A broad-umbrella genre by definition, Americana music means a lot of different things at South by Southwest, from countrified rock to punk-edged folk to soulful traditionalism to old-school bluegrass. Here's a handful of our favorites in a field that, not surprisingly, includes quite a few hometown representatives.

Robert Ellis. Originally from the Houston area but now calling Austin home, Ellis found a way to break out dramatically from the crowded roots-troubadour field with his latest New West Records release. “Texas Piano Man” recasts Ellis as a sort of southwestern Elton John — a tall order, but Ellis fully lives up to it, with melodically ambitious songs that soar well beyond basic-chord templates and a voice that carries it all with passion and flair. His past work hinted at his talent as an aspiring songwriter, but this new album breaks it wide open. (4:50 p.m. March 12, Cactus Cafe; March 13, SX San Jose at San Jose Hotel; 9 p.m. March 15, Mohawk outdoor; ACL Radio Live at W Hotel, time/date TBA)

Cactus Blossoms. Minneapolis brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum have an Everlys-esque musical bond, if updated with a 21st-century touch. Tuneful twang and irresistible harmonies marked their 2016 debut “You’re Dreaming”; a new record, “Easy Way,” came out March 1. (Midnight March 14, 3Ten)

Robbie Fulks & Linda Gail Lewis. Last year’s dual project between Grammy-nominated trad tunesmith Fulks and rootsy pianist-singer Lewis, who recently relocated to Austin, brought out a strong game from both artists. (Midnight March 14, Victorian Room at the Driskill)

» MORE: Find a SXSW side party in our guide

Wood & Wire. Austin’s hottest bluegrass band is coming off its first Grammy nomination for last year’s “North of Despair,” which played up all aspects of the quartet’s ensemble interaction. (11 p.m. March 14, Victorian Room at the Driskill; 10 p.m. March 15, Continental Club)

Billy Strings. In his mid-20s, the hot Nashville picker plays bluegrass but colors well outside the lines, bringing elements of psychedelia and a punk-rock onstage energy into music that’s breathing new life into the music’s traditions. (11 p.m. March 13, Cooper’s BBQ; 8 p.m. March 15, Scoot Inn)

Chuck Mead. A prime mover in the upsurge of alt-country with his band BR5-49 in the 1990s, Mead has continued to be a major force in the Nashville roots/country/Americana community. “Close to Home,” his fourth album under his own name, is due out in June on Plowboy Records. (8 p.m. March 15, Continental Club)

Harvest Thieves. Tipping their hat to alt-country forbears Wilco and Whiskeytown but churning out original tunes that leave their own lasting mark, singer-songwriter Cory Reinisch’s roots-rocking crew is poised to follow up their acclaimed 2016 debut album “Rival” later this year. (10 p.m. March 16, Palm Door at Sabine)

Leyla McCalla. A former touring member of Carolina Chocolate Drops who now lives in New Orleans, McCalla just released “The Capitalist Blues,” following up two acclaimed albums that included an ingenious musical tribute to the great poet Langston Hughes. (9 p.m. March 14, Flamingo Cantina; 11 p.m. March 15, Victorian Room at the Driskill)

Darling West. Three albums in, this Norwegian trio has earned a Grammy in their home country and toured extensively on the strength of folk-based material that stresses rich male-female vocal harmonies. (1 a.m. March 15, Victorian Room at the Driskill; 11 p.m. March 16, Cooper’s BBQ)

Western Youth. Last year’s self-titled debut album raised the stakes for this promising Austin roots-rock band, which got a spark when longtime Austin troubadour Graham Weber joined the fold in 2017. (Midnight March 12, Continental Club; midnight March 15, Cooper’s BBQ)

Wild Ponies. From Nashville via southwestern Virginia, the husband-wife band of Doug and Telisha Williams carries the old-time roots of their home region in the music they play. They used old-time Appalachian players and Nashville aces such as Will Kimbrough and Fats Kaplin on their latest album, “Galax.” (10 p.m. March 16, Velveeta Room)