The biggest takeaway from SXSW 2017 will be that for the first time since the very inception of the idea over 30 years ago, the annual music gathering experienced a palpable draw down in attendance and industry participation to a degree that it fundamentally changed many of the dynamics and rigors one must endure to attend.
There are so many unofficial parties, we could list 200 here and still leave some out. But in an effort to curate the noses of those Saving Country Music-oriented readers in the right direction, here is a smattering of recommended showcases presented in a similar fashion to SXSW itself, meaning a blobish mess.
Starting around 2011 or so, if you hung around and talked to up-and-coming country and roots bands attending SXSW, you’d hear whispers about an invite-only event out at Willie Nelson’s ghost town outside of Austin called Luck, TX. Luck was originally constructed as part of the set of the movie The Red Headed Stranger released in 1986—a companion to Willie Nelson’s legendary album.