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.
Collection Photo:  via wikimedia
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  1. 51
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    Folk music, Old-time music, Progressive bluegrass

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  2. 52
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    Folk music, Folk rock, Bluegrass

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  3. 53
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    added by Clark Benson

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  4. 54
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    Old-time music, Bluegrass, Country

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  5. 55
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    Reno and Smiley is listed (or ranked) 55 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists


    Bluegrass

  6. 56
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    American Primitivism, Americana, Rock music

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  7. 57
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    Folk music, Bluegrass, Country

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  8. 58
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    Nothin' Fancy is listed (or ranked) 58 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists


  9. 59
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    Bluegrass, Country

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  10. 60
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    Americana, Jazz, Bluegrass

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  11. 61
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    added by DebbiEvans

  12. 62
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    The Bluegrass Album Band is listed (or ranked) 62 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists


    Folk music, Bluegrass

  13. 63
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    Folk music, Bluegrass

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  14. 64
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    Bluegrass

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  15. 65
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    Lost & Found is listed (or ranked) 65 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists


  16. 66
    + 39
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    Folk music, Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass

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  17. 67
    + 35
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    Christian country music, Bluegrass, Country

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  18. 68
    + 36
    - 15


    Rock music, Country rock, Bluegrass

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  19. 69
    + 24
    - 11


    Rock music, Folk music, Bluegrass

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  20. 70
    + 14
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    Hillbilly Gypsies is listed (or ranked) 70 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists

    added by StevenBerry

  21. 71
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    Americana, Bluegrass, Country

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  22. 72
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    added by DebbiEvans

  23. 73
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    Bluegrass

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  24. 74
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    The Chuck Wagon Gang is listed (or ranked) 74 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists


    Bluegrass, Southern Gospel

  25. 75
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    The Earl Brothers is listed (or ranked) 75 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists

    added by shelbyash
    bluegrass

  26. 76
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    Bluegrass

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  27. 77
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    Bluegrass, Country

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  28. 78
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    added by JohnBoothe

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  29. 79
    + 17
    - 9


    American Primitivism, Americana, Folk music

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  30. 80
    + 27
    - 17


    Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass

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  31. 81
    + 21
    - 14


    Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass

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  32. 82
    + 19
    - 7

    added by ragtime
    Bluegrass Music

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  33. 83
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    Rock music, Bluegrass

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  34. 84
    + 25
    - 15


    Bluegrass, Country

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  35. 85
    + 25
    - 18


    Folk music, Bluegrass, Country

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  36. 86
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    - 14


    Bluegrass

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  37. 87
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    Red Molly is listed (or ranked) 87 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists


    Americana, Folk music, Bluegrass

  38. 88
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    added by arwen-mellor
    Progressive bluegrass, Jam band, Country

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  39. 89
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    added by andrew-harderson
    Country

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  40. 90
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    Blue Highway is listed (or ranked) 90 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists

    added by jean-jacques-burlamaqui
    Bluegrass Blue Highway has earned 24 IBMA Awards, 6 SPBGMA Awards, one Dove Award, and two Grammy nominations.  Tim Stafford recently received honors as 2015 SPBGMA Guitar Player of the Year and 2014

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  41. 91
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    Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass, Country

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  42. 92
    + 16
    - 10
    Boys from Indiana is listed (or ranked) 92 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists


  43. 93
    + 18
    - 12


    Bluegrass, Country

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  44. 94
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    The Lilly Brothers is listed (or ranked) 94 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists


    Bluegrass

  45. 95
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    Jam band, Bluegrass

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  46. 96
    + 14
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    added by Clark Benson
    Americana, Old-time music

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  47. 97
    + 15
    - 9


    Americana, Folk music, Bluegrass

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  48. 98
    + 25
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    Bluegrass

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  49. 99
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    Rock music, Bluegrass

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  50. 100
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    Curly Ray Cline is listed (or ranked) 100 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists


    Old-time music, Bluegrass

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