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 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