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Laurel Thomsen & Dan Frechette–from Pixels to Performance

Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen performed in Monterey County again before heading off on their next tour in October 2013. Check their calendar for show dates, and tell your friends! In August 2013 they released an 18-song debut recording.  Click here for CD Baby, to preview or purchase. In these first months of performing together, Dan and Laurel have played over a hundred shows in the western U.S. and Canada. Below is background about this new duo.

Laurel Thomsen 2013 by Michelle Magdalena

The below was previously posted March 2013.

Perhaps you’ve seen

Laurel Thomsen stop traffic before.

Laurel mid street Clement

She could back  it up, with Dan Frechette, near the venues they play. That includes four stops on Laurel’s native turf of Monterey County–March 8, 9, 16, and 30, 2013.

The March 8, 2013 show was their debut and launched their California tour, and a wildly enthusiastic audience received them.

Canadian singer-songwriter Dan Frechette and violinist Laurel Thomsen, known from Monterey to the front page of the New York Times, came together March 8th for their first live show–just 24 hours after their first face-to-face meeting.  Huh? Yes, read on.
And don’t miss seeing this extraordinary duo!
  • March 8, 2013, 10:45 p.m. – 1 a.m.  – London Bridge Pub, Monterey – with Linda Arceo at 9:30 p.m. – No cover
  • 3/9, 9-11 p.m.  – Caffe Trieste, Monterey – $10 suggested donation
  • 3/16, 7-9 p.m.  – Plaza Linda, Carmel Valley – $10 suggested donation
  • 3/30 – 6-9 p.m. – Jannasch House Concerts – $15
  • For more details, or for other California cities, click here.

See night-riding tips.

So what is this

new musical relationship Laurel Thomsen has formed?

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 in Monterey, launching a California tour. 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.


Hear more, learn more about these musicians:

Click here for calendar at, and check out the  “Dan and Laurel CA Tour” dates.

Laurel Thomsen –

Dan Frechette –

March 8, 9, and 16 shows are at HER Helmet Thursdays venues.

London Bridge Pub, located on Monterey’s bike-friendly Wharf II; Caffe Trieste, downtown Monterey; and Plaza Linda, Carmel Valley, are all HER Helmet Thursdays spots.  Whether you bike, walk, bus, or drive to the show, please let them know that you appreciate their encouraging more biking in Monterey County!

One of the bike racks alongside London Bridge Pub

Photo credits:

Top photo – Michelle Magdalena

Other photos – Mari Lynch

This post was published on 5 March 2013. One or more changes last made to this post on 24 October 2013.

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