Top 10 Alt-country bands

Attached is an URL for an interesting article in the Dallas paper about the Alt-country sub-genre. I really like most of these bands. If you don't dance to the Gourds, you don't have a spine. I would add Alejandro Escovedo and Steve Earle to this group. Any other alt-country artists of note?
lucinda williams
jamey johnson
cross country ragweed [now broken up sadly]
hacienda brothers [now less 1 member]
dave alvin
band of heathens
shooter jennings
maybe not exactly alt country but great groups from the edge of the genre
Son Volt (?)
how could i forget chris knight and reckless kelly?
shelby lynne and allison moorer
Jeffrey Foucault and Cold Satellite are a must ....Stripping Cane and Ghost Repeater would be the two places to begin...
Son Volt! Jay is currently the best alt-country Singer/Songwriter we have.
IMHO. that's a very good list. Id say that the Biggest misses are Escovedo, The Delevantes, and The Reivers.
Backsliders and V-roys.
Crooked Still.
Monsters of Folk perhaps. Not sure I consider Wilco Alt-Country.
good list. in addition to the others listed above, i'd add lucinda, richard buckner (my fave), blue mountain, driveby truckers, richmond fontaine and handsome family. also jason and the scorchers and foster & lloyd, whose "faster & louder" might be the best record in the whole canon.
I agree good list though I would personally have the Old97's higher and Wilco lower. For an awesome newcomer to the genre check out J Roddy Wallston and the Business out of Baltimore. The debut album from a few years ago is off the charts good.

IMHO, Foster and Lloyd is one of the quirkier bands to come down the road in many moons. Radney Foster is the country part and Bill Lloyd the Alt (pop) part. In the end, I think I prefer Bill Lloyd straight up, but I agree that they did some very integrating stuff together

marty, i agree with you about bill lloyd (feeding the elephant is a power pop classic). also agree with ogsarg about wilco--there ain't much country left in 'em. the story i read is that after wilco put out its good-but-conventional countryish debut, tweedy was so blown away by son volt's far greater debut that he was inspired to go in the progressively more idiosyncratic-pop direction of his best work.

Hiss Golden Messenger

Son Volt is on the list folks at no 2, sharing the spot with Wilco which is kind of a joke. Also Whiskeytown? Ugh. Ryan Adams needs to just please go away.
If Hiss Golden Messenger qualifies as Alt-country, IMHO they go right to the top of the list. However, they sound more Alt-acoustic blues to me. Either way, Poor Moon is a stunningly good record.

HGM certainly would be Alt Country in my book, pretty damn pure form of it at that. Their last 2 releases, Haw and Lord I Love the Rain are right up there with Poor Moon. Give them a go if you have not already. I'd recommend the Bandcamp downloads as they are 24bit and Haw comes with a great 4 track bonus EP.

Phosphorescent is probably the one I play more than any other. One of my all time favorite song writers. My wife is about to ban me from playing "A New Anhedondia" (track 7 on his latest) anymore, it seems to be on here at least a couple times a day:)
The Gourds & Giant Sand (or Howe Gelb) are a couple I like
Admittedly, I'm not really much of a country music fan however I'm a fan of the Massachusetts band Beat Circus and their record 'Boy from Black Mountain' won the 9th Annual Independent Music Award for Best Alt/Country album in 2009. If your not familiar with Beat Circus, then I recommend that you give them a chance with this record.
Wilco Alt-country? Puh-leez.
We are big Ryan Adams fans. Easy Tiger gets a lot of play.
While speaking of Hiss Golden Messenger, here is another HGM project out now
Junior Brown is sensational, maybe more "retro" than "alt."
Heybale is also quite good. Amanda Pearcy's second CD, "Royal Street" is very good and worth checking out.
These are all local Austin people and that's all I know much about lately.
Thanks for all the responses. There are some great referrals in here. I think that this genre is hard to accurately define. I really enjoy old Marshall Tucker. Jolene and Jupiter Coyote are also excellent bands from the 90's. Chuck Prophet and Green on Red are fantastic. While they are countrified, I don't necessarily place them in the Alt-country world. Maybe alt-country is the catch all category carrying over the California sound of the Byrds when bands don't fit perfectly into rock and roll. Regardless of genre, there is some great original stuff here. I have ordered HGM and the Volebeats so far.
This list from the "ahem", dallas observer (The 10 Greatest Alt-Country Bands Ever) is a joke and no better than the "gazillion" that come before it. Just do a search on OPs title on the inter webs.

With the exception of UT/Wilco/Son Volt, the rest in this lame duck three legged dog list should not even be on one titled: "Greatest Alt-Country Bands Ever"

This a a HUGELY populated style of music today - thanks in no small part to folks like the Flying Burrito Brothers; The Byrds; The Band et al.

Maybe I should put one together so we can all just move on and get over the self important hey look at me I can name bands I don't listen to or have their records but I think are "Greatest Alt-Country Bands Ever...."

Nah, it aint worth it.
Noted, the reason people have posted for a favorite band, if it belongs on the best ever list or not, is to make others aware of a band they might not know about, so they can pick up that bands music, not to actually ARGUE.

Then you come along and kick everyone in the groin, but have nothing of any value to add to the discussion.

What kind of person acts like that?
Thanks to the useful people who have added to my knowledge and collection.
You all should listen to The Wood Brothers, all three of their studio albums are awesome !!! Great live band too !! I've seen them twice.
Agree about the Wood Brothers, awesome band for the un-initiated, but I would not consider them "alt- country".
Alternative country is hard to define. Even current Bluegrass could be considered alternative country. When Nashville praises Taylor Swift but considers Rhonda Vincent the red headed stepchild? FWIW I don't consider The Jayhawks or Wilco alt-country!
Acman3, I wasn't aware you were the author of the dallas observer article of which I was referring.

Anything with "Alternative" in it is a very blurred line tobesure. At the end of the day tho it's all subjective and a matter of personal taste.

Alternative - for the last 23 years - equates to commercial.

Go do your self a favor and get the 2011 vinyl release of "Frontier Folk Nebraska."

There you go Acman, something useful for ya

FWIW Wilco's debut AM was every bit "" and where they left off with UT... hence the life long labeling.

I have not the knowledge or desire to compile a list for others to scoff at.

I did listen to Alt. during the late 90's and saw many of the bands mentioned. I moved to another area and lost touch. Interested in reconnecting so interesting thread for me.

Thank you for the recommendation. I WILL get it.
Winoguy, How do you classify them? Americana?
Welp, the powers that be consider "The Wood Bros."
I LOVE the Wood Bros., but I also would not have thought of including them in a list of country artists. I'll have to ponder that...
Toddnkaya, difficult to classify. I know the media loves to pigeonhole everything into nice neat little boxes, but I think we can all agree one size seldom fits all. That being said, to me the Wood Bros. are funky, soulful,bluesy and not afraid to throw in some shades of gospel. Dont know how you classify that, so I just call them one of the best bands to come along in years. And if you should have a chance to see them live, dont miss them.
Also, if you like the Wood Bros., check out the band King Johnson, "Fresh Fish Laudrymat". KJ was Oliver Woods band, before the WB. Can be found on ebay from time to time. Great stuff. Now, back to alt country....
Sorry, name of album (CD) is HOT Fish Laundrymat, not Fresh.
jond, i did check out this roddy wallston on mog and he's damn good--more hard rockabilly than altcount, but who needs labels, right? probably killer live. thanks for the tip.
Loomisjohnson my pleasure and glad you liked him! I would agree he is not quite alt-country but also not quite rockabilly that was what really pulled me in the freshness of his sound. A bit of Queen and Leon Russell in there as well.
Another guy around the edges of the alt-country silo that deserves mention here is the late Jay Bennett. His solo stuff, his work with Edward (Edwin?) Burch, and his contribution to Wilco form a pretty impressive body of work IMHO.

The Comatose Brothers - Respect the Van is terrific!
There are some good bands on this list, but I have not seen anyone mention the drive by truckers
The Be Good Tanyas. Also Neko Case.
Beat Farmers.
The recommendations keep coming. As I mentioned before, this genre is pretty broad. I really like the new disc from the Tim Lee 3- Devil's Rope. Tim Lee is 1/2 of the 80's band the Windbreakers. The Tim Lee 3 is Tim, his wife Susan, and a drummer. They are based in Tennessee and their sound is country/garage rock with great harmonies and a jangly Rickenbaker lead guitar. Samples available on amazon or their website.
Shovel and Rope are an awesome duo. Check them out on YouTube. My wife and I saw them in concert a few months back and they blew the entire crowd away!
Buddy & Julie Miller, checkout their self-titled album from 2001.
The Sadies, try Favourite Colours.
gurf morlix is a texas legend for playing and record mastering...