New Hampshire may be a small state in the northeastern region of the United States, but it has produced some of the most talented and diverse musicians in the industry. From pop to indie and R&B to rock, New Hampshire has given birth to singers, songwriters, and even rappers who have made exceptional tunes.
So, let’s dive in and discover the 20 musical legends that have emerged from the Granite State:
- 1. Ray LaMontagne
- 2. Jon Spencer
- 3. Ronnie James Dio
- 4. Mandy Moore
- 5. The Shaggs
- 6. Tom Rush
- 7. And Then There Were None
- 8. Mark Levine
- 9. Our Last Night
- 10. Say Zuzu
- 11. GG Allin
- 12. The Bruisers
- 13. Wild Light
- 14. Adeem
- 15. The Queers
- 16. Al Barr
- 17. Backstabbers Incorporated
- 18. Recycled Percussion
- 19. Scissorfight
- 20. Old Gray
1. Ray LaMontagne
A singer and guitarist who rose to fame with his debut album “Trouble,” Ray LaMontagne is a musician who makes music that is often compared to Pink Floyd, Otis Redding, and Ryan Adams. LaMontagne’s soulful, raspy voice and heartfelt lyrics have earned him critical acclaim and a devoted fan base.
He has released several successful albums, including “Gossip in the Grain” and “Part of the Light.” Some of his most famous songs include “You Are the Best Thing,” “Trouble,” and “Jolene.”
2. Jon Spencer
Jon Spencer is a composer, singer, and guitarist who is best known as the leader of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. The band’s fusion of punk, blues, and garage rock helped define the sound of 1990s alternative rock.
Some of the albums that the band released are “Crypt Style,” “The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion,” and “Extra Width.”
3. Ronnie James Dio
Ronnie James Dio was a heavy metal vocalist. He fronted several influential bands throughout his career, including Rainbow, Heaven & Hell, Black Sabbath, and Dio. Dio’s powerful and distinctive voice helped define the sound of heavy metal, and he is often cited as one of the genre’s greatest vocalists.
He is also famed for the “devil horns” hand gesture that has become a symbol of heavy metal culture. Some of his most famous songs include “Holy Diver,” “Rainbow in the Dark,” and “Heaven and Hell.”
4. Mandy Moore
The woman behind the soulful track “Cry,” Mandy Moore is a singer, actress, and songwriter. She began her career as a pop singer in the late 1990s, with hits like “Candy” and “I Wanna Be with You.”
Moore has also appeared in numerous films and TV shows, including “This Is Us” and “A Walk to Remember.” In recent years, she has shifted her focus back to music, releasing the critically acclaimed albums “Silver Landings” and “Wild Hope.”
5. The Shaggs
The Shaggs were a band of three sisters who gained fans for their unique and unconventional style of music. The band recorded one album in 1969, “Philosophy of the World,” which has since become a cult classic.
Despite their lack of musical training and unconventional approach to songwriting and instrumentation, the Shaggs’ music has been praised for its raw, honest, and genuine quality.
6. Tom Rush
Tom Rush is a folk singer and songwriter who helped launch the careers of many other famous musicians through his early support of the folk revival movement in the 1960s. Rush is known for his intricate guitar work, wry sense of humor, and warm, inviting voice.
He has released many successful albums over the years, including “The Circle Game” and “Ladies Love Outlaws.” Some of his most famous songs include “No Regrets,” “The Circle Game,” and “Urge for Going.”
7. And Then There Were None
And Then There Were None is a metalcore band that has gained a large following for their intense and innovative approach to heavy music.
The band, which formed in 2003, has released several albums, including “The Hope We Forgot Exists” and “The Green.” Some of their most famous songs include “Reinventing Robert Cohn,” “The Alamo,” and “The Hospital.”
8. Mark Levine
A jazz musician and educator, Mark Levine is known to have joined the Blue Mitchell/Harold Land quintet. He led other bands and eventually became a solo musician. His album “Isla” earned a Grammy nomination and he continued providing music lessons and writing music books.
9. Our Last Night
Our Last Night is a post-hardcore band that has gained a large following for their unique blend of heavy music and melodic hooks. The band, which formed in 2004, has released several successful albums, including “The Ghosts Among Us” and “Younger Dreams.”
They are also known for their popular covers of songs by artists like Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, and Imagine Dragons.
10. Say Zuzu
Say Zuzu is an alternative country band that gained a huge following in the 1990s for their energetic and eclectic style of music. The band released several albums, including “Tribal Moans” and “High Signs And Driving Songs.”
They are known for their unconventional instrumentation and fearless experimentation with different musical styles, from punk to country to funk. Some of their most famous songs include “Wasting Time,” “Lovely Mary” and “Here Again.”
11. GG Allin
GG Allin was a punk rock musician who gained notoriety for his outrageous stage antics and controversial lyrics. Allin was known for his intense, often horrifying performances, which often involved nudity, self-mutilation, and defecation on stage.
He released several albums throughout his career, including “Always Was, Is and Always Shall Be” and “Freaks, Faggots, Drunks & Junkies.” Some of his most famous songs include “Bite It You Scum,” “I Kill Everything I Fuck,” and “Outlaw Scumfuc.”
12. The Bruisers
The Bruisers are a punk rock band that has gained a loyal following for their high-energy live shows and hard-hitting music. The band, which formed in 1988, has released several albums over the years, including “Cruisin’ for a Bruisin'” and “Up in Flames.”
They are known for their aggressive, anthemic style of punk rock and also the American streetpunk/oi! subgenre.
13. Wild Light
Wild Light is an indie rock band who gained critical acclaim for their debut album “Adult Nights” in 2009. Their music is characterized by lush, atmospheric arrangements and catchy hooks. Some of their most famous songs include “California on My Mind,” “New Hampshire,” and “Future Towns.”
Adeem is a hip-hop artist who gained national attention in the early 2000s for his socially conscious lyrics and innovative rapping style.
Adeem has released several albums over the years, including “Sweet Talking Your Brain” and “The Volume in the Ground.” He is also known for his collaborations with other artists, including DJ MF Shalem and MQ.
15. The Queers
The Queers are a punk rock band. The band, which is led by singer and guitarist Joe Queer, has released many albums over the years, including “Love Songs for the Retarded” and “Punk Rock Confidential.”
They are known for their catchy, Ramones-influenced punk rock, as well as their irreverent sense of humor. Some of their most famous songs include “I Met Her at the Rat,” “Punk Rock Girls,” and “Tamara Is a Punk.”
16. Al Barr
Al Barr is a punk rock singer who is best known as the frontman for the Dropkick Murphys. Barr joined the band in 1998 and has been a key member ever since, contributing vocals to many of the band’s most famous songs, including “Shipping Up to Boston” and “The State of Massachusetts.”
17. Backstabbers Incorporated
Backstabbers Incorporated is a hardcore punk band. The band, which is known for their aggressive and uncompromising sound, has released several albums over the years, including “Kamikaze Missions” and “Bare As Bones.”
They are also known for their intense live shows, which have earned them a reputation as one of the most exciting bands in the hardcore scene.
18. Recycled Percussion
Recycled Percussion is a percussion group that is known for their high-energy performances. The group, which formed in 1995, has appeared on numerous television shows, including “America’s Got Talent.” They have released albums such as “Greedy Bendy,” “Metallium Metal,” “Onhow.”
Scissorfight is a heavy metal band from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, that formed in 1995. The band, which is known for their sludgy, riff-heavy sound and tongue-in-cheek lyrics, has released several albums over the years, including “Potential New Agent for Unconventional Warfare” and “Jaggernaut.”
20. Old Gray
Old Gray is a post-hardcore band from Hooksett, New Hampshire. The band, which draws inspiration from emo and indie rock, has released several albums over the years, including “An Autobiography” and “Slow Burn.”
The influence of musicians from New Hampshire can be seen in the work of countless artists across genres. From rock to indie, these musicians have helped shape the landscape of popular music and continue to inspire new generations of musicians.
So, if you are into musicians who are versatile and offer a wide range of genres, New Hampshire is the state to look out for.
Ray Lamontagne Featured Image (Top-Left) by: Ray_Lamontagne3.jpg: Tammy Lo from New York, NYderivative work: TheCuriousGnome, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Jon Spencer Featured Image (Top-Right) by: ariel martini, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Dio Featured Image (Bottom-Left) by: rjforster from Worcester, UK, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Mandy Moore Featured Image (Bottom-Right) by: Megan Westerby from Los Angeles, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons