Best Folk Rock Artists

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Folk rock originates from... you guessed it, folk music. Folk rock hit the mainstream thanks to The Animals 1964 hit "House of the Rising Sun," a song that dates back to the late 19th century. Their success was followed by some of the best remembered artists in the genre including Bob Dylan.

The Top TenXW

1Bob DylanBob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, artist and writer . he won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2016 .

Knockin on heaven's door, all along the watchtower, Chimes of freedom. Bob Dylan was more than a folk rock artist. His music influenced so many significant artists, that some people don't even know that it was originally his music. Bob Dylan is a genius.

I love Bob Dylan, but it is obvious that people voting on this list don't have a clue about Folk Music. Where is John Prine? This list is insulting to anyone who has a clue what they are talking about. He should be number 2, but to not even have him on the list makes this list totally invalid.

Each of his song bears depth in lyrics with simple but beautiful tune. His songs can swing your mood better than anything. Such beauty, such composure! The best folk rock artist ever born!

When it comes to folk rock there is no one close to being as good as bob Dylan

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2Simon & Garfunkel

Go on YouTube and search the song "Bridge Over Troubled Waters". It is a song filled with beauty and wonder. Paul Simon was one of the greatest song writers and Art Garfunkel has such an amazing voice.

I can't believe Mumford and Sons are in the number 2 spot, I don think they reach the standards of artists such as: Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Young etc.

This band does not have a bad song. Paul Simon is an amazing songwriter, writing every song they made. "The Sounds of Silence" is a deep song with amazing lyrics. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is such an inspirational song. Don't forget "Homeward Bound", "Cecelia", "Scarborough Fair", and "Mrs. Robinson". There is something for everyone

What Mumford and sons aren't even folk rock

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3Neil YoungNeil Percival Young is a Canadian singer-songwriter and musician, producer, director and screenwriter.

Neil young is brilliant. He is one of the only musicians which capture the real essence of emotion in his song. You can connect heart of gold with loss and are you ready for the country with hope. He is also quite funny too. One of the truly great folk artist. He and big Dylan are #1 for me because I can't choose which is better.

I've been listening to this guy all my life and he still amazes me. He's the reason I learned to play guitar and harmonica. He was the reason buffalo Springfield was so cool. Cheers

Neil Young is the reason I started to sing and play harmonica when I play guitar. There are some great artists on this list, but I truly believe that Neil rises above all. Some of his songs can be used to define Folk/Folk Rock. The song writing he has done is legendary.

Hey, Hey, My, My
Rock and roll can never die!

Mumford & Sons is currently above Neil Young. I'm going to vomit.

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4Mumford and SonsMumford & Sons are a British rock band from London, formed in 2007. The band consists of Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett, Winston Marshall and Ted Dwane.

They are the best in current scenario. Because, they learnt from Bob Dylan. Their 2nd album "Babel" won the Album of the year award at prestigious 2013 Grammy awards. - ankittayal1

Mumford and sons are amazing. They're going to have so many more Grammy winning albums in their future

Mumford and Sons are excellent and I could listen to them all day, but number two? What about Cat Stevens, Neil Young etc?

Don't deserve to be #3.

V7 Comments
5Nick Drake

It's sad because not many people know the story behind his sad soul so I will. Nick drake was not a Syd Barrett or Keith moon. He was known to take drugs but that's not what killed him. What killed him was the same mental disorder these 3 musicians all had: bipolar disorder. He gecame so depressed it was the death of him. Such a sad soul with so little time on the limelight.

A poor talented soul who deserved much more during his lifetime.

Such a beautiful voice. Could listen to him all day.

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6Crosby, Stills, and Nash

The best harmony band ever. All know about Young but Stills was very good on guitar particularly the acoustic in addition to being very good song writer and a great vocalist. Crosby and Nash blended in with perfect harmonies while often contributing some brilliant songs. However most of their later albums were disappointing

Some of the greatest harmonies ever. Crosby from the Byrds, Stills from Buffalo Springfield (and later Neil Young), and Graham Nash from the Hollies. Suite:Judy Blue Eyes, written for Judy Collins, is particularly amazing.

They were just amazing! Everything they did!

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7The ByrdsThe Byrds were an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964. The band underwent multiple line-up changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn remaining the sole consistent member, until the group disbanded in 1973. Although they only managed to attain the huge commercial ...read more.

Byrds not only mixed successfully Dylan with Beatles, their best work goes beyond that, a mix of psychedelia, jazz, great pop melodies and harmonies is what shapes their best, "Younger Than Yesterday" is the proof, it shows their talent, McGuinn's 12 string sounding like the combination of a Harpsichord and a Banjo marks their distinctive sounds.

They invented the genre "Folk Rock".

These guys should be # 1 and all others follow.They truly influenced everyone in this genre.

Eight miles high

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8The AnimalsThe Animals were an English band of the 1960s, formed in Newcastle upon Tyne, during the early part of the decade.

I don't consider the animals folk, however, they are fantastic

9Joni Mitchell

The album Blue is one of the best albums of all time regardless of genre. The songwriting is superb. Joni is right up there with bob and Neil as well as James and Carole!

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10Cat StevensYusuf Islam, commonly known by his former stage name Cat Stevens, is a British singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, humanitarian, and education philanthropist.

Where is Cat? He is always forgotten because he converted to Islam and changed his name, but back in his reign, during the 70's, he wrote some of the greatest songs of all time including Peace Train, Wild World, Foreigner Suite, Moonshadow, and many more.

This is Cat Stevens territory, this category. Move him up!

Bob Dylan will always be number one but Cat Stevens deserves a higher spot.

Cat should be 2 or 3. The man is a genius!

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The Newcomers

?Frank Turner

The Contenders

11The BandThe Band was a Canadian-American roots rock group formed in 1965 . Which originally consisting of Rick Danko (bass guitar, double bass, fiddle, vocals), Levon Helm (drums, mandolin, guitar, vocals), Garth Hudson (keyboards, saxophones, trumpet), Richard Manuel (piano, drums, vocals) and Robbie Robertson ...read more.

Take a load off Annie and you put the load right on me

12Leonard CohenLeonard Norman Cohen was a Canadian singer, songwriter, poet and novelist . Cohen died on November 7, 2016 at the age of 82 .

Leonard Cohen below Mumford And Sons? Piss off

Seriously! Piss off! Leonard Cohen is THE MAN.

V2 Comments
13The Dream Academy
14James TaylorJames Vernon Taylor is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A five-time Grammy Award winner, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He is one of the best-selling artists of all time, and he has sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

Is Fire and Rain the best song ever written? If not there aren't many above it.

His version of "Steam Roller" is brill and shocking fantastic

There are things about this list that do look a little screwy. The Animals were terrific, but they're not folk rock, and they're in the top ten? Mumford &Sons are good, but not second best. This seems like it is a relatively new list, so it should straighten itself out, hopefully. Meanwhile, J. T. Is incredible, and should be top five.

15The Mamas & the PapasThe Mamas & the Papas were an American folk rock vocal group that recorded and performed from 1965 to 1968, reuniting briefly in 1971.

Kinda poppy but still they had great harmonies.

16Syd Barrett

I would have voted for Neil Young but then I saw Syd. This man is really the definition of "mad genius". He was quite insane, and took way to many drugs, but he was still able to craft musical masterpieces, including Pink Floyds first album "Piper at the Gates of Dawn". - Doom

A true genius, constructed music so well and lyrics were just majestic, a real individual, they'll never be anyone like him again.

Very good folk and psychedelic rock musician with one of the saddest history in the music business.

Key songs:
Baby lemonade
Octopus
Dark globe
Opel

17Gordon Lightfoot

Absolutely. Move this man WAY up! So underrated, not just his singles, but album cuts like Beautiful, For Lovin' Me, Daylight Katy, does great covers too (Me and Bobby McGee, Last Thing on My Mind). Great singer and songwriter.

"The Edmund Fitzgerald" It's in my head and I can't get it out! This great singer songwriter is pure Folk Rock. He should be at least in the top 5 in this line-up.

One of the originators of the genre, certainly worth the top ten.

So underrated and underappreciated - Billyv

18The Lumineers

Name ten contemporary folk albums that you can listen to straight through without skipping a track. Both Lumineers albums will be in that top ten. Simply amazing attention to detail. Check out the KEXP live sessions from them. Amazing artists. Amazingly rugged. Amazingly simple. Amazing.

The songs and lyrics have a meaning! Music with great lyrics, is great music

Everyone of their songs are incredible. I would definitely switch them out with Mumford and sons

These guys are bad

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19Of Monsters and MenOf Monsters and Men is a five-member, English-language, indie folk-pop band from Reykjavík, Iceland, formed in 2010.

These guys are the best I've seen them live an they are great they should be on the top 5

The Best Folk Rock Band Ever. I've never seen anyone sing like them.

I could listen to every song on their albums for hours

Listen to their songs like ho hey, stubborn love... You'll love them

V2 Comments
20Jeff BuckleyJeffrey Scott "Jeff" Buckley, raised as Scott "Scottie" Moorhead, was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist.

He should be higher than number 15!

V2 Comments
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List StatsUpdated 5 Dec 2016

700 votes
80 listings
4 years, 47 days old

Top Remixes

1. Bob Dylan
2. Neil Young
3. Simon & Garfunkel
Billyv
1. Nick Drake
2. Bob Dylan
3. Joni Mitchell
ziggy
1. Bob Dylan
2. The Animals
3. The Byrds
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