Music of Idaho
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|Music of the United States|
Idaho has produced a number of musicians and bands, including pop star Paul Revere and Doug Martsch of Built to Spill. Nikki Sixx (bassist of glam metal band Mötley Crüe) grew up in Jerome, Idaho. Moscow, Idaho is also the home town of modern folk/country/indie songwriter Josh Ritter. Rosalie Sorrels is also a renowned folk singer as well as Lee Penn Sky, and Norm Weinstein is a prominent critic known in the jazz world. Country & Gospel singer/songwriter Jered Lyle Wilson was born in Nampa, Idaho, who released 3 Gospel & 2 Country albums between 1978 and 2011, receiving nominal 'air-play' '78 thru '81 on his first two Gospel albums, and some 'airplay' in 1988 on a Country album (single - "Roll On 18 Wheels" / "Not Singing The Blues - Blues") which for a time out played Vern Gosden's "Set 'Em Up Joe" on a few local Nampa Night Club Jukeboxes, formerly played in the Idaho Falls based Rocky Mountain Oyster Band in 1983. He also records on, and owns his own Indie label of Ada Records. (He references Idaho & or the Rocky Mountains in the titles, "Rocky Mountain Home" & "Backside of Twenty".) Four of his 5 albums were produced with the Help of Gene Breeden, the former Guitarist for Buck Owens, with 3 albums having most or all of the recording done at Gene Breeden Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.
The town of Weiser has held fiddling contests since the 1890s, when the instrument arrived in Idaho on the Oregon Trail. Since the early 1950s, Weiser has been home to the National Oldtime Fiddlers' Contest, held in June and hosting more than 20,000 people a year. The late Kevin Sharp who had a Hit song with "Nobody Knows but Me" lived in Weiser before moving to Los Angeles. There is also a National Oldtime Fiddlers' Hall of Fame .
Music venues and institutions
There is an Idaho Symphony Orchestra, Idaho Falls Symphony Orchestra, Coeur d'Alene Symphony Orchestra (founded in 1981), Idaho State Civic Symphony, Magic Valley Symphony and a Washington Idaho Symphony. The Idaho State Civic Symphony is the oldest in the state, having been founded in the early 1900s.
Notably, every year Boise State University holds the annual Gene Harris Jazz Festival, in which schools from all over the nation, as well as famous musicians, come to celebrate Jazz as an art form. A similar event is held at the University of Idaho, called the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival.
Major music venues include the L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center at Idaho State University in Pocatello. Idaho State University's Department of Music is among the most important institutions of musical education in the state.
Small and large venues exist throughout downtown Boise, Idaho, though the former consists of mostly bars and coffee shops (i.e. the Neurolux), and the larger remain concert halls and arenas (i.e. Taco Bell Arena and Quest Arena). Perhaps the most popular concert house is the Knitting Factory (formerly the Big Easy), as well as The Venue, which caters to the hardcore/local music scene, as well as mostly younger audiences. Although many famous artists and musicians play in Boise, it can be the case that larger acts will pass up Boise in favor of venues in Salt Lake City, Utah and Portland, Oregon.
Idaho Falls is home to a small number of venues that house the small local music scene (though many local shows are played in basements and at private residences).
Idaho is also known for its rapidly growing hip hop/rap scene. Dirrrty Joe, of Pocatello, and Boise R&B singer Kazmere, were part of Tech N9ne's record-setting Hostile Takeover 2012 Tour, opening for him in May 2012 in Blackfoot. Dirrrty Joe and Kazmere are the only artists in Idaho to have opened for Tech N9ne. The tour set a world record as the longest consecutive rap tour in history, totaling 93 shows. The duo produced and directed their 1st music video for the single "Never Coming Home" which received 30,000+ hits on YouTube within its first 48 hours of upload.
Marcus Eaton is a self-taught lyricist and musician from the mountains of Idaho. His unique flavor of indie/folk music has influences of mainstream pop, rock, flamenco, reggae, jazz and classical. Marcus currently lives in Boise, Idaho and is the son of Boise blues musician, Steve Eaton.
Curtis Stigers is a jazz vocalist and saxophonist with several top ten singles and acclaimed albums. He is featured on the Bodyguard soundtrack and his 2003 album "You Inspire Me" was named top jazz album by The Times. Curtis is an avid mountain biker living in Boise, Idaho. His single "This Life" is used as the intro for the American TV show, Sons Of Anarchy.
John Németh is a soul and blues vocalist, songwriter and harmonicist from Boise, who is currently living in Oakland, California. His recordings have received many Blues Music Award nominations and Living Blues magazine's Most Outstanding Blues Vocalist for 2010. He has recorded three records with Elvin Bishop. Németh has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered and The Prairie Home Companion. Most recently he had a cameo appearance on the sitcom, Memphis Beat. Boiseans may remember his local bands The Frim Fram Four, and Fat John and the Three Slims.
- Byron, Janet (1996). Country Music Lover's Guide to the U.S.A. (1st ed. ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-14300-1.
- "Idaho State Civic Symphony history". Idaho State Civic Symphony. Archived from the original on December 20, 2005. Retrieved December 3, 2005.
- "History of the Coeur d'Alene Symphony Orchestra". Coeur d'Alene Symphony Orchestra. Retrieved December 3, 2005.