The Best Progressive Bluegrass Bands/Artists

Over 1.8K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Progressive Bluegrass Bands/Artists

This list of the top progressive bluegrass bands in the world includes all musicians who have released recordings that have gotten distribution, and is an up-to-date list. New age bluegrass groups and artists are shown below along with any additional genres in which their music belongs. If available, you can also see information about where all progressive bluegrass bands on this list got started. These are truly the greatest progressive bluegrass bands of all time, since the most famous progressive bluegrass artists ever are listed, and the order is decided by actual fans of the best progressive bluegrass music.

You can click on the progressive bluegrass band names to see more information about that particular notable progressive bluegrass group. If they're near the top of the best progressive bluegrass artist list, though, then they should have at least some information available. All the top progressive bluegrass bands named on the list also have discographies on their pages if you click on the progressive bluegrass band names themselves.

List is made up of a variety of new age bluegrass artist, including The String Cheese Incident and Keller Williams. Rank your favorites using the thumbs up and thumbs down buttons. Give a thumbs down to artists like Railroad Earth and Yonder Mountain String Band if you don't like them and a thumbs up if you do.

All important, significant and noteworthy names in progressive bluegrass music history deserve your votes, so make sure to choose wisely.

The list includes all new progressive bluegrass bands, and this list answers the questions "who are the best progressive bluegrass bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest progressive 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 progressive bluegrass bands that you might've heard of, but not really listened to closely enough to cast an informed vote.

Most divisive: Ben Kaufmann
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  • Hailing from Duluth, Minnesota, Trampled By Turtles burst onto the progressive bluegrass scene with their innovative and electrifying sound. Straddling the line between traditional bluegrass and contemporary indie, their unique blend of rapid-fire picking and heartfelt lyricism consistently keeps fans on their toes. Throughout a career spanning over a decade, the talented ensemble has released eight studio albums and earned widespread acclaim for captivating live performances. It's no wonder Trampled By Turtles remains at the forefront of the progressive bluegrass movement.

  • Undeniably innovative and endlessly talented, Infamous Stringdusters have become one of the most prominent forces in progressive bluegrass. Since their debut in 2007, this collective of skilled musicians has fearlessly woven elements of rock, folk, and jazz into their bluegrass foundation, pushing the genre's boundaries in exhilarating ways. Their impressive resume includes numerous awards, chart-topping albums, and captivating collaborations with artists across various musical spectrums. Infamous Stringdusters undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on the world of progressive bluegrass.

  • Known for their soulful, bluesy take on bluegrass, The SteelDrivers have been captivating audiences since their formation in 2005. Infused with raw emotion and grit, their sound embraces a pure, unapologetic approach to Americana roots music. Despite a few lineup changes over the years, the band's dedication to transforming the traditional bluegrass genre into a modern and dynamic experience remains steadfast. Simply put, The SteelDrivers are a powerhouse that continues to redefine progressive bluegrass for fans both old and new.

  • Sam Bush
    153 votes

    As a founding father of progressive bluegrass, Sam Bush has been shaping the genre for nearly half a century. An undisputed master of the mandolin, fiddle, and guitar, Bush first gained prominence with his groundbreaking work in New Grass Revival, a band that helped redefine the bluegrass landscape. His virtuosic playing and innovative approach to traditional music have earned him countless accolades, including a Grammy Award and collaborations with some of the biggest names in music. Sam Bush's influence on progressive bluegrass is utterly immeasurable.

  • Since forming in Colorado in 1998, Yonder Mountain String Band has fearlessly pushed the boundaries of traditional bluegrass with their genre-blending sound. By incorporating elements of rock, jam bands, and even punk into their music, they've cultivated a passionate fanbase eager for their innovative take on bluegrass. Their lively, improvisation-heavy performances have made Yonder Mountain String Band a fixture on the festival circuit for decades. With no signs of slowing down, this beloved ensemble continues to pave the way for future generations of progressive bluegrass aficionados.

  • Few artists have impacted the progressive bluegrass world as profoundly as Alison Krauss and her exceptional band, Union Station. With her angelic voice and unparalleled fiddle playing, Krauss has become a living legend, earning a staggering 27 Grammy Awards throughout her career. Union Station's skilled musicianship and inventive arrangements further elevate the group's already extraordinary sound. Together, Alison Krauss and Union Station hold a permanent place in the annals of progressive bluegrass history.