To crown their induction into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame last October, Wilco invited a group of jaw-dropping eclectic friends and guests for an ensemble performance of “California Stars”.
Everyone from Alejandro Escovedo, Margo Price, Rosanne Cash and Lenny Kaye to Japanese Breakfast, Bill Callahan, Sheila E., Terry Allen and Alex Ruiz joined Jeff Tweedy and the band. Nels Cline and Jason Isbell and legendary pedal steel guitarist Lloyd Maines provide solos throughout the song, while Cash, Escovedo and Tweedy exchange verses. (Isbell previously joined Wilco for a performance of “California Stars” in 2016.)
Much like John Prine used to do with his song “Paradise”, Wilco often invites guests and their first parties to collaborate on the song written by Woody Guthrie – a highlight of Wilco and Billy Bragg’s 1998 album. . Mermaid Avenue. But this collective was among the most starred.
Along with Wilco, the new ACL Hall of Fame class included Lucinda Williams and Alejandro Escovedo. Isbell did the honors of inducting Williams, while Margo Price joined her for a mind-blowing version of “Changed the Locks”.
Austin City Limits 7th Annual Hall of Fame Honors airs Saturday at 9 p.m. ET on PBS. A special 90-minute episode airs online starting Sunday at 10 a.m. ET.