Music

The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time  

Reference
Originally by
5.8k votes 1.3k voters 168.1k 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. 
Ranker may collect a commission from links on this page.
list ordered by
1
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
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
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
ElijahKaganer added Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge
4
Simon and Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
DexterVane added Pop music, Worldbeat, Rock music
5
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
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
Crosby & Nash is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Kingsx01 added Rock music, Folk rock
8
Eagles is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Kingsx01 added Country pop, Rock music, Folk rock
9
Bert Jansch 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
Jack Johnson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Indie pop, Tropical rock, Pop music
11
John Renbourn is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
bri-gri added Folk music, Folk rock
12
Richard Thompson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Rock music, Folk music, Electric folk
13
Elliott Smith is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Indie pop, Folk rock, Acoustic music
14
José González is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
lorizel added Folk music, Indie folk, Indie rock
15
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
ElijahKaganer added Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz
16
Sufjan Stevens is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
looksharp added Christian music, Alternative country, Baroque pop
17
Joan Baez is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Americana, Pop music, Rock music
18
Dave Matthews Band is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Rock music, World music, Acoustic music
19
America is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
looksharp added Classic rock, Rock music, Folk rock
20
Dallas Green is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Folk music, Acoustic music, Melodic hardcore
21
Ben Howard is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
zach7skate added Indie, Rock music, Folk music
22
Donovan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Rob_98 added British Invasion, Psychedelic folk, Psychedelic pop
23
Damien Rice is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
Indie pop, Folk music, Folk rock
24
Iron & Wine is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
JPHandy25 added Folk music, Folk rock, Indie folk
25
Roy Harper is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time
bri-gri added Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock