Dwight Lamb’s Danish Tunes

Chris Jerup left Denmark in 1893 with his fiddle, his accordion, and a head full of dance tunes from his home region of Vendsyssel in northern Jutland. His father, Kræn Jerup, had been a fiddler of great reputation in Vendsyssel: he’d thatched roofs by day and fiddled at night, and passed his tunes to his son.

Chris set out for Monona County, Iowa to meet his sponsor for US citizenship, Fred Knutson. Fred got Chris a job as a hired farm hand for Charlie Bisbee, who farmed near the little town of Turin, Iowa. Chris played dances for the Danish immigrants in the Loess Hills around Moorhead, Iowa for many years.

When Chris sold his farm in 1946, he moved in with his daughter Mary Lamb and her husband Clarence. The Lamb home was filled with music at night, as Clarence fiddled and Mary played the pump organ. Their twelve year old son, Dwight, started to learn Danish dance tunes on the accordion from his grandfather, Chris, that year. While most of these tunes were quietly forgotten back home in Denmark, Dwight carried them into the 21st century just as he had learned them from his grandfather Jerup.

Since 2008 Mette Kathrine Jensen Staerk and Kristian Bugge have undertaken to learn all these tunes from Dwight and bring them back to the people of Denmark. Dwight is delighted to share his music with others and hopes that the music of his grandfather and great grandfather will be enjoyed by future generations on both sides of the Atlantic.

With the publication of this tune book, Dwight, Mette and Kristian encourage other musicians to play these tunes for friends, relatives, dancers and keep the happiness going.

Bill Peterson, Canton, SD – fiddler, friend and apprentice of Dwight


 

 

Dwight Lamb, Jensen & Bugge

The story of Dwight is absolutely unique in Denmark! Dwight’s grandfather, Chris Jerup, emigrated from Vendsyssel in North Jutland in 1893. He was the son of the legendary fiddler Krän Jerup and played both violin and diatonic harmonica. So he brought a huge repertoire of Danish musicians’ music. When Chris sold his farm and retired, he moved in with then-12-year-old Dwight and his parents. And so Dwight was given the opportunity to learn the whole Danish grandfather’s Danish repertoire.

As a 19-year-old, Dwight also started playing the violin, “over the top”, ie. with the left hand, but without changing the strings. (It wasn’t an opportunity to change strings when he played on his father’s violin). Over the years he became a major 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 in one-row, diatonic harmonica!

But fortunately he recorded a few Danish harmonica pieces on his violin CDs and those records eventually ended up in Denmark. In this way Kristian Bugge and Mette Kathrine Jensen Stærk got news of 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, touring as a trio with Jensen & Bugge. Part of the concerts from that tour was recorded by sound engineer Torben Sminge and assembled for release. On a later tour, the concerts were also recorded for a “Live in Denmark 2013 vol 2”.

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