Austin City Limits presents an all-star Americana special this weekend, with more than a dozen performances and other highlights from this year’s Americana Honors & Awards ceremony.
Premiering Saturday on PBS, the hour-long episode was taped at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium in September and includes a performance by Album of the Year winner John Prine, who sings his “Angel From Montgomery” with the artist who brought the song wider recognition, Bonnie Raitt.
“I’ve been singing it since 1973 or so, when I first started to tour with John,” Bonnie Raitt says of the tender “Angel From Montgomery.” Their performance, with Raitt on lead vocal and Prine providing harmony for the first verse switches their roles in verse two, as Prine sings, “When I was a young girl, I had me a cowboy, he weren’t much to look at, just a free-ramblin’ man.” As the verse ends, Raitt adds honeyed harmony to Prine’s aged-to-perfection lead vocal, proving yet again that the song was in equally great hands for both artists in their respective solo versions. In this joint rendition, it becomes something truly special.
Additionally, Americana Artist of the Year Brandi Carlile, Mavis Staples, and Elvis Costello all perform on the episode, with the latter taking the stage alongside Jim Lauderdale for a two-song set comprised of “Red Cotton” and “Blame It on Cain.” Rhiannon Giddens, who was presented with the inaugural Legacy of Americana honor, performs the stirring traditional “Wayfaring Stranger” with Francesco Turrisi, and newly minted Grammy nominees Yola and I’m With Her (Sarah Jarosz, Sara Watkins and Aoife O’Donovan) perform “Faraway Look” and “Call My Name,” respectively.
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Also appearing throughout the episode are the Milk Carton Kids, Joe Henry and Rodney Crowell, Mumford & Sons, Our Native Daughters, the War & Treaty, and Mark Erelli with guests Josh Ritter, Lori McKenna, J.S. Ondara, and Shawn Colvin.
The 18th annual Americana Honors and Awards were the centerpiece of the Americana Music Association’s annual AmericanaFest, a live-music and business conference event gathering fans and industry professionals from around the globe. Austin City Limits, now in its 45th season, is the longest-running live music series in television history.
ACL Presents Americana 18th Annual Honors airs Saturday, November 23rd, at 9 p.m. ET on PBS. The episode will be available to stream the following day at 10 a.m. ET.