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folk music The Best Folk Bands/Artists  

5.2k votes 329 voters 45.0k views 304 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. (304 items)

1
76 26
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
jerrycstanaway added Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

The Best Folk Jazz Bands/Artists The Best Concert Movies Streaming on Hulu

2
54 18
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Leonard Cohen Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

3
64 29
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Joni Mitchell Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

4
42 16
Woody Guthrie is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Woody Guthrie Folk music, Country

5
57 29
Joan Baez is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Joan Baez Americana, Pop music, Rock music

6
50 26
John Denver is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
John Denver Western music, Pop music, Traditional music

7
29 10
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
chip-chop added Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

8
54 31
Jim Croce is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jim Croce Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

9
23 8
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
chip-chop added James Taylor Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music

10
40 23
John Prine is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
John Prine Folk music, Progressive bluegrass, Country

11
46 29
Gordon Lightfoot is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Gordon Lightfoot Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

12
23 9
Donovan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
chip-chop added Donovan British Invasion, Psychedelic folk, Psychedelic pop

13
20 7
Richard Thompson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
bri-gri added Richard Thompson Rock music, Folk music, Electric folk

14
31 17
Kris Kristofferson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Kris Kristofferson Outlaw country, Rock music, Folk music

15
27 16
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
25 15
Joanna Newsom is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Joanna Newsom Folk music, Folk, Experimental music

17
27 17
Amy Macdonald is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Amy Macdonald Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

18
14 5
Pentangle is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
chip-chop added Pentangle Electric folk, Folk jazz, Folk rock

19
20 11
John Hartford is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
John Hartford Folk music, Bluegrass, Country

20
30 21
Sinéad O'Connor is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Sinéad O'Connor Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

21
18 10
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
chip-chop added Carole King Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

22
29 21
Dixie Chicks is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Dixie Chicks Country pop, Pop music, Rock music

23
20 13
Janis Ian is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Janis Ian Adult contemporary music, Folk music

24
20 13
Jorma Kaukonen is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jorma Kaukonen Rock music, Folk music, Psychedelic rock

25
21 14
Lucinda Williams is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Lucinda Williams Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music

26
22 15
Joan Armatrading is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Joan Armatrading Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

27
23 16
Linda Ronstadt is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Linda Ronstadt New Wave, Rock music, Latin American music

28
8 2
Fairport Convention is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
gnicholls added Fairport Convention

29
12 6
Rickie Lee Jones is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
chip-chop added Rickie Lee Jones Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists The Best Folk Rock Bands of All Time

30
14 8
Buffy Sainte-Marie is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Buffy Sainte-Marie Rock music, Folk music, Electronic music

31
18 12
Marianne Faithfull is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Marianne Faithfull Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

32
20 14
Loudon Wainwright III is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Loudon Wainwright III Rock music, Folk music, Blues

33
20 14
José González is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
José González Folk music, Indie folk, Indie rock

34
21 15
Jewel is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jewel Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Traditional music

35
26 20
Tanita Tikaram is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Tanita Tikaram Pop music, Folk music

36
16 11
Luke Kelly is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Luke Kelly Folk music, Folk music of Ireland

37
9 4
The Incredible String Band is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
chip-chop added The Incredible String Band Psychedelic folk, World music

38
18 14
Dido is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Dido Pop music, Trip hop, Folk music

39
14 10
Maddy Prior is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Maddy Prior Folk music, Electric folk, Folk rock

40
13 9
Leon Russell is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Leon Russell Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

41
13 9
Gomez is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Gomez Folk music, Alternative rock, Jam band

42
13 9
Iris DeMent is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Iris DeMent Folk music, Alternative country, Gospel music

43
10 6
Jeremy Fisher is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jeremy Fisher Folk music, Breakbeat

The Best Country Pop Singers/Bands The Best Zydeco Bands/Artists of All Time

44
10 6
Roy Harper is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Roy Harper Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

45
9 5
Stephen Stills is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
chip-chop added Stephen Stills Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

46
8 4
Mumford & Sons is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
wimvi added Mumford & Sons Pop music, Folk rock, Pop rock

47
15 12
De Dannan is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
De Dannan Folk music, Folk music of Ireland, Celtic music

48
14 11
Jimmie Rodgers is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jimmie Rodgers Rock music, Folk music, Traditional pop music

49
14 11
Jack Johnson is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jack Johnson Indie pop, Tropical rock, Pop music

50
13 10
Jim Corcoran is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jim Corcoran Pop music, Folk music