Lucinda Williams, Wilco, and Alejandro Escovedo were all inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame back in October. On Saturday, the ceremony premieres on PBS stations with a special episode of the long-running live-music series.
Jason Isbell does the honors of inducting Williams, whom he credits with creating a map for other singer-songwriters to follow. “A lot of my songs wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t spent so much time trying to rip her off,” he says in his speech. Isbell also delivers a cover of Williams’ “I Envy the Wind,” off her 2002 Essence LP.
Williams herself takes the stage for a pair of performances: “Crescent City” with Rosanne Cash, and rip-roaring “Changed the Locks” with Margo Price. The latter premieres today on Rolling Stone.
Price presents Williams with a bouquet of flowers and tears into the song on guitar, handling the second verse. “I changed the number on my phone,” Price snarls, before Williams steps in with her biting line: “I changed the kind of clothes I wear / so you can’t find me anywhere.” Originally appearing on Williams’ self-titled 1988 LP, “Changed the Locks” is the ultimate disappearing act and a commentary on a woefully busted relationship.
Since suffering a stroke in 2020, Williams has been regularly performing and touring and has shows scheduled in 2022. Price, meanwhile, will sit in with Dead & Company during the band’s Playing in the Sand festival this weekend in Mexico after John Mayer tested positive for Covid and bowed out of the event.
Austin City Limits 7th Annual Hall of Fame Honors air Saturday at 9 p.m. ET on PBS. A special 90-minute episode streams online beginning Sunday at 10 a.m. ET.