Dwight Lamb was born in Moorhead, IA, on May 16, 1934 to Clarence G. and Mary Lamb. Descendents of Danish immigrants, the Lamb family cherished the traditions of self-made music and entertainment. Dwight’s grandfather, Chris Jerup, played traditional Danish melodies and American-style fiddle tunes on a single-row button accordion. His father, Clarence Lamb, played the fiddle. Dwight took to both these instruments and mastered them.
Dwight plays a style of fiddling often referred to as Missouri Valley Style. Also called “North Missouri Hornpipe Style”, this manner playing and repertoire of tunes was both melodically complex and technically demanding. The greatest exponent of this style of playing was Uncle Bob Walters of Tekamah, Nebraska. Tekamah is located on the Missouri River and Dwight happened to live directly across the Big Muddy in Iowa. Dwight became a protégé of Walters and learned much of his vast repertoire of hornpipes, waltzes and other dance tunes.
Dwight also became close friends and exchanged tunes with other great fiddlers in the region. Most notable among these were National Champion fiddler Cyril Stinnett and radio performers Lonnie Robertson and Casey Jones, all from Missouri. Being a left-handed player himself, Dwight took special interest in southpaw style of Cyril Stinnett.
Dwight was also influenced by great Anglo-Canadian fiddlers he heard on records, including Ned Landry and Don Messer. The single-note style tunes and clear and melodic sound of these players attracted Dwight and many other fiddlers in the Missouri Valley region.
As a young man Dwight served in the Army from 1956 to 1958. He is retired from the U. S. Postal Service in Onawa and also served as the town’s Mayor.
Dwight has judged major competitions such as Cotton, MN, The Missouri State Fair Fiddling Championship and the National Fiddling Championship at Weiser, Idaho. He competed and placed in this event in 1966 and 1967. In 1968 he judged served as a judge. He has taught fiddle playing at the Bethel Youth Fiddle Camp in Missouri and Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, WA. He has performed at the Smithsonian’s Festival of American Folklife and The University of Chicago Folk Festival. In 1998 he received the Iowa Arts Award for his work in preserving traditional fiddling. He is very active in fiddling and enjoys playing tunes with friends and sharing his music with aspiring players interested in learning his style of music.
Booking and Contact Information | Top
Dwight enjoys bringing his unique Missouri Valley style of fiddle playing to festivals throughout the United States and Canada. He also has extensive experience teaching and sharing his music. To contact Dwight Lamb for booking or other information write, call or email:
703 7th St.
Onawa, Iowa 51040
Recordings | Top
Joseph Won A Coated Fiddle (Rounder 0429)
Dwight’s latest recording is called “Joseph Won A Coated Fiddle” and is available on both CD and cassette. The new release is part of the very excellent North American Traditions Series. Dwight performs tunes on both fiddle and button accordion. He is accompanied by Lynn Holsclaw on guitar.
Selections include: Jake’s Best Reel, Oyster Girl, Bill Powell’s Waltz, Danish Galop, Bells of America, Lady on the Green, Joseph Won A Coated Fiddle, Rocky Road to Jordan, German Stop Waltz, Jenny, Comb You Hair, Zinger, Dickson County Blues, Rickett’s Hornpipe, Oyster River Quadrille, Shag Poke, The Old Gray Horse, Old Quadrille, The Scolding Wife, A Bob Walters’ Tune in D & A, Granny Will Your Dog Bite?, Step Up Susie, Danish Waltz, Casey’s Reel, The Hiram Allen Tune, Long John, Danish Polka, Jimmy in the Swamps, The Thrasher’s Tune, Green Valley Waltz, Schottische, A Bob Walters’ Tune in G, Boys Around the World.
The CD is accompanied by a very informative booklet. The booklet contain great photos of important Missouri Valley fiddlers and the Lamb family, extensive tune annotations, and a detailed and very well-written autobiography. A review of “Joseph Won A Coated Fiddle” can be found on the Web at this link: Musical Traditions–Paul Roberts.
Old Ladies Pickin’ Chickens (MSOTFA 201)
Several years back Dwight produced two LPs on his own to share with family, friends and the many fans of his fiddling he encountered while traveling. The first of these LPs Old-Time Fiddlin’ Left Handed Style was recorded in 1968. The other was recorded in 1973 and was entitled Old-Time Fiddlin’ 2 Left Handed Style. Athough both these LPs are long out-of-print Dwight teamed up with the Missouri State Old Time Fiddlers Association to re-release them on a quality audiocassette. The tape is entitled “Old Ladies Pickin’ Chickens”.
Tunes include: Side A–Purcell’s Reel, Centerville, Pacific Slope, Canary Waltz, Fox Chase, Dubuque’s Hornpipe, Bennett’s Reel, Adrian’s Hornpipe, Thunderbolt Hornpipe, Old Parnell, Johnny Bring the Jug Around the Hill, Comin’ Down From Denver, Granny Will Your Dog Bite, Jack Danielson’s Reel, Pagant, Dusty Miller; Side B– Gray Eagle, Burt Co. Breakdown, Dad’s Waltz, Wart on the Pump Handle, Bill Powell’s Waltz, Five Miles Out of Town, Rye Straw, Lazy Kate, Tennessee Wagner, Trombone Rag, Casey’s Hornpipe, Waltz in G, Old Ladies Pickin’ Chickens, Katie Hill, Billy in the Lowground, Natchez Under the Hill, Steamboat Round the Bend, Cowboy Waltz.