Idaho is not only famous for its breathtaking natural landscapes but also for being the birthplace of some of the most talented musicians in the world. The Gem State has given birth to many artists who have significantly impacted the music industry, from pop to rock, alternative rock to punk, and everything in between. Here, we will explore the 20 famous musicians who hail from Idaho and celebrate their unique talents.
1. Built to Spill
Based in Boise, Idaho, Built to Spill is an indie rock group that has made a name for themselves. The band is led by their frontman, Doug Martsch, who is widely recognized for his intricate guitar skills and thought-provoking lyrics.
The indie rock band, Built to Spill, has gained widespread recognition for their numerous critically acclaimed albums such as “Perfect From Now On,” “There’s Nothing Wrong With Love,” and “Keep It Like a Secret.” Their music has left a lasting impact on the indie rock scene and their extensive tours have solidified their place as a major influence in the genre.
2. Gary Peacock
Gary Peacock, a renowned jazz bassist, left an indelible mark in the music industry for more than 60 years. He collaborated with some of the most iconic figures in jazz, including Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, and Jack DeJohnette.
Recognized for his exceptional playing technique and remarkable talent to complement diverse musical groups, Peacock is remembered for his significant contributions to the jazz genre. Sadly, the celebrated bassist passed away in September 2020, but his impact on the music world endures, solidifying his status as one of the most esteemed and influential bassists in jazz history.
3. Paul Revere and The Raiders
In the mid-1960s, Paul Revere and The Raiders made a name for themselves as a rock band with a series of hit songs. Their popular tracks included “Kicks,” “Hungry,” and “Good Thing.” The band achieved national fame during this time and left a lasting impact on the music industry.
With their electrifying live performances and irresistible pop-rock tunes, this band quickly became a sensation among teenagers and rose to the top of the charts as one of the most successful groups of their time. Their music has captivated audiences worldwide, and their legacy continues to thrive through countless albums and tours. It is no wonder that they have been honored with induction into the prestigious Oregon Music Hall of Fame.
4. Curtis Stigers
As a seasoned musician, Curtis Stigers has made a name for himself as a singer-songwriter and saxophonist. He shot to fame with his smash hit “I Wonder Why,” which soared to the top 5 on the charts. Over the course of his career, Stigers has proven his versatility by releasing a plethora of albums that showcase his musical prowess in genres ranging from jazz to soft rock.
Throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Elton John, Bonnie Raitt, and Eric Clapton. His impressive repertoire includes hits such as “You’re All That Matters To Me,” “Never Saw A Miracle,” and “Keep Me From The Cold.”
5. Josh Ritter
Josh Ritter is an accomplished musician and singer-songwriter specializing in folk music. He has garnered widespread acclaim for his impressive body of work, which includes highly regarded albums such as “The Animal Years” and “So Runs the World Away.”
Ritter is renowned for his ability to weave poetic lyrics and captivating narratives into his music. Fans and critics alike have hailed his live performances for their unique blend of intimacy and high-energy. Ritter’s music has also found its way into various films and TV shows, including popular titles such as “Parenthood” and “The Other Woman.”
6. Norma Zimmer
Norma Zimmer, a renowned singer, gained fame as the “Champagne Lady” on the Lawrence Welk Show, where she mesmerized the audience with her performances for over two decades, from 1960 to 1982.
Zimmer’s melodious and soothing voice, coupled with her amiable personality, quickly captured the hearts of the audience, making her an instant fan favorite. Her exceptional talent also earned her the privilege to perform solo pieces and duets with her fellow members of the show, showcasing her versatility and musical prowess.
7. Doug Martsch
Hailing from Boise, Idaho, Doug Martsch is a remarkable singer-songwriter and guitarist who is widely recognized as the face of the indie rock band, Built to Spill. Fans of indie rock music have a great admiration for Martsch’s intricate guitar skills and introspective lyrics, which have played a significant role in establishing his fan base. Martsch’s innovative approach to songwriting and recording has also garnered him immense recognition in the music industry.
Martsch, besides his contributions to Built to Spill, has also teamed up with other musicians and even released a solo album titled “Now You Know.”
8. Ryan Stevenson
Hailing from Bonners Ferry, Idaho, Ryan Stevenson is a talented contemporary Christian singer and songwriter. He rose to prominence with his highly acclaimed single “Eye of the Storm,” which secured the #1 spot on the Billboard Christian Airplay chart in 2016.
Stevenson is renowned for his music that carries positive messages and melodic tunes. His live performances have been lauded for the way in which he connects with his audience, making his music all the more captivating.
9. Eilen Jewell
Eilen Jewell is an acclaimed singer-songwriter who seamlessly blends folk, country, and blues to create music that touches the soul. Her music is known for its evocative lyrics and powerful vocals that resonate with listeners. With a discography that includes albums such as “Queen of the Minor Key,” “Down Hearted Blues,” and “Sea of Tears,” Jewell has solidified her position as a talented musician in the industry.
10. Jake Sinclair
Jake Sinclair is a multi-talented individual who has made a name for himself as a record producer, songwriter, and musician. He boasts an impressive portfolio of collaborations with renowned artists, from Weezer to Panic! At The Disco, Sia, and P!nk, and has even earned several Grammy nominations for his outstanding production work.
As the sound engineer and bassist, Sinclair is widely recognized for his contribution to Taylor Swift’s hit song “Everything Has Changed.”
11. Rosalie Sorrels
Rosalie Sorrels was a renowned folk singer, recognized for her mesmerizing voice and her proficiency in composing and presenting songs that resonated with the hardships of the common man. Her music was a reflection of the everyday struggles of the working-class Americans and provided a voice of comfort and solace to those who faced similar challenges.
Throughout her career, Sorrels had released several albums, including “If I Could Be The Rain” and “Borderline Heart.” Her contribution to the folk music scene was significant, making her one of the most respected voices in the industry.
12. Judy Lynn
Born in Boise, Idaho in 1936, Judy Lynn was a well-known country music singer during the 1950s and 60s. Her hit songs, including “Footsteps of a Fool” and “My Secret,” catapulted her to fame. With her commanding voice, Lynn effortlessly infused her music with humor and charm, making her a beloved figure in the industry.
13. Shook Twins
Hailing from Sandpoint, Idaho, the Shook Twins are a talented folk-pop duo comprised of twin sisters Laurie and Katelyn Shook. They are recognized for their mesmerizing harmonies and their ability to play unique instruments, including the banjo, glockenspiel, and golden egg.
The Shook Twins are a musical duo who have graced the world with their multiple albums, such as “Window” and “What We Do”. They have traveled extensively throughout the United States, showcasing their amazing talent. Moreover, they have collaborated with other musicians like Gregory Alan Isakov, Crooked Still, and Elephant Revival, leaving a lasting impression on the music industry.
The band, Providence, has been making waves in the music scene with their impressive discography that includes hit tracks like “Fantasy Fugue” and “Island of Light.” Their music is characterized by powerful and anthemic sounds, with a blend of classical and soft rock influences that has captivated audiences worldwide.
15. Caustic Resin
The indie rock band, Caustic Resin, has been making waves since their formation in 1988. Their music is highly regarded for its avant-garde style, which incorporates elements of punk, grunge, and psychedelia.
The band has dropped several albums over the years, such as “The Medicine Is All Gone” and “Trick Question,” and they have hit the road for numerous tours across the United States. Additionally, Netson has teamed up with other talented musicians, including Built to Spill and Boris, to create some incredible music.
16. Paul Revere & the Raiders
During the mid-1960s, Paul Revere & the Raiders became a famous rock band with chart-topping hits such as “Kicks,” “Hungry,” and “Good Thing.”
With their energetic stage presence and unique fashion sense, featuring Revolutionary War-era attire and the iconic tri-cornered hats, the band quickly became a crowd favorite for their live performances. Their popularity led to their induction into the esteemed Oregon Music Hall of Fame.
Treepeople, originating from Boise, Idaho, was a formidable alternative rock band that made a name for themselves with their fierce and energetic music. Their lyrics were often politically charged and added to their unique sound.
Throughout their career, Treepeople released several albums that made a significant impact on the punk rock scene. Among them were “Guilt Regret Embarrassment” and “Something Vicious for Tomorrow.” Although the band underwent some changes in the late 1990s, with members pursuing other musical endeavors, their influence can still be felt today. In fact, former Treepeople members went on to play in other notable bands, such as Built to Spill.
18. Septic Death
Septic Death was a highly influential hardcore punk band that made a name for themselves through their intense and high-speed music as well as their confrontational lyrics. Their unique sound and style set them apart from other bands in the genre and earned them a dedicated fan base. With their powerful and impactful performances, Septic Death left an indelible mark on the world of punk rock.
Septic Death, known for their influential presence in the hardcore punk scene, released several albums during their heyday, including “Now That I Have the Attention What Do I Do With It?” and “Theme from Ozobozo”. Although the band disbanded in the late 1980s, their music remains celebrated by fans of the genre to this day.
19. The Ongoing Concept
Founded in 2010, The Ongoing Concept is a four-piece rock band from Idaho, USA. The band consists of four members: Dawson Scholz, Kyle Scholz, Parker Scholz, and TJ Nichols. What sets The Ongoing Concept apart from other bands is their unique approach to music. They create their own instruments, record and produce their own music, and even design their own album artwork. Their music has been described as a blend of punk, rock, and metal.
The Ongoing Concept is a band that was established in 2010 and has four members hailing from Idaho, USA – Dawson Scholz, Kyle Scholz, Parker Scholz, and TJ Nichols. Unlike other bands, The Ongoing Concept stands out due to their innovative music-making techniques. They craft their own instruments, produce and record their own music, and create their own album art. Their music is a unique fusion of punk, rock, and metal.
20. Sun Blood Stories
Sun Blood Stories is a band that specializes in psychedelic rock music. They have released multiple albums, such as “Twilight Midnight Morning,” “Electric Years,” and “Haunt Yourself.” The band is renowned for its mesmerizing and surreal music, as well as their openness to incorporating unique sounds and instruments in their compositions.
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