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

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5.4k votes 1.2k voters 161.5k views 80 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. 
list ordered by

1
237 100
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

2
116 67
Nick Drake is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
sundeep180 added Folk music, Folk rock

3
47 6
Simon and Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
DexterVane added Pop music, Worldbeat, Rock music

4
86 21
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
ElijahKaganer added Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

5
124 85
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music

6
337 232
Ed Sheeran is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Hip hop music, Indie, Pop music

7
56 25
Bert Jansch is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
bri-gri added Folk music, Folk rock

8
138 82
Jack Johnson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Indie pop, Tropical rock, Pop music

9
48 24
John Renbourn is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
bri-gri added Folk music, Folk rock

10
58 39
Richard Thompson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Rock music, Folk music, Electric folk

11
40 33
José González is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
lorizel added Folk music, Indie folk, Indie rock

12
70 55
Elliott Smith is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Indie pop, Folk rock, Acoustic music

13
33 19
Eagles is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Kingsx01 added Country pop, Rock music, Folk rock

14
22 8
Crosby & Nash is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Kingsx01 added Rock music, Folk rock

15
61 40
Dallas Green is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Folk music, Acoustic music, Melodic hardcore

16
46 35
Ben Howard is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
zach7skate added Indie, Rock music, Folk music

17
92 83
Dave Matthews Band is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Rock music, World music, Acoustic music

18
55 47
Joan Baez is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Americana, Pop music, Rock music

19
59 59
Damien Rice is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Indie pop, Folk music, Folk rock

20
32 15
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
ElijahKaganer added Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

21
36 33
Donovan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Rob_98 added British Invasion, Psychedelic folk, Psychedelic pop

22
27 29
Sufjan Stevens is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
looksharp added Christian music, Alternative country, Baroque pop

23
32 25
Iron & Wine is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
JPHandy25 added Folk music, Folk rock, Indie folk

24
53 39
America is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
looksharp added Classic rock, Rock music, Folk rock

25
49 43
Colbie Caillat is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Ballad, Blue-eyed soul, Country pop

26
21 20
Roy Harper is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
bri-gri added Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

27
19 18
Jason Mraz is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Emanuel Francis added Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

28
74 86
Goo Goo Dolls is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Jangle pop, Classic rock, Heartland rock

29
14 13
The John Butler Trio is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Jason Goucher added Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

30
31 35
Richie Havens is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Folk rock, Funk

31
14 19
Tim Buckley is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
TommyLondo29 added Traditional music, Folk music, Experimental rock

32
14 15
Paco de Lucía is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
slaft added Flamenco, World music, Classical music

33
38 55
Linda Ronstadt is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
New Wave, Rock music, Latin American music

34
25 31
José Feliciano is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Latin pop, Bolero, Acoustic music

35
21 28
Apocalyptica is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Cello rock

36
29 30
Rodrigo y Gabriela is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Rock music, Flamenco, Folk rock

37
27 28
Suzanne Vega is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
looksharp added Folk music, Experimental rock, Folk rock

38
53 60
Tenacious D is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Rock music, Heavy metal, Acoustic music

39
39 44
Dashboard Confessional is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Rock music, Emo, Folk rock

40
28 34
Regina Spektor is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Indie pop, Anti-folk, Pop music

41
3 8
Tomas Kalnoky is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Kyle Rhodes added Ska, Folk music, World music

42
25 31
KT Tunstall is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Indie pop, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

43
6 6
The Incredible String Band is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Lilytabby added Psychedelic folk, World music

44
2 1
Tyler Ramsey is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
DonnaRamsey added Folk music

45
17 30
Matthew Good is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Rock music, Acoustic music, Alternative rock

46
25 32
Gavin DeGraw is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Adult album alternative, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music

47
25 42
Barenaked Ladies is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Rock music, Folk rock, Acoustic music

48
16 29
Days of the New is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Experimental rock, Grunge, Folk rock

49
18 32
Michelle Branch is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Country pop, Acoustic music, Pop rock

50
18 31
Never Shout Never is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
marloesschenkk added Pop punk, Indie pop, Pop music