Jami Lynn

Folklore and Music in the Classroom

 Jami Lynn is currently part of the South Dakota Artists in the Schools and Communities roster. Funded through the South Dakota Arts Council, the program places artists in schools, libraries, and other non-profits across the state for a week, month, or more. More about Jami Lynn's curriculum of folk music and state history, and how to bring her to your school or community here.

Jami Lynn is also a recipient of the South Dakota Arts Council's Touring Artist Grant. Arts council funds will pay half of Jami's booking fee for eligible non-profits within South Dakota. Read more here.

Jami is also available for vocal, banjo, and songwriting workshops as well as academic presentations of her folk research. For booking or questions, email jamilynnmusic@gmail.com

Early American Folk Music of the Upper Midwest

In the fall of 2009, Jami Lynn began research for her undergraduate thesis at The University of South Dakota. Long afternoons in museums and archives across the state uncovered a unique collection of South Dakota folk songs and stories.  Ballads of miners, lumberjacks, and cowboys turned up along with Norwegian lullabies and songs of the prairie settlers(or Sodbusters).  While that body of research makes up a separate set of songs, a few tunes contained in her thesis are also included in Sodbusters. Tracks 5, 6, and 8 of Sodbusters turned up during Jami Lynn's folk research. The resulting thesis, "Early American Folk Music of the Upper Midwest" can be viewed in its entirety here

Sodbusters Info

"The Colorado Trail" (Track 5) is included in John and Alan Lomax's American Folk Songs and Ballads, published in 1934. It wascollected from a dying Montana cowboy in a hospital in Duluth, MN.  

"The Falling of the Pine" (Track 6) is a ballad from the time when “square timber logging” was popular during the Golden Age of Lumbering in northern Minnesota.  Sung by M. C. Dean of Virginia, Minnesota, “The Falling of the Pine” was collected by Franz Rickaby between the years of 1918 and 1925, and is included in Ballads and Songs of a Shanty-boy, published in 1926.

"The Little Ole" (Track 8) is based on Hans Christian Anderson’s Norwegian folk tale of the little man who brings dreams to children. The music and text, translated by S. D. Rodholm, is included in “Harmony Around the World,” a South Dakota Extension Service pamphlet from the 1930s.