Ryan Thomsons music biography
Ryan Thomson is a music and dance professional who has been honored by inclusion on
both the Traditional and Touring Artist rosters of the New Hampshire State Council on the
Arts He is a past winner of the Northeastern Regional award at the National Fiddle Contest
performances on these instruments on his You Tube channel. In his spare time he enjoys
playing chamber music in an amateur classical ensemble.
He is available to contribute his musical talent to charitable organizations. As an eligible
NEST grant artist his performances for non-profit organizations can be funded up to 50%
through NEFA (New England Foundation for the Arts).
Hampshire where he taught a credit course in the Psychology of Music while a graduate
student. He acquired the nick name "Captain Fiddle," from his co-workers on college radio
WUNH where he played his fiddle live on his fiddling and folk music show for several years.
He continued on radio with a regular Sunday night show on National Public Radio WEVO.
In the early 1980's he passed an audition to play in an award winning Nashville based
country band and toured the eastern states from Missisippi to Maine. He twice received the
nomination for "Country Fiddler of the Year," from the Massachusetts Country Music
In 1994 he won a Boston Music Awards nomination for Best Ethnic/International Act for his
accordion playing while leading the Crawdad Wranglers cajun and zydeco band which has
been playing for cajun dancers in New England for over 20 years. Ryan was invited in 2000 as
a special guest artist to perform at the Celebrate New Hampshire Festival sponsored by the
Smithsonian. In 2003 he was hired to tutor fiddle at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes
After years of searching libraries from coast to coast he had discovered that no general
book about folk fiddling existed. He decided to fill that niche and in 1985 founded Captain
Fiddle Publications by authoring his first book, The Fiddler's Almanac, a general reference
source about fiddlers and fiddling which can be presently found in over 3000 libraries in the
United States and Canada. He has since authored numerous fiddling and fiddle books,
recordings, and instructional DVD videos on various musical topics. Ryan's works have
received top reviews from the American Library Association and many other music
reviews, for example.
In 1990 Ryan developed focal dystonia, a genetic disease which temporarily prevented him
from playing his violin. He overcame his disability by devising a musician's cure for focal
dystonia. He converted his fiddle to left handed, relearned to play violin, and earned his
first trophy playing violin left handed at the Southern Vermont Scottish Highland Games.
His experiences have made him an excellent fiddle teacher and workshop leader and he
been invited to speak at disability forums including VSA. Watch video samples of both his
Click here to hear Ryan Thomson speak about his experiences with that disorder. His
research into handedness has resulted in the publication of an informative documentary
work on the history and practice of musicians who play violin left handed - "Playing Violin
and Fiddle Left Handed." He has also authored several instructional videos for left handed
For the past several years Ryan has been actively performing with his son Brennish as the
been well received.