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

Reference
Originally by
14.2k votes 1.9k voters 131.6k views 348 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. (348 items)
Ranker may collect a commission from links on this page. Prices & inventory are accurate as of publish date.
list ordered by

1
381 104
The Band is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music

2
264 63
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
213 32
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

4
236 62
Steve Earle is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Heartland rock, Country rock

5
196 37
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
207 41
John Prine is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Folk music, Progressive bluegrass, Country

7
170 30
Emmylou Harris is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

8
260 51
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
193 33
Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
josephaldenmoore added Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music

10
210 60
Lucinda Williams is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music

11
268 78
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
167 47
Gillian Welch is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
American Primitivism, Americana, Rock music

13
100 14
Uncle Tupelo is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Country rock, Alternative rock

14
156 43
Wilco is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Tata14 added Rock music, Experimental rock, Folk rock

15
157 23
Sturgill Simpson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
bcook added

16
111 12
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
196 54
Old Crow Medicine Show is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Folk music, Old-time music

18
179 47
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

19
157 24
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Swamp pop

20
142 32
Son Volt is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Folk rock, Alternative country, Country

21
98 17
The Flying Burrito Brothers is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Country rock, Country

22
130 24
John Hiatt is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music

23
100 18
Guy Clark is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Folk music, Country

24
94 14
Ry Cooder is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Americana, Rock music, Latin American music

25
118 29
James McMurtry is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Rock music, Folk rock