Bands/Musicians The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time  

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11k votes 1.5k voters 121.4k views 338 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. (338 items)

1
307 85
The Band is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
The Band Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

2
209 48
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
josephaldenmoore added Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

3
158 22
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

4
192 55
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
147 29
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
116 13
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Creedence Clearwater Revival Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Swamp pop

7
189 38
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
150 31
John Prine is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
John Prine Folk music, Progressive bluegrass, Country

9
121 21
Emmylou Harris is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Emmylou Harris Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

10
170 51
Lucinda Williams is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Lucinda Williams Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music

11
217 63
The Avett Brothers is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
The Avett Brothers Folk music, Folk rock, Bluegrass

12
162 42
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
141 28
Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
josephaldenmoore added Willie Nelson Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music

14
133 40
Gillian Welch is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Gillian Welch American Primitivism, Americana, Rock music

29 Celebrities Who Quit Being Famous

15
141 37
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

16
106 14
Sturgill Simpson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
bcook added Sturgill Simpson

17
112 25
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
121 38
Wilco is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Tata14 added Wilco Rock music, Experimental rock, Folk rock

19
71 7
Alison Krauss is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Alison Krauss Christian music, Folk music, Progressive bluegrass

20
102 20
John Hiatt is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added John Hiatt Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music

21
71 12
The Flying Burrito Brothers is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
The Flying Burrito Brothers Rock music, Country rock, Country

The Best New Male Artists

22
97 25
James McMurtry is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
James McMurtry Americana, Rock music, Folk rock

23
67 11
Uncle Tupelo is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Uncle Tupelo Rock music, Country rock, Alternative rock

24
84 20
Patty Griffin is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Patty Griffin Americana, Folk music, Folk rock

25
93 25
Ryan Adams is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Lilbronn added Ryan Adams Rock music, Heavy metal, Alternative rock

26
73 14
Guy Clark is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Guy Clark Outlaw country, Folk music, Country

27
113 38
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
89 19
Ryan Bingham is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Ryan Bingham Americana, Rock music, Folk music

The Sexiest Artists of All Time

29
69 9
Robert Earl Keen is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Robert Earl Keen Outlaw country, Americana, Folk music

30
72 12
Ry Cooder is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Ry Cooder Americana, Rock music, Latin American music

31
77 14
Justin Townes Earle is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Justin Townes Earle Americana, Folk music, Country

32
93 17
Hayes Carll is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time

33
70 12
Jayhawks is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Jayhawks Alternative rock, Alternative country, Psychedelic rock

34
89 17
Drive-By Truckers is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Drive-By Truckers Rock music, Alternative rock, Alternative country

35
68 10
Gram Parsons is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Gram Parsons Rock music, Country rock, Country

The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels

36
64 16
Buddy Miller is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
bamjuggler added Buddy Miller Americana, Country

37
71 12
Levon Helm is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Levon Helm Americana, Rock music, Folk music

38
55 13
Ray Wylie Hubbard is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Ray Wylie Hubbard Folk music, Country, Cowpunk

39
48 14
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
62 12
Alabama Shakes is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Alabama Shakes Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

41
116 37
The Lumineers is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
The Lumineers Americana, Folk rock, Alternative rock

42
45 4
Waylon Jennings is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Seamus Hanrahan added Waylon Jennings Outlaw country, Country rock, Progressive country

People You Won't Believe Have Grammy Awards

43
94 40
Grateful Dead is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
josephaldenmoore added Grateful Dead Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

44
53 10
Whiskeytown is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Whiskeytown Alternative country, Country

45
68 13
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
72 17
Shovels & Rope is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time

47
49 9
Woody Guthrie is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Woody Guthrie Folk music, Country

48
63 14
Delbert McClinton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Delbert McClinton Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

49
57 16
T-Bone Burnett is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
T-Bone Burnett Americana, Rock music, Rock and roll

50
46 9
Joe Ely is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Joe Ely Outlaw country, Americana, Heartland rock