Please join us for a house concert with Dan and Laurel on Saturday, April 4, 2015 at 8 p.m. $15-20 suggested donation, all $$ to the artists. You can RSVP below, or by emailing Linda at email@example.com or by phone to Tom at 510-697-4097. www.danandlaurel.ca
One Manitoba winter evening, music and modern technology transpired to bring together two artists with captivating musical synergy, despite their living 2,000 miles apart. Dan Frechette, celebrated Winnipeg singer-songwriter, released a record breaking 10 albums in 2012, and discovered Laurel Thomsen, American genre-bending violinist, that same year via a chance YouTube sighting.
Dan was instantly impressed by Laurel’s ability to “conjure emotions and spirit with the violin” and imagined how she could add these qualities to his own songs, with an astonishing 1300 of them and counting, including The Duhks hit singles “The Mists of Down Below” and “You Don’t See It”. Laurel was equally impressed with Dan’s diversity as a songwriter, his heartfelt voice, and his one-man-band style of guitar playing – fusing lead, rhythm, and bass lines on just one left handed acoustic guitar. The two became fast friends online, overdubbing each others parts on recordings sent back and forth, but didn’t meet in person until nearly a year later when they collaborated on a tour of Laurel’s home state of California.
“We’ve had so many audience members, even at our very first show less than 24 hours after we finally met, who’ve come up to tell us about this really intense and beautiful connection they can see and hear between Laurel and I,” recalls Dan. “Our meeting, both online, and later in person, was definitely momentous and our musical chemistry is among the most rich and profound experiences I’ve ever had. We want to give it back to the world.” Powerful and magnetic talents in their own rights, this Alt-folk duo proves that musical magic is not only possible, but alive and quite well.
Dan, guitar/vocals, and Laurel, violin/vocals, quickly became inseparable, spending months at a time touring together, and at one point, putting their respective homes in storage to make a home together on the road. However, in contrast with their natural musical rapport, the two have struggled yet triumphed over incredible external adversity. Like any good story, theirs is filled with love and loss, bad guys and good guys, uncertainly and joy, and many, many performances over a relatively short timeframe. In 2013 alone they circumnavigated the North American continent, performing over 130 concerts and producing a debut CD. With exuberance, heartwarming harmonies, soundtrack ready violin and guitar lines, and stories of irony and triumph, wit and humor, they’ve heard delighted audience members speak of “falling in love” with music all over again. Over the course of 25,000 miles together, Dan and Laurel also fell in love, were married in May 2014, and are now at home together on the California Central Coast.
Dan Frechette, also a multi-instrumentalist and an uncanny impressionist, has been performing high-energy and soulful concerts throughout North America and Europe since 1992. Dan has toured across Canada several times, both solo and with Laurel, and has appeared at many festivals over the years, including the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Edmonton Folk Festival, Lake Eden Arts Festival, Stan Rogers Festival, Mariposa Folk Festival, Islands Folk Festival, Summerfolk Festival, Bismarck Bluegrass Festival, Lake Eden Arts Festival, Suwanee Springfest, Brandon Folk Festival, Trout Forest Festival, and the Harvest Moon Festival. He’s been called one of Canada’s best on guitar and harmonica, inspiring many up-and-coming singer-songwriters now touring Canada and Europe. ‘Sing Out!’ magazine also called Frechette “one of the most talented singer-songwriters I’ve heard in a long time.”
Besides her work with Dan, Laurel Thomsen, also a singer, writer, and respected educator, has performed classically since 1998 and with a variety of California Bay Area bands and artists since 2002. With an unforgettable violin tone and a way of offering every musical line or silence as a gift, she is frequently sought for her ability to add depth and emotion to diverse styles of music and her knack for creating infectious melodies, both live on stage and in the studio. She has also released two albums, the latest, “Light & Shadow”, demonstrating her budding talent as a diverse singer-songwriter and composer as well. The host of the Violin Geek Podcast since 2010, the author of two multi-media guides to string playing technique, a longtime Strings magazine contributor, and since 1996, a dedicated private, Skype, and workshop lessons instructor to violin, viola, and fiddle students around the world, Laurel is passionate about not only sharing her music on stage, but also helping others find their own musical voices.