Country Music The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists  

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2.5k votes 332 voters 43k views 48 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.(48 items)
list ordered by

1
65 15
Uncle Tupelo is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Chazaaroncamp added Rock music, Country rock, Alternative rock

2
91 31
Ryan Adams is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Rock music, Heavy metal, Alternative rock

3
85 28
Steve Earle is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Americana, Heartland rock, Country rock

4
78 25
Drive-By Truckers is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Rock music, Alternative rock, Alternative country

5
60 14
Jayhawks is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Chazaaroncamp added Alternative rock, Alternative country, Psychedelic rock

6
71 21
Son Volt is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Folk rock, Alternative country, Country

7
43 7
Jason Isbell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Hugo Vogel added Rock music, Progressive country, Alternative country

8
54 18
Old 97's is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Country rock, Alternative country, Country

9
49 15
Gillian Welch is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
American Primitivism, Americana, Rock music

10
64 26
Wilco is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Rock music, Experimental rock, Folk rock

11
45 16
Emmylou Harris is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

12
29 7
Sturgill Simpson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Jacques Veerman added

13
43 23
The Avett Brothers is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Folk music, Folk rock, Bluegrass

14
40 23
Old Crow Medicine Show is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Americana, Folk music, Old-time music

15
18 11
Alejandro Escovedo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Chicano rock, Heartland rock, Alternative rock

16
15 9
Jenny Lewis is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Alternative country, Indie folk, Indie rock

17
20 14
Deer Tick is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Rock music, Alternative country, Indie folk

18
28 23
The Decemberists is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Indie pop, Rock music, Folk rock

19
23 18
Band of Horses is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Rock music, Alternative country, Indie rock

20
18 13
Kathleen Edwards is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Folk music, Alternative country, Country

21
14 9
Patty Griffin is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Americana, Folk music, Folk rock

22
9 4
Blue Rodeo is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Gary B. Larson added Country rock

23
6 2
Lydia Loveless is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
slackMFr added

24
24 22
Shooter Jennings is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Outlaw country, Country rock, Alternative country

25
18 16
The Civil Wars is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Americana, Folk music, Folk rock

26
12 10
Maria McKee is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Country pop, Pop music, Rock music

27
11 9
Dawes is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Chazaaroncamp added Folk rock, Indie folk, Indie rock

28
14 13
Will Oldham is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Folk music, Alternative country, Country

29
14 14
BR549 is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Rockabilly, Alternative country, Country

30
3 2
Green River Ordinance is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
kekajr added Rock music, Pop rock, Alternative rock

31
14 15
Conor Oberst and the Mystic Va... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Americana, Alternative country, Indie rock

32
12 13
Vic Chesnutt is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Folk rock, Alternative country

33
10 11
Okkervil River is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Folk rock, Alternative rock, Alternative country

34
10 11
Bobby Bare, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Americana, Rock music, Country rock

35
6 7
Jesse Sykes is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Psychedelic folk, Alternative country, Psychedelic rock

36
12 14
She & Him is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Indie pop, Pop music, Rock music

37
4 5
Bellwether is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Hugo Vogel added

38
6 8
Beachwood Sparks is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Psychedelic folk, Psychedelic pop, Alternative country

39
9 12
Cory Branan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Rock music, Folk music, Alternative country

40
1 3
Gloriana is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
kekajr added Country

41
7 10
Dar Williams is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Folk music, Alternative country

42
7 10
Howe Gelb is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Americana, Folk rock, Alternative country

43
2 5
The Mastersons is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Hugo Vogel added

44
5 9
The Watson Twins is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Folk music, Alternative country, Indie folk

45
11 18
Natalie Maines is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Blue-eyed soul, Rock music, Folk music

46
3 9
Ben Bridwell is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Alternative country, Indie rock, Southern rock

47
2 9
Clem Snide is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Alternative country, Indie rock

48
8 17
These United States is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Psychedelic folk, Pop music, Garage rock