Discover some of the best musicians to come out of Maine. From pop to soul, jazz to rock, and even opera, this small state in the northeastern United States has produced some of the most talented and influential artists who paved their legacy in the music scene.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the crème de la crème of Maine’s music scene, and explore how these legendary artists have made their mark on the music world:
- 1. Patty Griffin
- 2. Juliana Hatfield
- 3. Clarence White
- 4. Clark Gesner
- 5. Rustic Overtones
- 6. Bill Flagg
- 7. Spose
- 8. Spencer Albee
- 9. Ray LaMontagne
- 10. Howie Day
- 11. Rebecca Martin
- 12. Ellis Paul
- 13. Dick Curless
- 14. David Mallett
- 15. As Fast As
- 16. Paranoid Social Club
- 17. Ghost of Paul Revere
- 18. Kate Aldrich
- 19. Kalie Shorr
- 20. Cruel Hand
1. Patty Griffin
Hailing from Old Town, Patty Griffin is a Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter. Her Americana and folk-inspired music has earned her critical acclaim and a devoted following.
Some of her most famous songs include “Top of The World,” “Rain,” and “Let Him Fly.” In addition to her successful solo career, Griffin has also collaborated with other notable musicians such as Robert Plant and Emmylou Harris.
2. Juliana Hatfield
Juliana Hatfield is an indie rock musician who gained fame in the 1990s as a member of the band Blake Babies and has since released numerous solo albums.
Some of her most well-known songs include “My Sister,” “Spin the Bottle,” and “Universal Heartbeat.” She also played with other bands like The Lemonheads and Some Girls.
3. Clarence White
Clarence White was an American bluegrass and country guitarist who was best known for his innovative and technically advanced guitar playing, which incorporated elements of jazz and rock into bluegrass and country music.
Some of his most famous songs include “Buckaroo” and “Low,” both of which showcase his impressive fingerpicking and improvisational skills. He is also famed for his work with The Byrds, a legendary rock band of the 1960s, where he helped pioneer the country rock genre.
4. Clark Gesner
Clark Gesner was a composer and lyricist from Augusta, Maine. He is best known for his work on the popular musical “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” which premiered on Broadway in 1967.
Gesner received a Grammy Award nomination for his work on the show and also wrote several other musicals during his career.
5. Rustic Overtones
Rustic Overtones is a rock band from Portland, Maine. They first gained popularity in the late 1990s with their hit song “Hardest Way Possible.”
The band has released several albums and has toured extensively throughout the United States. Rustic Overtones is also known for their socially conscious lyrics and involvement in various charitable causes.
6. Bill Flagg
Famed as the founder of ‘rockabilly,’ Bill Flagg is a country music singer and guitarist who is considered one of the pioneers of rockabilly music and has also been credited with helping to popularize country music in New England. Some of his most famous songs include “Go Cat Go” and “Guitar Rock.”
Spose is a hip-hop artist and producer from Wells, Maine. He gained national attention in 2010 with his hit song “I’m Awesome,” which went viral and earned him a record deal with Universal Republic Records.
Since then, Spose has released several albums and worked with other notable musicians such as Cam Groves and Shane Reis. He is also known for his clever and humorous lyrics.
8. Spencer Albee
Spencer Albee is a singer-songwriter and musician who gained fame as a member of the band Rustic Overtones and has since released several solo albums.
Albee’s music is influenced by a variety of genres, including rock, pop, and soul. He contributed to Rustic Overtones’ albums “Long Division,” “Light At The End,” and “Rooms By The Hour.”
9. Ray LaMontagne
Ray LaMontagne is a singer-songwriter. His soulful and introspective music has earned him critical acclaim and a devoted following.
Some of his most famous songs include “Trouble,” “You Are the Best Thing,” and “Jolene.” LaMontagne’s album “God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise” won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Album.
10. Howie Day
Howie Day is a singer-songwriter and guitarist who first gained fame with his hit song “Collide” in 2004, which reached the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Day has released several albums since then and has toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe. His music is often characterized by his powerful vocals and intricate guitar work.
11. Rebecca Martin
Rebecca Martin is a jazz vocalist, producer, and songwriter from Rumford, Maine. Her music is characterized by her rich and expressive voice, and her songs often explore themes of love, loss, and spirituality.
Martin has released several albums, including “The Growing Season,” “Middlehope,” and “When I Was Long Ago.” She has also collaborated with other notable musicians such as Jesse Harris and Guillermo Klein.
12. Ellis Paul
Ellis Paul is a folk singer-songwriter whose music is known for its storytelling quality and often features themes of love, family, and social justice. Paul has released over 22 albums throughout his career, including “The Storyteller’s Suitcase” and “Chasing Beauty.”
He has also won several awards for his music, including the International Acoustic Music Awards (IAMA) and the Boston Music Award.
13. Dick Curless
Dick Curless, born Richard William Curless, was a country music singer and songwriter. He is best known for his hit songs “A Tombstone Every Mile” and “Six Times a Day (The Trains Came Down),” which both reached the top 10 on the Billboard country charts. Curless was also known for his deep, resonant voice and his eyepatch.
14. David Mallett
David Mallett is a folk singer-songwriter whose music often explores themes of rural life and the natural beauty of Maine.
Mallett’s most famous song, “Garden Song,” has been covered by numerous artists, including Pete Seeger and John Denver. He has also released several albums throughout his career, including “Midnight on the Water” and “Greenin’ Up.”
15. As Fast As
As Fast As is a power pop band from Portland, Maine. They gained attention in the early with their hit song “Florida Sunshine,” which was featured on the soundtrack for the TV series “CSI: Miami.”
The band’s music is characterized by its upbeat, catchy melodies and driving rhythm section. As Fast As has released several albums throughout their career, including “Open Letter to the Damned” and “Destroy the Plastique Man.”
16. Paranoid Social Club
This alternative rock band has been serving up some seriously catchy tunes since their formation in 2002. They’re known for their energetic live performances and clever lyrics that touch on everything from love to politics.
The band has released several albums, including “Axis IV” and “Paranoid Social Club.” Some of their most popular songs include “Two Girls,” “Count on Me,” and “The Cable Hookup.”
17. Ghost of Paul Revere
If you’re looking for some foot-stomping Americana music, look no further than the Ghost of Paul Revere! This trio from Portland, Maine, draws inspiration from traditional folk music while adding their own unique spin.
They’re known for their tight harmonies, banjo-picking, and upright bass playing. The Ghost of Paul Revere has released several albums, including “Believe” and “Monarch.” Some of their most popular songs include “Ballad of the 20th Maine,” “Wild Child,” and “Montreal.”
18. Kate Aldrich
Kate Aldrich is a mezzo-soprano opera singer who has performed in some of the world’s most prestigious opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, Hamburg State Opera, and the New York City Opera.
Aldrich is known for her powerful voice and expressive performances. She has won several awards throughout her career, including the CulturArte Award and the Thalia Award.
19. Kalie Shorr
Kalie Shorr is a country music singer and songwriter who burst onto the scene in 2016 with her debut single “Fight Like a Girl,” which quickly became a feminist anthem.
Shorr’s music is known for its empowering lyrics and catchy hooks. She has released several EPs, including “Awake” and “Slingshot.” Some of her most popular songs include “Escape,” “Two Hands,” and “Lullaby.”
20. Cruel Hand
Cruel Hand is a hardcore punk band that has been rocking the stage since 2006. They’re known for their intense live shows and aggressive sound. Cruel Hand has released several albums, including “Prying Eyes” and “The Negatives.”
Some of their most popular songs include “Life in Shambles,” “Cheap Life,” and “Dead Weight.” Whether you’re a longtime punk fan or just looking to let off some steam, Cruel Hand is definitely worth a listen.
Maine has produced many outstanding musicians who have left a lasting impact on the music industry. From Kalie Shorr’s country anthem to Rebecca Martin’s soulful jazz, these musical legends from Maine have influenced various genres and inspired countless musicians and fans alike.
Their music continues to resonate with audiences worldwide, making Maine a state with a rich and diverse musical history worth exploring for any music lover.
Patty Griffin Featured Image (Top-Left) by: d&e, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Juliana Hatfield Featured Image (Top-Right) by: Raph_PH, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Clarence White Featured Image (Bottom-Left) by: Fotoburo de Boer, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons