Music

The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time  

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17.4k votes 2.2k voters 140.7k 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
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana
2
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
John Prine is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Folk music, Progressive bluegrass, Country
4
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
The Band is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music
6
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
Jason Isbell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Progressive country, Alternative country
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
Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
josephaldenmoore added Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music
11
The Flying Burrito Brothers is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Country rock, Country
12
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
Wilco is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Tata14 added Rock music, Experimental rock, Folk rock
14
The Avett Brothers is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Folk music, Folk rock, Bluegrass
15
John Hiatt is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music
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
Alison Krauss is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Christian music, Folk music, Progressive bluegrass
18
Son Volt is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Folk rock, Alternative country, Country
19
Sturgill Simpson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
bcook added Americana, Alternative country, Roots rock
20
Guy Clark is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Outlaw country, Folk music, Country
21
Lucinda Williams is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music
22
Uncle Tupelo is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Country rock, Alternative rock
23
Jayhawks is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Alternative rock, Alternative country, Psychedelic rock
24
Old Crow Medicine Show is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Folk music, Old-time music
25
James McMurtry is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Americana Bands & Artists of All Time
Americana, Rock music, Folk rock