Bands/Musicians The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists  

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List Rules Not to be confused with folk artists, vote up the best bluegrass bands and musicians since the Bluegrass Band started it all.

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
570 174
Bill Monroe is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Traditional bluegrass, Bluegrass, Gospel music

2
472 149
Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Bluegrass, Country

3
782 233
Alison Krauss & Union Station is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass

4
502 197
Ricky Skaggs is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Folk music, Bluegrass, Gospel music

5
414 121
Ralph Stanley is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Traditional bluegrass, Old-time music, Bluegrass

6
305 97
The Stanley Brothers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists

7
341 97
Earl Scruggs is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Bluegrass, Gospel music, Country

8
377 113
Doc Watson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Folk music, Bluegrass, Gospel music

9
267 87
The Osborne Brothers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists

10
405 61
Hayseed Dixie is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Rock music, Parody music, Bluegrass

11
246 69
Lester Flatt is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Bluegrass, Country

12
289 67
Doyle Lawson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Bluegrass, Gospel music

13
322 108
Rhonda Vincent is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Bluegrass, Gospel music, Country

14
348 134
Old Crow Medicine Show is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Americana, Folk music, Old-time music

15
181 50
Jimmy Martin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Bluegrass

16
189 98
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Dubstep, Jug band, Country pop

17
272 93
The SteelDrivers is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Bluegrass

18
214 119
Patty Loveless is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Country pop, Country rock, Honky-tonk

19
186 40
The Del McCoury band is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
cam-mac added

20
172 47
J.D. Crowe and the New South is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists

21
237 63
Tony Rice is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Americana, Folk music, Bluegrass

22
218 54
The Seldom Scene is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass, Country

23
197 62
Lonesome River Band is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists

24
160 65
The Dillards is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Rock music

25
129 53
Larry Sparks is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Bluegrass

26
164 43
The Country Gentlemen is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass, Country

27
160 56
Jerry Douglas is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Bluegrass, Country

28
229 94
Nickel Creek is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Acoustic music, Progressive bluegrass, Country

29
110 47
Old & In the Way is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
dlf1203 added Bluegrass

30
167 65
Kentucky Thunder is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Bluegrass

31
139 49
Jim and Jesse is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Bluegrass

32
163 145
Dolly Parton is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Ballad, Country pop, Pop music

33
164 53
Sam Bush is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass

34
108 40
Don Reno is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Bluegrass

35
82 45
The Louvin Brothers is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
DebbyHood added Christian music, Gospel music, Country

36
84 45
Maybelle Carter is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
DebbyHood added Old-time music, Gospel music, Country

37
108 43
Mac Wiseman is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Bluegrass, Country

38
123 39
J. D. Crowe is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass

39
88 36
The Nashville Bluegrass Band is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists

40
110 38
Tim O'Brien is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Bluegrass, Country

41
58 31
Charlie Waller is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Bluegrass

42
121 68
Chris Thile is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Folk music, Classical music, Progressive bluegrass

43
154 58
The Grascals is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Bluegrass, Southern Gospel

44
121 36
Hot Rize is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Folk music, Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass

45
137 68
Béla Fleck and the Flecktones is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Pop music, Jazz fusion, Progressive bluegrass

46
116 40
John Hartford is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Folk music, Bluegrass, Country

47
134 54
Infamous Stringdusters is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Folk music, Jam band, Bluegrass

48
63 59
Kathy Mattea is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Bluegrass, Country

49
79 43
Mountain Heart is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Acoustic music, Bluegrass, Country

50
100 44
David Grisman is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists
Americana, Folk music, Progressive bluegrass