folk music The Best Folk Bands/Artists  

Reference
5.3k votes 347 voters 45.4k views 304 items Embed

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 what makes the best folk singers and folk music artists resonate with listeners. The message reflected in folk music artist's 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 coming in the 1960s. Usually, folk singers and folk bands play acoustic instruments.

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 artists like Woody Guthrie, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell deserve to be at or near the top of this list of folk music bands. This list should include all folk music bands, including the most popular folk musicians and folk singers, and if you notice this isn't the case, feel free to add them to this list. 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 are the best folk music artists and best folk singers. This list answers the questions "who are the best folk music bands of all time?" 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. (304 items)

1
80 29
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
jerrycstanaway added Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

The Greatest Artists Who Have Never Won a Grammy The Best Concert Movies Streaming on Hulu

2
69 31
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Joni Mitchell Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz

3
55 22
Leonard Cohen is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Leonard Cohen Synthpop, Pop music, Spoken word

4
59 30
Joan Baez is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Joan Baez Americana, Pop music, Rock music

5
52 27
John Denver is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
John Denver Western music, Pop music, Traditional music

6
43 20
Woody Guthrie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Woody Guthrie Folk music, Country

7
56 31
Jim Croce is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jim Croce Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

8
30 11
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
chip-chop added Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

9
23 9
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
chip-chop added James Taylor Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music

10
40 24
John Prine is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
John Prine Folk music, Progressive bluegrass, Country

11
46 30
Gordon Lightfoot is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Gordon Lightfoot Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

12
21 8
Richard Thompson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
bri-gri added Richard Thompson Rock music, Folk music, Electric folk

13
23 10
Donovan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
chip-chop added Donovan British Invasion, Psychedelic folk, Psychedelic pop

14
31 18
Kris Kristofferson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Kris Kristofferson Outlaw country, Rock music, Folk music

15
27 17
John Sebastian is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
John Sebastian Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

The Best K-pop Dancers of All Time The Best Outlaw Country Artists of All Time

16
19 10
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
chip-chop added Carole King Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

17
22 13
Janis Ian is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Janis Ian Adult contemporary music, Folk music

18
25 16
Joanna Newsom is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Joanna Newsom Folk music, Folk, Experimental music

19
27 18
Amy Macdonald is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Amy Macdonald Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

20
30 21
Dixie Chicks is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Dixie Chicks Country pop, Pop music, Rock music

21
14 6
Pentangle is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
chip-chop added Pentangle Electric folk, Folk jazz, Folk rock

22
20 12
John Hartford is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
John Hartford Folk music, Bluegrass, Country

23
30 22
Sinéad O'Connor is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Sinéad O'Connor Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

24
10 3
Fairport Convention is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
gnicholls added Fairport Convention

25
19 12
Marianne Faithfull is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Marianne Faithfull Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

26
22 15
Joan Armatrading is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Joan Armatrading Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

27
24 17
Linda Ronstadt is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Linda Ronstadt New Wave, Rock music, Latin American music

28
14 8
Buffy Sainte-Marie is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Buffy Sainte-Marie Rock music, Folk music, Electronic music

29
20 14
Jorma Kaukonen is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jorma Kaukonen Rock music, Folk music, Psychedelic rock

The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists The Best Folk Rock Bands of All Time

30
21 15
José González is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
José González Folk music, Indie folk, Indie rock

31
21 15
Lucinda Williams is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Lucinda Williams Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music

32
10 5
The Incredible String Band is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
chip-chop added The Incredible String Band Psychedelic folk, World music

33
26 21
Tanita Tikaram is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Tanita Tikaram Pop music, Folk music

34
20 15
Loudon Wainwright III is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Loudon Wainwright III Rock music, Folk music, Blues

35
12 7
Rickie Lee Jones is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
chip-chop added Rickie Lee Jones Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

36
21 16
Jewel is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jewel Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Traditional music

37
16 11
Luke Kelly is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Luke Kelly Folk music, Folk music of Ireland

38
14 9
Iris DeMent is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Iris DeMent Folk music, Alternative country, Gospel music

39
15 11
Maddy Prior is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Maddy Prior Folk music, Electric folk, Folk rock

40
11 7
It's a Beautiful Day is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
It's a Beautiful Day Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

41
9 5
Mumford & Sons is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
wimvi added Mumford & Sons Pop music, Folk rock, Pop rock

42
6 2
Kate & Anna McGarrigle is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
gnicholls added Kate & Anna McGarrigle Folk music

43
18 15
Dido is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Dido Pop music, Trip hop, Folk music

The Best Country Pop Singers/Bands The Best Zydeco Bands/Artists of All Time

44
15 12
De Dannan is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
De Dannan Folk music, Folk music of Ireland, Celtic music

45
14 11
Jimmie Rodgers is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jimmie Rodgers Rock music, Folk music, Traditional pop music

46
14 11
Jack Johnson is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jack Johnson Indie pop, Tropical rock, Pop music

47
13 10
Jim Corcoran is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jim Corcoran Pop music, Folk music

48
13 10
Leon Russell is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Leon Russell Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

49
13 10
Joan Osborne is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Joan Osborne Rock music, Folk music, Country rock

50
13 10
Gomez is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Gomez Folk music, Alternative rock, Jam band