Honest and evocative songs carried on fingerstyle guitar, West Virginia clawhammer banjo, and crystalinne vocals.
"Fall is a Good Time to Die" ranked #2 on KRVM Radio Eugene's Top Albums of 2015! And "Texas" named #7 song of 2015.
Jami Lynn, Andrew Reinartz, Dalton Coffey perform Jami's original Wolf!
Jami Lynn, Andrew Reinartz & Dalton Coffey perform a holiday favorite Let it Snow!
Jami Lynn w/ Andrew Reinartz and Dalton Coffey for South Dakota Public Broadcasting's No Cover, No Minimum.
On the evening of October 9, 2014, Jami Lynn performed alongside Andrew Reinartz on upright bass, and Dalton Coffey on dobro in the TCB Auditorium on the DSU campus.
Jami Lynn plays Don't Let Her Love Go for South Dakota Public Broadcasting's No Cover, No Minimum.
The White Wall Sessions Season 2 Jami Lynn with Dalton Coffey and Andrew Reinartz
White Wall Sessions. Jami Lynn. Recorded July 2, 2013
with Dylan James on lead guitar and harmonies. This video taken from the Rock Garden Tour is posted courtesy of South Dakota Public Broadcasting.
Jami Lynn performing "Fall Is A Good Time To Die" on Neighborhood Jams.
It’s been a good year for Jami Lynn. With high honors in the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival’s Songwriting Showcase Finals, new album “Fall is a Good Time to Die” named to The Telegraph’s top country albums of 2015 (next to Willie Nelson, The Punch Brothers, and Dar Williams), and critics proclaiming her “5 out of 5 stars, essential listening” (Empty Bottles and Broken Souls), it’s been a good year. But this year is not only the culmination of hard work and good luck, but the fruition and maturing of two musical passions-of writing and performing.
Hailing from the Great Plains of eastern South Dakota, Jami began performing folk and bluegrass music at the age of thirteen. It took little coaxing from her grandfather to make the transition from the audience to the stage, where old-time country, polka, and regional folk music reigned supreme. At the age of sixteen, Jami began accompanying herself on guitar and writing her own music. After high school, Jami Lynn attended the University of South Dakota majoring in Vocal Performance.
Though it was clear that opera was not in her cards, Jami stuck with music, spending a semester at Tennessee State University in Nashville to study Commercial Music and immerse herself in singer/songwriter scene. While the experience honed her performance and songwriting skills, it also heightened Jami’s awareness of her deep connection to the landscape and culture of the Upper Midwest. Upon returning to finish college in South Dakota, Jami Lynn began work on her senior thesis, “Early American Folk Music of the Upper Midwest.” What began as a typical slap-it-together-and-call-it -good thesis turned into an intensive year of research resulting in academic presentations in museums, libraries, and historical societies, and most importantly, the recording of “Sodbusters,” her first full length solo album.
Inspired by stories of her ancestors trek from the East coast to the Dakota Territory, the title track of Sodbusters offers the perspective of Jami Lynn’s great-great grandmother, Lydia Huff. In addition to six original songs, the album features five folk songs from the South Dakota area. A lumbering ballad from the forests of Minnesota, a Norwegian lullaby, an Irish folk tune, and a cowboy ballad from the open range compliment her own artfully crafted folk songs. Sodbusters not only caught the attention of international critics in France and the Netherlands but was included in the Smithsonian's Shared Harmonies Project.
Fall Is A Good Time To Die is the first album of Lynn's comprised entirely of original songs, self-produced alongside her band, Dalton Coffey (dobro, mandolin) and Andrew Reinartz (bass). Lynn’s voice is reminiscent of Anaïs Mitchell’s, with a darker, wilder quality all her own, as if she were born to project her voice across the plains. With the power and dynamic of My Brightest Diamond, Lynn’s voice is complimented by her deceptively creative melodies.
When not performing for public audiences Lynn also brings folk music to elementary students and hospital systems through the South Dakota State Arts Council’s Artists in the Schools program and Touring Artists program. She's also shared the stage with legendary folk singer Spider John Koerner, Gillian Welch, The Wood Brothers, Jolie Holland, Mason Jennings, Trampled by Turtles, Charlie Parr, Chatham County Line, The Pines, Special Consensus, and claw-grass great Mark Johnson. Jami is currently based out of Spearfish, SD.
"Fall is a Good Time to Die" ranked #2 on KRVM Radio Eugene's Top Albums of 2015! And "Texas" named #7 song of 2015.
After 8 months on the American Roots Music Report charts, Fall is a Good Time to Die ends the year at #31, topping out at #22!
Jami has again been included in the national compilation album and calendar, Banjo Babes!
Jami was chosen as one of 10 finalists from across the nation in the prestigious Rocky Mountain Folks Festival's Songwriter Showcase where she placed 4th.
The Telegraph places Fall is a Good Time to Die in the top country albums of the year with Dar Williams, The Punch Brothers, and Willy Nelson & Merl Haggerd....whoa.
For a song about a cold breeze, Jami Lynn’s “The North Wind” is a surprisingly warm tune, with Lynn’s inviting vocals and her band’s pleasant folk backing providing a comforting environment. Indeed, Lynn herself says, of the song, “For me, this song is less about the little story it contains and more about the feeling of comfort and warmth it conveys in the empty spaces between the guitar and vocals.” More than just a folk singer, Lynn is a folklorist herself, having left her classical voice studies to “dig around in museums, archives, churches, and personal collections around South Dakota,” her home state, in order to collect the songs that made up her previous album, Sodbusters. Her new album, Fall is a Good Time to Die, follows in that same Great Plains spirit while containing songs that she penned herself, including “The North Wind.” Fall is a Good Time to Die is available now and Lynn and her band—Dalton Coffey (dobro, mandolin) and Andrew Reinartz (bass)—will be touring throughout the Dakotas and Upper Midwest this summer. Further information can by found at Jami Lynn’s website and Facebook page.
In 2009, Jami Lynn was an undergraduate student studying classical voice while she played with her folk band on the weekends. However, coming to the realization that opera was not where her heart lay, she set out across the plains of South Dakota, the state she calls her home, to collect folk songs from the early settlement days of the Dakota Territory. She recorded and released an album titled ‘Sodbusters’ full of the obscure songs she found, but it was a visit to her family in Texas that inspired her beyond covering long-forgotten material. She played these songs she had found to her grandparents, and they began sharing similar stories of her ancestors – so much so that these characters began floating around Jami’s head, enough to form new, original songs about the people, the animals, and the landscapes that were around many years before. Thus ‘Fall Is A Good Time To Die’ was born, a concept album of songs dedicated to South Dakota and a view of the state long before those heralded early settlers arrived. Officially out today, the album includes the track ‘God Out On The Plain’, our featured track and one we are lucky enough to be premiering. “The Lakota Sioux still hold that the Black Hills in western South Dakota are holy land,” Jami says of the song. “I suppose that this song is in a way, a humble apology, and also an ode to the beauty I’ve found here.” A humble apology, and a very beautiful one at that. Beginning in the midst of simple guitar-strumming to a fast-paced chord progression, this is soon joined by exquisite dobro that slowly takes over the track with much intricate playing for a full solo. However, perhaps the most wonderfully distinct aspect about ‘God Out On The Plains’ is the way that Jami’s unique, twangy vocals float humbly over a particularly beautiful melody. The song is kept deceptively simple (just two verses and a refrain following a pilgrim’s journey) despite plenty of impressive musicality present, and is a glowing transcient moment of peace and clarity in a cluttered world. You can take a listen to ‘God Out On The Plains’ below, and don’t forget to go buy ‘Fall Is A Good Time To Die’!
About a month ago, South Dakota’s own Jami Lynn released her sophomore LP, Fall Is a Good Time to Die. Six years in the making, the record is both a tribute to her home state and a fine collection of folk tunes in the vein of the best Americana. Below you can stream the pastoral “Texas”, whose spare arrangement—voice, banjo, and mandolin—puts Lynn front and center. Lynn tells PopMatters about the story behind the song’s title, “In the spring of 2012, members of my family rented an RV and stole my grandmother from hospice in southern Texas and brought her home to her farm in South Dakota. It took me two years to finally capture how magical it was spending the last few months of her life together.”
South Dakota. Call it a libertarian’s paradise or a progressive’s purgatory- the land has been described as a place where heaven and hell are neighbors…and polite ones at that. Vast prairies stretch out to the painted desert badlands where rust and rabble eventually wind up culminated in the knotty pine cone trails of the majestic Black hills. South Dakotan siren Jami Lynn’s brand new album “Fall is a Good Time to Die” is not only rooted in the mystery and the wonder of Dakota mythical landscape - it sprinkles the feel of the land and the magic of her distinct Midwestern sound like gold dust in an old miner’s pan. In other words. It’s Damn good. DAMNED GOOD!!! The opening pop and crackle of Lynn’s banjo on the opening track “Polywags” glows with old timey presence that bridges seamlessly with the dobro heavy “Red Fox” and the lovely “The North Wind”…I do believe Ms. Lynn has indeed turned the corner here with this album in comparison with her impressive past releases. Her recorded works have always impressed me, from her debut “Dreamer” and the indie folk gem “Sodbusters” -however this line-up of musicians and the maturity of the writing not to mention the stellar performances here really bring her beautiful voice and talents into the limelight. Lynn is backed by some damn fine musicians Dalton Coffey and Andrew Reinartz that kicks her jazzy, American roots and bluegrass to expert level…You here stuff of this caliber coming out of Nashville - not an indie studio out on the plains…this folk masterpiece (yes, MASTERPIECE) was recorded in the boondocks…that concrete jungle of Sioux Falls - which indeed has produced some wonderful original artists in the past few years, but dare I say no one till now has released an album near as good as this one. “Fall is a Good Time to Die” may indeed be the best folk album from a South Dakota songstress woman since Shawn Colvin’s groundbreaking “Sunny Came Home” back in 1996. Favorite songs include those mentioned above as well as “Wolf” and the gently brooding title track - Hell, This is music that demands the attention of the listener, inspires the human heart and keeps your toes tapping throughout. I feel blessed to be one of the first people to hear this - and I feel this may be one the finest albums I’ll hear in 2015. This is Album of the Year material for sure. Jami- I’ve always been impressed by what you do…but this one takes the cake and will live permanently in my collection of one of the great acoustic gems I’ll cherish for years to come. Your talents and music are a gift to this old world and we are lucky to have you. 5 out of 5 stars. Essential Listening. I predict this one will turn heads world wide. It’s time the world met the new star of American Roots music. That bright, bright star is indeed Jami Lynn. Shine on…
Listen to Jami Lynn's 2013 performance at the Sioux River Folk Festival with Dylan James.
"This album sounds pure. A purity that sounds as authentic as the songs our grandparents listened to on the radio, with sometimes wild, sometimes sultry grooves well suited for any turn of the century basement jazz club, work farm picnic, or rural speakeasy"
A picture is worth a thousand words; but according to cognitive scientist Thomas Fritz, “the same image can have different meanings across cultures. Music, however, may bridge the cultural divide.” Deadwood History, Inc.’s project, “Shared Harmonies,” will bring 12 South Dakota students together - six American Indian and six non-American Indian - to learn about each culture’s musical traditions. As part of the sharing process, the twelve high school students will learn video and multimedia techniques and how to effectively conduct oral history interviews. The main objective is for all participants to gain an appreciation and greater understanding of American roots music. Shared Harmonies is an extension of the “New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music” exhibit that is traveling around the state. The exhibit, which is currently in Sturgis, will be featured at the Adams Museum and House from Aug. 6 to Sept. 17. In April 2012, an invitation will be sent to high school students across the state of South Dakota to apply to attend the Shared Harmonies one-week field school from July 9-13 at the Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center in Deadwood. Each student will receive an honorarium of $150. Families in the Lead-Deadwood community will provide housing for the week. The application deadline is April 30, 2012. Students will be notified by May 15, 2012. On July 9-10, Black Hills State University professor Paul Kopco will teach the students video recording and multi-media capture techniques while Deadwood History Foundation director Mary Kopco teaches students how to conduct an oral history interview. Students will work as teams of two. On Wednesday July 11, the students will interview Kevin Locke, an awarding-winning Lakota and Anishinabe Hoop Dancer, Northern Plains’ flutist and traditional storyteller. The six teams will explore varying aspects of Northern Plains’ music and dance. During the evening, Locke and his ensemble of dancers and musicians will give a public performance at the Deadwood Mountain Grand Entertainment Center with the students recording the show. On Thursday, July 12, folk musician Jami Lynn will meet with the students and be interviewed about the European and African origins of folk music. Lynn will give a public performance at the Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center in the evening. On Friday, July 13, the students will work with Paul Kopco to do a rough edit of the video footage and to prepare a video to be shown on the Smithsonian’s website and in conjunction with the exhibit. Kopco will do the final editing. The Shared Harmonies project is sponsored by the Adams Museum & House, Inc. with funding from the Smithsonian Institution’s Youth Access Grant, the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission and the South Dakota Humanities Council. “New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music” is part of Museum on Main Street, a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services (SITES), South Dakota Humanities Council and Adams Museum and House. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress. New Harmonies curator Robert Santelli describes roots music as a term referring to music that has grown out of older folk traditions. “Roots music is sacred and secular, rural and urban, acoustic and electric, simple and complex, old and new,” according to Santelli. “Performed by one musician or by an entire band, in concert halls and on back porches, roots music is America’s sound.” “The foundations of American music lie in the religious yearnings of Native Americans, European settlers, and Africans brought to the colonies in bondage. Music has magic: it can express a distinct cultural identity while connecting across cultural lines. Among the three major cultures that populated North America in colonial times, people traded music as they traded guns, pelts, corn, and tobacco. The music that came out of this process is an expression of America’s diversity.” Shared Harmonies is sponsored by Deadwood History, Inc., Smithsonian Institution and the South Dakota Humanities Council.
"Lynn’s voice shifts easily from indie rock croon to a full bodied gospel to a traditional folk storyteller, making each song unique.."