Dwight Lamb

Dwight Lamb, Jensen & Bugge

The story of Dwight is completely unique in Denmark! Dwight’s maternal grandfather, Chris Jerup, emigrated from Vendsyssel in North Jutland in 1893. He was the son of the legendary fiddler Kræn Jerup and played both violin and diatonic accordion himself. So he brought a large repertoire of Danish fiddle music. When Chris sold his farm and retired, he moved in with the then 12-year-old Dwight and his parents. And thus Dwight had the opportunity to learn his grandfather’s entire Danish repertoire.

At the age of 19, Dwight also started playing the violin, “over the top”, i.e. with the left hand, but without changing the strings around. (Restringing was not an option as he played his father’s violin). Over the years, he became a great player with American old-time as a specialty. He has taught and inspired an incredible number of younger musicians, many of whom did not even know that he also plays Danish music on the one-row, diatonic accordion!

But luckily he recorded a few Danish accordion pieces on his violin CDs and those records eventually ended up in Denmark. That’s how Kristian Bugge and Mette Kathrine Jensen Stærk heard about Dwight and five years ago they arranged a meeting at a festival in Minnesota. Since then they have played together many times and in May 2010 Dwight came to Denmark for the first time, on tour as a trio with Jensen & Bugge. Part of the concerts from that tour were recorded by sound engineer Torben Sminge and compiled for publication. On a later tour, the concerts were also recorded for a “Live in Denmark 2013 vol 2”.

Both CDs were released both in the USA on Missouri Valley Music and in Denmark on Go Danish Folk Music.

Dwight Lamb’s Danish Tunes

Chris Jerup traveled from Denmark in 1893 with his violin, his accordion and his head full of dance music from his home area of Vendsyssel. His father, Kræn Jerup, was a well-known great player there. He was a tinker by day, fiddler by night and passed on the tunes to his son.

Chris headed for Monona County, Iowa, to meet Fred Knutson, who had helped him with his US citizenship. Fred got Chris a job as a man with farmer Charlie Bisbee near the small town of Turin, Iowa. Chris performed dances for the Danish immigrants in the Loess Hills near Moorhead, Iowa for many years.

When Chris sold his farm in 1946, he moved in with his daughter Mary Lamb and her husband Clarence. In the evening the home was filled with music, Clarence playing the violin and Mary playing the pedal organ. Their twelve-year-old son, Dwight began learning Danish dance tunes on the accordion that year from his grandfather, Chris. Most of these melodies were slowly forgotten at home in Denmark. But Dwight carried them forward into the 21st century, just as he had learned them from his grandfather Jerup.

Since 2008, Mette Kathrine Jensen Stærk and Kristian Bugge have endeavored to learn all of Dwight’s grandfather’s melodies and bring them back to Denmark. Dwight is happy to share his music with others and hopes that his grandfather’s and great grandfather’s music will be enjoyed by future generations on both sides of the Atlantic.

With the publication of this sheet music, Dwight, Mette and Kristian hereby encourage other musicians to play these tunes for friends, family, dancers and continue to share this joyful music.


– Bill Peterson, Canton, SD, U.S.A.
Fiddler, friend and apprentice of Dwight


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