20 Famous Musicians From Montana

Montana isn’t just known for its breathtaking scenery and outdoor adventures – it’s also home to some of the most talented musicians the world has ever seen.

From rock to country music, Montana’s music scene is a treasure trove of diverse and unique talent. Whether you’re a fan of soulful ballads or head-banging rock anthems, Montana’s musicians have got you covered.

Let’s explore the famous musicians from Montana, along with their notable achievements:

1. Tim Montana

Tim Montana is a country-rock musician who is best known for his high-energy live performances and his ability to seamlessly blend country and rock music.

Montana has achieved success with his songs “Hillbilly Rich” and “American Thread,” and has toured with popular country artists such as ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, and performed for Kid Rock while he was touring.

2. Martha Raye

Martha Raye was an actress, comedian, and singer who began her career as a singer in the 1930s and later transitioned into acting and comedy. Raye appeared in several films and television shows throughout her career, including the films “Monsieur Verdoux” and “The Big Broadcast of 1938.”

3. Rob Quist

Rob Quist is a bluegrass singer-songwriter and former politician from Cut Bank, Montana. Quist gained widespread recognition as a core member of the bluegrass country band Mission Mountain Wood Band. Even after the band disbanded, Quist continued to collaborate and perform with its members. 

4. Little Jane and the Pistol Whips

Little Jane and the Pistol Whips is a country music band. They have gained recognition for their unique blend of traditional country with folk and Americana influences.

The band is fronted by Jane Holland and the band has played at various venues and festivals throughout Montana, as well as in neighboring states.

5. Jeff Ament

Jeff Ament is a bassist and founding member of the rock band Pearl Jam. Although he was born in Havre, Montana, Ament grew up in the Seattle music scene and has played a significant role in shaping the sound of alternative rock.

Ament has won a Grammy Award with Pearl Jam and has also released solo material. Some of his albums are “Tone” and “While My Heart Beats.”

6. Matthew Setzer

Matthew Setzer is a guitarist and producer who is known as a member of the rock band London After Midnight, with whom he has released several albums and toured extensively. Setzer has also produced music for other artists and has collaborated with musicians to make experimental live music.

7. Philip Aaberg

A pianist and composer from Havre, Montana, Philip Aaberg is known for his blend of classical, rock, jazz, and bluegrass music, as well as his ability to capture the landscapes and culture of Montana in his music. 

Aaberg has released over 20 albums, collaborated with other musicians and has gained several recognition for his work, including an Emmy and Grammy award nominations. Some of his solo albums are “Blue West,” “High Plains,” and “Out Of The Frame.”

8. Linda McDonald

Linda McDonald is a drummer who was part of The Iron Maidens, an all-female tribute band for the heavy metal band Iron Maiden. Some of their albums are “Route 66,” “The Root of All Evil,” and “World’s Only Tribute To Iron Maiden.” 

9. Joseph Fire Crow

Joseph Fire Crow was a Northern Cheyenne flutist and musician from Crow Agency, Montana. He was a prominent figure in the Native American music scene, blending traditional Native American music with contemporary styles.

Fire Crow released several albums and gained recognition for his work, including a Grammy nomination for his album “Cheyenne Nation.”

10. Stephanie Davis

Stephanie Davis is a singer-songwriter and guitar player who has released several albums and has collaborated with artists such as Martina McBride and Shelby Lynne.

One of her most notable achievements was being featured as an opening act and touring with Garth Brooks, who recorded some of Davis’ tracks, including the hit songs “We Shall Be Free,” “The Night Will Only Know,” and “The Gift.”

11. Nicolette Larson

Nicolette Larson was a singer-songwriter who gained national recognition in the late 1970s with her hit song “Lotta Love,” which topped the charts.

Larson released several albums throughout her career like “Nicolette,” “Radioland,” and “In The Nick of Time.” She collaborated with artists such as Neil Young, Linda Ronstadt, and Emmylou Harris.

12. Tarkio

Tarkio was an indie rock band formed in Missoula, Montana. The band was fronted by Colin Meloy, who went on to form the popular indie rock band The Decemberists. Tarkio released two albums before disbanding in 1999, but their music has continued to gain a following in the indie rock community.

13. John Pierce

With a debut single entitled, “I’d Still Have You” which reached number 59 in the Billboard country charts, John Pierce is a country music singer and songwriter. He has written songs for numerous artists, including Zac Brown, Jon Pardi, Chris Young, and Drake Milligan.

14. Aimee Allen

Aimee Allen is a singer and songwriter who is known for her blend of pop, rock, and punk music, as well as her socially conscious lyrics. As the frontwoman of the Interrupters, a ska-punk band in Los Angeles, she contributed to the albums “Fight The Good Fight” and “Say It Out Loud.” 

Allen has released several albums as a solo artist and has had her music featured in films and television shows, including “The Umbrella Academy” and “Mean Girls 2.”

15. Chance McKinney

Chance McKinney is a country singer and songwriter from Butte, Montana. He gained national recognition in 2009 when he won the CMT reality series “Music City Madness.”

McKinney has released several albums and has opened for country music stars such as Blake Shelton, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Luke Bryan. He also played in various music festivals which gained him a loyal following.

16. Karan Armstrong


Karan Armstrong is an operatic soprano and actress who has performed with some of the most prestigious opera companies in the world, including the Metropolitan Opera and the The Royal Opera House in Paris.

She has performed numerous operatic world premiers which includes Bizet’s “Carmen,”  Beethoven’s “Fidelio,” and Robert Ward’s “The Crucible.”

17. Stephanie Quayle

Stephanie Quayle is a country-pop singer and songwriter from Bozeman, Montana. She has released several albums and singles, including her hit song “Drinking with Dolly.”

Quayle has toured extensively throughout the United States and has shared the stage with Gary Allan, Chase Rice, and Trace Adkins.

18. Isaac Brock

Isaac Brock is a singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is best known as the frontman of the indie rock band Modest Mouse, which he formed in the 1990s.

Modest Mouse has released several critically acclaimed albums and has had hits such as”Ocean Breathes Salty,” “Float On,” and “Dashboard.” Aside from his involvement with the band, he also has a side band called Ugly Casanova.

19. Wylie Gustafson

Wylie Gustafson is a singer, songwriter, and cowboy from Conrad, Montana. He is known for his blend of Western music and cowboy culture, as well as his distinctive yodeling style.

As a core member and founder of the band Wylie & The Wild West, Gustafson toured across the US and internationally. He has released several albums and songs such as “Riders in the Sky” and “Yodeling Fool.”

20. Colin Meloy

Colin Meloy is a singer-songwriter and guitarist from Helena, Montana. He is best known as the frontman of The Decemberists, an indie folk band which he formed in the early 2000s.

The Decemberists have released several critically acclaimed albums and have had hits such as “O Valencia!” and “Make You Better.” Meloy is also a writer and has published several books for young adults.


Montana’s rich and vibrant music scene continues to thrive by producing new and exciting talent year after year. From the country sounds of Chance McKinney to the rock stylings of Jeff Ament, Montana’s musical legends have influenced and contributed to many different styles of music. 

The future of Montana’s music scene is bright, and we can’t wait to see what exciting new talent emerges in the years to come.

Tim Montana Featured Image (Top-Left) by: Bluford Sanders, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Jeff Ament Featured Image (Bottom-Right) by: Lugnuts, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons