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

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12k votes 1.6k voters 123.9k views 344 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. (344 items)
list ordered by

1
329 92
The Band is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

2
222 53
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
josephaldenmoore added Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

3
173 24
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

4
216 41
Jason Isbell is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Progressive country, Alternative country

5
165 31
Townes Van Zandt is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Folk music, Country

6
209 59
Steve Earle is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Heartland rock, Country rock

7
172 34
John Prine is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Folk music, Progressive bluegrass, Country

8
137 24
Emmylou Harris is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

9
184 53
Lucinda Williams is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music

10
128 16
Sturgill Simpson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
bcook added

11
231 68
The Avett Brothers is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Folk music, Folk rock, Bluegrass

12
129 17
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Swamp pop

13
145 41
Gillian Welch is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
American Primitivism, Americana, Rock music

14
155 31
Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
josephaldenmoore added Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music

15
153 39
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

16
168 47
Old Crow Medicine Show is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Folk music, Old-time music

17
120 27
Son Volt is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Folk rock, Alternative country, Country

18
80 8
Alison Krauss is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Christian music, Folk music, Progressive bluegrass

19
127 40
Wilco is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Tata14 added Rock music, Experimental rock, Folk rock

20
83 14
Guy Clark is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Folk music, Country

21
112 21
John Hiatt is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music

22
104 26
James McMurtry is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Rock music, Folk rock

23
100 26
Ryan Adams is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Lilbronn added Rock music, Heavy metal, Alternative rock

24
99 20
Ryan Bingham is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Rock music, Folk music

25
88 21
Patty Griffin is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Folk music, Folk rock

26
75 14
The Flying Burrito Brothers is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Country rock, Country

27
101 17
Hayes Carll is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time

28
82 14
Justin Townes Earle is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Folk music, Country

29
119 40
The Civil Wars is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Folk music, Folk rock

30
78 13
Ry Cooder is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Americana, Rock music, Latin American music

31
70 13
Uncle Tupelo is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Country rock, Alternative rock

32
73 10
Robert Earl Keen is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Outlaw country, Americana, Folk music

33
78 14
Jayhawks is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Alternative rock, Alternative country, Psychedelic rock

34
97 18
Drive-By Truckers is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Rock music, Alternative rock, Alternative country

35
71 17
Buddy Miller is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
bamjuggler added Americana, Country

36
60 13
Ray Wylie Hubbard is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Folk music, Country, Cowpunk

37
77 13
Levon Helm is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Americana, Rock music, Folk music

38
53 15
Todd Snider is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
john-baggett added Americana, Folk rock, Alternative country

39
72 12
Gram Parsons is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Rock music, Country rock, Country

40
101 41
Grateful Dead is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
josephaldenmoore added Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

41
124 39
The Lumineers is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Folk rock, Alternative rock

42
51 5
Waylon Jennings is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Seamus Hanrahan added Outlaw country, Country rock, Progressive country

43
61 12
Lyle Lovett is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Americana, Country pop, Country rock

44
64 14
Alabama Shakes is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

45
56 10
Woody Guthrie is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Folk music, Country

46
73 14
Bonnie Raitt is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

47
76 18
Shovels & Rope is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time

48
53 10
Rosanne Cash is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Folk music, Country

49
56 12
Whiskeytown is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Alternative country, Country

50
61 17
T-Bone Burnett is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Rock music, Rock and roll