Top Artists & Bands From Every State

You’ve seen the lists, right? The ones that show a famous musician from each state? Prince is the go-to for Minnesota. “The Boss” usually lays claim to New Jersey. They’re fun, but to be honest, we’ve always felt something was missing. (Yes, we think there’s an actual morsel of pop culture missing from the Internet.) Well, until now….

Drum roll, please….Ladies and gentleman, what follows is a list of 50 imagined supergroups (think: Cream, The Travelling Wilburys, Audioslave), each comprised of musicians with deep roots in a common state. Someone had to do this. Some busy beaver needed to build this list, featuring 250+ legendary and quasi-legendary musicians. As fate would have it, that list was compiled by several beavers who work at Busy Beaver. We hope you enjoy!

Where to start? Oh, how about with states that are a little thin on star power, like Alaska. Hobo Jim and the Moneymakers may be rich with talent—and Jewel is a shiny enough name in the annals of American music—but it’s hard to see this crew selling out the big venues. Then again, if Mr. Lindow of 36 Crazyfists delivers the kind of performance that backs up a band name like that, who knows, maybe word will spread and they’ll become a must-see act!

Also struggling for big names were all neighbors east of Big Sky Montana. Wyoming and both Dakotas, we’re looking at you! Spencer Bohren, Shawn Colvin, “Red Crow” Westerman, and a composer named Moondog? Not exactly stadium fillers on that list. But to give credit where it’s due, we should note—Moondog, who was blind from the age of 16, is responsible for inventing several unique musical instruments, including one called an “oo-ya-tsu.”

And then there were the states that had way too much fire power to mention all the great musicians who deserved to be included, such as New York, Texas, and California. How about Michigan, what a roster! Can you imagine Aretha Franklin and Iggy Pop on vocals backed by Stevie Wonder on the keys, Jack White on the guitar, and George Clinton playing charismatic band leader? Yeah, we can’t either.

We’d be remiss to not give a special shout out to the one all-female band on this list. Unfortunately, it was harder than it should’ve been to find this opportunity among our 50 great states and fertile beds of musicianship, but we pulled this one together and it’s nothing short of a show stopper. Nina Simone. Christina Aguilera. Pink. Taylor Swift. Patti LaBelle. No doubt a dynamite group of very talented women, and yeah, sure, a whole lot of singers. Maybe they become the Pink Patti choir instead? In this game, anything’s possible!

We know you have opinions. Tell us which bands you’d love and which ones you’d love to loathe!