Bands/Musicians The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time  

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5.3k votes 1.2k voters 160.4k views 78 items

List Rules Only bands or singers who are known for primarily playing acoustic instruments for either all or some of their career.

The backbone of music, regardless of your tastes, has always been acoustic music. Using only acoustic instruments (thus, no electric anything), acoustic music is one of the purest forms of music - and it has been around for a long, long time. Acoustic music has spanned many generations and can be seen in many genres of music, including folk, rock (hard and soft rock) and even metal (if you count Unplugged performances). Believe it or not, many of the songs you're familiar with have likely started as awesome acoustics songs by someone strumming some notes on an acoustic guitar. But, only a select number of musicians can be considered acoustic artists. For the sake of this list, an acoustic artist is defined as a musician who is primarily known for, or has used acoustic instruments for a majority of their songs.

So what are best acoustic bands? Any top 100 list (or top 10 for that matter) of acoustic artists has to include names like Jack Johnson, James Taylor, Nick Drake, Joan Baez, Elliott Smith, Colbie Calliat and Bob Dylan. These are some of the best acoustic artists known and with good reason. Their songs were popular when they were first released and continue to be hits years after they were first released. Good acoustic artists have strong devoted followings and are able to sell out their concerts and play shows around the world.

That said, it's up to you to determine who are the best acoustic singers. If you know acoustic music and are familiar with acoustic artists, then feel free to vote on this list. If you think someone isn't on this list and should be, feel free to add them.his list answers the questions "who are the best acoustic music bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest acoustic 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 acoustic music bands that you might've heard of. 

1
234 98
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

2
113 66
Nick Drake is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
sundeep180 added Nick Drake Folk music, Folk rock

3
44 6
Simon and Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
DexterVane added Simon and Garfunkel Pop music, Worldbeat, Rock music

4
83 21
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
ElijahKaganer added Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

5
335 227
Ed Sheeran is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Ed Sheeran Hip hop music, Indie, Pop music

6
121 84
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
James Taylor Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music

7
55 24
Bert Jansch is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
bri-gri added Bert Jansch Folk music, Folk rock

8
137 80
Jack Johnson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Jack Johnson Indie pop, Tropical rock, Pop music

9
47 23
John Renbourn is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
bri-gri added John Renbourn Folk music, Folk rock

10
57 37
Richard Thompson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Richard Thompson Rock music, Folk music, Electric folk

11
39 32
José González is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
lorizel added José González Folk music, Indie folk, Indie rock

12
68 54
Elliott Smith is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Elliott Smith Indie pop, Folk rock, Acoustic music

13
32 18
Eagles is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Kingsx01 added Eagles Country pop, Rock music, Folk rock

14
61 38
Dallas Green is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Dallas Green Folk music, Acoustic music, Melodic hardcore

15
20 8
Crosby & Nash is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Kingsx01 added Crosby & Nash Rock music, Folk rock

16
45 34
Ben Howard is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
zach7skate added Ben Howard Indie, Rock music, Folk music

17
90 82
Dave Matthews Band is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Dave Matthews Band Rock music, World music, Acoustic music

18
58 58
Damien Rice is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Damien Rice Indie pop, Folk music, Folk rock

19
31 15
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
ElijahKaganer added Joni Mitchell Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

20
53 46
Joan Baez is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Joan Baez Americana, Pop music, Rock music

21
26 28
Sufjan Stevens is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
looksharp added Sufjan Stevens Christian music, Alternative country, Baroque pop

22
30 23
Iron & Wine is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
JPHandy25 added Iron & Wine Folk music, Folk rock, Indie folk

23
34 33
Donovan is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Rob_98 added Donovan British Invasion, Psychedelic folk, Psychedelic pop

24
52 38
America is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
looksharp added America Classic rock, Rock music, Folk rock

25
21 18
Roy Harper is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
bri-gri added Roy Harper Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

26
49 41
Colbie Caillat is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Colbie Caillat Ballad, Blue-eyed soul, Country pop

27
19 16
Jason Mraz is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Emanuel Francis added Jason Mraz Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

28
74 84
Goo Goo Dolls is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Goo Goo Dolls Jangle pop, Classic rock, Heartland rock

29
14 17
Tim Buckley is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
TommyLondo29 added Tim Buckley Traditional music, Folk music, Experimental rock

30
31 34
Richie Havens is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Richie Havens Folk rock, Funk

31
13 12
The John Butler Trio is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Jason Goucher added The John Butler Trio Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

32
13 14
Paco de Lucía is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
slaft added Paco de Lucía Flamenco, World music, Classical music

33
25 30
José Feliciano is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
José Feliciano Latin pop, Bolero, Acoustic music

34
38 54
Linda Ronstadt is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Linda Ronstadt New Wave, Rock music, Latin American music

35
29 29
Rodrigo y Gabriela is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Rodrigo y Gabriela Rock music, Flamenco, Folk rock

36
20 27
Apocalyptica is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Apocalyptica Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Cello rock

37
53 59
Tenacious D is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Tenacious D Rock music, Heavy metal, Acoustic music

38
27 28
Suzanne Vega is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
looksharp added Suzanne Vega Folk music, Experimental rock, Folk rock

39
39 43
Dashboard Confessional is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Dashboard Confessional Rock music, Emo, Folk rock

40
3 7
Tomas Kalnoky is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Kyle Rhodes added Tomas Kalnoky Ska, Folk music, World music

41
28 33
Regina Spektor is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Regina Spektor Indie pop, Anti-folk, Pop music

42
2 0
Tyler Ramsey is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
DonnaRamsey added Tyler Ramsey Folk music

43
25 30
KT Tunstall is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
KT Tunstall Indie pop, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

44
25 31
Gavin DeGraw is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Gavin DeGraw Adult album alternative, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music

45
5 5
The Incredible String Band is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Lilytabby added The Incredible String Band Psychedelic folk, World music

46
17 29
Matthew Good is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Matthew Good Rock music, Acoustic music, Alternative rock

47
16 28
Days of the New is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Days of the New Experimental rock, Grunge, Folk rock

48
25 41
Barenaked Ladies is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Barenaked Ladies Rock music, Folk rock, Acoustic music

49
18 31
Michelle Branch is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Michelle Branch Country pop, Acoustic music, Pop rock

50
17 30
Never Shout Never is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
marloesschenkk added Never Shout Never Pop punk, Indie pop, Pop music