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Just a little update to wrap up a long, but rewarding year. I also want to tell you about a few final dates I have with Canadian singer-songwriter Dan Frechette have coming up this month in California and Nevada, and to preview the tours we have shaping up for 2017. If you'd like to host us for a house concert next year, we'd love to come play for you! Send us an email and we'll let you know how these events work. They're all the rage!

We made it back from our epic Fall Colors/Colours Tour in one piece. It was hit or miss there for a while...

In early August we left Dan's car in Winnipeg and flew back to my car in California to play a string of dates down through Southern California as well as the American River Festival. Then in mid September we flew back to Dan's car and drove it out to Toronto, playing a number of venues and house concerts as we went.

Boy is Northwestern Ontario huge! We nearly ran out of gas twice and I injured my hand trying to quickly honk at a semi-truck passing over the double yellow and coming right at us! We managed to get safely to the shoulder in the nick of time, but my thumb took a couple weeks to heal up, making violin playing not as enjoyable as it normally is. Here I was at a gorgeous pit-stop just before the incident:

Thankfully, the fall leaves were really hitting their stride when we arrived in Toronto and the hospitality of our friend and songwriter Jay Linden, his lovely partner, and his three comical cats, soothed our spirits for the week we spent in the big city, not to mention all the jams and fun we had co-billing around the region. Dan even got to serenade a little black squirrel on a ukulele in Justin Bieber's hometown! It may have been a career highlight for him, which you too can enjoy here:

Then at one point we got to drive straight through a rainbow...

After Toronto, I flew back to Winnipeg to spend a few days teaching my violin and viola students online, while Dan drove his car back through the upper midwest. As soon as he arrived, we started a two week Home Routes tour of Southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Are you still with us? Getting tired yet? By this point, after having already been in Florida this year, Arizona, Northern British Columbia, etc., we were starting to wonder where we were... but the many great hosts and audiences who helped us sell out of all our CDs also helped give us a second wind.

Next, we left the car in Winnipeg again and flew to Washington DC to rent a new car and drive long distances to play for people we'd never met before as well as a few we'd met last year. Thankfully, everyone was very enthusiastic and welcoming, but unfortunately, I lost my voice halfway into that tour after a brief cold. With impressive finesse given the unexpected turn of events, Dan saved the day with some of his best impressions and comedic routines, and we played even more passionately, again selling out of all our CDs (possibly because everyone wanted to hear what we sound like in full health?!) And believe it or not, the Fall Colors were STILL happening, all through New York and New England! At one point we realized we had successfully chased them for a solid two months from north to south.

Anyway, we're happy to be at our little cabin in the redwoods until February now, when we'll be taking off for the Southwest and Texas, as well as a little jaunt up to Winnipeg to play Festival Du Voyageur on my birthday weekend.

Thank you for your support and have a wonderful and blessed New Year!

Please email me at if you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related question you’d like answered in the blog or on a podcast, have a story or insight to share, or if you’d like to inquire about violin, viola, or fiddle lessons with me, in-person or online via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom.

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Laurel Thomsen

Violin, Viola, Vocals
Performance, Instruction, Recording

Based in Santa Cruz, California

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Photography by Michelle Magdalena
Skype: laurelthomsen

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