Music

The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time  

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15.9k votes 2.1k voters 137.7k 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)
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list ordered by
1
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana
2
Townes Van Zandt is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Folk music, Country
3
Jason Isbell is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Progressive country, Alternative country
4
John Prine is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Folk music, Progressive bluegrass, Country
5
Emmylou Harris is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music
6
The Band is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music
7
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
josephaldenmoore added Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music
8
Steve Earle is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Heartland rock, Country rock
9
Gillian Welch is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
American Primitivism, Americana, Rock music
10
Guy Clark is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Folk music, Country
11
Wilco is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Tata14 added Rock music, Experimental rock, Folk rock
12
Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
josephaldenmoore added Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music
13
The Avett Brothers is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Folk music, Folk rock, Bluegrass
14
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Swamp pop
15
Sturgill Simpson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
bcook added Americana, Alternative country, Roots rock
16
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge
17
Son Volt is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Folk rock, Alternative country, Country
18
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
John Hiatt is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music
20
The Flying Burrito Brothers is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Country rock, Country
21
Uncle Tupelo is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Country rock, Alternative rock
22
Lucinda Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music
23
Old Crow Medicine Show is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Folk music, Old-time music
24
Jayhawks is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Alternative rock, Alternative country, Psychedelic rock
25
James McMurtry is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Rock music, Folk rock