After multiple decades living in the US as a Canadian national, I become a US citizen in 2 weeks. It's made me a little retrospective. I found myself curious about the sound that "is" an American band. For me...I finally came up with X. John X Doe and eXene Cervenka singing about lost love, heartache, hope and triumph...they brought the perfect blend of well crafted turmoil into their music.
Anyway, just my take...Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen for their poetry.
I'm not musically abled, but those of you that are might want to go to Google.com & check out the playable "guitar" in memory of Les Paul's birthday. There a button to record your "song" - here's some random nonsense: http://goo.