Music

The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time 

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Updated November 5, 2019 19k votes 2.4k voters 144.3k 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
The Band is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
2
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
josephaldenmoore added Genre: Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music; Nationality: United States of America
3
Steve Earle is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Genre: Americana, Heartland rock, Country rock; Nationality: United States of America
4
John Prine is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Genre: Folk music, Progressive bluegrass, Country; Nationality: United States of America
5
Lucinda Williams is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Genre: Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music; Nationality: United States of America
6
Creedence Clearwater Rev... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added
7
Townes Van Zandt is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Genre: Outlaw country, Folk music, Country; Nationality: United States of America
8
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Genre: Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge; Nationality: Canada
9
Emmylou Harris is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Genre: Pop music, Rock music, Folk music; Nationality: United States of America
10
Wilco is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Tata14 added
11
The Avett Brothers is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
12
Gillian Welch is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Genre: American Primitivism, Americana, Rock music; Nationality: United States of America
13
Son Volt is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
14
John Hiatt is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Genre: Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music; Nationality: United States of America
15
Jason Isbell is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Genre: Rock music, Progressive country, Alternative country; Nationality: United States of America
16
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Genre: Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana; Nationality: United States of America
17
Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
josephaldenmoore added Genre: Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music; Nationality: United States of America
18
Old Crow Medicine Show ... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
19
James McMurtry is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Genre: Americana, Rock music, Folk rock; Nationality: United States of America
20
Drive-By Truckers is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added
21
Guy Clark is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Genre: Outlaw country, Folk music, Country; Nationality: United States of America
22
The Flying Burrito Broth... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
23
Levon Helm is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Genre: Americana, Rock music, Folk music; Nationality: United States of America
24
Gram Parsons is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Genre: Rock music, Country rock, Country; Nationality: United States of America
25
Uncle Tupelo is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time