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Some of you have been enjoying our overdubs on Facebook, while others are finding us at shows around California. Yes, we’ve finally met and are half way through tour!

Some highlights have included playing Mandolino Waltz, our first overdub, for the first time face to face, our first show 24 hours after meeting and at that show having a couple from the midwest come up talking about wanting to help book us a tour. They were flabbergasted that it was our first show together, ever, saying “it sounds like you guys have been playing together for five decades”. It kind of felt that way to us as well... Dan was also excited to run on a beach for the first time and put his toes in the surf, and Laurel was blown away with the energy Dan brings to the stage. “I’ve played with passionate performers, but Dan takes it to the next level. He lives and breathes music. It’s incredibly inspiring. I can really expand into my music and have fun. I get to PLAY!”

We have several more shows to catch this month, so check our tour dates and come say “hi”.

In the meantime, here’s our first press release, care of Mari Lynch:

From Pixels to Performance In Spring 2012, music and modern technology transpired to bring together two artists with captivating musical synergy, despite their living 2,000 miles apart. As Manitoba-based singer-songwriter Dan Frechette and California-based violinist Laurel Thomsen were drawn together, there was no question of why, only how.

Ardent and down-to-earth performers, both Dan and Laurel enjoyed early success in music, as teens. By young adulthood, each had turned away from such temptations as music scholarships and major label publishing contracts, choosing instead paths as independents comfortably supported by their musical talents.

In the years to follow, Dan’s songwriting took off, with numerous compositions covered successfully by many artists. Among them, The Ploughboys (“Who Will Take My Place”), Dervish (“My Bride and I”), Emma Cloney (“My Canada,” “My Bride and I”), Jessee Havey (“Dance and Play”), The Duhks (“Who Will Take My Place,” “Mists of Down Below,” “You Don’t See It”), and The Buccaneers (“Everybody Loves You”). Dan is a prolific songwriter with over 1,300 songs across a wide variety of genres, inspiring steady praise from reviewers, fellow musicians, and appreciative fans, making comments such as “I never met a Dan Frechette song I didn’t like.” He has recorded over a dozen albums of his original material, showcasing the fine distinctions of his vocal and multi-instrumental abilities as well. When Dan discovered via YouTube how this violinist expressed emotion, he knew the next musical direction he hoped to explore.

Laurel's path led her from Bach partitas and Beethoven sonatas to improvising, arranging, and recording for assorted bands and singer-songwriters. Whether dropping in to play a set with electric guitarist Tom Ayres and cowboy rocker Mike Beck, setting historic Alta California’s 1840s town hall ablaze with her fiery renditions of 1900-1950s classics, or stunning audiences with her recent songwriting debut, this diverse violinist hits the mark. From backstage meetings with Neil Young and promoter Britt Govea to being recognized on the front-page of the New York Times for her online teaching, Laurel’s star is on the rise. Still making time for serious violin and viola students in her private studio, Laurel is also the creator of the Violin Geek Podcast, and an author and educational video luminary for Strings magazine.

In March 2013, twenty-four hours after their first in-person meeting, Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen will play their inaugural live concert. At every tour stop, audiences will experience the thrill of this fresh musical partnership forged on the Internet. But while technology brought them together, it will not be tech assistance that delivers in these performances; it will be the authentic sounds of violin, guitar, and voices honed over two young lifetimes.

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.

The Violin Geek Blog is a free resource and always will be. We also don't sell advertising, meaning that everything you read has been a labor of love. If you'd like to support my efforts and help ensure they continue, please consider making a donation. Thanks for your support!

Laurel Thomsen

Violin, Viola, Vocals
Performance, Instruction, Recording

Based in Santa Cruz, California

Site by Laurel Thomsen
Photography by Michelle Magdalena
Skype: laurelthomsen

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