By Megan Routledge.
In partnership with the Americana Music Association, Austin City Limits (ACL) returns to Nashville for a special broadcast featuring performance highlights from the 22nd Annual Americana Honours & Awards.
For two decades, the annual celebration of roots music has honoured the best and brightest musicians in Americana music while showcasing one-of-a-kind performances and collaborations. The program is filled with musical highlights from many of the event’s award-winners and honorees, among them (in order of appearance): Margo Price, The Milk Carton Kids with Noah Kahan, William Prince, S.G. Goodman, Nickel Creek, Hermanos Gutiérrez, Allison Russell, The War And Treaty, Brandi Carlile & Brandy Clark, The Avett Brothers, and Bonnie Raitt.
The hour-long special premieres Saturday, November 25 at 7pm CT/8pm ET on PBS and varies by market. Check PBS listings for local airtimes. The special will be available to music fans everywhere to stream online beginning Sunday, November 26 at 9am CT/10am ET at pbs.org/austincitylimits. Viewers can visit acltv.com for news regarding upcoming Season 49 tapings, episode schedules and select live stream updates. The program's official hashtags are #acltv and #americanafest.
Recorded live at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium in September, The Americana Music Association’s 22nd Annual Americana Honours & Awards ceremony is a celebration of the confluence of roots, blues, soul, folk and country music. For the twelfth year, the producers of Austin City Limits, in conjunction with producers Martin Fischer, Michelle Aquilato, and Jed Hilly for the Americana Music Association, proudly deliver a special ACL Presents.
One of the night's top honourees, Artist of the Year nominee Margo Price, opens the hour with "Been to the Mountain," from her Album of the Year-nominated Strays, in a soaring performance amplified by the stellar vocals of famed gospel greats The McCrary Sisters. Breakout singer-songwriter Noah Kahan and the night's hosts, the Milk Carton Kids, join in harmony to salute the 50th anniversary of forebear Paul Simon's iconic 1973 There Goes Rhymin' Simon with a stunning acapella rendition of the album's "American Tune." A pair of Emerging Artist of the Year nominees showcase their bonafides: Indigenous Canadian singer-songwriter William Prince performs a gorgeous "When You Love Someone," followed by the year's Emerging Artist award-winner S.G. Goodman, performing their gem "Space and Time." Demonstrating the genre's expansiveness, Americana icon Lyle Lovett introduces guitar duo Hermanos Gutiérrez, a pair of Ecuadorian/Swiss brothers from Zurich who explore the music tradition of the spaghetti western with their Album of the Year-nominated El Bueno Y El Malo, in a remarkable instrumental performance of the title track that earns the duo a standing ovation from the Ryman audience.
The War and Treaty, the husband-and-wife duo of Michael and Tanya Trotter, and reigning Duo/Group of the Year for a second consecutive year, perform an electrifying new song, "Stretch Out," showcasing their powerhouse vocals. A pair of the genre's top stars, Brandy Clark and Brandi Carlile, perform a captivating duet of "Dear Insecurity" from Clark's recent self-titled album, with accompaniment from Instrumentalist of the Year winners, string duo SistaStrings. One of Americana's longtime champions, the legendary Bonnie Raitt, a triple 2023 Grammy Award-winner, performs a searing "Made Up Mind," the 2023 Grammy-winning song for Best Americana Performance from her celebrated album And Just Like That…. Raitt is crowned with the Song of the Year honor and sums up the collective spirit of the night with a heartfelt "Thank you Americana."
A pair of seminal acts are honoured with Lifetime Achievement Awards: Country trailblazer Kacey Musgraves salutes "her favourite trailblazers," the formative bluegrass trio Nickel Creek featuring siblings Sara and Sean Watkins and Chris Thile; the group delivers a roof-raisin' performance of "Where the Long Line Leads," a scorching new number from their first album of new music in nearly a decade, 2023's Celebrants. Two-time Americana Artist of the Year Brandi Carlile returns to give four-time Americana Award-winning group The Avett Brothers their performance flowers with a Lifetime Achievement Honour, sharing her admiration saying "I followed this ragtag family band around the country for years," in an impassioned salute. The fan-favorite group, featuring siblings Scott and Seth Avett and Bob Crawford, accepts the award with trademark wit and performs the sparkling, acoustic Avett classic "I Wish I Was."
The Spirit of Americana/Free Speech in Music Award, first awarded to Johnny Cash in 2002 at Americana's inaugural honors, is awarded to singer-songwriter Allison Russell, 2022's Album of the Year winner, also nominated for 2023 Artist of the Year, and she leads her all-female band in a stirring "Eve Was Black," from her new album The Returner.
An all-star ensemble of the night's Americana award-winners, including Artist of the Year, bluegrass sensation Billy Strings, take the stage to salute the late Robbie Robertson with an inspired rendition of the Band's "Up on Cripple Creek," trading verses on the American roots music classic for a luminous close and celebration of Americana.
Longstanding Americana house band leader Buddy Miller — and 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient — returns as musical director for the Americana All-Star Band, featuring Brady Blade, Catherine Popper, Fred Eltringham, Jen Gunderman, Jim Hoke, Larry Campbell and The McCrary Sisters backing many of the night's performers.
Margo Price "Been To The Mountain"
The Milk Carton Kids with Noah Kahan "American Tune"
William Prince "When You Miss Someone"
S.G. Goodman "Space and Time"
Nickel Creek "Where The Long Line Leads"
Hermanos Gutiérrez "El Bueno Y El Malo"
Allison Russell "Eve Was Black"
The War and Treaty "Stretch Out"
Brandi Carlile & Brandy Clark "Dear Insecurity"
The Avett Brothers "I Wish I Was"
Bonnie Raitt "Made Up Mind"
Artist Ensemble Finale "Up On Cripple Creek"
FOLLOW AMERICANA MUSIC ASSOCIATION