Austin City Limits Announces New Class of Hall of Fame Inductees: Asleep at the Wheel, Loretta Lynn, Guy Clark, Flaco Jiménez and Townes Van Zandt

 Austin City Limits -Loretta Lynn

Austin City Limits has announced thier newest class of ACL Hall of Fame inductees. The five legendary artists being honored are Western swing institution Asleep at the Wheel, country trailblazer Loretta Lynn, songwriting legend Guy Clark, master accordionist Flaco Jiménez and the legendary Townes Van Zandt. The announcement was made yesterday evening by ACL Executive Producer Terry Lickona at Austin’s Rattle Inn. The 2015 ACL Hall of Fame inductees will be celebrated at a ceremony highlighted by all-star music performances to be held on June 15th at ACL’s studio home, Austin’s ACL Live at The Moody Theater. The event will be open to the public and ticket onsale information will be announced at a later date.

“I am truly honored to be included in this year’s ACL Hall of Fame,” said Asleep at the Wheel founder Ray Benson who was on hand for the announcement. “After Willie did the pilot in 1974-5, Asleep at the Wheel was selected to do the first regular episode of ACL. Joe Gracey and I were roommates then, and he was booking the show. He asked who we wanted to share the bill with and I said, ‘The Texas Playboys, Bob Wills’ great band!’ That episode is now housed at the Smithsonian. Over the years I have appeared in numerous episodes both as a featured performer and a guest performer, and I cannot imagine our 45-year career without the exposure that ACL afforded us. Many thanks to the great staff who make the show what it is!”

ACL also announced the first round of new tapings for the series upcoming Season 41: breakout country rebel and Grammy-nominated Sturgill Simpson, acclaimed rock outfit The War on Drugs, and, in a special Bob Wills’ tribute, new Hall of Fame inductees Asleep at the Wheel, joined by guest stars including The Avett Brothers and Amos Lee.

The Austin City Limits Hall of Fame was established in 2014 in conjunction with the iconic television series’ 40th Anniversary to celebrate the legacy of legendary artists and key individuals who have been instrumental in the landmark series remarkable 40 years as an American music institution. The invitation-only inaugural induction ceremony took place April 26, 2014 at ACL’s original Studio 6A. Hosted by Oscar-winning actor and Texas native Matthew McConaughey, the historic evening honored the first class of inductees, featuring American music icon Willie Nelson who starred on the original ACL pilot program, Austin blues rock giants Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble and legendary steel guitarist and Grammy Award-winning music producer Lloyd Maines, in addition to non-performers who played a key role in the evolution of the program: original show creator Bill Arhos and longtime ACL supporter, Texas Longhorns football head coach Darrell Royal. A star-studded line-up paid tribute with incredible music performances, including: Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris, Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph, Doyle Bramhall II and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

Loretta Lynn, Flaco Jiménez, Jackson Browne and Taj Mahal to Receive Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Awards

AMA Lifetime Achievement

Loretta Lynn, Flaco Jiménez, Jackson Browne and Taj Mahal have been selected to receive Lifetime Achievement Award winners to be presented at its 13th Annual Honors and Awards. The ceremony will take place on Wednesday, September 17 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The show will be taped for air on PBS later this year in the Austin City Limits time slot and titled ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2014.

Jackson Browne will receive the “Spirit of Americana Award, Free Speech in Music” co-presented with the First Amendment Center. The Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting goes to country music legend Loretta Lynn. Texas tejano accordion master Flaco Jiménez will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award as an Instrumentalist.
The Lifetime Achievement in Performance will go to Grammy Award-winning blues luminary Taj Mahal.

The 15th annual Americana Music Festival & Conference will take place September 17-21, 2014 in Nashville, Tenn. Tickets for the Honors & Awards are only available with the purchase of a conference registration.

Purchase here.

Videos from Los Lobos’ first Cinco de Mayo Festival

Some great videos from user prestoff2000 from the Los Lobos’ first Cinco de Mayo Festival at the Greek Theatre, Los Angeles. The festival featured Los Lobos, X, Dave Alvin, Mariachi El Bronx, Neko Case and the legendary Flaco Jimenez. Check the greatness:

Live Review: Ry Cooder – Great American Music Hall – San Francisco 8/31/11

As of late a Ry Cooder live performance is as rare as hen’s teeth. So it was a treat that in support of his current current collection of neo-depression serenades “Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down” Cooder booked two quickly sold-out shows at the legendary Great American Music Hall in the seedy Tenderloin section of San Francisco. Since there seems to be no other dates to follow these so it was not surprising that I ran into fans that came as far away as New York and Texas to catch the event. The crowd in the long entrance line skewed boomer and they reminisced abut the various incarnations of Cooder they has experienced live over the years.

It’s easy to overuse hyphens when describing Ry Cooder’s sound.  Cooder is a musicologist of sorts, but it’s not all theory, he then puts his discoveries to work in songs. Wikipedia has his sound as “dust bowl folk, blues, Tex-Mex, soul, gospel, rock. Yet somehow he fuses it all together to make great songs. His eclecticism is born out of his career of great solo work but also collaborations with artists as divers as Taj Mahal, Captain Beefheart, Randy Newman, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones (when, according to Keith Richards bio “Life,” Cooder let Keef in on the magic of open G tuning) , Little Feat, Van Morrison, Judy Collins and African multi-instrumentalist Ali Farka Toure and the conduit for forming the Buena Vista Social Club. And then there is the 15 soundtracks he’s created or contributed to. Yeah, you could say the man is diverse.

On this night Cooder staples Terry Evans and Arnold McCuller helping out with soulful vocals. San Antonio’s own Flaco Jimenez was on hand to lend his Tejano-style accordion to the occasion. The rest of the band skewed to a younger generation with a rhythm section featuring Cooder’s son Joachim on drums and Robert Francis on bass. Then there was the ten-piece brass section Cooder brought with him from So-Cal, which included tuba and bass-saxophone, that stretched the limits of space and had to be positioned in the balconies flanking the stage.

The night kicked into gear with the slinky funk of Crazy Bout An Automobile, then Boomer’s Story followed as a personal request of bassist Francis (“Youth must be served Cooder quipped.) A soulful rendition of Why Don’t You Try Me followed, then there was a lively version of Woody Guthrie’s Do Re Mi highlighted by Jimenez’s dazzling accordion work and a ode to Sam the Sham’s Wooly Bully (“I saw Sham and the Pharaohs pull up that hearse and thought” Man, that’s weird.” said Cooder)

Cooder’s new album carries through with the theme he followed recently of socio-political commentary done through contemporary folk numbers that are biting in their message but tempered by excellent song-craft and a wry (sure, pun) sense of humor. This was done to excellent effect by his performance of the new song El Corrido de Jesse James, which Cooder introduced as a fable told as a conversation between the outlaw James and God. Jesse James asks for his .45 colt peacemaker back to revisit Earth and introduce the Wall Street fat-cats to some old-style justice. It’s never made clear why an outlaw would suddenly turn law enforcer but it ‘s a fine tune nonetheless.

The show was a feast of sound and visuals but the moments that made you catch your breath was when Cooder took a solo or slide intro and made seemingly disparate notes alchemically transcend and glue the song together. The subtle mastery that Cooder brings ti the guitar put him in a rare class which might include Bill Frisell, Mark Ribot and Dave Rawlings.

San Pablo’s Los Cenzontles (The Mockingbirds) opened the show with authentic Mexican-influenced dance songs which set a tone of festivities and delighted the packed house.

Why Don’t You Try Me


Wooly Bully


Gurf Morlix – Blaze Foley’s 113th Wet Dream [Rootball Records]

“He’s only gone crazy once. Decided to stay.” – Townes Van Zandt about Blaze Foley

For Gurf Morlix to create a tribute album for his Austin running buddy and fellow singer-songwriter, the late, great Blaze Foley, was a tricky endevour. Foley wrote songs with such singular originality edging toward cloying sentimentality and corny humor and instead delivering songs of heart-wrenching honesty and dry wit. Once hear Foley do a Foley song you can’t really imagine anyone else doing it.

Not that it hasn’t been tried before. Foley’s songs have been covered by John Prine (Clay Pigeons) and Merle Haggard (If I Could Only Fly.) And Foley has inspired others as as the subject of Austin contemporaries Townes Van Zandt’s “Blaze’s Blues” and Lucinda Williams’ “Drunken Angel.”

Foley’s legacy is ready-made for mythology. He used to jokingly claim to be the illegitimate son of Red Foley and Blaze Starr, to be a news broadcaster from Cincinnati and to have once tried to break into Caspar Weinberger’s house to “see what was on his VCR.” These whoppers are like a seeping breach between a rich source of song-craft inspiration and a need to recreate himself.

In truth Blaze Foley. Born in Marfa Texas (setting for the films Giant and There Will Be Blood and currently a thriving creative community) in l949. He performed in a family gospel act called the Fuller Family with his mother and sisters. He eventually landed in Austin, a city that prides itself on non-conformity, and with his duct-taped boots and clothing, sense of humor and stark, brutally honest songs, stood out.

Gurf Morlix is an Americana music pioneer. A New york native in1981 he moved to Los Angeles where he met a kindred spirit Lucinda Williams. He went on to lead her band for 11 years (1985 to 1996) singing, and playing guitar, and eventually producing her albums. His latter role as producer of Williams’ pinnacle Car Wheels On A Gravel Road led to their acrimonious split. Morlix then went on to play either guitar, bass, mandolin, dobro, pedal steel guitar, lap steel, banjo, piano, harmonica, and a variety of other instruments for and/or produce a literal who’s-who in the the Americana/rock field – Warren Zevon, Mary Gauthier, Robert Earl Keen, Slaid Cleaves, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Buddy and Julie Miller, Tom Russell, Guy Clark, Emmylou Harris, Michelle Shocked, Jimmy LaFave, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, Mojo Nixon, Jim Lauderdale, Jerry Lee Lewis, Peter Case, Bob Neuwirth, Don Walser, Jon Langford, Steve Earle, Harry Dean Stanton, Charlie Sexton, The Plimsouls, Victoria Williams, James McMurtry, Flaco Jimenez, Rosanne Cash, David Byrne, Kevin Welch, John Prine, Dave Alvin and many more. Impressed yet?

Blaze Foley’s 113th Wet Dream is 15 Foley originals that display the dark-to-light shadings of the man’s talent. Displaying a sense of humor and song-craft Roger Miller would envy on the cuts Baby Can I Crawl Back To You, Big Cheeseburgers and Good French Fries and No Goodwill Stores in Waikiki and the unvarnished melancholy and longing of If I Could Only Fly (featuring renowned Texas singer/songwriter Kimmie Rhodes on backing vocals) and Cold, Cold World that would make his buddy Townes Van Zandt weep. Some of the songs – Oh Darlin’ and Rainbows and Ridges combine elements of both.

Morlix ‘s arrangements and delivery are straightforward and top notch playing adds just the right amount of adornment. Aside from the excellent musicianship Morlix, unlike Steve Earle’s 2009 tribute to his mentor Townes Van Zandt, appears to have no urge to put his personal stamp on the songs.

Morlix was there on that cold February day in Austin when they put Blaze Foley in the ground as a result of being on the business end of a 22-caliber rifle. He was not content to let his songs be buried with him.

This CD is released in conjunction with the documentary film, Blaze Foley: Duct Tape Messiah, which has been 12 years in the making.

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