10 Treasure Valley Musicians to Look Out For

Updated: Aug 5, 2020

The Treasure Valley [aka the Boise / Meridian area of what used to be rural farmland Idaho] is now one of the fastest-growing regions in the country. What was once an almost non-existent modern music scene has recently blossomed into a close-knit community of musicians and devoted fans. Every year, thousands gather from across the United States [and around the world] to participate in Boise's Treefort Music Fest. With styles and genres spanning across the board, the Treasure Valley has something to offer to all.

While in the area for the past four years, I became familiar with the "most-talked-about" names in Boise music. I also had the ability to connect with some musicians who are currently flying a bit under-the-radar, but who have the potential to become something great in the very near future.

So, without further ado, here is my go-to list of 10 Treasure Valley Musicians to Look Out For:

1. The Phets

"The Arctic Monkeys' and Muse's evil cousin." I genuinely believe that The Phets may be one of the first Boise bands to hit it big. While labels can be incredibly picky about who they sign, this band can score a record deal if they seek one wholeheartedly. The Phets have the whole package: talent, skill, cohesive branding, stage presence, audience engagement, and finally, "the look." Formed in 2017, The Phets have already made a local name for themselves, with standout shows and a strong, devoted fanbase. Originally set to perform at this year's Treefort Music Fest [which has since been canceled for 2020], the group has continued to engage with their audience through live videos and social media content.

The Phets' members include Thomas Salazar (Vocals/Guitar), Hayden McCandless (Bass), and Cameron Elgart (Drums). Though only a 3-piece band, The Phets can fill the stage (and the sound waves) as if they are a 4 or 5 piece group.

Their debut EP, Dark Again, is available now [see links below]. If you are ever in the

Treasure Valley, I highly recommend catching a Phets performance. You will be able to one day boast of the fact that you saw them play in a tiny, local venue before their big claim to fame. As young musicians devoted to their craft, these dudes know what they're doing and where they're going.

Follow The Phets:

Facebook: @thephetsofficial

Instagram: @the.phets

Website: www.thephets.com

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2VqIPf3

Apple Music: https://apple.co/2yvhFuo

Youtube: https://bit.ly/2zlzkoT

Twitter: https://bit.ly/34SX1Aw

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2. Ana Lete

This songstress is unique, both in her sound and in her unwavering work ethic. As an experimental neo-indie folk musician, there is no one who sounds quite like Ana does. Ana Lete has only been an independent artist since 2017 but has already learned how to make a full-time income in an area where rent continues to skyrocket. She holds a degree in Music Composition from the College of Idaho and earns her income through a combination of live performances, merchandise sales, and private lesson instruction (ukulele and guitar). She was also set to play at this year's Treefort Music Fest.

Her most recent project? Lete has just created and launched her very own online Guitar Program for Adults. With the current uneasiness that COVID-19 has brought to self-employed pocketbooks, Ana has found a way to work around some of the uncertainty that comes with month-to-month income based on in-person lessons. Her new course aims to instill "confidence in [adults'] guitar-playing abilities so that they can have a fulfilling, confidence-boosting, stress-relieving hobby for years to come." If you are interested in signing up for this course, email Ana at analetemusic@gmail.com

Follow Ana Lete:

Website: analete.com

Facebook: @analetemusic

Twitter: @analetemusic

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3. Town of Trees

Town of Trees is one of the newer Treasure Valley bands to come out of the woodwork. They are easily one of the most fun-loving, welcoming groups in the area and are a representation of friendship at its finest. Everyone in the band seems to be very close, and this camaraderie shines through in their performances. Town of Trees is the type of band that will get you up and dancing; this group would be the perfect act to hire for a wedding or a party!

Town of Trees performs both originals and covers. Their genre? A combination of alternative and folk. One of my favorite things about this group is that they do all of their recording, mixing, and mastering right from home. While at-home recording has grown exponentially since the onset of COVID-19, Town of Trees was on the front end of this trend. They are able to save thousands of dollars with DIY hack, which may allow them to save up and, therefore, tour more in the days ahead.

Many groups can quickly become obsessed with perfectionism, leading to fewer releases and less live performances. Town of Trees, however, keeps music enjoyable and plays shows frequently. I commend them for this. Young adults often have a lot going on in their lives - school, work, relationships. But somehow, these artists continuously push out new content. Their love for music is evident.

One of the most fun elements of Town of Trees? They switch instruments and swap vocalists throughout their sets. All four members are singer-songwriters, so this makes for a good time. Be sure to show 'em some love!

Band Members:

Connor Hensley

Tori Hensley

Lucas Leger

Zachary (Binxx) Breuer

Follow Town of Trees:

Facebook and Instagram: @townoftrees

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2sXRtx5XDFzlPQRLN7jeww?si=PnW1rFghSV-sIUyiDLsz0A

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4. Sunsmith

If reggae is your thing, then Sunsmith is for you. My favorite song of theirs is "Red Eye Jedi" (I think that the lyrical theme is super creative), but the fans seem to like "Whipped Cream," as well. Founding member Brett Thorpe ran into some musical roadblocks a while back but refused to let that stop him from pushing forward. This group plays many local shows, and I have witnessed audience members singing along to their songs. This is proof that their tracks are catchy!

Sunsmith is all about good vibes and sunshine. They are set to play the 2020 Boise Hemp Fest [along with Town of Trees, as well as myself].

This group is unique amongst the reggae community in that they blend hip-hop, creating what is deemed as "dub reggae." Like Boise counterpart Town of Trees, Sunsmith has also done plenty of at-home production. I recently scored a free CD of theirs and was presently surprised! I still bump it in my car now and again.

Frequent shows, an extensive setlist, and adamant work ethic on Thorpe's part are a few of my reasons for placing Sunsmith on my list of "Treasure Valley Musicians to Look Out For." Plus, they're just generally cool dudes. If you're looking for music to brighten your day, be sure to check them out on Spotify [link below].

Follow Sunsmith:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0RHbWBoQuMMzBv5Y6IbXww?si=ooKr1xayQdCxR5jGKbJMkg

Email: sunsmithmusic@gmail.com

Facebook: @Sunsmithdub

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaR0gd8125XnWZ8Vv4rSJWg

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5. Bobby Dee Keys

Bobby Dee Keys and his Dueling Pianos = one of the most unique Treasure Valley acts. While many artists completely fell off the radar during the coronavirus quarantine, Bobby Dee Keys seemed to thrive in an entirely new way. Armed with a unique, portable [and purple!] baby grand piano, Bobby set up in driveways and continued to rock with his Driveway Concert Series.

Having studied piano performance at Southeast Missouri State University, Bobby Dee Keys really knows how to put on a show. His ROCK-HOUSE BAND, along with his production company, ROCK DEE HOUSE Entertainment, would make a great addition to any event, corporate function, party, or wedding. They're fun, lively, and sound great! Bobby has a stellar voice, too, which is perfectly tailored to the covers which he performs. The crowds love him, and he exhibits fantastic audience interaction and engagement; check out the video below:

Because Bobby Dee Keys also owns a production company, he is able to incorporate full, quality sound and lighting into his performances. He travels often and even squeezes his beautiful mobile piano into a trailer. Real pianos > digital keyboards any day!

Follow Bobby Dee Keys, Dueling Pianos, and Rock Dee House Entertainment:

Facebook: @BandMgmt

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJwTv7wNhPCJErwrQw1JSTQ

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THE SLOW isn't just a band; it's an art form and it's a movement. This group consists of creatives who are intent on spreading love, peace, positivity, and a spiritual, Christian message. Members Kevin Field, Charles Bryan III, Kevin Laughlin, Spencer Hassman, and Miles Wilson exude good vibes and good tunes. "THE SLOW collectively casts a spectrum of sound while projecting thoughts of existence and purpose, dabbling in social issues and what it means to be human."

Call them "hippie christian mystics or the slow kids," THE SLOW is about community and connectivity. Both of THE SLOW's live shows that I have attended have put me into some kind of ethereal trance (in the best way). Their poetic lyrics, stage movement, lighting, transitions, and out-of-this-world guitar effects make for a type of meditative experience. Deeply passionate about what they do, every note exudes deeper meaning than what first meets the ear.

Follow The Slow:

Facebook and Instagram: @theslow.music

iTunes: https://music.apple.com/us/album/nothing-above-nothing-below/1323343319?fbclid=IwAR1siWsvTJxiqTcX6Ij7a6dXZVUeXGSLkhj5B1-BBi-tg1VN9DzlNgnolgU

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0tT07zAUPksNrMwjaBp3Cn?si=HbhMR8WTQxiqtwgaP1c0Ww

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC70aQK3ZLbyUUPjc6yo217w

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7. Maddie Zahm

Maddie Zahm is known as the American Idol musician of the Treasure Valley. Her participation in Season 16 of the hit show allowed her to gain a devoted following around the country. She has recently released original music and continues to perform around Boise.

Maddie inspires not only with her songs but also with her messages of friendship and self-love. As someone who has openly talked about her weight and self-image, she gives a spirit of hope to her fans. She is a beautiful representation of determination, drive, and will.

Her debut album People Pleaser is now available on all platforms. Be sure to check it out at the links below.

Follow Maddie Zahm:

Facebook: @maddie.zahm

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9vIyG4SsTC73eOS3czX6EQ

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5dtPlx7yKOo7KdZGyrfFIq?si=nJgXWPB6TUO5q0mSrKpg_w

Instagram: @maddiezahm

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8. Nick Monteiro

Nick Monteiro is a serious piano force to be reckoned with. A jazz musician at heart, this college musician (who is currently studying Music at Northwest Nazarene University) already boasts multiple awards and has studied with some of the best piano instructors that the state has to offer. He plays genres from classical to progressive rock to pop to jazz (and excels at all of them). When he's not on stage, you will most certainly find him in a practice room. He is dedicated and puts effort into bettering himself every day.

Photo: @ashleymaewright

Monteiro has been devoted to the keys since the age of seven. He now composes and plays alongside other artists across the Treasure Valley. He recently spent a semester in Nashville, Tennessee, at the Contemporary Music Center, where he studied on the Artist Track. This experience allowed Nick to grow in both songwriting and performance.

Nick has earned various piano performance awards at NNU and currently studies under a music scholarship. He has learned from some of the greats in the area, including Camden Hughes and the late Dr. Walden Hughes.

About music, Monteiro says: "I think music will always be a mystery to me." Amen to that.

If you like jazz, be sure to listen to Nick at an upcoming show [follow him on Facebook for Event Updates]. With the work ethic and skill that this college pianist boasts, I am confident that he will grow up to be one of the most well-versed jazz musicians in the Northwest.

Follow Nick Monteiro:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/23cybeT9w3ccfu4LREnY6t?si=lWRj__p4S2G4TtFuPdvRWw

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/album/all-i-need/1514039240?i=1514039243&fbclid=IwAR0abT0aKvFUfE8F4-noEpneSeOayFn0b2fy3gUO0tKSH_g7NQ9TEnlmofY

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nickmonteiro.music/

Instagram: @nickmonteiro.music

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9. Sam Harmon [Redbeard - One Man Band]

Having known Sam Harmon for four years now, I can honestly say that he is a musical prodigy. A multi-instrumentalist, composer, and score-writer, this musician can go from 0 to 100 on a new instrument in just a matter of a few months. Like Nick Monteiro, Sam studied music at Northwest Nazarene University and could always be found in the music building, or hunkered down in a practice suite. Sam speaks through the language of music and touches all who hear his rhythms and chords.

Sam Harmon [Stage Name: Redbeard] is a one-man band. Combining seven instruments into one piece (as seen in the video above), this mastermind has the unique ability to compartmentalize his brain into multiple time signatures and rhythms. He has a heart for mental health and seeks to connect with others via the language of song. An outspoken Christian, Redbeard recently embarked on The Extreme Tour 2020 to reach individuals for Christ - empowered with music and goodwill.

Sam plays every genre - jazz, rock, blues... you name it! Some of his instruments include percussion, piano, and guitar. He frequently posts on his YouTube channel and has a knack for video game music composition. Redbeard someday hopes to work in the Music Therapy field.

Follow Sam Harmon [Redbeard - One Man Band]:

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvksfH7iE-wkiemWCDujOMA

Follow Sam's Band [and mine, too!] - LUX:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/weareluxofficial

Instagram: @weareluxofficial

Twitter: @tweetWeAreLUX

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRB9LDIy7V1cJLsmw9-AQAw

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3RrhW3hthJTcTPPRlPTRi2?si=I4pA9yO1Ree751RW6zfeUg

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10. Social Fallout

Social Fallout was discovered through a mutual connection of mine (Alternative Means Productions). Though they fly under the radar in terms of social media, their music stood out to me enough to include them in this list of Treasure Valley Musicians.

Formed back in 2012, Social Fallout was once playing upwards of 6-7 shows per month. They fall into the metal/progressive/rock category and utilize intentional lyrics in their songs. "Science Fiction" really stood out to me from the moment that I heard it; it was this song that prompted me to reach out directly to the group. The track is catchy and gives me some serious "System of a Down" vibes. Social Fallout has a standout vocalist in terms of timbre and tone (and I don't say that often). His voice is truly unique and is a key element to the band as a whole. Check 'em out! They're a hidden gem in the rock scene.

Recording by Alternative Means Productions

Band Members:

Singer/Songwriter & Rhythm guitar - Mike Johnson

Lead Guitar - Tom Pentland

Bass - Austen Breninger

Drums - Todd Harpole

Follow Social Fallout:

Facebook: @socialfallout

Reverbnation: https://www.reverbnation.com/socialfalloutband

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What other Treasure Valley musicians do you feel deserve some attention? Comment below!

Alisha Peru


For write-ups, press releases, music reviews, band biographies and more, email alisha@alishaperu.com.

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