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.
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104 52
The Avett Brothers is listed (or ranked) 51 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
The Avett Brothers Folk music, Folk rock, Bluegrass

The Greatest Artists Who Have Never Won a Grammy The Best US Airlines

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73 33
David Grisman is listed (or ranked) 52 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
David Grisman Americana, Folk music, Progressive bluegrass

53
48 14
Reno and Smiley is listed (or ranked) 53 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Reno and Smiley Bluegrass

54
18 16
Hillbilly Gypsies is listed (or ranked) 54 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
StevenBerry added Hillbilly Gypsies

55
60 26
Sarah Jarosz is listed (or ranked) 55 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Sarah Jarosz Folk music, Old-time music, Progressive bluegrass

56
32 7
Blue Highway is listed (or ranked) 56 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
jean-jacques-burlamaqui added Blue Highway Bluegrass - Blue Highway has earned 24 IBMA Awards, 6 SPBGMA Awards, one Dove Award, and two Grammy nominations.  Tim Stafford recently received honors as 2015 SPBGMA Guitar Player of the Year and 2014 IBMA Songwriter of the ...

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38 28
Alison Brown is listed (or ranked) 57 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Alison Brown Americana, Jazz, Bluegrass

58
25 15
Hazel Dickens is listed (or ranked) 58 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Hazel Dickens Folk music, Bluegrass

59
46 19
Mark O'Connor is listed (or ranked) 59 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Mark O'Connor Pop music, Folk music, Old-time music

60
52 24
Claire Lynch is listed (or ranked) 60 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Claire Lynch Folk music, Bluegrass, Country

61
70 39
Carolina Chocolate Drops is listed (or ranked) 61 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Carolina Chocolate Drops Old-time music, Bluegrass, Country

62
18 12
The Earl Brothers is listed (or ranked) 62 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
shelbyash added The Earl Brothers bluegrass

63
35 15
Nothin' Fancy is listed (or ranked) 63 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists

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29 22
Jim Lauderdale is listed (or ranked) 64 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Jim Lauderdale Americana, Bluegrass, Country

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51 14
Ranker Video
DebbiEvans added Adkins & Loudermilk

The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time 21 Most Annoyingly Over-Used Movie Trailer Songs

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26 10
Yonder Mountain String Band is listed (or ranked) 66 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
arwen-mellor added Yonder Mountain String Band Progressive bluegrass, Jam band, Country

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36 19
Chatham County Line is listed (or ranked) 67 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists

68
21 9
Ranker Video
DebbiEvans added The Roys

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42 27
Sara Watkins is listed (or ranked) 69 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Sara Watkins Folk music, Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass

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32 20
The Chuck Wagon Gang is listed (or ranked) 70 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
The Chuck Wagon Gang Bluegrass, Southern Gospel

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49 21
Larry Cordle is listed (or ranked) 71 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Larry Cordle Bluegrass, Country

72
49 19
The Bluegrass Album Band is listed (or ranked) 72 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
The Bluegrass Album Band Folk music, Bluegrass

73
26 16
Lost & Found is listed (or ranked) 73 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists

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23 12
Eddie Adcock is listed (or ranked) 74 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Eddie Adcock Bluegrass

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28 6
Sierra Hull is listed (or ranked) 75 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
JohnBoothe added Sierra Hull

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16 18
Uncle Earl is listed (or ranked) 76 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Clark Benson added Uncle Earl Americana, Old-time music

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21 12
David Rawlings is listed (or ranked) 77 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
David Rawlings American Primitivism, Americana, Folk music

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25 15
Hot Buttered Rum String Band is listed (or ranked) 78 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Hot Buttered Rum String Band Rock music, Folk music, Bluegrass

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42 16
Clarence White is listed (or ranked) 79 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Clarence White Rock music, Country rock, Bluegrass

The Best Progressive Bluegrass Bands/Artists The Best Bluegrass Albums of All Time

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20 10
Davidson Brothers is listed (or ranked) 80 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
ragtime added Davidson Brothers Bluegrass Music

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25 17
Chris Eldridge is listed (or ranked) 81 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Chris Eldridge Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass

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16 6
Keith Whitley is listed (or ranked) 82 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
andrew-harderson added Keith Whitley Country

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27 21
The Be Good Tanyas is listed (or ranked) 83 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
The Be Good Tanyas Folk music, Bluegrass, Country

84
42 21
Joey & Rory is listed (or ranked) 84 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Joey & Rory Bluegrass, Country

85
21 16
Red Molly is listed (or ranked) 85 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Red Molly Americana, Folk music, Bluegrass

86
36 18
Marty Raybon is listed (or ranked) 86 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Marty Raybon Christian country music, Bluegrass, Country

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33 17
Kenny Baker is listed (or ranked) 87 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Kenny Baker Bluegrass

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11 6
Poor Man's Whiskey is listed (or ranked) 88 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
BryanDillon added Poor Man's Whiskey

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8 4
Sleepy Man Banjo Boys is listed (or ranked) 89 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Josh Norman (JKabilly) added Sleepy Man Banjo Boys

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19 16
Acoustic Syndicate is listed (or ranked) 90 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Acoustic Syndicate Rock music, Bluegrass

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18 13
Cornmeal is listed (or ranked) 91 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Cornmeal Jam band, Bluegrass

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22 18
The Greencards is listed (or ranked) 92 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
The Greencards Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass, Country

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16 13
Monroeville is listed (or ranked) 93 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
LorettaLightningbolt added Monroeville

The Best Polka Bands/Artists The Greatest Works of Hunter S. Thompson

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17 14
Blue Mountain Highway is listed (or ranked) 94 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
BluemtnHighway added Blue Mountain Highway Bluegrass - Bluegrass

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25 21
Hayseed Dixie is listed (or ranked) 95 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Hayseed Dixie Rock music, Parody music, Bluegrass

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30 18
Bluegrass Brothers is listed (or ranked) 96 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Bluegrass Brothers Bluegrass, Country

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29 17
Byron Berline is listed (or ranked) 97 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Byron Berline Bluegrass

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30 20
Noam Pikelny is listed (or ranked) 98 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Noam Pikelny Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass

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8 7
The Waybacks is listed (or ranked) 99 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
242idude added The Waybacks Rock music, Bluegrass

100
15 14
Sweet Sunny South is listed (or ranked) 100 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Sweet Sunny South Bluegrass