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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Sarah Shook & the Disarmers
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Kathie Russell5/25

Sarah Shook & the Disarmers

"I need this shit like I need another hole in the head," Sarah Shook sneered during one of her Bloodshot Records-sponsored appearances, an I've-had-enough mantra that perfectly encapsulated her style of degenerate country. That was from "New Ways to Fail," a song that will be featured on next month's Years LP, and Shook and her band, the Disarmers, were primed to impress at every SXSW appearance, including a sunset cruise on fellow SXSW standout Jamie Kent's curated riverboat. Her cussed-minded delivery and blemishes-and-all defeatism was the perfect complement to her band mates' hillbilly choogle, which featured Adam Kurtz's steel pedal work, a particular delight on new single "Good as Gold." J.G.

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