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

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12.7k votes 1.7k voters 125.8k views 347 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. (347 items)
list ordered by

1
342 98
The Band is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

2
232 56
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
182 27
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

4
175 33
Townes Van Zandt is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Folk music, Country

5
218 61
Steve Earle is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Heartland rock, Country rock

6
148 25
Emmylou Harris is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

7
183 38
John Prine is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Folk music, Progressive bluegrass, Country

8
228 46
Jason Isbell is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Progressive country, Alternative country

9
191 56
Lucinda Williams is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music

10
241 73
The Avett Brothers is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Folk music, Folk rock, Bluegrass

11
164 32
Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
josephaldenmoore added Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music

12
140 20
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
151 45
Gillian Welch is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
American Primitivism, Americana, Rock music

14
175 49
Old Crow Medicine Show is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Folk music, Old-time music

15
160 42
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

16
88 9
Alison Krauss is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Christian music, Folk music, Progressive bluegrass

17
132 20
Sturgill Simpson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
bcook added

18
133 42
Wilco is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Tata14 added Rock music, Experimental rock, Folk rock

19
125 30
Son Volt is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Folk rock, Alternative country, Country

20
89 16
Guy Clark is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Folk music, Country

21
114 24
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
107 28
James McMurtry is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Rock music, Folk rock

23
105 27
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
77 14
Uncle Tupelo is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Country rock, Alternative rock

25
80 16
The Flying Burrito Brothers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Country rock, Country

26
84 14
Ry Cooder is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Americana, Rock music, Latin American music

27
91 23
Patty Griffin is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Folk music, Folk rock

28
86 15
Jayhawks is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Alternative rock, Alternative country, Psychedelic rock

29
124 42
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
101 23
Ryan Bingham is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Rock music, Folk music

31
86 16
Justin Townes Earle is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Folk music, Country

32
103 19
Drive-By Truckers is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Rock music, Alternative rock, Alternative country

33
78 11
Robert Earl Keen is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Outlaw country, Americana, Folk music

34
74 17
Buddy Miller is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
bamjuggler added Americana, Country

35
102 20
Hayes Carll is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time

36
86 15
Levon Helm is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Americana, Rock music, Folk music

37
57 17
Todd Snider is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
john-baggett added Americana, Folk rock, Alternative country

38
63 15
Ray Wylie Hubbard is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Folk music, Country, Cowpunk

39
131 41
The Lumineers is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Folk rock, Alternative rock

40
107 44
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
79 15
Gram Parsons is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Rock music, Country rock, Country

42
69 15
Alabama Shakes is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

43
64 13
Woody Guthrie is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Folk music, Country

44
66 15
Lyle Lovett is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Americana, Country pop, Country rock

45
77 16
Bonnie Raitt is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

46
74 15
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

47
57 12
Rosanne Cash is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Folk music, Country

48
54 11
Joe Ely is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Outlaw country, Americana, Heartland rock

49
78 20
Shovels & Rope is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time

50
46 6
The Mavericks is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Americana, Rockabilly, Country