10 Of The Greatest And Most Famous Musicians From Maine

Last updated

Famous for its lobster and lighthouses, Maine also has a thriving music scene with the state being home to the Bangor Symphony Orchestra as well as the Maine Country Music Association Hall of Fame.

On top of that, many music festivals are hosted in the state including the American Folk Festival in Bangor, the Saddleback Mountain Bluegrass Festival, and the North Atlantic Blues Festival in Rockland.

To celebrate the Pine Tree State, in this post, we’re put together a list of 10 of the greatest and most famous musicians from Maine.

Related: Read about more American musicians here.

1. Patty Griffin

Born in Old Town, Maine, folk singer and songwriter Patty Griffin also plays piano and guitar.

Her debut album Living with Ghosts was released in 1996, followed by the 1998 album Flaming Red. Her album 1000 Kisses featured the hit song “Rain” as well as a cover of the Bruce Springsteen song “Stolen Car.”

Her songs have been featured in television shows including Smallville, One Tree Hill, Bones, Supernatural, and Haunting of Hill House

She has won two Grammy Awards, the first in 2011 for Best Traditional Gospel Album and the second in 2020 for Best Folk Album.

2. Juliana Hatfield

Born in Wiscasset, Maine, vocalist, and guitarist Juliana Hatfield is also a songwriter, drummer, and keyboard player.

Hatfield started her solo career in 1992 with the release of her debut album Hey Babe. However, she gained success with her band The Juliana Hatfield Three.

The band’s debut album Become What You Are came out in 1993 and featured the hit songs “Spin the Bottle” and “My Sister.” The former was featured in the popular rom-com Reality Bites starring Winona Ryder and Ethan Hawke.

3. Clark Gesner

Next up we have lyricist and composer Clark Gesner who was born in Augusta, Maine. He started his career in the 1950s as a composer for the popular children’s television show Captain Kangaroo.

Gesner also worked with the hit children’s show Sesame Street but he is probably best known for his musical You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. This show had its start in New York in 1967 and was performed in many cities throughout the United States.

You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown was nominated for a Grammy award for the Best Musical Show Album, first in 1968 and again in 2000.

4. Clarence White (The Byrds)

Clarence White was a singer and guitarist who hailed from Lewiston, Maine. He played a variety of music including bluegrass, country, and rock but he is known mainly for his role in the Kentucky Colonels band and The Byrds.

The Kentucky Colonels were active from 1954 until 1965 with some of their songs including “Head over Heels in Love with You,” “Ballad of Farmer Brown,” and “To Prove My Love For You.”

After White joined The Byrds in 1968, the band released a total of five albums including the Ballad of Easy Rider in 1969. The 1970 Untitled album included the songs “Truck Stop Girl” and “Lover of the Bayou.”

He also collaborated with other popular artists including the Monkees, Joe Cocker, Linda Ronstadt, and the Everly Brothers. 

5. Bill Flagg

Born and raised in Waterville, Maine, Bill Flagg was a country and folk musician. He was famous for coining the term rockabilly which refers to a combination of rock and roll and hillbilly music.

In addition to his solo career, Flagg was also a member of the Rockabillies band and Hobo Bill and the Last Ride.

Flagg’s popular songs include “Go Cat Go,” “Guitar Rock,” and “I’m So Lonely.” In 2002, Flagg was inducted into the virtual Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

6. Spencer Albee

Spencer Albee is a vocalist, guitarist, drummer, pianist, and keyboardist from Portland, Maine. He attended the University of Southern Maine before starting his pop and rock music career.

Albee was a member of the band Rustic Overtones who released their first album Long Division in 1995. Songs from the album included “About a Kid” and “Simple Song.”

Albee was also part of the band As Fast As, which was originally called Rocktopus. Their debut album I Love You Good Morning came out in 2002.

In addition to these acts, Albee has also had a solo career spanning almost two decades. He began in 2000 with The Popsicko and his most recent album came out in 2017 called Relentlessly Yours.

7. Corey Beaulieu (Trivium)

Hailing from Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, Corey Beaulieu is a heavy metal guitarist and vocalist.

He joined the band Trivium in 2003 and their first album Trivium released after Beaulieu joined was Ascendancy in 2005.

More recently, they came out with What the Dead Men Say in 2020 and In the Court of the Dragon in 2021.

In 2014, the band was nominated for three World Music Awards including Best Group, Best Live Act, and Best Album for Vengeance Falls.

Popular songs by Trivium include “Until the World Goes Cold,” “Down from the Sky,” and “The Heart from your Hate.”

8. Howie Day

Howie Day is a pop-rock singer and songwriter who also plays piano and guitar, was born in Bangor and attended school in Brewer, Maine.

Day’s career started in the 1990s and his first album Australia was released in 2000. This was followed by his second album Stop all the World Now which included the songs “Perfect Time of Days,” “She Says,” and “Collide.”

He later released his third album entitled Sound the Alarm and his most recent album Lanterns came out in 2015.

The 2001 drama movie I Am Sam starring Sean Penn and Michelle Pfieffer featured Day’s version of the Beatles’ song “Help.”

9. Lenny Breau

Born to musician parents, Lenny Breau was a guitarist born in Auburn, Maine in 1941.

His debut album entitled Guitar Sounds from Lenny Breau came out in 1968 and was followed by nine more albums over the course of his career.

His first album included several cover songs including Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right” and the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night.”

He performed with a number of other popular artists including Anne Murray and was also a sought-after guitar teacher.

Breau’s eclectic style included country and jazz. He was inducted posthumously into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1997.

10. Rebecca Martin

And finally, Rebecca Martin is a singer, songwriter, and guitar player who hails from the small town of Rumford, Maine.

She plays an eclectic mix of jazz, folk, and pop music with some of her popular songs including “Don’t Mean a Thing at All,” “The Space in a Song to Think,” and “Just as in Spring.”

She released her debut album Thoroughfare in 1998 which was followed by Middlehope two years later. She has since released additional albums including her most recent, After Midnight, in 2022. 

In addition to making music, Martin also provides private lessons on songwriting, recording, and performing.

Summing Up Our List On Great Musicians From Maine

With so many musicians coming out of the state of Maine, you’re sure to find an artist that suits your taste.

Country, folk, and heavy metal are just some of the genres you can listen to from musicians from Maine.

Photo of author
Written by Dan Farrant
Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.