The WORST Episodes of Austin City Limits

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Mar 25, 2021

Network: PBS

Great music. No limits. Now the longest-running music series in American television history, ACL showcases popular music legends and innovators from every genre.

Larry Gatlin / Nanci Griffith

#1 - Larry Gatlin / Nanci Griffith

Season 10 - Episode 11 - Aired Mar 1, 1985

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Vince Gill / Martina McBride

#2 - Vince Gill / Martina McBride

Season 24 - Episode 1 - Aired Mar 6, 1999

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Phish

#3 - Phish

Season 26 - Episode 1 - Aired Oct 14, 2000

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Nanci Griffith

#4 - Nanci Griffith

Season 23 - Episode 1 - Aired Mar 28, 1998

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Tanya Tucker / Sawyer Brown

#5 - Tanya Tucker / Sawyer Brown

Season 11 - Episode 1 - Aired Feb 21, 1986

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Hootie and the Blowfish / Nanci Griffith

#6 - Hootie and the Blowfish / Nanci Griffith

Season 24 - Episode 2 - Aired Apr 24, 1999

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Michael McDonald / Joss Stone

#7 - Michael McDonald / Joss Stone

Season 26 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 23, 2004

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John Prine followed by Amos Lee

#8 - John Prine followed by Amos Lee

Season 31 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 12, 2005

After surviving a grueling battle with cancer, John Prine returns to the stage to promote his new CD. Amos Lee's lyrics have been likened to poetry with a folk and soul background.

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Beck

#9 - Beck

Season 28 - Episode 10 - Aired Jan 4, 2003

Indie pop star Beck appears on ACL to sing his mellow hits with a funky twist.

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Bonnie Raitt and Special Guests

#10 - Bonnie Raitt and Special Guests

Season 28 - Episode 1 - Aired Oct 5, 2002

The start of the 28th season sees Grammy award winner, Bonnie Raitt, play to a dedicated audience.

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Norah Jones

#11 - Norah Jones

Season 33 - Episode 1 - Aired Oct 6, 2007

Native Texan, Norah Jones, returns to the ACL stage for an hour of her incredible piano playing, jazzy song style, and throaty vocals.

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Directors: Gary Menotti
Writers:
Lyle Lovett followed by Jamie Cullum

#12 - Lyle Lovett followed by Jamie Cullum

Season 30 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 30, 2004

Austin favorite, Lyle Lovett, has gained national recognition by expanding the sound of country to include jazz, blues and pop. Pianist Jamie Cullum is a London sensation who infuses rock with jazz and dance.

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Guster / Los Lonely Boys

#13 - Guster / Los Lonely Boys

Season 29 - Episode 11 - Aired Jan 10, 2004

Guster and Los Lonely Boys play to a packed house of screaming fans.

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Ben Harper

#14 - Ben Harper

Season 29 - Episode 12 - Aired Jan 17, 2004

Ben Harper's soulful lyrics and social commentary are highlighted by his eclectic style. From soul southern gospel to 70's funk, Harper inspires devoted fans.

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Sheryl Crow

#15 - Sheryl Crow

Season 30 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 6, 2004

Sheryl Crow is multi-Grammy award winner. On this special episode, filmed at the Austin City Limits Musicfest, Crow sings past hits, new songs, and manages a few surprises for the crowd.

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Steve Winwood

#16 - Steve Winwood

Season 29 - Episode 1 - Aired Oct 11, 2003

Season 29 kicks off with Rock legend Steve Winwood. Winwood has managed to stay popular and successful through more than 30 years in the music business. More importantly, his music has stayed relevant and ground breaking through all that time.

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Elvis Costello

#17 - Elvis Costello

Season 30 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 20, 2004

Elvis Costello and the Imposters perform songs from their new album and some old favorites. The music is signified by Costello's genre bending style.

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Directors: Gary Menotti
Writers:
Death Cab for Cutie followed by My Morning Jacket

#18 - Death Cab for Cutie followed by My Morning Jacket

Season 31 - Episode 13 - Aired Feb 11, 2006

Death Cab for Cutie performs songs from "Plans" and "Transatlanticism" (Recorded: November 6, 2005) The New Year A Movie Script Ending Soul Meets Body Summer Skin I Was a Kaleidoscope Title and Registration Crooked Teeth Kentucky newcomers, My Morning Jacket, promote their unique soundscapes (Recorded: November 20, 2005) Golden Gideon What a Wonderful Man Dondante Anytime

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Bloc Party followed by Ghostland Observatory

#19 - Bloc Party followed by Ghostland Observatory

Season 33 - Episode 10 - Aired Dec 29, 2007

England’s Bloc Party take the stage with their grooving, politically charged postpunk as presented on its second album A Weekend in the City. Austin electro rock duo Ghostland Observatory follows with the kind of kinetic performance on which they’ve built a national reputation.

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Jack Johnson followed by Rilo Kiley

#20 - Jack Johnson followed by Rilo Kiley

Season 31 - Episode 1 - Aired Oct 8, 2005

Jack Johnson's mix of folk, blues, hip-hop, and rock make his music unique and addictive. Rilo Kiley presents playful yet emotional songs that fuse indie-rock with neo-country.

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Femi Kuti with Positive Force

#21 - Femi Kuti with Positive Force

Season 33 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 20, 2007

Femi Kuti is more than a musician. This Nigerian political activist plays music to inspire change. And yet, his music continues to be upbeat with an African beat.

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Arcade Fire

#22 - Arcade Fire

Season 33 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 10, 2007

Arcade Fire has gained critical acclaim for their indie rock in Canada. Their two albums, Neon Bible and Funeral, provide plenty of songs to entertain the ACL crowd.

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Wilco

#23 - Wilco

Season 33 - Episode 5 - Aired Nov 3, 2007

The ever-evolving Wilco returns to Austin City Limits, performing classics and cuts from its latest disk Sky Blue Sky.

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Tribute to Bluesman Jimmy Reed

#24 - Tribute to Bluesman Jimmy Reed

Season 33 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 27, 2007

Current blues stars, many of whom are legends in their own right, pay homage to Jimmy Reed.

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Paolo Nutini Followed by Grupo Fantasma

#25 - Paolo Nutini Followed by Grupo Fantasma

Season 33 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 17, 2007

Paolo Nutini, who has found great success in the UK, debuts on ACL with his soulful renditions from his popular album. Next, Austin's own Grupo Fantasma explores the funky side of Latin music with a high energy stage show.

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