Despite its small size, New Hampshire greatly impacts the music industry. The state has produced an impressive array of talented musicians, spanning various genres from pop and indie to R&B and rock. These singers, songwriters, and rappers have created outstanding music that has captured the hearts of many.
Let’s explore the top 20 music icons originating from the Granite State.
1. Ray LaMontagne
Ray LaMontagne, a renowned singer and guitarist, gained popularity with his first album “Trouble.” His music is often compared to Pink Floyd, Otis Redding, and Ryan Adams. LaMontagne’s soulful and raspy voice and heartfelt lyrics have garnered him widespread recognition and a loyal following among music enthusiasts.
With a string of successful albums to his name, such as “Gossip in the Grain” and “Part of the Light,” he has become a household name in the music industry. Some of his most famous songs, like “You Are the Best Thing,” “Trouble,” and “Jolene,” have captured the hearts of music lovers worldwide.
2. Jon Spencer
Jon Spencer is a versatile artist who has mastered the art of composing, singing, and playing guitar. He is highly acclaimed for being the driving force behind the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, a band that shaped the sound of alternative rock in the 1990s. With their unique blend of punk, blues, and garage rock, the band left an indelible mark on the music industry.
The band has released several albums, including “Crypt Style,” “The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion,” and “Extra Width.”
3. Ronnie James Dio
Ronnie James Dio, a renowned heavy metal vocalist, is known for leading various influential bands such as Rainbow, Heaven & Hell, Black Sabbath, and Dio throughout his career. His remarkable and powerful voice has played a significant role in shaping the sound of heavy metal, and he is widely recognized as one of the genre’s finest vocalists.
One of his most notable contributions to heavy metal culture is the iconic “devil horns” hand gesture. He is also widely recognized for his hit singles, including “Holy Diver,” “Rainbow in the Dark,” and “Heaven and Hell.”
4. Mandy Moore
Mandy Moore, the talented artist responsible for the soulful melody “Cry”, is a versatile singer, actress, and songwriter. Her career began in the late 1990s as a pop singer, producing chart-topping hits such as “Candy” and “I Wanna Be with You.”
Throughout her career, Moore has made a name for herself in the film and television industries, starring in famous productions such as “This Is Us” and “A Walk to Remember.” However, in recent years, she has redirected her attention towards music and has gained recognition for her exceptional musical talents. Her albums “Silver Landings” and “Wild Hope” have received widespread acclaim from critics and fans alike.
5. The Shaggs
The Shaggs, comprised of three sisters, made waves in the music industry with their distinct and non-traditional sound. The band’s sole album, “Philosophy of the World,” released in 1969, has achieved a cult following.
The Shaggs may have lacked formal musical training and taken an unconventional approach to songwriting and instrumentation. Still, their music has received high praise for its unfiltered, sincere, and authentic quality.
6. Tom Rush
Tom Rush, a renowned folk singer and songwriter, played a pivotal role in the folk revival movement during the 1960s. With his exceptional guitar skills, witty humour, and melodious voice, he created his unique sound and helped many other musicians establish their careers.
Throughout his illustrious career, he has produced many chart-topping albums that have captivated audiences worldwide. Among his most notable works are “The Circle Game” and “Ladies Love Outlaws,” which have earned him critical acclaim and commercial success. Additionally, his timeless classics such as “No Regrets,” “The Circle Game,” and “Urge for Going” have solidified his place as one of the greatest singer-songwriters of our time.
7. And Then There Were None
And Then There Were None has amassed a significant fan base due to its unconventional and fierce style of metalcore music. Their approach to heavy music is unique and captivating, making them a well-respected band in the industry.
Since its formation in 2003, the band has unveiled several albums, including “The Hope We Forgot Exists” and “The Green.” Among their most popular tracks are “Reinventing Robert Cohn,” “The Alamo,” and “The Hospital.”
8. Mark Levine
Mark Levine, a renowned jazz musician and educator, gained recognition after joining the Blue Mitchell/Harold Land quintet. He subsequently led other bands and eventually ventured into solo performances. Levine’s album, “Isla,” garnered a Grammy nomination, adding to his accomplishments. Aside from his music career, Levine also offers music lessons and has authored music books, cementing his position as a respected figure in the industry.
9. Our Last Night
Since their formation in 2004, Our Last Night has been making waves in the post-hardcore scene with their distinctive fusion of intense music and catchy melodies. Their impressive discography includes hits like “The Ghosts Among Us” and “Younger Dreams,” cementing their status as a highly successful band with a dedicated fan base.
Their repertoire includes well-known covers of beloved songs by renowned artists such as Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, and Imagine Dragons.
10. Say Zuzu
Zuzu was a popular alternative country band during the 1990s, known for their dynamic and diverse music style. Their discography includes hit albums like “Tribal Moans” and “High Signs And Driving Songs.”
With a reputation for using unconventional instrumentation and fearlessly experimenting with various musical genres, this band has gained recognition for their unique sound. Fans flock to hear their famous tracks, including “Wasting Time,” “Lovely Mary,” and “Here Again.”
11. GG Allin
GG Allin was a punk rock artist who gained infamy for his wild, shocking stage performances and controversial lyrics. He was recognized for his extreme and often disturbing acts, frequently including nudity, self-harm, and even excretion on stage.
12. The Bruisers
The Bruisers, a punk rock band known for their intense live performances and powerful music, have amassed a devoted fanbase. The band was established in 1988 and has since produced numerous albums, such as “Cruisin’ for a Bruisin'” and “Up in Flames.”
Their music is recognized for its powerful and rousing punk rock sound, which embodies an anthemic quality. Additionally, they are renowned for their contribution to the American street punk/oi! Subgenre.
13. Wild Light
In 2009, Wild Light, an indie rock band, rose to fame with their debut album “Adult Nights”, which received widespread critical acclaim. Their music is renowned for its captivating melodies and atmospheric arrangements that leave a lasting impression on the listeners. The band is known for producing some of their best hits, such as “California on My Mind”, “New Hampshire”, and “Future Towns”.
Adeem is an exceptional hip-hop artist whose socially conscious lyrics and innovative rapping style brought him to the national spotlight in the early 2000s. His music entertains and sends a powerful message, making him a notable figure in the music industry.
Adeem has graced his fans throughout his career with numerous albums, such as “Sweet Talking Your Brain” and “The Volume in the Ground.” His music has also resulted from his successful collaborations with talented artists like DJ MF Shalem and MQ.
15. The Queers
The Queers are an American punk rock band formed in 1981 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Their music is known for its catchy melodies, humorous lyrics, and pop-punk sound. The band has undergone numerous lineup changes throughout history, but founding member Joe Queer has remained a constant presence. Some of their most popular songs include “Love Love Love,” “Punk Rock Girls,” and “Tamara Is a Punk.”
The Queers, hailing from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, are isunk rock band making music since 1981. Their pop-punk sound, humorous lyrics, and catchy melodies have earned them a loyal fanbase. Though the band has undergone several lineup changes over the years, Joe Queer, the founding member, has remained an integral part of the group. The Queers have produced several hit songs, including “Love Love Love,” “Punk Rock Girls,” and “Tamara Is a Punk.”
16. Al Barr
As the lead vocalist for the Dropkick Murphys, Al Barr has made a name for himself in the punk rock scene. He has been an integral part of the band since 1998 and has lent his powerful voice to some of their biggest hits, such as “Shipping Up to Boston” and “The State of Massachusetts.” Barr’s contributions have solidified his position as a vital member of the band and a beloved figure in the world of punk rock.
17. Backstabbers Incorporated
Backstabbers Incorporated is a renowned hardcore punk band known for their unyielding and forceful sound. They have released numerous albums, including “Kamikaze Missions” and “Bare As Bones.”
One of the things that sets this band apart from others in the hardcore scene is their electrifying live performances. Fans have come to expect nothing less than an intense and unforgettable experience when they attend one of their shows. TIt’shis reputation has helped establish them as one of the most thrilling bands in the genre.
18. Recycled Percussion
Since their formation in 1995, Recycled Percussion has been known for their electrifying and energetic performances. Their talent has been recognized on various television shows, including the famous “America’s Got Talent.” They have released several albums, such as “Greedy Bendy,” “Metallium Metal,” and “Onhow,” showcasing their exceptional percussion skills.
Hailing from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Scissorfight is a heavy metal band that has been around since 1995. Their signature sound is characterized by sludgy, riff-heavy tunes and tongue-in-cheek lyrics. The band has released multiple albums, including popular titles such as “Potential New Agent for Unconventional Warfare” and “Juggernaut.”
20. Old Gray
Based in Hooksett, New Hampshire, Old Gray is a post-hardcore band that draws inspiration from emo and indie rock. With a discography that includes “An Autobiography” and “Slow Burn,” the band has established itself as a prominent figure in the music scene.
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