Country Music The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists  

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2.6k votes 353 voters 43.8k 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)
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list ordered by

1
70 16
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
89 29
Steve Earle is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Americana, Heartland rock, Country rock

3
84 26
Drive-By Truckers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Rock music, Alternative rock, Alternative country

4
76 22
Son Volt is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Folk rock, Alternative country, Country

5
64 15
Jayhawks is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Chazaaroncamp added Alternative rock, Alternative country, Psychedelic rock

6
94 34
Ryan Adams is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Rock music, Heavy metal, Alternative rock

7
48 9
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
59 18
Old 97's is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Country rock, Alternative country, Country

9
70 27
Wilco is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Rock music, Experimental rock, Folk rock

10
51 16
Gillian Welch is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
American Primitivism, Americana, Rock music

11
46 17
Emmylou Harris is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

12
33 8
Sturgill Simpson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Jacques Veerman added

13
43 23
Old Crow Medicine Show is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Americana, Folk music, Old-time music

14
44 24
The Avett Brothers is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Folk music, Folk rock, Bluegrass

15
20 12
Alejandro Escovedo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Chicano rock, Heartland rock, Alternative rock

16
16 9
Patty Griffin is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Americana, Folk music, Folk rock

17
21 14
Deer Tick is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Rock music, Alternative country, Indie folk

18
10 4
Blue Rodeo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Gary B. Larson added Country rock

19
16 10
Jenny Lewis is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Alternative country, Indie folk, Indie rock

20
20 14
Kathleen Edwards is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Folk music, Alternative country, Country

21
31 25
The Decemberists is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Indie pop, Rock music, Folk rock

22
23 19
Band of Horses is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Rock music, Alternative country, Indie rock

23
7 3
Lydia Loveless is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
slackMFr added

24
26 23
Shooter Jennings is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Outlaw country, Country rock, Alternative country

25
13 11
Maria McKee is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Alternative Country Bands/Artists
Country pop, Pop music, Rock music