Santa Cruz Good Times

Dec 01st
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Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen

music LYLB1Maybe it was fate. Or perhaps it’s simply yet another example of social media's power to bring people together. Whatever the case, local violinist Laurel Thomsen says it seems as if she and prolific Canadian singer-songwiter Dan Frechette were made to collaborate. The 36-year-old Frechette, a Manitoba-native who has penned more than 1,300 songs in his career, first reached out to the 31-year-old Thomsen after seeing one of her performances on YouTube. "All of a sudden, I saw this video," Frechette recalls. "I thought, ‘Wow! That woman really has it.'"

Thomsen—who halfway through her music academy training decided to branch out beyond the world of classical music—says it was an honor to receive Frechette's invitation to collaborate. "I felt that Dan really got what my purpose in music was,” she says. The two began sending songs back and forth and jamming via Skype. Thomsen was the perfect fit, Frechette says, because her classical training, combined with her passion for all music, allowed her to quickly adopt different styles of playing. Not to mention, her voice works well with Frechette's. Together, the pair plays mournful pastoral odes, reminiscent of folk legend Stan Rogers, Dixieland jazz, and stomping, bluesy numbers. Though the two had been working on music for months over the web, they were nervous about the first stop on their California tour, which concludes at The Ugly Mug on April 3. Those fears were quickly put to rest, however, when they silenced the crowd at the London Bridge Pub in Monterey. After that show, and after many shows since, people have asked the duo whether they were joking about only meeting in person at the start of March. “People will ask, ‘Doesn’t it feel like you've been playing together for your entire lives?’” says Frechette. His answer? “Yes.”

INFO: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3. Ugly Mug, 4640 Soquel Drive, Soquel. $10. 477-1341.

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