100 Greatest Americana Albums

Criteria: These albums were chosen for best identifying, inspiring & encapsulating the heart of tradition & the American experience. As with all lists, this is a subjective list and makes no claim of an official nature.

Background: Americana is a subset of American roots music, best defined as "classic American music" ranging in style from & including elements of folk, country blues, bluegrass, alternative country, rockabilly, neo traditional & roots rock.
Greatest Americana Albums
1. American Music
The Blasters
2. Rear View Mirror
Townes Van Zandt
3. Honky Tonk Masquerade
Joe Ely
4. The Gilded Palace of Sin
The Flying Burrito Brothers
5. Pieces of The Sky
Emmylou Harris
6. Old #1
Guy Clark
7. Trace
Son Volt
8. Into The Purple Valley
Ry Cooder
9. John Prine
John Prine
10. Grievous Angel
Gram Parsons
11. Frisco Mabel Joy
Mickey Newberry
12. Delirium Tremolos
Ray Wylie Hubbard
13. Train a Comin'
Steve Earle
14. Car Wheels On a Gravel Road
Lucinda Williams
15. Ashgrove
Dave Alvin
16. More a Legend Than a Band
The Flatlanders
17. Eats Away The Night
Butch Hancock
18. Bring The Family
John Hiatt
19. No Depression
Uncle Tupelo
20. Boomer's Story
Ry Cooder
21. Blackjack David
Dave Alvin
22. El Corazon
Steve Earle
23. King of California
Dave Alvin
24. Stangers Almanac
Whiskeytown
25. Eleven Eleven
Dave Alvin
26. Childish Things
James McMurtry
27. Songbones
Grayson Capps
28. Living With Ghosts
Patty Griffen
29. Anodyne
Uncle Tupelo
30. Full Service, No Waiting
Peter Case
31. Paradise and Lunch
Ry Cooder
32. Ain't Livin' Long Like This
Rodney Crowell
33. Okemah & The Melody of Riot
Son Volt
34. Musta Notta Gotta Lotta
Joe Ely
35. California Bloodlines
John Stewart
36. Aereo Plain
John Hartford
37. Non Fiction
The Blasters
38. Flying Saucer Blues
Peter Case
39. Lord of The Highway
Joe Ely
40. The Fantastic Expedition
Dilliard & Clark
41. Sundown
Rank & File
42. Third Down, 110 To Go
Jesse Winchester
43. Lost In The Ozone
Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen
44. Tangled In The Pines
BR5-49
45. Washington County
Arlo Guthrie
46. Snake Farm
Ray Wylie Hubbard
47. Essence
Lucinda Williams
48. Uncle Charley & His Dog Teddy
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
49. The Dark
Guy Clark
50. The Road To Ensenada
Lyle Lovett
51. A.M.
Wilco
52. Guitar Town
Steve Earle
53. Up On The Lowdown
Chris Smither
54. Townes Van Zandt
Townes Van Zandt
55. Workingman's Dead
The Grateful Dead
56. Growl
Ray Wylie Hubbard
57. The Last of The True Believers
Nanci Griffith
58. Faithless Street
Whiskeytown
59. Last Chance
Chip Taylor
60. White Light
Gene Clark
61. Hoboes Lullaby
Arlo Guthrie
62. Love and Fever
Tom Russell
63. Somebody Else's Troubles
Steve Goodman
64. Hardline
The Blasters
65. Kerosene Hat
Cracker
66. Saint Mary of The Woods
James McMurtry
67. Mr Bojangles
Jerry Jeff Walker
68. Hollywood Town Hall
The Jayhawks
69. New Riders of The Purple Sage
New Riders of The Purple Sage
70. Fate's Right Hand
Rodney Crowell
71. The Tractors
The Tractors
72. Torn Again
Peter Case
73. Stacked Deck
The Amazing Rhythm Aces
74. Lone Justice
Lone Justice
75. Ancestral Swamp
Michael Hurley
76. Wide Swing Tremelo
Son Volt
77. Slow Turning
John Hiatt
78. Big Backyard Beat Show
BR5-49
79. No Other
Gene Clark
80. Diamonds In The Rough
John Prine
81. Steve Goodman
Steve Goodman
82. Honeysuckle Dog
Chris Smither
83. Bombs Away Dream Babies
John Stewart
84. Burrito Deluxe
The Flying Burrito Brothers
85. Storms
Nanci Griffith
86. Good Times
Charlie Robison
87. Straightaways
Son Volt
88. My Name Is Buddy
Ry Cooder
89. Loco Gringo's Lament
Ray Wylie Hubbard
90. Driftin' Way of Life
Jerry Jeff Walker
91. Healing Bones
Jules Shear
92. Pretty Close To The Truth
Jim Lauderdale
93. Fair & Square
John Prine
94. Nothing But a Breeze
Jesse Winchester
95. I Feel Alright
Steve Earle
96. Sings Like Hell
Peter Case
97. Still Feel Gone
Uncle Tupelo
98. Haymaker
The Gourds
99. Jesse Winchester
Jesse Winchester
100. Safe At Home
The International Submarine Band
101. Arlo Guthrie
Arlo Guthrie
102. Down On The Drag
Joe Ely
103. Tomorrow The Green Grass
The Jayhawks
104. American Central Dust
Son Volt
105. The Dirty South
Drive By Truckers
106. Walk On
John Hiatt
107. Man With The Blue Post Modern Guitar
Peter Case
108. 1000 Kisses
Patty Griffin
109. My Baby Don't Tolerate
Lyle Lovett
110. The Houston Kid
Rodney Crowell
111. Dangerous Spirits
Ray Wylie Hubbard
112. Sweet Revenge
John Prine
113. Got No Breeding
Jules and The Polar Bears
114. Too Long In The Wasteland
James McMurtry
115. Electric Blue Watermelon
The North Mississippi All-Stars
116. Being There
Wilco
117. Van Go
The Beat Farmers
118. Chicken Skin Music
Ry Cooder
119. Pickin' On Nashville
The Kentucky Headhunters
120. West Texas Waltzes & Dust Blown Tractor Tunes
Butch Hancock
121. Lucinda Williams
Lucinda Williams
122. Weird Tales
Golden Smog
123. It Aint Easy
Chris Smither
124. Stolen Moments
John Hiatt
125. The Grifter's Hymnal
Ray Wylie Hubbard
126. Rodney Crowell
Rodney Crowell
127. Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams
BoDeans
128. Texas Tornados
Texas Tornados
129. Bradley's Barn
The Beau Brummels
130. Hell of a Spell
Doug Sahm
131. Crusades of The Restless Knights
Ray Wylie Hubbard
132. Hell Among The Yearlings
Gillian Welch
133. Train Home
Chris Smither
134. Come On Back
Jimmie Dale Gilmore
135. Sky Blue Sky
Wilco
136. March 16-20, 1992
Uncle Tupelo
137. The South Coast of Texas
Guy Clark
138. Spinning Round The Sun
Jimmie Dale Gilmore
139. Too Far To Care
Old 97's
140. Dog Days
BR5-49
141. Wail & Ride
Grayson Capps
142. Buddy & Julie
Miller Buddy & Julie Miller
143. Mermaid Avenue
Billy Bragg
144. Hotwalker
Tom Russell
145. Love & Danger
Joe Ely
146. The Doug Sahm Band
Doug Sahm
147. Home
BoDeans
148. Furnace Room Lullaby
Neko Case
149. Kingfish
Kingfish
150. The End Is Not In Sight
Russell Smith
151. Sex and Gasoline
Rodney Crowell
152. Full Western Dress
The Derailers
153. Original Recordings
Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks
154. Borderland
Tom Russell
155. Blue Blvd
Dave Alvin
156. Now Again
The Flatlanders
157. Jacksonville City Nights
Ryan Adams
158. Letter To Laredo
Joe Ely
159. Down By The Old Mainstream
Golden Smog
160. Dirt Farmer
Levon Helm
161. If You Knew My Mind
Grayson Capps
162. Freedom and Weep
The Waco Brothers
163. Alive On Arrival
Steve Forbert
164. Juke Box Music
Doug Sahm
165. Rural Free Delivery
Whiskeytown
166. Boats To Build
Guy Clark
167. Wrecking Ball
Emmylou Harris
168. J.D. Crowe & The New South
J.D. Crowe
169. Shake Hands With Shorty
North Mississippi All-Stars
170. Bottle Rockets
Bottle Rockets
171. Quarter Moon In a Ten Cent Town
Emmylou Harris
172. Sweet Old World
Lucinda Williams
173. Streets of Sin
Joe Ely
174. Zone of Our Own
Texas Tornados
175. The Adventures of Panama Red
New Riders of The Purple Sage
176. Dog Days
Blue Mountain
177. The Notorious Cherry Bombs
Rodney Crowell
178. After Awhile
Jimmie Dale Gilmore
179. Transcendental Blues
Steve Earle
180. Born Again In The U.S.A.
Loose Fur
181. Positive Friction
Donna The Buffalo
182. The Long Way Around
Tom Russell
183. Deeper Well
David Olney
184. Kevin Welch
Kevin Welch
185. Wreck Your Life
Old 97's
186. Cracker
Cracker
187. Flash, Crash and Thunder
Farmer Boys
188. Jackrabbit Slim
Steve Forbert
189. Copperopolis
Grant Lee Buffalo
190. The Desert Rose Band
The Desert Rose Band
191. Y2Kow
Kudzu Kings
192. Amigo
Arlo Guthrie
193. Gentleman's Blues
Cracker
194. Old Friends
Guy Clark
195. Modern Art
Tom Russell
196. Native Sons
The Long Ryders
197. Harlan County
Jim Ford
198. Wacoworld
The Waco Brothers
199. Everything You Thought Was Wrong
Slobberbone
200. Stray Cats
The Stray Cats


Great New Americana Albums 2000-Present
1. Something More Than Free
(2015) Jason Isbell
2. Sighs No More
(2009) Mumford & Sons
3. Evening Moods
(2000) Ratdog
4. Rest in Chaos
(2014) Hard Working Americans
5. Barton Hollow
(2011) The Civil Wars
6. The Lumineers
(2012) The Lumineers
7. Mescalito
(2007) Ryan Bingham
8. Trouble In Mind
(2008) Hayes Caryll
9. True Sadness
(2016) The Avett Brothers
10. Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables
(2012) Todd Snider
11. Single Mothers
(2014) Justin Townes Earle
12. Blackbirds
(2015) Gretchen Peters
13. Southeastern
(2013) Jason Isbell
14. The Very Last Day
(2016) Parker Milsap
15. The Pirate Gospels
(2004) Alela Diane
16. Remedy
(2014) Old Crow Medicine Show
17. Honky Tonk
(2013) Son Volt
18. Absent Fathers
(2015) Justin Townes Earle
19. Notes of Blue
(2017) Son Volt
20. Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
(2014) Sturgill Simpson
21. Lovers and Leavers
(2016) Hayes Carll
22. Born to Be Wilder
(2006) Webb Wilder
23. A Sailors Guide To Earth
(2016) Sturgill Simpson
24. Magic Fire
(2016) The Stray Birds
25. This is The Year
(2016) Yarn

10 Best Americana Albums of 2021
1. Leftover Feelings
John Hiatt
2. Electro Melodier
Son Volt
3. In These Silent Days
Brandi Carlile
4. The Horses and the Hounds
James McMurtry
5. From Dreams to Dust
The Felice Brothers
6. These 13
Jimbo Mathus and Andrew Bird
7. In Heaven
Strand of Oaks
8. Raise the Roof
Alison Krauss and Robert Plant
9. J.T.
Steve Earle & The Dukes
10. In the Blossom of Their Shade
Pokey LaFarge
10 Best Americana Albums of 2020
1. Good Souls Better Angels
Lucinda William
2. Reunions
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
3. Ghosts of West Virginia
Steve Earle & the Dukes
4. Love Is the King
Jeff Tweedy
5. Co-Starring
Ray Wylie Hubbard
6. World on the Ground
Sarah Jarosz
7. The Highwomen
The Highwomen
8. LP5
John Moreland
9. The Third Gleam
The Avett Brothers
10. Local Honey
Brian Fallon
10 Best Americana Albums of 2019
1. The Saint of Lost Causes
Justin Townes Earle
2. Years to Burn
Calexico And Iron & Wine
3. Union
Son Volt
4. Texas
Rodney Crowell
5. American Love Song
Ryan Bingham
6. Closer Than Together
The Avett Brothers
7. Blood
Allison Moorer
8. Sunset Kids
Jesse Malin
9. Up On High
Vetiver
10. Undress
The Felice Brothers
10 Best Americana Albums of 2018
1. The Tree of Forgiveness
John Prine
2. By the Way, I Forgive You
Brandi Carlile
3. Back Roads and Abandoned Motels
The Jayhawks
4. Volunteer
Old Crow Medicine Show
5. To the Sunset
Amanda Shires
6. The Eclipse Sessions
John Hiatt
7. Years
Sarah Shook & the Disarmers
8. Rifles & Rosary Beads
Mary Gauthier
9. The Last American
Ryan Culwell
10. One Drop of Truth
The Wood Brothers
10 Best Americana Albums of 2017
1. The Nashville Sound
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
2. Beast Epic
Iron & Wine
3. Kids in the Street
Justin Townes Earle
4. Notes of Blue
Son Volt
5. Freedom Highway
Rhiannon Giddens
6. Big Bad Luv
John Moreland
7. The Soul & the Heal
Gurf Morlix
8. Brand New Day
The Mavericks
9. Darkest Darks, Lightest Lights
The White Buffalo
10. Hallelujah Anyhow
Hiss Golden Messenger

Last Updated: 2019-02-18
Newly added names are in Red