Willie Nelson will host a new television show that delves deep into the history of a legendary studio and the musical magic that surrounds it.
Inside Arlyn is a 13-episode series featuring intimate live performances filmed at Austin's Arlyn Studios, plus behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with music legends new and old — although "interview" might be too formal a word to describe the magic that's expected to happen.
"It's going to unfold organically, so we'll see as we go," Aryln Studios co-owner Lisa Fletcher tells CultureMap. "They're going to hang out and chat."
Merle Haggard and Gary Clark, Jr. are billed for the Inside Arlyn pilot episodes, which will be filmed in November.
Nelson was a natural pick for the gig, Fletcher says. "He's our family, for one thing, and he's very involved in our whole world," she says. "He was our first choice." Nelson, who happens to be Fletcher's uncle-in-law, is also the former owner of downtown's historic Austin Opera House, which currently houses Arlyn Studios.
Originally, a pilot episode was slated to film in 2015, but after a call to Nelson, a sponsorship from Tito's Vodka and getting a few other key players on board, the pieces fell into place.
As luck would have it, Nelson is currently recording at Arlyn Studios with Merle Haggard — and Gary Clark Jr. is slated to record next.
Haggard and Clark are billed as the first two guests for the pilot episodes. Journalist Dan Rather will also join the casual conversation in the studio's Family Room, an intimate space that has a reputation for being a hotbed of inspiration for anyone who walks through its doors.
The show is a perfect way for Arlyn Studios to share this slice of Austin heaven with a larger audience. "I'm so over the moon that we can share it," says Fletcher of the new project. "People don't get to go in recording studios, let alone sit on the floor with Willie and Merle right in front of them."
The Inside Arlyn team plans to move forward with network negotiations once the pilot episodes are produced.
A handful of exclusive VIP tickets to the upcoming tapings are available for purchase. Music lovers can also sign up for a chance to win a free invitation.