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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Rayland Baxter
25
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Rayland Baxter

A mid-afternoon time slot on Saturday, before the St. Patrick's Day madness had really picked up, felt just about right for Rayland Baxter, who opened Paul Cauthen's party at the Rustic Tap. The Nashville singer-songwriter's set, characterized by his 2015 single "Yellow Eyes," was full of sun-kissed ballads and shimmering dreamscapes. But it wasn't all pretty lamentations from Baxter, who showed off his chops as a low-key dual threat on set closer "Young Man." The brooding dirge, another cut from his Imaginary Man LP, saw him unfurl some gnarly guitar work, a glimpse of the restless drive simmering beneath the summery surface. J.G.

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