10 Contemporary Alt-Country Bands You Should Know

Alt-country (or Americana, if you must) was all over the music press in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with Uncut magazine, in particular, making the genre its de facto in-house sound. Since then, its visibility has faded somewhat, but the quality of the music hasn’t suffered — while the work of artists like Lambchop, Jason Lytle and Grandaddy (who’ve recently reunited — yay!), Wilco, Calexico, Iron & Wine, Mark Kozelek et al remains well-renowned, there are plenty of other artists similarly deserving of your attention. We’ve rounded up a selection of such musicians after the jump. Do let us know who your favorites are, too.


The Avett Brothers

They really are brothers, and they’ve got a record out this week. They’re also the band that’s had our alt-country-lovin’ friends salivating most over the last couple of years — their previous album, 2009’s I And Love And You, was their major label debut, with Rick Rubin on production duties and the weight of Sony distribution behind it. It flirted with full-fledged mainstream success, briefly cracking the Billboard Top 20, which means that expectations are high indeed for its newly released successor, The Carpenter.