American Gypsy
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American Gypsy

Band Blues Folk


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The best kept secret in music


"American Gypsy uses personal experiences to touch others through her music"

Posted: 10/3/02

by Kelly Johnson
Staff writer

Music is a way of life for Ham Lake resident Jodi Jarchow.

“My music is like breathing,” Jarchow said.

Jarchow, who performs under the name American Gypsy, sings songs that come from her heart.

“I write songs because of what I see in life and what I feel about our experiences,” she said.

And it is those experiences, combined with Jarchow’s talent, that has landed American Gypsy musical success.

“I’ve just been very fortunate in having some wonderful people to have inspiration from,” Jarchow said.

For Jarchow, who considers her guitar playing and vocal ability to be average, her musical success can be attributed to her song-writing ability.

“I write wonderful stories,” she said.

It is in those stories, set to rhythmic melodies, that Jarchow finds some of her greatest professional success.

“My favorite part is when someone walks up to me and tells me that one of my songs has touched them somehow. That’s the most wonderful thing,” Jarchow said.

“It’s cool when I can make a big man bawl.”

Jarchow’s solo success began in 1997, when she answered an advertisement for someone looking to do guitar work and sing background vocals.

The Ham Lake resident was hired and her musical talent got her noticed.

After her work was done, Jarchow was given an opportunity to use the studio to record her music.

“Basically, I put down my stories to pass them on to my son,” Jarchow said about that first series of recordings. “I wanted to leave this legacy to him.”

That CD, “American Gypsy,” found its way to Internet music sites, where Jarchow’s fan base grew. “It took off,” Jarchow said.

People from around the world began sending e-mails to Jarchow, praising her songs.

“That first CD was a lot of boiling out my heart, really cleaning it out,” Jarchow said.

During this time, Jarchow continued to write songs and in a short time, she had written enough material to record a second CD.

Jarchow was contacted by Jon Solo, owner of an independent recording studio in South Carolina, who wanted to record her music for free.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Jarchow said.

Jarchow traveled to South Carolina and spent three days recording 13 songs for “Safe Place.”

“We recorded day and night,” she said.

The grueling recording schedule was worth it for Jarchow. “I’m so proud of so much of it,” she said.

Jarchow’s latest endeavor is a two-disc compilation of recordings from artists from across the United States to benefit the 2002 Texas Shriners campaign for children.

She was asked to participate in the effort by representatives from

The desire to perform struck Jarchow at an early age. As a child, she would find herself standing on the kitchen table or in front of a mirror, singing along with songs on the radio.

Jarchow’s knowledge of proper singing techniques came from her elementary school music teacher, a former opera performer who stressed proper breathing techniques.

She taught herself to play guitar at 16, when she bought an old guitar that made her fingers bleed.

Jarchow began her musical career performing with Sweet Jodi and the Double Eagle Band and then with Wind River.

The bands performed around the metro area and were given the opportunity to tour the Midwest.

Jarchow and her late husband, Chris, turned down that opportunity to spend time at home with their children.

“We couldn’t leave the kids,” Jarchow said.

Instead of playing music throughout the Midwest, Jarchow and her husband played music in the family’s Ham Lake kitchen.

Jarchow does much of her song writing in the car or wherever life triggers inspiration.

“There’s a song in everything,” Jarchow said.

Although a single moment can trigger inspiration, it can take Jarchow between 30 minutes and six months to finish a song.

The singer/songwriter has found inspiration to complete nearly enough songs for a third album, which she plans to record in the future. - Anoka County Union

"American Gypsy - - "One of the best female vocalists on""

Minneapolis, July 28, 2001…

American Gypsy is one of those few artists whose music and lyrics capture your heart and soul. Called "One of the best female vocalists on" by Acoustic Internet Radio (AIR), her songs-with-a-story have reached around the world and have brought her recognition as one of the best folk/rock singers in Minnesota.

In addition to being featured numerous times on, she was the winner of the "Blues Battle of the Bands" (March of 2000) and landed the number 13 spot in's "1999 Top 20 Books and Spoken Word". Her song "New Beginning" appeared on Warner Brothers channel 23 (in Minnesota) in the TV commercial for the "Changing Faces of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources".

One of the early members of Minnesota Coalition Records (MCR), American Gypsy performs solo and with other MCR artists. Old friends such as "Red Line", "Pork Chop", and "Chained Lighting" and the "Killer Hayseeds" seldom miss a chance to invite her on stage to perform when she is in the audience. She has single-handedly created a new venue by writing and performing songs for Minnesota State agencies with an emphasis on diversity issues and teamwork. Her songs have been broadcast on Beach Radio in Florida, KFAI and KQRS radio stations in Minneapolis.

Her new CD "Safe Place", soon to be released, has drawn the attention of Bill Atkins of, who had this to say. ".... Sometimes we are graced with artists that have "the touch" both musically and lyrically. For me personally, that's a rare occurrence. 'In My Life' Lennon/Beatles is a classic example. Others with that power … include T-Bone Burnette and... Sam Phillips. Jim Croce had a taste of it, Lucinda Williams has it for sure, Willie Nelson has it, American Gypsy has it…."

If you sit for a moment and listen to her music, you will be transported to a place or relive a story that you believed only belonged to you. Don't miss this solo artist who has a song from the heart for everyone.

"Safe Place", masterfully produced by Jon Solo, is collection of songs that you will not want to miss. This CD will be distributed exclusively by during the pre-release promotional period.
- Dreaminghawk Enterprises

"American Gypsy"

The stereotypical conception of a gypsy has never been a warm one; after all, a gypsy begs, borrows and steals to survive and is rarely viewed as the perfect comrade due to a self-serving nature that owes no loyalty to anyone.

However, the tag of American Gypsy takes on another connotation. It’s one which literature and song have idolized for generations. The restless, anti-social rogue, the free-spirited hobo, a hero of the road, a rolling stone with a story for every tumble that has a moral for any one willing to listen. In this context, the voice and songs of Jodi Jarchow, who goes as American Gypsy, are endearing.

On her CD, Safe Place, Jodi dares to deliver truths learned the hard way, with lyrical and musical allegiance to new- and old-country music standards. Never straying from her own point of view and hard-lined attitude, Jodi spins tales with a cool voice and shares lessons without becoming pedantic, while using quick and sharp turns of phrases that make for terrific lyrics.

The title tune alone is worth the price of the CD. An honest and experienced woman’s point of view breaks down all of the needs in life to “a safe place where I can sleep.” How mature, insightful and definitive. It’s downright spiritual.

In Roll The Dice, Jodi’s balance between her good and bad sides is perfect. Though the lyric “life’s a gamblin’ game” is somewhat ordinary, all that she sings to explain it is done in a unique and confident style.

No Regrets is second only to the title track in impact, maturity and message. Wistful but expressive, Jodi’s vocal is supplied with minimal musical backing, with a street-side Jamaican feel, as she suggests we “look both ways if you go dancin’ down the street.”

In Old Soldiers and Touch Me, Jodi expands on the feminine stronghold of identity and caresses the ugly parts of the past that have helped form the lighter side of her present. It’s all in league with her true sense of being and it is all honestly approached, we know, since her personal history is proof of her resilience.

This combination of message and music is set on the stage by a remarkable sense of downplay from producer Jon Solo. He is obviously in tune with the artist and never attempts to one-up her with production tricks. Solo gives Jodi the stage after he has adorned it with the necessary props to allow the spotlight to shine on her. He is tender with the right instruments and selective with where he places them.

Foremost, Safe Place transcends the normality of country music and crosses over to please any audience willing to be open to a voice that is free of self-consciousness and has no skeletons hiding in the closet.
- An exclusive Pure review by Frank Cotolo

"American Gypsy - A Household Name"

"I just got finished listening through my first pass of the entire 10 song album ["Safe Place]. After each song, I kept saying "OK that's my favorite, that's the best song on the album". You've captured the spirit long missing from today's music and today's songwriters. I felt like I wanted to meet Jodi. I believed in her pain, attitude and passion. In short, I felt. And I like to feel.

The professional sound and delivery of her vocals and the production was phenomenal. This album deserves to be heard. I am so impressed. The variety of the songs was equally impressive. At one point I was watching American Gypsy in a bar (in my mind) playing the Irish feeling "Weekness" and the next song I was watching her perform on national television. This album is great. I love the way the songs have such a different feel yet all are undeniably American Gypsy style. Jodi's voice and style remind me of a cross between Joni Mitchell and Bonnie Raitt.

In short, this music should be on the radio and American Gypsy should be a household name. I don't usually get this excited about and go on and on about music.... Maybe because there's so little really great stuff out there. But you're changing that." - Joe E. Daddario

"Sometimes we are graced..."

".... Sometimes we are graced with artists that have "the touch" both musically and lyrically. For me personally, that's a rare occurrence. "In My Life" Lennon/Beatles is a classic example. Others with that power, off the top of my head, include T-Bone Burnette and... Sam Phillips. Jim Croce had a taste of it, Lucinda Williams has it for sure, Willie Nelson has it, Jodi [American Gypsy] has it.

It was certainly my pleasure to fire up that disk today and take a "touch" music detour." - Bill Atkins,

"June Cleaver"

Minnesota Coalition 'Song of the Day'
March 23, 2000
"On the heavier side of folk-rock, this song ["June Cleaver"] talks of the tough sacrifices we make for love. Jodi Jarchow is an incredible songwriter and sings in the style of Cher and Joan Baez, entertaining twin cities' audiences both as a solo performer and a 'in demand' backup singer for some of the area's most popular bands. - Minnesota Coalition Records

"MCR Live: Yort's American Gypsy Review"

"…American Gypsy. What can I say about Jodi? Part of me is in love with her, and how can anyone not be? She is an amazing and passionate performer live. As a person she radiates warmth, with a focused intensity, unlimited generosity, but also has a wild and open sense of humor. Her songs are a reflection of that very essence.

At heart, she is a storyteller. Like any good folk or blues artists she can take another persons song and seem to make it her own. I have witnessed her performances of the epic "Highwayman" ballad known from Lorrena McKennit on back to Phil Ochs. She can just as easily switch to lively traditional Irish tunes. I have also heard her gentle take on Joni Mitchell's "For Free", but it is clear that her favorite cover is Mark Cohn's "Walking in Memphis", which to me is so completely her own that I can not even bear to hear to the original anymore.

Where she really excels as a storyteller however, is when she is telling her own personal story. I was first drawn to her music by her song "40th floor", which I have learned since was written on the anniversary of her husbands passing. This song never fails to move me to chills and tears - it is the centerpiece of her most personal songs.

Her other originals, ranging from a blues song about the homeless to the catchy feminist hit "June Cleaver", are very much worth hearing in a live setting." - Yort


40th Floor
40th Floor II
Birth Control & Beer
Brother Hawk
Don't Look In Her Purse
Finding The Common Ground
Finding The Common Ground - Instrumental
Growing Up
He Offered His Hand
I've Been Good to You
June Cleaver
Let Me Be
Man of Her Dreams
My Favorite Friend
New Beginning
New Beginning - Instrumental
No Regrets
Old Soldiers & Gypsy Women
One Cigarette
Red Sky At Morning
Roll the Dice
Safe Place
Semper Paratus 2
Story of A Legend
The Madman
The Most Beautiful Song
Tired Of Being Older (Than The Cop Who Pulls Me Over)
Touch Me
Two Left Feet
Watermelon Sugar & Blue
We Are One
We Fight Like We Love
When I Grow Up


Feeling a bit camera shy


American Gypsy captivates her audiences at a wide variety of venues including, bars and motorcycle rallies throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. From small intimate groups to large rowdy crowds, her performances entice and involve fans of all ages.

Her style and songs, although uniquely American Gypsy, have been compared to Lucinda Williams, K. D. Lange, Willie Nelson, Jim Croce, Joan Baez and John Lennon. Brassy, sassy and sensual, with a special ability to capture an audience, American Gypsy performs a wide array of cover songs as well as her original music.

Although well known for ability to add her unique style to cover songs, audiences know her music and constantly request her original songs.