The Best Folk Bands/Artists

Folk music is one of the most renowned genres of music in the world. Every country has its own version and derivative of the genre, which is broad in its appeal, but essentially what makes the best folk singers and folk music artists resonate with listeners. The message reflected in folk music artists' songs is originally supposed to come from folklore, hence the name; but as of late, folk songs have retained a more populist message, with the genre's mainstream pinnacle taking place during the 1960s and 70s. Usually, folk singers and folk bands play a diverse range of acoustic instruments, from strings such as guitar and banjo to rhythmic percussion, and even simple pianos and keyboards. 

So, who are the best folk music artists and best folk singers? That's not an easy question to answer. But if you're a fan of folk music, you'll know that American singer-songwriters John Prine, Woody Guthrie, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, and of course Canadian superstar songstress Joni Mitchell, all deserve to be at or near the top of this list of folk music bands. This list should include all folk music bands, whether new and current or classic oldies, including the most popular folk musicians and folk singers. All of the best folk music artists need to be accounted for, and the goal of this list of folk music bands is to do exactly that.

That said, it's up to you to decide who the best famous folk music artists and best folk singers are. This list answers the questions "who are the best folk music bands of all time?", "Who is the best folk artist today?" and "who is the greatest folk music 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 folk music bands that you might've heard of. 

Ranked by