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

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Ray Benson
Rick Kern/WireImage17/25

Ray Benson

Asleep at the Wheel front man Ray Benson turned 67 during SXSW, and he celebrated with a Tuesday night gala that benefitted the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. It was a loose, friendly affair complete with birthday cake and a cavalcade of guest appearances, including an interlude from Preservation Hall Jazz Band that shifted gears from Western swing to just plain swinging. Most fun of all was Delbert McClinton, who got some good-natured ribbing from Benson ("He's the oldest person I know. He's a like a father to me") before belting out an ageless rendition of "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby." J.G.

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