Austin City Limits began its run on PBS in 1976 as a way to showcase Texas artists. Its pilot episode featured Willie Nelson performing. Forty one years later, the show has become a television institution and the inspiration for the music festival by the same name. It is a destination gig for performers of any genre.
In order to promote Central New York artists on a more wide-ranging scale, Syracuse area promoters Liz Nowak and Jordan Davies created Salt City Limits in the same vein as its Austin namesake to be initiated at the venerable Palace Theater on James Street. The series will be ongoing the last Thursday of every month at Funk ‘n Waffles Downtown. Each will be recorded and filmed by SubCat Studios and will be available on YouTube and the Salt City Limits website.
The inaugural show takes place this Friday, March 24 at the Palace Theater in Syracuse and features eight local artists from various genres. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased in advance at the Sound Garden in Armory Square or online through the Palace Theater’s website.
According to Syracuse.com, Nowak, who is also the executive director of the recently concluded SAMMY Awards, noticed many artists mingling and exchanging contact information throughout the event. The creation of Salt City Limits became an extension of that camaraderie. The SAMMYS celebrates the variety of music and talent available at the local level and Salt City Limits will allow this on a year-long basis.
Artists participating in Friday’s kick-off include 2017 SAMMY Award winner for Best Country Artist as well as the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Band, Cortland’s Small Town Shade; Syracuse-based modern rockers Simplelife; Syracuse via Lawrence, Kansas singer-songwriter, Stephen Douglas Wolfe; alt-rockers the Stacy White Suite from Syracuse; Syracuse-based bluegrass band, the Easy Ramblers; SAMMYS Hall of Fame inductee Donna Colton with Sam Patterelli; soul-jazz-jamband and winner of the 2016 Brian Bourke Award for Best New Artist, the Lightkeepers and latin-jazz band Edgar Pagan’s GPL.