Music

The Best Musical Artists From Oregon  

Ranker Music
635 votes 50 voters 1.3k views 102 items

List Rules Only artists born or raised in Oregon or bands formed in Oregon.

Here are the best artists and bands from Oregon. When you drive around Oregon, you will find it is an incredibly diverse state. You may pass through Portland and see a thriving city landscape and an hour later down the road, you are in the middle of the wilderness. Oregon also has a diverse range of musical artists who have come out of the state. Artists in hip hop, electronic, pop, jazz, rock, country, and blues have made a name for themselves and found fame outside of the Beaver State. 

The best musical artists from Oregon perfectly encapsulate everything great about the state. A lot of people associate Portland with its weird, eclectic aesthetic, and this is seen in various artists who have come from Portland or nearby cities. This includes bands like The Decemberists, The Dandy Warhols, and Elliott Smith. Many of these artists have referenced Oregon life in their songs. For example, The Decemberists sing about Downtown Portland, more specifically the Portland Transit Mall, in their song, "On the Bus Mall." Some of the most popular Oregon artists and bands include She & Him, Everclear, Kutless, and The Slants.

You are bound to find one band, singer, or rapper on this list of famous Oregon musical artists you love. You have the power to tell the world what makes Oregon so great, so start voting for your favorites and add any other artists with Oregon roots.

list ordered by
1
Elliott Smith is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
Indie pop, Folk rock, Acoustic music
Steven Paul "Elliott" Smith (August 6, 1969 – October 21, 2003) was an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Smith was born in Omaha, Nebraska, raised primarily in ...more

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#382 of 455 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #785 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing The Best Elliott Smith Songs

2
The Decemberists is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
Indie pop, Rock music, Folk rock
The Decemberists are an American indie rock band from Portland, Oregon. The band consists of Colin Meloy (lead vocals, guitar, principal songwriter), Chris Funk (guitar, multi-instrumentalist), ...more

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#782 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #461 of 626 The Greatest Live Bands of All Timefeaturing The Best The Decemberists Albums, Ranked

3
Everclear is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
Rock music, Grunge, Pop rock
Everclear is an American alternative rock band formed in Portland, Oregon in 1991. The band was formed by Art Alexakis, the band's lead songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist; and for most of the ...more

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4
Ash Black Bufflo is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
Ash Black Bufflo Experimental music
Ash Black Bufflo, sometimes spelled Buffalo, is the professional name of Portland-based music composer and experimental musician Jay Clarke. He composes music for feature-length films, short ...more
5
Esperanza Spalding is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
Neo soul, Jazz fusion, Jazz
Esperanza Emily Spalding (born October 18, 1984) is an American jazz bassist and singer. Spalding was raised in Portland, Oregon, and was a musical prodigy, playing violin in the Chamber Music ...more

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6
A Weather is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
A Weather Indie
A Weather is an indie band from Portland, Oregon, fronted by Aaron Gerber and Sarah Winchester. Other members include Zach Boyle, Aaron Krenkel and Louis Thomas. Their debut album, Cove, was ...more
7
Carrie Brownstein is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
Alternative rock, Punk rock, Indie rock
Carrie Rachel Brownstein (born September 27, 1974) is an American musician, actress, writer, director, and comedian. She first came to prominence as a member of the band Excuse 17 before forming ...more

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8
The Dandy Warhols is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
Rock music, Garage rock, Neo-psychedelia
The Dandy Warhols are an American rock band, formed in Portland, Oregon, in 1994 by singer-guitarist Courtney Taylor-Taylor and guitarist Peter Holmström, who were joined by keyboardist Zia ...more

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9
Holy Sons is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
Avant-garde
Holy Sons (band) is built around Portland songwriter and drummer Emil Amos. Amos is notable for releasing "genre-bending" albums, according to LA Weekly music reviewer Chris Martins, ...more
10
M. Ward is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
American Primitivism, Alternative country, Indie folk
Matthew Stephen "M." Ward (born October 4, 1973) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist from Portland, Oregon. Ward's solo work is a mixture of folk and blues-inspired ...more
11
Defiance is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
Defiance
Defiance are an American anarcho street punk band from Portland, Oregon formed in 1993. Their discography includes five E.P.s, four full-lengths, and one album of out of print and rare songs. ...more
12
Sleater-Kinney is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
queenidleteen added Riot grrrl, Rock music, Grunge
Sleater-Kinney is an American rock band that formed in Olympia, Washington, in 1994. The band's current lineup features Corin Tucker (vocals and guitar) and Carrie Brownstein (guitar and vocals) ...more

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#1,039 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #1,034 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #249 of 410 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

13
Sallie Ford & The So... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside Rock and roll
Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside was an American rock band from Portland, Oregon. The band has been described as "Rockabilly", or as having a "raw soul" 1950s rock-and-roll ...more
14
A Dream Too Late is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
Christian alternative rock, Experimental rock, Alternative rock
A Dream Too Late was a Christian experimental rock band from Albany, Oregon, United States. The band signed up with Tooth & Nail Records in 2007. They released their first album ...more
15
The Slants is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
Synthpop, Rock music, Dance music
The Slants are known as the first all-Asian American dance rock band in the world. The band was founded by Simon Young in 2006 in Portland, Oregon. Often compared with 80’s synth-pop bands such ...more
16
Kutless is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
Nu metal, Christian alternative rock, Contemporary worship music
Kutless is a Christian rock band from Portland, Oregon formed in 2001. Since their formation, they have released multiple studio albums and one live album, Live from Portland. They have sold ...more
17
Brad Wilk is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
Rock music, Rapcore, Funk metal
Bradley J. Wilk (born September 5, 1968) is an American musician, actor, and activist. He is best known as the drummer of the rock bands Rage Against the Machine (1991–2000; 2007–2011), ...more
18
Agalloch is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
Doom metal, Post-metal, Dark ambient
Agalloch is an American metal band formed in 1995 in Portland, Oregon, led by vocalist/guitarist/drummer John Haughm. To date they have released five full-length albums, four EPs, two singles, ...more
19
Cherry Poppin' Daddies ... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska
The Cherry Poppin' Daddies are an American swing and ska band established in Eugene, Oregon, in 1989. Formed by singer-songwriter Steve Perry and bassist Dan Schmid, the band has experienced ...more
20
Obo Addy is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
Worldbeat
Obo Addy (January 15, 1936 – September 13, 2012) was a Ghanaian drummer and dancer who was one of the first native African musicians to bring the fusion of traditional folk music and Western pop ...more
21
Tommy Thayer is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
Tommy Thayer Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock
Thomas Cunningham Thayer (born November 7, 1960) is an American musician and songwriter. He is the lead guitarist for the American hard rock band Kiss, and was lead guitarist for the band Black ...more
22
The Kingsmen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
The Kingsmen Rock music, Garage rock, Merseybeat
The Kingsmen are a 1960s garage rock band from Portland, Oregon, United States. Their 1963 recording of Richard Berry's "Louie Louie" held the No. 2 spot on the Billboard charts for ...more

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23
Dolorean is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
Dolorean Alternative rock, Indie rock
Dolorean was a American band based in Portland, Oregon. Their current line-up is: Al James, guitar/vocals; Jay Clarke, organ/piano; Ben Nugent, drums/percussion/vocals; James Adair, bass; and ...more
24
Jaguar Love is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
New Wave, Dance-punk, Electro
Jaguar Love is an American post-punk band formed in Portland, Oregon in 2007. It is composed of former members of The Blood Brothers.
25
Laura Veirs is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Oregon
Folk music
Laura Pauline Veirs (born October 24, 1973) is an American singer-songwriter based out of Portland, Oregon. She is known for her folk/alternative country records and live performances as well as ...more