Music

The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists 

Reference
Updated October 25, 2019 2.8k votes 408 voters 46.2k views 49 items

Over the past few decades, alternative country music has served as a more exciting option for fans of country music who aren't excited about what the mainstream has to offer. Alt country bands fuse together genres outside of traditional music to create a more diverse sound that retains its country roots, but at the same time, isn't exactly like what's going on. These bands have managed win over fans of other brands of alternative music because of their originality and the accessibility to their sound.

So, with so many great alt country bands out there, who can be called the best alt country band? One of the widely recognized originators of alternative country music is Uncle Tupelo. Though the group no longer exists, they are considered one of the most important alternative country artists because of their derivative bands, Wilco and Son Volt, both of which are considered some of the best alternative country bands. Other widely acclaimed alt country bands include Ryan Adams, Drive-by Truckers, Steve Earle and Band of Horses.

That said, it's up to you to determine which of these alt country bands can truly can be considered the best. This list answers the questions "who are the best alternative country bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest alternative country musician ever?" If you notice someone is missing, feel free to add them as this should include all alternative country bands.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 alternative country bands.(49 items)
list ordered by
1
Steve Earle is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
2
Son Volt is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
3
Uncle Tupelo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
4
Drive-By Truckers is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
5
Ryan Adams is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
6
Jayhawks is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
7
Jason Isbell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
8
Old 97's is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
9
Wilco is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
10
Gillian Welch is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
11
Sturgill Simpson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
12
Emmylou Harris is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
13
The Avett Brothers is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
14
Old Crow Medicine Show ... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
15
Alejandro Escovedo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
16
Blue Rodeo is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
17
The Decemberists is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
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Kathleen Edwards is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
19
Patty Griffin is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
20
Shooter Jennings is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
21
Deer Tick is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
22
The Civil Wars is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
23
Cowboy Junkies is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
24
Lydia Loveless is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
slackMFr added
25
Band of Horses is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists