Episode 138: Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen
Air date: 7.1.2015
Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen each had independently successful careers in music long before they met. Frechette was a Canadian folk singer who logged thousands of miles a year playing his 1,300-plus original songs and writing hit singles for bands like The Duhks and others. Classically-trained violinist Laurel Thomsen had built a reputation as a go-to player for ensembles ranging from full symphonies to singer-songwriters - as well as teaching lessons all over the world via Skype and hosting the popular Violin Geek podcast from her home in California. Dan first heard Laurel’s playing on YouTube by happenstance and the pair started collaborating remotely; Dan would send Laurel songs via e-mail and she would overdub parts and send them back. Dan loved the accompaniment Laurel added to his songs, and Laurel found Dan’s songs to be richly diverse musical gems with enough harmonic space for her to contribute. Their phone discussions about music evolved into long discussions about life and their friendship grew. After three albums of remote collaboration, the pair decided to see if their chemistry worked in person and they scheduled a set of tour dates in California, hitting the stage for the first show less than 24 hours after meeting face to face for the very first time. Their connection was palpable and immediately evident to both the pair of performers and their audience, and Frechette and Thomsen have been a duo ever since - logging over 130 concerts in 2013 alone. Perhaps unsurprisingly, their musical partnership blossomed into a romantic one as well, and on the rare occasions when they’re not on the road, Frechette and Thomsen both call California’s beautiful central coast home. Dan and Laurel have a brand-new album called New Disguise and they continue to maintain a relentless live performance schedule.