bands/musicians The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists  

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Over the years, bluegrass music has spread from being a strictly American genre of roots music and country music to a standalone musical style. Emerging from Appalachia, in particular Kentucky, bluegrass bands use elements of Scottish, Welsh and English folk music. Unlike traditional old time music, each instrument plays a role in driving a song's melody while the other parts involve jamming around it. Bluegrass artists are also known for breakdowns where the tempo speed up, the chords are more challenging and thus, becomes a glorified jam session. Bluegrass bands first emerged in the 18th century, but bluegrass music as we know it today (that incorporates country western) first became relevant post-World War II.

So, who are the best bluegrass bands? Any list of bluegrass artists has to include names of famous male and female bluegrass singers, including Doc Watson, Bill Monroe, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Old Crow Medicine Show, Nickel Creek, and the Stanley Brothers. These are some of the best bluegrass bands and with good reason - while new bluegrass bands come and go, these are classics with staying power. Their songs resonate with many fans and are very catchy. There have been multiple generations of bluegrass bands and multiple subgenres, yet when people think of bluegrass, they think of the best groups of the genre.

This list includes both classic and modern / contemporary bluegrass musicians and bands, as well as the names of the places where each got its start. That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best bluegrass bands. If you notice that a band is missing from this list feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best bluegrass bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest bluegrass 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 bluegrass bands that you might've heard of.
list ordered by

1
482 152
Bill Monroe is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Bill Monroe Traditional bluegrass, Bluegrass, Gospel music

2
697 199
Alison Krauss & Union Station is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Alison Krauss & Union Station Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass

3
407 135
Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs Bluegrass, Country

4
443 167
Ricky Skaggs is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Ricky Skaggs Folk music, Bluegrass, Gospel music

5
363 108
Ralph Stanley is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Ralph Stanley Traditional bluegrass, Old-time music, Bluegrass

6
396 31
Hayseed Dixie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Hayseed Dixie Rock music, Parody music, Bluegrass

7
260 86
The Stanley Brothers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists

8
341 98
Doc Watson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Doc Watson Folk music, Bluegrass, Gospel music

9
303 86
Earl Scruggs is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Earl Scruggs Bluegrass, Gospel music, Country

10
237 79
The Osborne Brothers is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists

11
223 62
Lester Flatt is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Lester Flatt Bluegrass, Country

12
259 58
Doyle Lawson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Bluegrass, Gospel music

13
284 92
Rhonda Vincent is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Rhonda Vincent Bluegrass, Gospel music, Country

14
251 79
The SteelDrivers is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
The SteelDrivers Bluegrass

The Sexiest Artists of All Time

15
311 119
Old Crow Medicine Show is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Old Crow Medicine Show Americana, Folk music, Old-time music

16
162 83
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Dubstep, Jug band, Country pop

17
196 109
Patty Loveless is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Patty Loveless Country pop, Country rock, Honky-tonk

18
154 44
Jimmy Martin is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Jimmy Martin Bluegrass

19
213 56
Tony Rice is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Tony Rice Americana, Folk music, Bluegrass

20
188 47
The Seldom Scene is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
The Seldom Scene Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass, Country

21
136 55
The Dillards is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
The Dillards Rock music

The Best Acoustic Bands and Artists of All Time

22
174 57
Lonesome River Band is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists

23
148 44
J.D. Crowe and the New South is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists

24
147 34
The Del McCoury band is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
cam-mac added The Del McCoury band

25
209 82
Nickel Creek is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Nickel Creek Acoustic music, Progressive bluegrass, Country

26
109 48
Larry Sparks is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Larry Sparks Bluegrass

27
142 49
Jerry Douglas is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Jerry Douglas Bluegrass, Country

28
151 57
Kentucky Thunder is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Kentucky Thunder Bluegrass

The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time

29
154 129
Dolly Parton is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Dolly Parton Ballad, Country pop, Pop music

30
144 41
The Country Gentlemen is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
The Country Gentlemen Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass, Country

31
93 43
Old & In the Way is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
dlf1203 added Old & In the Way Bluegrass

32
123 46
Jim and Jesse is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Jim and Jesse Bluegrass

33
146 47
Sam Bush is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Sam Bush Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass

34
72 39
The Louvin Brothers is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
DebbyHood added The Louvin Brothers Christian music, Gospel music, Country

35
96 37
Don Reno is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Don Reno Bluegrass

15 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

36
79 30
The Nashville Bluegrass Band is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists

37
68 39
Maybelle Carter is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
DebbyHood added Maybelle Carter Old-time music, Gospel music, Country

38
112 56
Chris Thile is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Chris Thile Folk music, Classical music, Progressive bluegrass

39
91 39
Mac Wiseman is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Mac Wiseman Bluegrass, Country

40
107 37
J. D. Crowe is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
J. D. Crowe Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass

41
131 59
Béla Fleck and the Flecktones is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Béla Fleck and the Flecktones Pop music, Jazz fusion, Progressive bluegrass

42
93 34
Tim O'Brien is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Tim O'Brien Bluegrass, Country

The Best New Female Artists

43
140 51
The Grascals is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
The Grascals Bluegrass, Southern Gospel

44
48 27
Charlie Waller is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Charlie Waller Bluegrass

45
107 36
Hot Rize is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Hot Rize Folk music, Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass

46
123 48
Infamous Stringdusters is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Infamous Stringdusters Folk music, Jam band, Bluegrass

47
102 37
John Hartford is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
John Hartford Folk music, Bluegrass, Country

48
74 36
Mountain Heart is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Mountain Heart Acoustic music, Bluegrass, Country

49
59 52
Kathy Mattea is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Kathy Mattea Bluegrass, Country

50
90 56
Gillian Welch is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Gillian Welch American Primitivism, Americana, Rock music