folk music The Best Folk Bands/Artists  

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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. {#nodes}

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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

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

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

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

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57 31
Jim Croce is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jim Croce Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

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John Denver is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
John Denver Western music, Pop music, Traditional music

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Woody Guthrie is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Woody Guthrie Folk music, Country

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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

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Richard Thompson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
bri-gri added Richard Thompson Rock music, Folk music, Electric folk

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

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James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
chip-chop added James Taylor Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music

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Gordon Lightfoot is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Gordon Lightfoot Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

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

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

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Pentangle is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
chip-chop added Pentangle Electric folk, Folk jazz, Folk rock

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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

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

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Janis Ian is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Janis Ian Adult contemporary music, Folk music

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

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

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Joanna Newsom is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Joanna Newsom Folk music, Folk, Experimental music

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

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Dixie Chicks is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Dixie Chicks Country pop, Pop music, Rock music

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

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Buffy Sainte-Marie is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Buffy Sainte-Marie Rock music, Folk music, Electronic music

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Marianne Faithfull is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Marianne Faithfull Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

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Joan Armatrading is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Joan Armatrading Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

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22 15
José González is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
José González Folk music, Indie folk, Indie rock

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Linda Ronstadt is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Linda Ronstadt New Wave, Rock music, Latin American music

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Mumford & Sons is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
wimvi added Mumford & Sons Pop music, Folk rock, Pop rock

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Jorma Kaukonen is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jorma Kaukonen Rock music, Folk music, Psychedelic rock

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21 15
Lucinda Williams is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Lucinda Williams Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music

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20 15
Loudon Wainwright III is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Loudon Wainwright III Rock music, Folk music, Blues

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Jewel is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jewel Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Traditional music

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Tanita Tikaram is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Tanita Tikaram Pop music, Folk music

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Iris DeMent is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Iris DeMent Folk music, Alternative country, Gospel music

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

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The Incredible String Band is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
chip-chop added The Incredible String Band Psychedelic folk, World music

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

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Rickie Lee Jones is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
chip-chop added Rickie Lee Jones Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

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14 10
Máire Brennan is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Máire Brennan New Age music, Folk music, Folk music of Ireland

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12 8
Joe South is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Joe South Rock music, Folk music, Country

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11 7
Ian Tyson is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Ian Tyson Western music, Folk music, Country rock

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11 7
It's a Beautiful Day is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
It's a Beautiful Day Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

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Steeleye Span is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
spanhead added Steeleye Span Electric folk

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Kate & Anna McGarrigle is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
gnicholls added Kate & Anna McGarrigle Folk music

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Dido is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Dido Pop music, Trip hop, Folk music

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15 12
De Dannan is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
De Dannan Folk music, Folk music of Ireland, Celtic music

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14 11
Jimmie Rodgers is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jimmie Rodgers Rock music, Folk music, Traditional pop music

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14 11
Jack Johnson is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Folk Bands/Artists
Jack Johnson Indie pop, Tropical rock, Pop music