One of the most influential genres, or sub genres, is about a 50/50 flip between folk rock and jazz rock. Both incorporate amazing rock beats and tones, (and awesome guitar riffs), as well as a bridge between two other completely separate genres. I also find it hard to categorize a band into one specific genre. So many bands have so many songs that could be put into a different category. So while Johnny Cash could be a country artists or rockabilly, and even in some of his more recent covers, I would see him as a rock musician.
Folk rock brought the always-classic Bob Dylan, Sonny and Cher, and Simon and Garfunkel. Further down the line I would lump bands like the Eagles, Lynard Skynard, Alabama and Little Feat. It bridges the gap between rock and country/western music. Even some of the modern country music today sounds farther and farther from actual country music. The use of more electric guitars and heavier chords makes it sound more like rock music. Other than the actual “twang” in the majority of country artists voices, it’s all starting to fall in one solid category. Since the 60’s and 70’s, folk rock has diminished, almost completely, in my opinion. It has warped into country rock, pop country, and other random genres that I’m sure exist. But without this bridge, I think such music would not exist today. Granted, the genres would probably be much more pronounced and divided, but I think rock music would have taken a completely different turn.
Jazz rock, again, a bridge, had similar influence, but in a completely different direction. It kept the soul of rock alive. A much more passionate genre, jazz rock, or jazz fusion, allowed much more freedom in writing and singing music. While a song may be written one way, while playing it was perfectly acceptable to throw in long guitar riffs, a few more lyrics, and anything else that one may be feeling at the time. Artists like Carlos Santana, Louis Banks, Frank Zappa, and Jeff Beck...