SXSW 2018: 25 Best Country, Americana Shows We Saw

From eclectic sets by Devin Dawson and Caroline Rose to star-is-born turns by Billy Strings and Liz Brasher

Lorne Thomson/Redferns1/25


"Does anyone like Cat Stevens?" Cam asked the crowd halfway through her Friday night set at the Trinity Showcase, revealing that the Seventies singer-songwriter and his music helped her find herself during an unsteady time. Cam displayed none of that tentativeness at SXSW, looking remarkably assured during her brief set. Still, that allusion to Stevens ­­– not to mention the Fleetwood Mac gallop of her recent single "Diane" – illustrates how part of Cam's heart belongs to the glory days of Seventies soft-rock. The other half belongs to modern pop, something that was clear from how she commanded the stage with her easy, unassuming charm, and how "Palace" – a song she co-wrote with Sam Smith for his album The Thrill of It All – felt right at home alongside her bittersweet smash "Burning House." Cam is just learning how to navigate the line separating country and pop, but at SXSW, she conquered them both with ease. S.T.E.