“This is about my sweet Evangeline… and all the things she took from me,” Brandi Carlile quips at the close of her soul-baring introduction to “Mother,” one of the songs she performs on this weekend’s episode of the long-running PBS series Austin City Limits, premiering Saturday, October 27th, at 9 p.m. ET.
Carlile, whose debut appearance on the show took place in 2010, has since that time become a wife and a mother of two, and at the very beginning of the exclusive clip above, she is surprised onstage by her oldest daughter, 4-year-old Evangeline, who offers her mom a sweet kiss and a warm hug before acknowledging the cheering crowd with a wave then exiting the stage.
“We have a rule where it’s like, if Mama’s working, it doesn’t matter what’s going on, she can come on stage and get a kiss,” Carlile explains.
As she continues strumming her guitar, the singer, who is married to Catherine Shepherd, also notes that their second child, daughter Elijah, was born earlier this year.
“I feel that it’s important to stand before you in the great state of Texas and tell you about my family and our right to exist in the world today,” she said, adding that motherhood was initially a struggle, “which blossomed into several months of shame.”
Carlile’s powerful performance of the alternately hilarious and deeply poignant “The Mother,” from the excellent 2018 LP, By the Way, I Forgive You, is just one of the highlights of her nine-song set during the upcoming episode. She also performs a stunning rendition of “The Joke,” the soaring ballad about marginalization and alienation made even more heartbreaking, yet ultimately empowering, by the presence of a string quartet.
Also recognized during the episode is Carlile’s worship of her music idol, Elton John, with a cover of the title cut from the rock legend’s 1971 LP, Madman Across the Water.
Carlile travels to Riviera Maya, Mexico, early next year for the Girls Just Wanna Weekend, an all-female concert event at the Hard Rock Hotel from January 30th through February 4th. Also featured will be Maren Morris, Indigo Girls, Margo Price, Patty Griffin, Lucius, KT Tunstall, Ruby Amanfu and the Secret Sisters.
Austin City Limits, now in its 44th season, airs on PBS stations nationwide. Kacey Musgraves and Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real will be the guests for the episode airing November 10th.