Country superstar Chris Stapleton taped his first ever episode of the PBS hit show Austin City Limits on October 23, 2017, and Limelight Imaging was honored to be there to capture all of the excitement.
The Austin City Limits television show is currently taping episodes for its 43rd season. That is quite a remarkable record for any television program. ACL is the longest running music program on television. It has been awarded the Presidential Medal of the Arts, and was recognized as one of the 10 most influential music programs of all time by Time magazine. The pilot for the show was taped on October 17, 1974, and starred the not-quite-as-famous-then-as-now country star Willie Nelson. Since then, many different types of musical styles and genres have been featured on the show.
|Austin City Limits Stage|
|Austin City Limits|
Chris Stapleton is a Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter, and guitarist who will be releasing his third album on December 1. Although Chris seems to have suddenly jumped into the public eye in the last couple of years, in reality he has been a well respected writer and producer much longer than that. Stapleton started out as a songwriter when he moved to Nashville in 2001. He has written hits for the likes of Darius Rucker, George Strait, Kenny Chesney as well as songs for Adele, Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan and many more.
Stapleton spent a few years fronting the bluegrass band SteelDrivers and the Southern rock band The Jompson Brothers before striking out on his own. Chris Stapleton released his critically acclaimed debut album, Traveller, in 2015. The album reached #1 on the Billboard 200 and was certified double-platinum. His second studio album, From A Room: Vol. 1, was released in May 2017. From A Room: Vol. 2 is set to release on December 1.
Chris Stapleton has received several awards including two Grammy Awards (both for his debut album), five Academy of Country Music Awards, two Billboard Music Awards, and nine ASCAP Country awards for his work as a composer.
Stapleton's performance for this taping of Austin City Limits was definitely a memorable one. His bluesy, soulful voice combined with his fiery, talented guitar strumming made for an evening of great music. And since Austin audiences know great artists when they hear them, this Austin City Limits crowd showed Stapleton just how much he was loved with their thunderous applause. Stapleton performed 17 songs including several of his hits like the honky-tonk/Southern rock ballad "Tennessee Whiskey," the title track from his debut album, "Traveller," "Nobody To Blame," and "Broken Halos." He also performed two songs from his soon-to-be-released album, "Hard Livin' "and, if the ACL audience reaction is any indication, his next big hit, "Trying To Untangle My Mind." Stapleton threw in two acoustic numbers "Whiskey And You" and his first of two encore songs, "Either Way" while his band members took a break. The evening ended with the powerful blues ballad "Sometimes I Cry," which left the audience on their feet, begging for more.
Although Stapleton performed with a limited band backing him, there was plenty of power to be found in all of his selections. Band members performing with Chris were longtime bassist J.T. Cure, drummer Derek Mixon, and backing vocalist, Chris' wife, Morgane Stapleton.
|J.T. Cure and Morgane Stapleton|
Might As Well Get Stoned
Nobody To Blame
Trying to Untangle My Mind
I Was Wrong
Whiskey And You (Acoustic- just Chris)
The Devil Named Music
Outlaw State Of Mind
Second One To Know
Either Way (Acoustic- just Chris)
Sometimes I Cry
While Stapleton's powerful musical performance completely filled the venue with sound, Stapleton himself was a man of few words when it came to between-song banter. When he first took the stage, Chris acknowledged that Willie Nelson had performed there 16 times, a record not soon to be broken. When a man in the audience yelled "Welcome to Austin", Stapleton humbly replied "Thank you, man." But Chris Stapleton's most telling statement was this: "What a treat to play Austin City Limits. I guess I'll have to find a new dream."
I'm sure this is a dream that many other musicians have also had; to perform on one of the most famous stages in the world, the Austin City Limits television show stage. Thank you Chris for sharing your special night with us and we look forward to viewing the results of this taping when it airs on our local PBS station sometime soon.