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folk music The Best Folk Bands/Artists

4.5k votes 268 voters 40k views 300 items Embed
Folk music is one of the most renowned genres of music in the world. Every country has its own version and derivative of the genre, which is broad in its appeal. But what makes the best folk singers and folk music artists resonate with listeners. The message reflected in folk music artist's songs is originally supposed to come from folklore, hence the name, but as of late, folk songs have retained a more populist message, with the genre's mainstream pinnacle coming in the 1960s. Usually, folk singers and folk bands play acoustic instruments.

So, who are the best folk music artists and best folk singers? That's not an easy question to answer. But if you're a fan of folk music, you'll know that artists like Woody Guthrie, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell deserve to be at or near the top of this list of folk music bands. This list should include all folk music bands, including the most popular folk musicians and folk singers, and if you notice this isn't the case, feel free to add them to this list. All of the best folk music artists need to be accounted for, and the goal of this list of folk music bands is to do exactly that.

That said it's up to you to decide who are the best folk music artists and best folk singers. This list answers the questions "who are the best folk music bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest folk music 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 folk music bands that you might've heard of. (300 items)

1
+ - 62 18
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

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2
+ - 44 14
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Leonard Cohen Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

3
+ - 53 24
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Joni Mitchell Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

4
+ - 35 11
Woody Guthrie is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Woody Guthrie Folk music, Country

5
+ - 47 27
Joan Baez is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Joan Baez Americana, Pop music, Rock music

6
+ - 48 28
Jim Croce is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jim Croce Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

7
+ - 20 5
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

8
+ - 42 25
John Denver is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
John Denver Western music, Pop music, Traditional music

9
+ - 41 25
Gordon Lightfoot is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Gordon Lightfoot Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

10
+ - 27 13
Kris Kristofferson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Kris Kristofferson Outlaw country, Rock music, Folk music

11
+ - 15 3
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Carole King Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

12
+ - 33 19
John Prine is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
John Prine Folk music, Progressive bluegrass, Country

13
+ - 17 6
Donovan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Donovan British Invasion, Psychedelic folk, Psychedelic pop

14
+ - 15 5
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
James Taylor Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music

15
+ - 24 14
John Sebastian is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
John Sebastian Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

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16
+ - 14 5
Richard Thompson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Richard Thompson Rock music, Folk music, Electric folk

17
+ - 24 15
Amy Macdonald is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Amy Macdonald Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

18
+ - 20 12
Joanna Newsom is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Joanna Newsom Folk music, Folk, Experimental music

19
+ - 21 13
Joan Armatrading is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Joan Armatrading Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

20
+ - 21 13
Linda Ronstadt is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Linda Ronstadt New Wave, Rock music, Latin American music

21
+ - 25 17
Tanita Tikaram is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Tanita Tikaram Pop music, Folk music

22
+ - 25 17
Dixie Chicks is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Dixie Chicks Country pop, Pop music, Rock music

23
+ - 26 18
Sinéad O'Connor is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Sinéad O'Connor Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

24
+ - 9 2
The Incredible String Band is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
The Incredible String Band Psychedelic folk, World music

25
+ - 10 3
Rickie Lee Jones is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Rickie Lee Jones Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

26
+ - 10 3
Pentangle is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Pentangle Electric folk, Folk jazz, Folk rock

27
+ - 10 3
Roy Harper is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Roy Harper Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

28
+ - 13 6
Buffy Sainte-Marie is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Buffy Sainte-Marie Rock music, Folk music, Electronic music

29
+ - 17 10
Marianne Faithfull is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Marianne Faithfull Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

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30
+ - 18 11
Jorma Kaukonen is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jorma Kaukonen Rock music, Folk music, Psychedelic rock

31
+ - 18 11
Janis Ian is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Janis Ian Adult contemporary music, Folk music

32
+ - 19 12
Lucinda Williams is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Lucinda Williams Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music

33
+ - 19 12
Loudon Wainwright III is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Loudon Wainwright III Rock music, Folk music, Blues

34
+ - 19 12
José González is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
José González Folk music, Indie folk, Indie rock

35
+ - 8 2
Stephen Stills is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Stephen Stills Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

36
+ - 13 7
Gomez is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Gomez Folk music, Alternative rock, Jam band

37
+ - 13 7
Leon Russell is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Leon Russell Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

38
+ - 14 8
Maddy Prior is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Maddy Prior Folk music, Electric folk, Folk rock

39
+ - 15 9
John Hartford is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
John Hartford Folk music, Bluegrass, Country

40
+ - 15 9
Luke Kelly is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Luke Kelly Folk music, Folk music of Ireland

41
+ - 19 13
Jewel is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jewel Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Traditional music

42
+ - 14 9
Jimmie Rodgers is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jimmie Rodgers Rock music, Folk music, Traditional pop music

43
+ - 13 8
Jim Corcoran is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jim Corcoran Pop music, Folk music

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44
+ - 5 0
Kate & Anna McGarrigle is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists

45
+ - 10 5
Julie Felix is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Julie Felix Folk music, Folk rock

46
+ - 10 5
John Martyn is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
John Martyn Traditional music, Folk music, Folk jazz

47
+ - 13 8
Joan Osborne is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Joan Osborne Rock music, Folk music, Country rock

48
+ - 10 5
It's a Beautiful Day is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
It's a Beautiful Day Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

49
+ - 9 4
Jeremy Fisher is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jeremy Fisher Folk music, Breakbeat

50
+ - 11 6
Josh Rouse is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Josh Rouse Pop music, Folk music, Alternative country