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

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9.7k votes 1.4k voters 117.8k 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 79
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 24
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
137 27
John Prine is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
John Prine Folk music, Progressive bluegrass, Country

7
165 32
Jason Isbell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Jason Isbell Rock music, Progressive country, Alternative 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
101 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 57
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
108 19
Emmylou Harris is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Emmylou Harris Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

12
150 38
Old Crow Medicine Show is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Old Crow Medicine Show Americana, Folk music, Old-time music

13
127 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
128 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

The Best New Country Artists

15
117 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
64 8
The Flying Burrito Brothers is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
The Flying Burrito Brothers Rock music, Country rock, Country

17
124 39
Gillian Welch is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Gillian Welch American Primitivism, Americana, Rock music

18
104 22
Son Volt is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Son Volt Folk rock, Alternative country, Country

19
87 11
Sturgill Simpson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
bcook added Sturgill Simpson

20
56 5
Alison Krauss is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Alison Krauss Christian music, Folk music, Progressive bluegrass

21
90 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 Best Actresses Working Today

22
93 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
66 10
Guy Clark is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Guy Clark Outlaw country, Folk music, Country

24
64 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 22
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
107 34
The Civil Wars is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
The Civil Wars Americana, Folk music, Folk rock

27
62 7
Gram Parsons is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Gram Parsons Rock music, Country rock, Country

28
78 18
Patty Griffin is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Patty Griffin Americana, Folk music, Folk rock

The Greatest Artists Who Have Never Won a Grammy

29
78 16
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
87 28
Grateful Dead is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
josephaldenmoore added Grateful Dead Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

31
58 11
Uncle Tupelo is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Uncle Tupelo Rock music, Country rock, Alternative rock

32
57 7
Robert Earl Keen is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Robert Earl Keen Outlaw country, Americana, Folk music

33
82 15
Hayes Carll is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time

34
69 14
Justin Townes Earle is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Justin Townes Earle Americana, Folk music, Country

35
57 14
Buddy Miller is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
bamjuggler added Buddy Miller Americana, Country

15 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

36
35 3
Chris Stapleton is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
bcook added Chris Stapleton Bluegrass, Country, Southern rock

37
76 15
Drive-By Truckers is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Drive-By Truckers Rock music, Alternative rock, Alternative country

38
59 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
44 12
Todd Snider is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
john-baggett added Todd Snider Americana, Folk rock, Alternative country

40
50 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
60 10
Levon Helm is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Levon Helm Americana, Rock music, Folk music

42
103 34
The Lumineers is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
The Lumineers Americana, Folk rock, Alternative rock

The Best Freakbeat Bands/Artists

43
45 11
Ray Wylie Hubbard is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Ray Wylie Hubbard Folk music, Country, Cowpunk

44
44 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
52 13
T-Bone Burnett is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
T-Bone Burnett Americana, Rock music, Rock and roll

48
49 8
Nanci Griffith is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Nanci Griffith Folk music, Country

49
56 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
44 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