South Dakota native and musician Jami Lynn has been keeping busy. The release of her third solo album, “Sparse” drew a sold-out crowd last month at the Matthews Opera House in Spearfish. In addition to having a full band, the show featured two special guests, violinist Ingrid Lane and guitarist JD Fiedler.
“It was magical. It was so much fun bringing different musicians together for one event,” Lynn said.
The release of “Sparse,” has Lynn performing all over the Black Hills and eastern part of the state and making music with several of the region’s talented musicians. She has performed with Andrew Reinartz and members of the JAS Quintet, Clara Baker, Dylan James and Eliza Blue.
Lynn is no stranger to the stage. Inspired by her grandfather, she began performing folk and bluegrass music in front of audiences at 13 and accompanying herself on guitar and writing her own music at 16. She recorded her first album, “Dreamer,” with the Aquila Band in 2008. The album was chosen as CDBaby.com's Editor's Pick.
Her first full-length solo album, “Sodbusters,” was released in 2011 and songs from the album were featured in The Smithsonian's Shared Harmonies Project in July 2012. She teamed up with Dylan James on "Cluck & Croon" in 2013, a vocally driven fusion of original folk, traditional folk, and gypsy jazz accompanied by West Virginia style claw-hammer banjo and lightning fast flat-picked guitar. She also released a three-track solo EP, "The North Wind,” in 2014.
After an extensive tour, Lynn entered the studio again to work on her second full-length album, "Fall Is a Good Time to Die" in 2015. This was Lynn’s first album comprised entirely of original songs. She then hit the road once again to promote the album’s release.
During the release tour for “Fall Is a Good Time to Die,” Lynn performed alongside bassist Andrew Reinartz. The two had known each other for nearly a decade and had been working together on other projects, so it only made sense for them to record a full-length album. Lynn said working on this album gave her and Reinartz a great opportunity to work together as vocalist and bassist.
“It’s fun to experiment. Both of us have gotten a lot better as soloists but also better as a duo,” she said.
The pair teamed up with members of The JAS Quintet to record the album in May of this last year. They recorded at the Community Reformed Church in Sioux Falls with the help of Dalton Coffey and Eddie Faris. One of the tracks they worked on wasn’t guaranteed to make the cut, but everything worked out well for Lynn in the end.
“Our sessions were awesome. We only had a few of them and they were only three hours each. In that time, everything came together,” she said.
It hasn’t been just a solo act for Lynn. In addition to recording with various local and regional artists, she makes up one half of the western South Dakota based folk duo, The Nesters, with Eliza Blue. The two teamed up after discovering each was a big fan of the other's music. They were named a favorite by South Dakota Public Broadcasting for their song and video "Cowboss," and were a featured act for the Rapid City Arts Council’s “Live at the Dahl” series on Sept. 22.
With all that has been going on in her career, Lynn is already looking ahead to her next project. She is currently halfway through her next folk album, which she said will be more country. She is also working on her next project with Eliza Blue and has several upcoming shows in South Dakota, including a performance with Reinartz on Friday, Nov. 17, at Lost Cabin Brewing in Rapid City.
“I’ve never had this many irons in the fire, but I find that it’s pretty fun,” she said.