Saturday,  April 4 at 8:00 p.m.

Behind almost every great band is an even better story—and the one of Minneapolis indie folk swooners Communist Daughter is that of trailblazing and triumph. Much like the desperado Neutral Milk Hotel song the band is named for, Communist Daughter was born from a bleak belly that became full from its own impending existence.

Just a few years ago, founder and front man Johnny Solomon was at the prime of his career in the Twin Cities underground, leading his band Friends Like These to banner moments. But his personal struggles with addiction and run-ins with the law brought on the demise of the band and, with it, Solomon’s spirit to continue on with his craft. That was until this Johnny met his June, a young singer by the name of Molly Moore who promised to sing with Solomon if he vowed to start again clean. He did, and Molly’s vow turned into a blissful union of sweet man-needs-woman harmonies, pensive winter lyrics and carefully conjoined guitar-and-piano compositions that kick up the dirt trails on roving journeys that are ready to be told to the trees under the light of a campfire.

Folks are certainly paying attention; that same bio includes kind words from Filter, The Fader and Rolling Stone, which praised Solomon’s “songs that capture the old joy of classic records and do-nothing days, and the ache of knowing they’re mostly gone.”

Communist Daughter




 Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen



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.


With influences ranging from Folk, Classical, Old Time, and Celtic, to Gospel, Jazz, Vintage Country, Rock N' Roll, Blues, and Bluegrass, Dan and Laurel flow seamlessly through genres, tempos, stories, and moods, embodying each style with virtuosic command.

"Dan and Laurel’s concert in our home drew a standing ovation and a demand for encores. Everyone left with big smiles!"     

Margo and Tyler Baker, California house concert hosts


Saturday, May 9, at 8:00 p.m.

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 other’s 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. 

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."  



"Any grounded, sound-minded person would have a perma-grin throughout a Dan and Laurel show." 

Bernie, Manitoba house concert host


“A good songwriter...a terrific violinist...and together their voices blend beautifully and harmonically...  I can’t wait to hear more...” 

Les Siemieniuk, Penguins Eggs Magazine




 Houston Jones



    " This is as good as it gets! Stellar musicians with a  great sound."             PERI'S, FAIRFAX


"As good as any singing and picking I've heard in my thirty years in the music business. Do your friends a big favor, and turn them on to this band!"





"Always a favorite here...this killer acoustic music act has unique interpretations of grassroots Americana that will leave you breathless and thoroughly rocked.”



"Fantastic guitar playing!"



"Boy, what a band, what a band!  I’m so impressed every time I hear you guys! We’re looking forward to your next visit already!”



Saturday, July 11, at 8:00 p.m.


No one delivers the goods quite like Houston Jones. The band's infectious mix of acoustic rock,  bluegrass, folk, and country, driven along by the drumming of Peter Tucker, the guitar of Glenn    Houston, and the soulful vocals of Travis Jones, are in ample supply on their latest effort, Queen of Yesterday. "... Queen of Yesterday, is in a class by itself." - David Wiegand, SF Chronicle.

While the members have always been virtuoso players and arrangers, it's the depth of Kee's songs that adds a defining element to the band. It has expanded the sound somewhat with some down-home honky-tonk on "Born in the Moonshine," some funk on "Mighty Red," and the experimental 11-minute "Roads to Dominion" which adds some middle eastern influences to a basic Texas rhythm. As always, Houston Jones remains one of the West Coast's most talented and entertaining bands.


PETER TUCKER     A Percussionist extraordinaire who has worked with the latest, the greatest and the oldest, from THE MONKS to THE WAYBACKS and everything in between.

GLENN HOUSTON    Winner of Northern California Bluegrass Society's "Best Guitarist" award for 2009, a Bammie award winner, and co-founder of THE WAYBACKS and HEARTS ON FIRE.

HENRY SALVIA   Wizard of the keyboard, who has worked with artists such as Bo Diddley, Rickie Lee Jones, Johnny Colla (of Huey Lewis and the News), Big Jay McNeeley, Jessica Mitford, Tommy Ridgely, Al Kooper, Peter Coyote, Big Lou the Accordion Princess, Jan Fanucci, and (his favorite) Johnny Adams.

TRAVIS JONES   Popular blue-eyed Bay Area singer and guitarist, seen in many venues with bands such as LARGE AND IN THE WAY and  who has worked closely over the years with leading Bay Area musicians.

CHRIS KEE   A classically trained cellist with a degree in ethnomusicology, Chris is a busy Bay Area bassist, having recorded and performed with, among others, Peter Rowan, Norah Jones and Jim Lauderdale, as well as being an original member of the Waybacks.

"The high-energy Americana band has evolved into a potent quartet …(with) a wicked left-handed guitar slinger.  Part of what makes the group so effective is that it seamlessly blends instrumental prowess with tasty vocal harmonies.”






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