Music of Idaho

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Idaho has produced a number of musicians and bands, including Paul Revere & the Raiders (who had a #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit with "Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)" in 1971) and Doug Martsch of Built to Spill. Rosalie Sorrels is a renowned folk singer born in Boise. Jazz double bassist Gary Peacock was born in Burley. Nikki Sixx (bassist of glam metal band Mötley Crüe) grew up in Jerome. Moscow, Idaho is the home town of modern folk/country/indie songwriter Josh Ritter.

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. [1]

Music venues and institutions[edit]

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.[2]

Notably, every year the University of Idaho holds the annual Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival, in which schools from all over the world, as well as famous musicians, come to celebrate Jazz as an art form. A similar event is held at Boise State University, called the Gene Harris 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.[citation needed]

Small and large venues exist throughout downtown Boise, 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 CenturyLink 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).

Rexburg, Idaho also has a budding local music scene, with many of the bands being formed by students at BYU-Idaho. The most notable (and one of the only) venue(s) in Rexburg is Club Stratta.

Other musicians from Idaho[edit]

Curtis Stigers, from Boise, is a jazz vocalist and saxophonist with several top ten singles and acclaimed albums. He is featured on the The Bodygaurd soundtrack. His song "This Life" is used as the intro for the American TV show, Sons Of Anarchy.

Nu metal musician and former 3vilution vocalist Dirrrty Joe, of Pocatello, was part of Tech N9ne's record-setting Hostile Takeover 2012 Tour, opening for him in May 2012 in Blackfoot and becoming the first metal musician to open for Tech N9ne. The tour set a world record as the longest consecutive rap tour in history, totaling 93 shows. Dirrrty Joe is also one of very few musicians in the music industry with autism. He is a grand-nephew of former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Cris Collinsworth.

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.

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 and is the son of Boise blues musician Steve Eaton.

  1. ^ Byron, pg. 59
  2. ^ Idaho State Civic Symphony and the Coeur d'Alene Symphony Orchestra


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