The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists Bands/Musicians

The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists

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Over the years, bluegrass music has spread from being a strictly American genre of roots music and country music to a standalone musical style. Emerging from Appalachia, in particular Kentucky, bluegrass bands use elements of Scottish, Welsh and English folk music. Unlike traditional old time music, each instrument plays a role in driving a song's melody while the other parts involve jamming around it. Bluegrass artists are also known for breakdowns where the tempo speed up, the chords are more challenging and thus, becomes a glorified jam session. Bluegrass bands first emerged in the 18th century, but bluegrass music as we know it today (that incorporates country western) first became relevant post-World War II.

So, who are the best bluegrass bands? Any list of bluegrass artists has to include names of famous male and female bluegrass singers, including Doc Watson, Bill Monroe, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Old Crow Medicine Show, Nickel Creek, and the Stanley Brothers. These are some of the best bluegrass bands and with good reason - while new bluegrass bands come and go, these are classics with staying power. Their songs resonate with many fans and are very catchy. There have been multiple generations of bluegrass bands and multiple subgenres, yet when people think of bluegrass, they think of the best groups of the genre.

This list includes both classic and modern / contemporary bluegrass musicians and bands, as well as the names of the places where each got its start. That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best bluegrass bands. If you notice that a band is missing from this list feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best bluegrass bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest bluegrass musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular bluegrass bands that you might've heard of.


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    The New Nashville Cats, The American Seasons, Midnight on the Water

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    Wildwood Pickin', A Living Legend

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    Stolen Moments, Fair Weather, Look Left

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    Time (The Revelator), Hell Among the Yearlings, Soul Journey

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    16 Greatest Gospel Hits, Bluegrass Hits, A Pretty Wreath for Mother's ...

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    Lord Bless This House, Album #7, Earn Your Ticket

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    Leaving Eden, Heritage, Dona Got a Ramblin’ Mind

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    The Crow, Love Has Come For You, Rare Bird Alert

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    The Bluegrass Album, Volume 3: California Connection, The Bluegrass Album ...

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    New Day, Friends for a Lifetime, Love Light

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    A Few Old Memories, Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard, Won't You Come ...

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    Sun Midnight Sun, Sara Watkins

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    No, No, No

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    Brother of Song, Western Harmonies, Speed of the Whippoorwill

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    The Bluegrass Diaries, Lost In The Lonesome Pines, Buddy and Jim

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  18. 68
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    Live at the Freight and Salvage, In These Parts, Limbs Akimbo

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    Whiskey Women & Death, Troubles To Blame, Moonshine

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    When the Sand Runs Out, Full Circle, Hand To The Plow

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    33 Acoustic Guitar Instrumentals, Clarence White and the Kentucky ...

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    Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe, The Puritan Sessions

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    16 Country Gospel Favorities, Leave the Light On, Keep on Keepin' On

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    Terra Firma, Long Way Round, Tributaries

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    Blue Horse, Hello Love, A Collection

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    The Country Gentlemen Reunion Band, TwoGrass

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    Blue Spruce, Born to Play, Raised on the Road

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    Beat the Devil and Carry a Rail

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    A Friend of a Friend, Look Again to the Wind: Johnny Cash’s Bitter Tears ...

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    Jumpin' the Strings, Dad's Favorites, My Oklahoma

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    She Waits for Night, Waterloo, Tennessee

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    Live in Chicago Vol. 1, Tales From Magic Stone Mountain

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  38. 88
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    His and Hers, The Life of a Song, Album Number Two

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    Bluegrass '95, The Bluegrass Fiddle Album

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    Fascination, Movin' On, Viridian

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    Light in the Sky, The Red Album, Red Molly

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    Speed / Balkan / Boogie, Musikk Fra Hybridene, Surfin' USSR

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    Live from the Radio Room

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    Bluegrass

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    Blue Ridge Express, Festival Favorites Revisited

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    Break in the Clouds, The Changing Skies, Elephant Revival

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    Alecia Nugent, A Little Girl... A Big Four-Lane, Hillbilly Goddess

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    Pickin on Modest Mouse, Fade to Bluegrass: The Bluegrass Tribute to ...

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