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

Load Previous
Janiva Magness
Lorne Thomson/Redferns22/25

Janiva Magness

The show-opening on-the-fly soundcheck is a handy survival skill, one that Los Angeles blues siren Janiva Magness has clearly mastered. Her set at the down-home roots-rock/soul-food joint Threadgill's commenced with Magness pantomiming requests to the soundcheck and even checking her phone during a guitar solo. But everything was pretty much dialed in by the first chorus, at which point Magness' wailing blues-mama sonic boom of a voice took over as she previewed her upcoming Love Is an Army album. With band and voice in the pocket, songs like "Back to Blue" and "Love to a Gunfight" sounded like half of an argument. And even if it wasn’t settled by the end of her set, you sure did know her viewpoint, thanks to the passion with which sang. D.M.

Back to Top