bands/musicians The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time  

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9.7k votes 1.4k voters 117.7k views 352 items

Americana artists are by nature are traditionalist American musicians who infuse roots music - which includes elements of rock, folk, blues, bluegrass and even R&B - to create a sound that channels the spirit of traditional American music. The best Americana bands have been internationally recognized and critically acclaimed for creatively bringing the roots music movement to a wider audience. While Americana bands and Americana artists first achieved tepid popularity during the 1960s, since the onset of the 1990s, they've grown in popularity and acclaim, with some even taking home major Grammy awards.

So, what are the best Americana bands? When people think of Americana music, the best examples of the top Americana bands includes The Band (who strangely enough aren't even American), Bob Dylan, The Avett Brothers, Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams, The Civil Wars and Son Volt. These are some of the best bands in the genre and some are considered among the greatest rock bands of all time and even the best country music artists. That's the beauty of Americana music: it fuses so many different other genres that different music artists can create the Americana sound. 

That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best Americana bands. If you notice that a band isn't on this list and should be, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best Americana bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest Americana 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 americana bands that you might've heard of. (352 items)
list ordered by

1
143 16
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

2
281 78
The Band is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
The Band Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

3
192 44
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
josephaldenmoore added Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

4
177 48
Steve Earle is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Steve Earle Americana, Heartland rock, Country rock

5
131 23
Townes Van Zandt is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Townes Van Zandt Outlaw country, Folk music, Country

6
165 31
Jason Isbell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Jason Isbell Rock music, Progressive country, Alternative country

7
137 27
John Prine is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
John Prine Folk music, Progressive bluegrass, Country

8
157 46
Lucinda Williams is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Lucinda Williams Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music

9
100 11
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Creedence Clearwater Revival Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Swamp pop

10
196 56
The Avett Brothers is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
The Avett Brothers Folk music, Folk rock, Bluegrass

11
150 37
Old Crow Medicine Show is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Old Crow Medicine Show Americana, Folk music, Old-time music

12
107 19
Emmylou Harris is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Emmylou Harris Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

13
126 28
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

14
127 23
Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
josephaldenmoore added Willie Nelson Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music

Celebrities Whose Children Committed Suicide

15
116 33
Wilco is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Tata14 added Wilco Rock music, Experimental rock, Folk rock

16
124 38
Gillian Welch is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Gillian Welch American Primitivism, Americana, Rock music

17
104 21
Son Volt is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Son Volt Folk rock, Alternative country, Country

18
63 8
The Flying Burrito Brothers is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
The Flying Burrito Brothers Rock music, Country rock, Country

19
66 9
Guy Clark is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Guy Clark Outlaw country, Folk music, Country

20
84 11
Sturgill Simpson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
bcook added Sturgill Simpson

21
89 15
John Hiatt is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added John Hiatt Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music

The Top Country Artists of All Time

22
92 21
Ryan Adams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Lilbronn added Ryan Adams Rock music, Heavy metal, Alternative rock

23
55 5
Alison Krauss is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Alison Krauss Christian music, Folk music, Progressive bluegrass

24
63 8
Ry Cooder is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Ry Cooder Americana, Rock music, Latin American music

25
87 21
James McMurtry is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
James McMurtry Americana, Rock music, Folk rock

26
78 17
Patty Griffin is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Patty Griffin Americana, Folk music, Folk rock

27
106 34
The Civil Wars is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
The Civil Wars Americana, Folk music, Folk rock

28
61 7
Gram Parsons is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Gram Parsons Rock music, Country rock, Country

The Best Chalga Bands/Artists

29
78 15
Ryan Bingham is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Ryan Bingham Americana, Rock music, Folk music

30
82 14
Hayes Carll is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time

31
86 28
Grateful Dead is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
josephaldenmoore added Grateful Dead Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

32
57 11
Uncle Tupelo is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Uncle Tupelo Rock music, Country rock, Alternative rock

33
69 13
Justin Townes Earle is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Justin Townes Earle Americana, Folk music, Country

34
56 7
Robert Earl Keen is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Robert Earl Keen Outlaw country, Americana, Folk music

35
57 13
Buddy Miller is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
bamjuggler added Buddy Miller Americana, Country

The Best FX Original Shows

36
76 14
Drive-By Truckers is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Drive-By Truckers Rock music, Alternative rock, Alternative country

37
44 11
Todd Snider is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
john-baggett added Todd Snider Americana, Folk rock, Alternative country

38
58 11
Jayhawks is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Jayhawks Alternative rock, Alternative country, Psychedelic rock

39
34 3
Chris Stapleton is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
bcook added Chris Stapleton Bluegrass, Country, Southern rock

40
49 8
Whiskeytown is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Whiskeytown Alternative country, Country

41
45 10
Ray Wylie Hubbard is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Ray Wylie Hubbard Folk music, Country, Cowpunk

42
59 10
Levon Helm is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Levon Helm Americana, Rock music, Folk music

Every Song in Evita, Ranked by Singability

43
102 34
The Lumineers is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
The Lumineers Americana, Folk rock, Alternative rock

44
43 7
Lyle Lovett is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Lyle Lovett Americana, Country pop, Country rock

45
57 10
Bonnie Raitt is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Bonnie Raitt Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

46
59 12
Delbert McClinton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Delbert McClinton Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

47
49 8
Nanci Griffith is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Nanci Griffith Folk music, Country

48
51 13
T-Bone Burnett is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
T-Bone Burnett Americana, Rock music, Rock and roll

49
55 16
Dave Alvin is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Dave Alvin Rockabilly, Folk music, Alternative country

50
43 8
Woody Guthrie is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Woody Guthrie Folk music, Country