Top 5 Acts to See at SXSW 2015
South by Southwest 2015 is coming right up, featuring the most eclectic mix of musical acts of any music industry gathering of the year.
The annual Austin-based conference and festival features the hottest music, film and interactive artists, with an emphasis on cutting-edge up-and-coming acts. SXSW has served as a springboard to the national and international stage for any number of important artists, and this year's lineup promises to be no exception.
The country roster at the 2015 conference is particularly diverse, featuring veterans like Asleep at the Wheel and Suzy Bogguss alongside some hot young acts and newcomers. Take a look at some of those below as Taste of Country counts down our Top 5 acts to see at SXSW 2015!
The Deslondes are reaching backward to go forward musically. The New Orleans-based group writes and performs an amalgam of country and soul music, drawing on the rich tradition of traveling troubadours like Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams, Townes Van Zandt, Blaze Foley and John Prine. The group's roots-based approach brought its song "Fought the Blues and Won" to the attention of NPR, which debuted it in January 2015. The Deslondes will be promoting their upcoming debut album with an appearance at SXSW on March 17.
At age 63, Doug Seegers is finally one of country music's next big things. The singer-songwriter left a promising music career to raise a family, but came back in the mid-1990s, moving to Nashville, where he was homeless for long periods as he battled addictions off and on. In 2012 Seegers appeared in a Swedish documentary singing "Going Down to the River" and subsequently released his debut album of the same name to massive success overseas. Now sober and an inspiration to many, Seegers' appearance at SXSW will prove that it's never too late to follow your musical dreams.
Futurebirds are not exactly a typical country group. The Athens, Ga.-based band call their music "laid-back country-rock with an atmospheric, psychedelic twist," and their music fuses roots influences with the college-rock sensibilities of Athens for a sound uniquely their own. The group has honed its live show through extensive touring with the likes of Drive-By Truckers and Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, and will showcase its singular approach with a SXSW performance on March 18 that is certain to be one of the festival's standouts.
Lucette is the name of an enchanting young country artist out of Canada who is steeped in the traditions of singer-songwriters like Emmylou Harris, Neil Young and Loretta Lynn. Her evocative voice and songs have captured the attention of everyone from acclaimed producer Dave Cobb — who produced her debut album, Black Is the Color — to Sturgill Simpson, who appeared in the video for her critically acclaimed debut single, "Bobby Reid." Lucette has opened for the likes of Simpson, Secret Sisters, Joe Ely and Jim Lauderdale, and she will make her SXSW debut with an official showcase and several other gigs in March.
Lindi Ortega is not a new artist, but she's new to most fans outside of her native Canada, where she has released a string of critically acclaimed independent albums, earning the nickname "Indie Lindi." Ortega's voice has been compared to that of Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. Her most recent album, Tin Star, earned her Roots Artist or Group of the Year honors from the Canadian Country Music Association. She is also a mulitple Juno Award nominee. Now based in Tennessee, Ortega has appeared on ABC's Nashville, and will showcase her music at SXSW on March 21.