We are the next generation of Bob Dylan, Donovan, and Peter Paul and Mary. We are Free Thought.

And we sing folk-rock.

Jen Vanderlyn – that’s me – I am the main songwriter, the lead singer, and the guitarist – the troubadour, if you will. I’ve studied music and songwriting since I was a kid, taking formal lessons for a time, but mostly just listening to the music and lyrics created by those who have graced the recording studios, concert halls, and coffee houses before me.

Right now, I am immersed in the work of Donovan, the Bee Gees, and Fairport Convention – studying every lyric, chord structure, and melody with an intense focus on what society was like surrounding the time each song was written – and is it wild – did you know that Donovan’s famous jam song “Season of the Witch” is based entirely upon two chords? Genius, that’s all I have to say to that.

When I write songs, I aim toward timelessness and universality – I aim toward capturing a snapshot of the human condition – and, if I’m lucky, I succeed such that I no longer need to introduce the songs – they speak entirely for themselves.

But, music, being the starving profession it is, is only one of the things I find myself doing. I am also a freelance journalist and I work at two house museums, giving tours at one and helping with the marketing and promotions at the other. And I am an advocate for the preservation of historic landmarks and amusement parks…because buildings need love, too.

Kate Vanderlyn, my sister, sings harmony and plays bass. She is also a photographer with an eye for capturing all that is overlooked and abandoned, as well as anything that showcases the multiple facets of light and darkness. I would consider her a bohemian poet at heart – there have been nights when I’ve seen her writing about life, immersed in the quiet haven of the balcony that overlooks 12th St. South. Some of her photos and poetry may surface here.

But enough about us – if you’re still curious, you can find our full biography on our Press Kit page – the link is located in the left column – and read about the things we’ve left out.

Jen Vanderlyn

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