Music

The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island  

Ranker Music
380 votes 30 voters 75 items

List Rules Only artists born or raised in Rhode Island or bands formed in Rhode Island.

Here are the best artists and bands from Rhode Island. The land of pristine shorelines and historic landmarks also has a richly vibrant music scene centered around Providence. The city became particularly famous around the 1990s when noise rock began to take hold in the public's consciousness. It is also home to various music festivals, such as the Newport Folk and Newport Jazz festivals, where bands from all over the United States gather to treat locals to a day of fun, good vibes, and the best musical artists from Rhode Island. 

It is hard to pin down a definitive sound of the region. Some bands like The Dear Hunter play more progressive rock that has a variety of styles while The Low Anthem is more experimental in its styling. The same variety can be seen in the singers that come out of the Ocean State. Billy Gilman is a country artist who made his way up the ranks on The Voice while Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane has released several solo albums. Other popular Rhode Island artists include Sage Francis, Velvet Crush, and Daughters.

Regardless of what music you like best, there is something for everyone in Rhode Island. These are the most famous Rhode Island musical artists, but there are plenty of other smaller acts that play regularly around the state. Vote for your favorites.

list ordered by
1
Wendy Carlos is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
Synthpop, Electronic music, Classical music
Wendy Carlos is an American composer and electronic musician. Carlos first came to prominence in 1968 with Switched-On Bach, a recording of music by J.S. Bach assembled phrase-by-phrase on a ...more
2
The White Mice is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
Industrial music, Noise music, Sludge metal
The White Mice are an abrasive, experimental, industrial, noise rock and noisegrind band from Providence, Rhode Island. They consist of vocals, drums, bass and electronics, but, live, often have ...more
3
John Cafferty & The Beaver Bro... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
Heartland rock, Rock music
John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band is an American rock band from Rhode Island which began its career in the 1970s and achieved mainstream success in the 1980s. Originally known as simply ...more
4
Kilgore is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
Nu metal, Heavy metal, Post-grunge
Kilgore was an American heavy metal band formed in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1991. The band is named after the character Kilgore Trout in the Kurt Vonnegut classic Breakfast of Champions. ...more
5
Kites is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
Kites Noise music
"Kites' Peace Trials creeps on a thin bridge between a small, strange world of Chris Forgues' own creation and our own politically torn world. On the liner notes to this his third release ...more
6
Small Factory is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
Indie pop, Twee pop, Indie rock
Small Factory was an American indie rock band formed in 1991 and based in Providence, R.I.. The group was well regarded as an exemplar of 1990s indie rock although they never achieved great ...more
7
Jesse Leach is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
Groove metal, Metalcore, Heavy metal
Jesse David Leach is an American musician from Providence, Rhode Island, and is best known as being the current lead vocalist of the metalcore band Killswitch Engage and also for being the ...more
8
Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jon... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
Popular music
Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones, known as Sissieretta Jones, was an African-American soprano. She sometimes was called "The Black Patti" in reference to Italian opera singer Adelina ...more
9
Monty Are I is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
Ska punk, Rock music, Alternative rock
Monty Are I is an American rock band from Cranston, Rhode Island. Monty Are I is titled after the band instructor, Arthur Montanaro. The "Are I" portion of the name is a pun on ...more
10
David Blue is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
David Blue, born Stuart David Cohen, was an American singer-songwriter and actor.
11
Carol Sloane is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
Jazz
Carol Sloane is an American jazz singer born in Providence, Rhode Island, who has been singing professionally since she was 14, although for a time in the 1970s she worked as a legal secretary ...more
12
Wadsworth Mansion is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
Rock music
Wadsworth Mansion was an early-1970s American rock band from Providence, Rhode Island. The group's members were Steve Jablecki, Wayne Gagnon, Russ Sevigny Mike Jablecki
13
B. Dolan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
B. Dolan Alternative hip hop, Underground hip hop
B. Dolan is an American rapper, spoken word artist and activist based in Providence, Rhode Island.
14
Scarce is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
Scarce Alternative rock
Scarce will be reuniting in 2007 to record a new album.
15
Andrew Sega is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
Synthpop, Indietronica, Electronic dance music
Andrew Gregory Sega, also known as Necros, is an American musician best known for tracking modules in the 1990s demoscene as well as for composing music for several well-known video games. He is ...more
16
Brian Gibson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
Brian Gibson Noise rock
Brian Gibson is a musician and artist based out of Providence, Rhode Island. Gibson is best known as the bassist for the band Lightning Bolt. He is a lead artist working at video game company ...more
17
The Juan MacLean is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
Dance-punk, Electronic music, Electronic dance music
John MacLean, better known by the stage name of The Juan MacLean, is an American electronic musician.
18
Steve Nardella is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
Blues-rock, Rockabilly, Rock and roll
Steve Nardella is an American blues, rock and roll, blues rock and rockabilly guitarist and singer. Allmusic journalist, Cub Koda, stated Nardella is a "strong, American roots-music ...more
19
Senior Discount is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
Pop punk, Ska punk, Punk rock
Senior Discount is a punk rock band based out of Warren, Rhode Island. In addition to playing music, the band is equally involved in the production of film. The band consists of Chuck Staton on ...more
20
No more kings is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
Trip hop, Rock music, Pop rock
No More Kings are the Los Angeles-based musical collaboration of singer/songwriter Pete Mitchell and producer/songwriter Neil Robins. No More Kings' music is known for its frequent references to ...more
21
Megasus is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
Doom metal, Heavy metal, Sludge metal
Megasus is a heavy metal band formed in Providence, Rhode Island in 2006.
22
Erika Van Pelt is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
Rock music
Erika Lynn Van Pelt is an American singer from South Kingstown, Rhode Island, who placed in tenth place on the eleventh season of American Idol.
23
The Blizzard of 78 is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
The Blizzard of 78
The Blizzard of 78 is a Boston/Providence based five-piece rock band. Consisting of ex-Delta Clutch members, they currently have two albums to their credit, the first being the critically ...more
24
Atwater-Donnelly is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
Atwater-Donnelly
Atwater-Donnelly is a Rhode Island folk music group consisting of Aubrey Atwater, Elwood Donnelly, and occasionally other musicians and dancers. They have toured throughout the United States and ...more
25
The Brown Derbies is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
The Brown Derbies
The Brown Derbies is an all-male a cappella group at Brown University. They were founded by Darryl Shrock in 1982 and have released twelve albums. They sing a variety of different genres, ...more