) and longtime Isaak collaborator Mark Needham will be released on Vanguard Records on November 13th. Recorded primarily in Nashville and Los Angeles, FIRST COMES THE NIGHT is Isaak’s 13th studio album consisting of 12 new songs.  A second configuration - a deluxe version with five additional cuts - will be released simultaneously.  It is Isaak’s first recording of all original songs in over six years. FIRST COMES THE NIGHT is the follow up release to Isaak’s critically acclaimed 2011 BEYOND THE SUN, his breathtaking tribute album to Sun Records, Sam Phillips and the visionary artists who helped shape the early sounds of rock n’ roll.
Commented Isaak on his upcoming album: “I totally enjoyed recording in Nashville – a city filled with terrific musicians and what an honor to work with such great producers.  As for the new songs, I like to mix it up so there’s some dark ones, funny ones and romantic ones. You have to absolutely play these songs after the break up while you’re cleaning the house.”
With a stellar reputation as one of the best and funniest live performers out there, Isaak, a non-stop touring, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, actor and talk show host is heading to Australia momentarily to take on the role as one of the panel judges on the new season of X Factor Australia.
Isaak’s vocal style has garnered enormous acclaim and his songs have been featured in numerous films including “Blue Velvet,” “Married to the Mob” and “Wild at Heart.”  His vast repertoire of long-running hits include “Wicked Game,” “Forever Blue,” “Baby did a Bad Bad Thing” and “Somebody’s Crying.” He has appeared on many TV shows – most recently “Hot in Cleveland”, has acted in several films and starred in Showtime’s The Chris Isaak Show and the Chris Isaak Hour on the Biography Channel.

This Tuesday, September 1st, Isaak is scheduled to perform on the 9th Annual ACM Honors taking place at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Lenny Kravitz release 'Just Let Go' coming to DVD, Blu-ray and digital formats on October 23, 2015

Breaking news from Eagle Rock Entertainment...

Lenny Kravitz & Eagle Rock Entertainment
Announce Live Concert Film
Just Let Go

Set for Release on October 23rd

Lenny Kravitz and Eagle Rock Entertainment are excited to announce the release of a new, live concert film entitled Just Let Go, which will be set for worldwide release on DVD, Blu-ray and all digital formats on October 23rd. Shot over the course of three months in the fall of 2014 during the European leg of Kravitz’s world tour, Just Let Go features spectacular live performances of some of the best loved tracks from the artist’s legendary career, including “Fly Away,” “American Woman,” “It Ain’t Over ’Til It’s Over,” “Let Love Rule,” “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” as well as new materials from his latest studio album, Strut.
“I am a solo artist but Just Let Go reflects on the relationship with my band and the camaraderie that develops between us while out on the road,” states Lenny Kravitz. “The film takes a deeper look into what it’s like to be on tour and also gives an intimate perspective into my life with my band, both on and off the stage.”
Just Let Go features a total of 12 performances that are artfully intercut with behind-the-scenes raw clips, interviews, and intimate rehearsal footage. The film sheds insight into the artist’s creative process behind delivering his music and the aesthetic quality of the presentation that characterize his electrifying concerts.
The tracklisting for ‘Just Let Go’:
1) Fly Away  
2) Dirty White Boots  
3) American Woman  
4) Dancin’ ‘Til Dawn 
5) Strut  
6) It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over  
7) New York City  
8) The Chamber  
9) Sister  
10) Dig In  
11) Let Love Rule  
12) Are You Gonna Go My Way
**As a Bonus Feature the film will also include full unedited live versions of: “Sister, ”Always On The Run,” “Sex,” “I Belong To You,” “New York City,” and “Let Love Rule.”
Lenny Kravitz’s tenth studio album Strut was released on September 23rd 2014 via Roxie Records/ Kobalt Label Services. The album is a real rock & roll record that hits hard rhythmically and looks back on the 1970’s metropolis of funky after-hours grooves and soulful hooks.
Kravitz has recently embarked on the US leg of his Strut world tour, which kicked off at the Afropunk Festival in Brooklyn, NY on August 23. Tickets and more information for the tour can be found at
Click here to view trailer:
Eagle Rock Entertainment is the largest producer and distributor of music programming for DVD, Blu-Ray, TV and Digital Media in the world.  Eagle works directly alongside talent to produce top quality, High Definition programs, both concerts and documentaries, including The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Who, Queen, The Doors, Jeff Beck, Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney, Ozzy Osbourne, Genesis, Alice Cooper, Eric Clapton and Aerosmith. Eagle is a Grammy Award winning company and has received over 40 multi-platinum, over 80 platinum and over 144 gold discs, worldwide.  Eagle Rock Entertainment has offices in London, New York, Paris and Hamburg.
Follow Eagle Rock Entertainment at:
For more information regarding this and other Eagle Rock Entertainment releases, contact Carol Kaye at Follow us on Facebook at

Gary Clark Jr. set to perform in NYC; will perform on 'The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon' on August 31st

Good morning all, here is a quick roundup of news that has landed in my inbox since last night...

Gary Clark Jr. confirms October 28, 2015 concert
Tickets on sale this Friday, August 28th

Clark to perform on 'The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon' on August 31st 

The Story of Sonny Boy Slim will be released Friday, September 11, 2015 on Warner Bros. Records 

Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and virtuoso guitarist Gary Clark Jr. has just confirmed a concert appearance in New York City set for Oct. 28, at Terminal 5. Tickets go on sale to the public this Friday, Aug. 28th

Clark's highly anticipated second album for Warner Bros. Records, The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, is set for release on Sep 11th, and is available for pre-order now.  All pre-orders will receive an instant download of two new album tracks: "The Healing" and "Grinder."  Click here to pre-order. 

In celebration of the album's release Clark & company will perform "The Healing" (from the new album) on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Aug 31st. Tune into NBC stations at 11:35PM EST / PST and 10:35PM CT. Check local listings for details. 

The Story of Sonny Boy Slim is the uncanny evolution of an artist embracing his roots with a rarified grace, style, and an inextinguishable passion which reflects his vision as a songwriter, groove master, and the vocal force of nature he has become, while his guitar virtuosity already speaks (quite voluminously) for itself.  Click here for a view into the world of Gary Clark Jr.

The Story of Sonny Boy Slim was written, produced, arranged by Clark, who also plays most of the instruments, with assistance from his long-time live soundman, Bharath "Cheex" Ramanat and Jason Sciba. Backing vocals are provided by his sisters Shawn and Savannah Clark. The album was recorded by Ramanath and Sciba.

As witnessed by the global reception of Clark's albums, Blak And Blu (2012) and Gary Clark Jr. LIVE (2014), the young Texan has established himself as a sonic expressionist and guitar virtuoso who has absorbed classic forms of the past while looking forward to forge his own path of thoroughly modern music that can only be classified as "Gary Clark Jr. Music." The direction of The Story of Sonny Boy Slim takes Clark even further into his diverse musical roots.

In other Gary Clark Jr. news, Clark's video for the track "When My Train Pulls In" (from the albumBlak And Blu), won in the "Best Music Video" category at last week's prestigious  Holly Shorts Film Festival held at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood, CA.  The short film was directed by Carmela Makela, produced by Kevin Abrams from KAPW Media, LLC.
As previously announced, Clark will begin a tour with Foo Fighters. All confirmed tour dates are listed below.

Every ticket purchased online for Gary Clark Jr.'s fall/spring headline tour(beginning Oct 28th - see all dates below), will receive a standard digital download of The Story of Sonny Boy Slim.  Fans will receive an email from on the album's release date, Sep 11, 2015, containing redemption instructions.  Festival dates and Foo Fighters tour dates are not included in this offer.

The Story Of Sonny Boy Slim track listing:
1. The Healing
2.  Grinder
3.  Star
4.  Our Love
5.  Church
6.  Hold On
7.  Cold Blooded
8.  Wings
9.  BYOB
10. Can't Sleep
11. Stay
12. Shake
13. Down To Ride
Gary Clark Jr., upcoming tour dates are as follows:
Oct 02              Austin, TX                     ACL Festival
Oct 09              Austin, TX                     ACL Festival
with Foo Fighters:
Sep 11              Vancouver, BC                Rogers Arena                
Sep 12              George, WA                    Gorge Amphitheatre      
Sep 14              Portland, OR                   Moda Center                 
Sep 16              Mountain View, CA         Shoreline Amphitheatre
Sep 21              Los Angeles, CA             The Forum                    
Sep 24              Chula Vista, CA              Sleep Train Amphitheatre 
Sep 25              Phoenix, AZ                    AK-Chin Pavilion           
Sep 27              Albuquerque, NM            Isleta Amphitheater      
Sep 29              Oklahoma City, OK         Chesapeake Energy Arena
Sep 30              Wichita, KS                     INTRUST Bank Arena     
Oct 04              Atlanta, GA                      Centennial Olympic Park  
Oct 05              Nashville, TN                   Bridgestone Arena
Oct 07              Memphis, TN                   FedEx Forum
Oct 17              Anaheim, CA                   Honda Center        

Headline Tour:
Oct 28              New York City                Terminal 5
Oct 31              Boston, MA                     H.O.B. 
Nov 1               Philadelphia, PA             The Fillmore
Feb 18              St. Petersburg, FL          Jannus Live
Feb 19              Miami, FL                       The Fillmore
Feb 20              Lake Buena Vista, FL     H.O.B.
Feb 21              Ponte Vedra Beach, FL  Ponte Vedra Concert Hall          
Feb 23              Birmingham, AL              Iron City
Feb 24              Chattanooga, TN            Tivoli Theater
Feb 26              Nashville, TN                  Ryman Auditorium
Feb 28              St. Louis, MO                  The Pageant
Mar 1                Tulsa, OK                        Cain's Ballroom
Mar 4                Houston, TX                    Warehouse Live Ballroom
Mar 6                Dallas, TX                        H.O.B.
Mar 8                El Paso, TX                     Tricky Falls
Mar 12              Las Vegas, NV                Brooklyn Bowl
Mar 31              Kansas City, MO             Uptown Theater            
Apr 1                Chicago, IL                       Riviera Theater                                     
Apr 2                Minneapolis, MN              First Avenue
Apr 3                Omaha, NE                      Slowdown
Apr 5                Denver, CO                      Ogden Theater
Apr 8                Salt Lake City, UT            The Depot
Apr 9                Boise, ID                          Knitting Factory
Apr 10              Seattle, WA                      Moore Theater
Apr 12              Vancouver, BC                 Commodore Ballroom
Apr 14              Portland, OR                    Roseland Theater
More Gary Clark Jr. news to be revealed soon. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Austin City Limits: New TV Season Premieres Oct. 3 with Courtney Barnett, James Taylor, Sturgill Simpson, Don Henley & more

Breaking news everybody, and what great news it is...

Austin City Limits announces Season 41 Broadcast Schedule
New Season Premieres October 3rd with All-Star Hall of Fame Special
New Episodes Featuring Courtney Barnett, Gary Clark Jr., Don Henley, Sturgill Simpson, James Taylor, The War on Drugs, TV On The Radio, Asleep at the Wheel and Cassandra Wilson

Courtesy of Austin City Limits.
Austin, TX—August 25, 2015—The television music series Austin City Limits (ACL) follows four decades as a music institution with more unforgettable performances as it gets ready to write its next illustrious chapter. Providing viewers with a front-row seat to the best in live music, ACL unveils Season 41’s stellar line-up of legendary artists, trend-setting innovators and many highly-anticipated debuts.  ACL airs weekly on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings for times) and full episodes are made available online for a limited time at immediately following the initial broadcast. Select tapings are also live streamed to enable music fans everywhere to experience the performances as they happen, live and unedited. Viewers can visit for news regarding future tapings, episode schedules and live stream updates. The show's official hashtag is#acltv.

The program returns on October 3rd with the 2015 ACL Hall of Fame Special, a special hour showcasing unique collaborations and tributes from this year’s induction ceremony and celebration, held June 18, 2015. Artists Lyle LovettDwight YoakamVince GillGillian WelchJason Isbell and more perform in honor of the newest class of inductees: Asleep at the Wheel, Guy Clark, Flaco JimĂ©nez, Loretta Lynn and Townes Van Zandt.  

The upcoming season is filled with musical highlights, as a number of acts make their long-awaited ACL debuts.  Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson appears for the first time in a dazzling hour featuring the songs of Billie Holiday.  Music legend Don Henley makes his ACL debut, armed with his first solo release in 15 years.  Iconic singer-songwriter James Taylor is also set to make his Austin City Limits debut in a career-spanning, hour long showcase that will feature songs from his latest release, his first collection of original music in 13 years.

Country music’s range is exemplified in a double-bill with modern country rebel Sturgill Simpson making his full set debut and Western swing veterans Asleep at the Wheel returning for their 11th appearance.  Asleep at the Wheel, newly-minted ACL Hall of Fame members, are joined by guest stars The Avett Brothers and Amos Lee in a special tribute to forebear Bob Wills, the original Texas Playboy.  

Hometown hero Gary Clark Jr., now a Grammy-winning global sensation, returns to the program for his second headline appearance, in support of a highly-anticipated new release.  A number of genre-bending rock acts make their ACL debuts this year:  indie rock breakout star Courtney Barnett showcases her compelling live set, while left-of-the-dial faves The War on Drugs and TV On The Radio split an episode, both gracing the ACL stage for the first time.

"With our 40th anniversary in our rearview mirror, we're back to doing what we do best: showcasing awesome music whether it's classic or contemporary, familiar or groundbreaking,” says ACL executive producer Terry Lickona.  “As usual, we'll give our viewers the chance to rediscover old favorites or discover new artists who are making their own mark."

Season 41 Fall Broadcast Schedule (additional episodes to be announced)

October 3        2015 Hall of Fame Special
October 10      Cassandra Wilson
October 17      Sturgill Simpson / Asleep at the Wheel
October 24      Don Henley
October 31      Gary Clark Jr. / Courtney Barnett
November 7    TV On The Radio / The War on Drugs
November 14  James Taylor
November 21  ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2015

The complete line-up for the full 14-week season, including seven new episodes to air beginning January 2016, will be announced at a later date. Check the news section of for additional episode updates.

For the fifth consecutive year, the producers of Austin City Limits, in conjunction with High 5 Productions, and the Americana Music Association, are proud to present a special ACL Presents—featuring the best music performances from this year's Americana Music Association Honors and Awards Ceremony held September 16th at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. 

About 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. The program is taped live before a concert audience from The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. ACL is the longest-running music series in American television history and remains the only TV series to ever be awarded the National Medal of Arts. Since its inception in 1974, 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 is produced by KLRU-TV and funding is provided in part by Budweiser, the Austin Convention Center Department, Dell and HomeAway. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Austin City Limits. Learn more about Austin City Limits, programming and history at