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Flying back to California this afternoon I’m reflecting on my first Western Canada tour with Manitoba singer-songwriter Dan Frechette - 35 shows and five weeks, across four provinces!

We have been fortunate to have some “back by popular demand” dates from our last tours as well as some new house concerts and venues to perform at. We have been busy with festivals these past few weeks in Manitoba, and also have just released the debut 18 song Dan and Laurel CD! Recorded in an amazing sounding church, with the wonders of modern technology we have it available in hard copy already. Digital version coming soon on CDbaby/iTunes!

We started with a lovely house concert in Carman, Manitoba on May 18th and for the first two weeks, toured Saskatchewan, Alberta, and part of British Columbia with Grand View, Manitoba based singer-songwriter Kayla Luky. Highlight shows in Eastend, SK, and Black Diamond, AB fueled Dan and I on into an additional three week duo tour of British Columbia. Here we covered Vancouver Island and some of the neighboring islands extensively, Vancouver, the Kootenay’s, and then made tracks back to Manitoba for a few more shows in Winnipeg.

The tour was a great success, with supportive audiences, friendly hosts, and enough vegetarian food to keep my blood sugar up, even across the prairies! While intensive, I enjoyed how much simpler life became while on the road, with all the details of each day structured around the goal of warming people’s hearts, performing original music each night. With that focus, everything else seemed to fall into place. The fact that we were enjoying some of the most gorgeous scenery in the world didn't hurt either! I was thrilled to also take my students with me, keeping up my weekly schedule, teaching via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom wherever I had an afternoon and good wifi.

Though Dan and I had toured California in March 2013, the musical partnership deepened considerably over the course of this Canadian tour. Nothing like nearly 24/7 immersion with those you play music with! I enjoyed getting to the point about two weeks into the trip where the nitty-gritty details of the music - chords, structure, lyrics, etc. felt so second nature I could focus exclusively on musical expression and connecting with Dan and our audiences. We're having a great time on the road and hope to play for you soon!

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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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