A Drunken Poet's Dream

Austin City Limits: A Monument to Music

Four decades of ACL tapings told in (mostly) pictures

A Drunken Poet's Dream

The ponytailed photographer strapped with equipment and hopping between television cameras, audience members, and the stage at Austin City Limits tapings is Scott Newton. The show's iconographer since 1979, his visual record of what happened in that room, while not recognized nationally, has only grown in stature over decades. This coffeetable photo album collects his portraits of roots giants BB King, Willie Nelson, and Clarence Gatemouth Brown; latter-day folk heroes Tom Waits and Lucinda Williams; contemporary rock stars Beck and Foo Fighters; and local celebrities Alejandro Escovedo, Dale Watson, and Gary Clark Jr. Most are printed in a large format with remarkable attention to detail. Surprisingly, the Lairds' attempt at being scholarly proves badly in need of an editor, and, on at least one occasion, flat-out wrong.

Austin City Limits: A Monument to Music

by Tracey Laird and Brandon Laird; photography by Scott Newton
Insight Editions, 192 pp., $45

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Austin City Limits, Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams, Willie Nelson, Alejandro Escovedo, Gift Guide 2015

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