Set List Bonus: KLRU All-Star Celebration

  • The Dixie Chicks perform at the KLRU All-Star Celebration on May 16 in Austin, Texas
    Photo: Scott Newton/Courtesy of KLRU-TV
  • Ben Harper performs at the KLRU All-Star Celebration on May 16 in Austin, Texas
    Photo: Scott Newton/Courtesy of KLRU-TV
  • Lloyd Maines performs at the KLRU All-Star Celebration on May 16 in Austin, Texas
    Photo: Scott Newton/Courtesy of KLRU-TV

Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.

By Lynne Margolis
Austin, Texas

The KLRU All-Star Celebration on May 16 at Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater was billed as a tribute to GRAMMY-winning producer and pedal steel player Lloyd Maines, who has logged more hours on PBS' iconic "Austin City Limits" than any other performer. But the unassuming Lubbock, Texas, native was more than happy to play sideman to the evening's performers, particularly the GRAMMY-winning trio featuring his daughter, Natalie.

The Dixie Chicks' rare appearance highlighted a night full of Texas-bred talent there to "praise the Lloyd." It started with a set by Natalie Maines and her current collaborator, GRAMMY winner Ben Harper, who co-produced and guest starred on her recently released solo debut, Mother. Maines later returned to perform with songwriter and fellow Lubbock native Terry Allen and his daughter-in-law, Sally, on the rollicking "New Delhi Freight Train." Allen's sons Bukka and Bale played keyboards/accordion and congas, respectively, adding to an evening full of family connections.

The benefit also featured the Court Yard Hounds (sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire, also the other two Dixie Chicks); Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison; Joe Ely, with whom Lloyd Maines made his first ACL appearance; blues multi-instrumentalist Carolyn Wonderland; and Lloyd Maines' longtime performing partner, Terri Hendrix. Robert Earl Keen delivered a hilarious poetic tribute via video.

The Court Yard Hounds delivered a dynamic set that included tracks from a new album due in July and from their self-titled 2010 debut. On "Ain't No Son,” Maguire’s slow-crying fiddle escalated into a reel as Robison added banjo, then turned into a scorcher with solos by guitarist David Pulkingham and Lloyd Maines.

But the energy onstage elevated considerably when Natalie Maines stepped onstage, turning the Court Yard Hounds back into Dixie Chicks. During "Truth No. 2," the line, "You don't like the sound of the truth coming from my mouth," felt weighted with meaning. But it was nothing compared to the knockout punch of "Not Ready To Make Nice," on which Maines' invoked every bit of the righteous anger and pain that caused the band to write the song. Standing in the audience, Harper appeared so blown away by the performance, he almost forgot to return to the stage for the finale, a lively full-cast rendition of Lubbock native Buddy Holly’s "Not Fade Away" mixed with Bo Diddley’s "Who Do You Love?" In a clever tribute to Lloyd Maines, everyone donned fake mustaches.

Maines also received a mayoral proclamation dubbing him "a living Texas music legend" and a plaque, presented by "Austin City Limits" producer and GRAMMY Awards telecast co-producer Terry Lickona, featuring a chunk of wood from the program's former Studio 6A stage where Maines made  so many appearances. Lickona also announced that "Austin City Limits" would launch a hall of fame in conjunction with its 40th anniversary in 2014, and said celebration plans are already in the works.

They'll need plenty of time to top this one.

The Set List:

Court Yard Hounds
"Delight (Something New Under The Sun)"
"A Guy Like You"
"Ain't No Son"

Dixie Chicks
"Truth No. 2"
"Cowboy Take Me Away"
"Travelin' Soldier"
"Not Ready To Make Nice"
"Wide Open Spaces"

Natalie Maines And Ben Harper
"If I Had My Way"
"Without You"
"Better Way"

(Austin-based journalist Lynne Margolis currently contributes to American Songwriter, NPR's Song of the Day and newspapers nationwide, as well as several regional magazines and NPR-affiliate KUT-FM's "Texas Music Matters." A contributing editor to The Ties That Bind: Bruce Springsteen from A To E To Z, she has also previously written for and Paste magazine.)

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