I'm into some country, not much I can name off the top of my head though. Doc Watson is one of my favorites. Not exactly country, but the Dixie Dreggs are a pretty cool southern/prog band.
As for countries origins, it's hard to say. In it's most basic form, it's a mixture of blues, gospel (of both colors), and Anglo-American folk styles, namely of the Appalachian variant. It also has ragtime elements, as well Western Swing (Though a lot of that is now considered country now).
Also, country quite obviously is part blues. For example