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Ryan & Brennish Thomson

Updated Feb 2, 2024

Fan Letters

43 years of letters to Captain Fiddle Music!

I've received many unsolicited letters concerning my teaching, performances, recordings, and publications over the years. These letters and excerpts are all authentic. I've decided to share them with you! Names and addresses of personal letters are omitted to protect privacy.

Read testimonials about the Fiddling Thomsons

Following are letters from 1978 to the present, the most recent first:

December 21, 2021

Hi: Just a note that I truly appreciated your talents and performance, and have had many good comments.

Merry Christmas

Doug L.

Wayside Inn, Sudbury, Massachusetts

January 10, 2020

A very belated, but HUGE thank you for playing at the Blaisdell Library Festive Scottish Tea in December! We raised over $800 for the library programs and upkeep - we couldn't have done it without you. As one tea goer told me, "This was magical!"Attached are a few not-so-professional photos, but hope you enjoy them!

A very happy New Year to you both,

Charlotte Fyfe

for the Friends of Blaisdell Library

December 21, 2015

Hello, we just this moment rec’d the above book! Thank you so very much for such super fast shipping. The book & dvd are Christmas gifts for our son who injured his hand quite badly 18 years ago. Prior to that time, E. played violin in a bluegrass gospel group. He had been in the group since the age of 12 and was a member for 14 years. He’s never played since; but recently as he says….”I just felt a spark of interest getting back into playing again.” That ‘spark’ has grown dramatically. Again, thank you and your staff for sending us Left Handed Fiddling at this time. Your efforts will make our son’s Christmas one to be remembered! May God bless all of you abundantly. C and D M.


October 5, 2014

And especially we thank you for the rousing concert last Thursday evening. You had the gang in the palm of your hand, tapping their feet and joining in lustily to Jambalaya. It was great fun.

Harry and Gerd Westcott/Noyes

Group 2 RoadTrekers


September 17, 2014

Ryan and Brennish were amazing and made my daughter's wedding very special with their talents of music with all their instruments!!!! They were extremely accommodating, playing at the pre ceremony, then playing while walking the guest trough the woods to our home to the ceremony. He was so flexible dealing with the changing weather conditions . He is so very pleasant and was a joy to work with!!!!


Feb 26, 2014

Hi Ryan & Brennish!

Just wanted to say again how enjoyable it was being on the stage with you both this last Saturday! Being backed up by musical talent when I'm calling is always my goal and it was an immense help to make the evening a fun loving event for both dancers and I!

Looking forward to the next time with you!


Don Heinold (Caller)


June 20, 2012

Thank you for being a part of our 15th Anniversary Celebration Dinner. Ryan and Brennish You had everyone tapping their toes! - Trish. The music was wonderful! Thanks for being a part of the dinner. -  Jennie, What a joy it was to listen to you both. - Ann

New Hampshire Made - 2012


April 18, 2011

thanks. i like your nice music.

best regards from dortmund, Germany




April 18, 2011

L. has made a comment on "Haste to the Wedding" on irish celtic Fiddle by Ryan Thomson:

just realised that you use your left hand to bow, first time i've ever seen this (did you teach yourself) you're very good.


April 14, 2011

has made a comment on Ryan Thomson plays tex mex on tiny toy miniature piano accordion squeeze box:

Aww I love it. Just ordered myself a toy accordion :D


April 14, 2011

John has made a comment on Banjos and Bones - "Cluck Old Hen," "Cold Frosty Morning," Ryan Thomson plays clawhammer style:

Wonderful job! I enjoyed greatly!


April 14, 2011

Lewis has made a comment on Ryan Thomson plays tex mex on tiny toy miniature piano accordion squeeze box:

Greetings Ryan! Now I've got a mini piano accordion for my birthday right now.

cheers from Scotland! Lewis.


 April 12, 2011

Furby has made a comment on Ryan Thomson fiddles "Turkey in the Straw," old time music:



April 10, 2011

T has made a comment on How to position, setup, and adjust a violin or fiddle bridge, by Ryan Thomson, "Captain Fiddle":

Great job!


April 8, 2011

Dan has made a comment on "Morpeth Rant" old time fiddle, - Ryan Thomson, english tune:

I'm learning this tune right now, nice to see other Americans playing it! :)


April 8, 2011

Aly has made a comment on "Over the Waterfall," on old time fiddle by Ryan Thomson:

wow! way ta go! :D


April 8, 2011

B. R. has made a comment on "Morpeth Rant" old time fiddle, - Ryan Thomson, english tune:

As a Northumbrian who lives in Morpeth its really cool to hear an American play this tune. I didn't realise it was so well known outside our area! Excellent work mister, you are good :)


April 2. 2011

G has made a comment on Clawhammer Banjo, celtic Irish polkas played by Ryan Thomson:

Nice bones!


April 2, 2011

Eric has replied to your comment on banjo bridge adjust setup and position for best intonation, tuning, by Ryan Thomson:

Thanks very much.


March 31, 2011

C has made a comment on Left Handed Violin Playing, Part 1, by Ryan Thomson "You have a choice!":

Thank you so much for this! I'm just learning how to play the violin, and I took it to a violin professor at my university, and he snapped when I showed him my left-handed violin. He pretty much acted like it was something blasphemous--first time he had seen one too--and I felt terrible about it.


March 31, 2011

Leon has made a comment on "Top of Cork Road" Irish celtic jig and reel, Ryan Thomson on fiddle "Captain Fiddle":

I used to dance to this!! I won my first medal with this song :)


March 31, 2011

OTM has made a comment on "Bosco Stomp," Boogaloo Swamis, Captain Fiddle - Ryan Thomson on cajun violin

Very nice.


March 31, 2011

K. has made a comment on "Milwaukee Blues" - The Last Chance String Band, old time fiddle banjo music:

This is awesome. Love it.


March 30, 2011

R. has replied to your comment on "Sail Away Ladies" - Last Chance String Band, old time violin banjo:

Great, Ryan. Can't wait for your DVD! Thanks!


March 27, 2011

B. has made a comment on Violinist Ryan Thomson plays both left and right handed fiddles, teaches how:

wow! I didn't know it was possible to play violin left handed!


March 27, 2011

has made a comment on German folk tune on violins by the Fiddling Thomsons at Winter Festival:

Sehr Schön ! ;-))

Greetings from Germany.


March 26, 2011

Hey I saw some of your playing on youtube and man! I wish I could jam with you guys! I'm a piano player myself and love Ragtime and Blues music...

M. S.


March 26, 2011

K. has made a comment on "Mississippi Sawyer" square dance fiddle tune - Ryan Thomson:



March 24, 2011

X has made a comment on Left Handed Violin Playing, Part 1, by Ryan Thomson "You have a choice!":

Thank you so much for the information. My daughter is going to be starting violin in the fall, and she's a lefty. I hadn't realized how much different it was for a lefty violin. I'm hoping her teacher will be willing to teacher her as a lefty!


March 18, 2011

has made a comment on How to position, setup, and adjust a violin or fiddle bridge, by Ryan Thomson, "Captain Fiddle":




March 14, 2011

You were great! Thanks again for accommodating us on such short notice.

Thank You!


TaraAnn O'Connor

Area Marketing Manager, East Coast

AVI Foodsystems, Inc


March 11, 2011

has made a comment on Swallowtail Jig, celtic Irish tune fiddled by Ryan Thomson:

awsome for a lefty

March 7, 2011

Hi just found youon youtube and loved your vamp on piano. I really would like to learn to do this but don't know how to buy in dollars! Can you let me know the latest price of your instruction DVD and also shipping cost etc.......I think your playing is brilliant.

Many thanks




March 7, 2011

G. has made a comment on "Sail Away Ladies" - Last Chance String Band, old time violin banjo:

Grouse! that's aussie speak for"i love it".

cheers from downunder


March 5, 2011

B. has made a comment on "Goodbye Lisa Jane" - Last Chance String Band, old time fiddle banjo music:

This is some great oldf time music thanks for posting it


March 4, 2011

TV has made a comment on banjo bridge adjust setup and position for best intonation, tuning, by Ryan Thomson:

A lot of help, thanks!!


March 3, 2011

Ryan and his son were wonderful. I would recommend them again and again!



February 23, 2011

F has made a comment on "Brother Ephus," Last Chance String Band, New Hampshire Folk Festival, banjo fiddle:

First time I've heard this band.They're great!They do the oldtime tunes the oldtime way and that's just wonderful.I'm gonna buy everything these good ol' boys have recorded!!!!!


February 22, 2011


I'm running into your arrangements of traditional tunes all over the place.

Jeff M.


February 20. 2011

C has made a comment on "Sail Away Ladies" - Last Chance String Band, old time violin banjo:

Hi there...Love the music. Is there a DVD of this performance available for purchase?



February 18, 2011

T has made a comment on Crawdad Wranglers - "Jambalaya" on cajun accordion, fiddle, Milford, NH, Ryan Thomson leader:

hell yes from england...


February 18, 2011

M.M. has made a comment on "Chicken Reel" by Ryan Thomson, old time appalachian fiddle style:

Very good job..


February 17, 2011

Your lessons have helped me, tremendously.

R. P.


February 17, 2011

Good luck with your classes. I know so many enjoy your playing and teaching.



February 15, 2011

has made a comment on "One Hundred 100 Pipers" on celtic fiddle by Ryan Thomson:

Actually, Ryan's a rightie! He used to play right-handed, but he injured his left hand and was unable to finger the notes property, so he taught himself to play lefty. He has a book on left-handed fiddling.


February 14, 2011

Thanks for being part of our celebration again – it was a lot of fun.

Best regards, 


Heidi Duncanson

Director of Marketing & Community Relations

Children's Museum of New Hampshire


February 6, 2011

has made a comment on Left Handed Violin Playing, Part 1, by Ryan Thomson "You have a choice!":

Also, bless you sir for validating my hopes that somewhere in the world there are people who play right handed fiddles left handed. And they're Scotts for cryin' out loud! Scottish fiddling was my plan all along and fits with my musical education. I think I'm going to check out your book.


February 3, 2011

D B has made a comment on "Sail Away Ladies" - Last Chance String Band, old time violin banjo:

yeah, thats the way its done boys


February 3, 2011

R has made a comment on How to position, setup, and adjust a violin or fiddle bridge, by Ryan Thomson, "Captain Fiddle":



February 2, 2011

P. P. has made a comment on Sean Ryans Irish polka, tin whistle, fiddle, by Fiddling Thomsons:

Nice playing...


January 27, 2011

Pie has made a comment on Thomsons fiddle and sing Jambalaya, First Night Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Dec 31, 2009

Nice sound, my compliments.


January 26, 2011

D has replied to your comment on How musician Ryan Thomson beat his focal dystonia disability!:

4stringjoe Thanks a lot :)


January 23, 2011

D has made a comment on banjo bridge adjust setup and position for best intonation, tuning, by Ryan Thomson:

i love your playing. thanks for the great video


January 20, 2011

T A has made a comment on Lord MacDonalds reel at Raspberry Farm, Hampton Falls - Fiddling Thomsons

Wow, that's very nicely done!


January 18, 2011

P R has made a comment on Ryan Thomson plays tex mex on tiny toy miniature piano accordion squeeze box

What a smile! You are just radiating joy... and that's what the accordion is about.


January 17, 2011

O B has made a comment on French canadian fiddles, wooden spoons, Fiddling Thomsons - Nashua Library

Sounds great. Hope the folks there appreciated it :)


January 15, 2015

V K has made a comment on "Irish Washerwoman" fiddled by Ryan Thomson

Sounded great and i love that fact that you made the violin lefty friendly!!!!!! that is such a fun one to play fast!!!!


January 12, 2011

has made a comment on How to Buy a Violin Fiddle, DIY guide quality economy best deal used instrument, by Ryan Thomson

Thanks dude, I play drums and guitar but i've taken an interest in the violin and you're video was pretty helpful! 90% of the other beginner violin related videos are just ridiculous.


January 12, 2011

A Z has made a comment on "Goodbye Lisa Jane" - Last Chance String Band, old time fiddle banjo music

Thanks for sharing this video. I started a page that presents the text of selected 19th century dance and play songs. I reposted your video under "Goodbye Lisa Jane" so that I and other folks could get a sense of how that tune sounds. Google Cocojams American Banjo and Fiddle Songs.


January 10, 2011

V C has made a comment on "Haste to the Wedding" on irish celtic Fiddle by Ryan Thomson

It sounds beautiful...!!! Congratulations and best wishes from Perú :


January 9, 2011

comment on How musician Ryan Thomson beat his focal dystonia disability!

Thanks for this video. I'm a guitarist and I'me also suffering from dystonia from the right hand (the one wich is holding the pick)... Chris (Lyon-France)


January 8, 2011

has made a comment on "Ten Penny Bit" Irish celtic jig played by Ryan Thomson on fiddle

Awesome Captain! Is the video backwards or are you really doing it that way?


January 7, 2011

has made a comment on "Ships are Sailing," Irish celtic reel on fiddle by Ryan Thomson

Nice i love this reel


January 1, 2011

M. D. has made a comment on "Minor Swing" - Webber Trio with Ryan Thomson - violin, French Gypsy Jazz tune by Django Reinhardt

Bravo vive Django



December 29, 2010

L V has made a comment on "One Hundred 100 Pipers" on celtic fiddle by Ryan Thomson

Awesome! And you're left handed too! So cool!


December 25

has made a comment on Left Handed Violin Playing, Part 1, by Ryan Thomson "You have a choice!"

I just got a violin today and I

am left handed but this is my first time ever playing one and I'm already getting tunes in low and high sounds on a right handed vioilin so yay! This video helped.


December 23, 2011

G K has made a comment on banjo bridge adjust setup and position for best intonation, tuning, by Ryan Thomson

i love your playing. thanks for the great video


December 19, 2010

Bobbie has made a comment on Turlough O'Carolan Irish tune on fiddle and whistle - Fiddling Thomsons

very good music!


December 18, 2010

Thank you for the book!! I am really enjoying it already!

and it wasdelivered so quickly!

Merry Christmas

:)N S


December 15, 2010

has made a comment on "Minor Swing" - Webber Trio with Ryan Thomson - violin, French Gypsy Jazz tune by Django Reinhardt

Excellent performance, I loved it. all the best and Thumbs up. G.


December 15, 2010

O B has made a comment on Polka on piano accordion and violin fiddle - Fiddling Thomsons

You guys are terrific. I love the variety of traditional tunes you do.


December 14, 2010

C R has made a comment on Fiddling Thomsons play "Jambalaya" at Newmarket Heritage Festival, on cajun fiddle and accordion

YES YES YES tis how Jabalaya should be played straight from the heart


December 12, 2010

N O has made a comment on "Minor Swing" - Webber Trio with Ryan Thomson - violin, French Gypsy Jazz tune by Django Reinhardt

that was wonderful !!! thank you very much to share

N O has made a comment on Appalachian fiddle - Old Molly Hare - Fiddiing Thomsons

that was great; thank you


 December 11, 2010

J O has made a comment on Fiddling Thomsons perform "Eskimo Ootpik" waltz, Portsmouth First Night, 2009

I especially like the ending. I always have trouble with endings. I used your video to learn to play the chords to this on my guitar. Thanks!


December 10. 2010

N L has made a comment on Gypsy banjo and fiddle - Fiddling Thomsons - "Fast dance" from Hungary

love it


December 9, 2010

has made a comment on Cajun fiddle - "Bayou Two Step" - Ryan Thomson

haha you know - if I saw you walking down the street I would have NO IDEA that you played the fiddle hahaha. Awesome!!!


December 6, 2010

O B has made a comment on Canadian fiddle music performed by the Fiddling Thomsons in New Hampshire.

Nice example of this style of fiddling. Thanks 


December 6, 2010

J G has made a comment on Thomsons fiddle Irish jig set at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, First Night Celebration, 2009

that was really great guys, i just visited your town not to long ago, the place is absolutely gorgeous, keep up the great playing!


December 4, 2010

J D has made a comment on Ryan Thomson fiddles "Turkey in the Straw," old time music

woot jimi hendrix of the violin/fiddle


December 4, 2010

D B has made a comment on The Devil's Dream and the Mason's Apron - Fiddling Thomsons, Nashua NH

Great Duo!


December 4, 2010

has made a comment on Wooden spoons Canadian percussion, fiddle - Fiddling Thomsons

He's great at the Fiddle.


December 4, 2010

V N has made a comment on "Minor Swing" - Webber Trio with Ryan Thomson - violin, French Gypsy Jazz tune by Django Reinhardt

Another left handed fiddle player, that makes two that I have seen in my entire life.

Great sound keep it up.


December 3, 2010


I saw a copy of your book—an early edition, small, some years ago—and thought it was real slick. I’ve played bluegrass/old-time for some 40+ years now, in New England and California. I’ve gigged, taught, and been up and down the mountain a few times. (Still doing all this.) Played a lot of contradances, some square dances; attended umpteen jams; forgotten so many arguments about the “right” way to play a given song. Anyway, from this skewed and fragmentary viewpoint, I’d say that your book is about the neatest presentation of the most sensible chords of far and away the most tunes I’ve seen. So, thanks for the book.



December 3, 2010

has made a comment on Ryan Thomson demonstrates Contra, Irish, ceili dance piano back up vamping for fiddlers

Really Cool. Thanks for posting!


December 1, 2010

A B has made a comment on Ryan Thomson fiddles "Mairi's Wedding," a celtic scottish tune

That sounded great!


November 23, 2010

has made a comment on Fiddle version of "Farewell to Whiskey" by Ryan Thomson

That was great :) Really enjoyed it! Your playing style is very much like my daddy's and grandpa's was.


November 15, 2010

Kassy has made a comment on "Smash the Windows" on celtic fiddle by Ryan Thomson



November 12, 2010

Ranger has made a comment on How to position, setup, and adjust a violin or fiddle bridge, by Ryan Thomson, "Captain Fiddle"

I just bought a new violin and searching the internet for information. While looking for instruction on setting the bridge, I found your video the best and most thorough for understanding. Thanks


November 11, 2010

M R has made a comment on Scottish celtic fiddle - Money Musk "Monymusk" Ryan Thomson

Thank you Ryan for your music. I am re-reading The Laura Ingalls Wilder books and I came across a website that had a chapter called "Pa's fiddle". I was so excited to be able to hear for the first time in my life the music of Laura's childhood, but was disappointed that instead of a fiddle, they used a synthesizer instead. Why go through the trouble of adding the tune to the website but without the sound of an authentic fiddle? It was a joy to hear and see you play your fiddle. Thank you!


November 3, 2010

C L has made a comment on "Fire on the Mountain" old time fiddle tune played by Ryan Thomson "Captain Fiddle"

im playing this song tomarow! For the fall showcase!! :D


October 31, 2010

has made a comment on Ryan Thomson plays tex mex on tiny toy miniature piano accordion squeeze box

Well, I take my hat off to you :), good stuff.. :) I see some use an accordion to support themselves, (sometimes it's the only means and way they can in some countries), also music is a way of life for some. Nice :)


October 30, 2010

Your DVDs and method of instruction are terrific.



October 28, 2010

has made a comment on Old time Appalachian square dance fiddle tune - Kitchen Gal, by Fiddling Thomsons

You are FABOULOUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS !!! I love Buddy Rich & Fiddle Thomsonssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss !!


October 26, 2010

has made a comment on "Mackimoyle's Reel" canadian fiddle tune - Ryan Thomson

that was some crazy good fiddling


October 24, 2010

has made a comment on The Fiddling Thomson's, Ryan and Brennish, perform the "Huntsmans Chorus"

hey i have 3 other buddies.....2 of them play baritone and my other friend and i play tuba and we r playing this song for all state solo and ensemble


October 24, 2010

K has made a comment on Bones champion Steve Brown, and Ryan Thomson on fiddle, perform a set of celtic irish jigs

I like this kind of music.


October 21, 2010

has made a comment on Ryan Thomson sings at cajun zydeco dance, Salem MA, fiddle accordion guitar

splendid my friends!!!!


October 14, 2010

Ireceived the DVD a couple days ago, and it's exactly what I was looking for! I am a fiddler who wants to play backup for others and it will put me on the fast track to do so. Thanks a bunch.



October 13, 2010

Z S has made a comment on "Irish Washerwoman" fiddled by Ryan Thomson

certainly fiddle! i kn0ow cuz its super hard to vibrato that fast! your awwwwwwwwsome!!


October 13, 2010

Cowboy Ron has made a comment on Cajun fiddle - "Bayou Two Step" - Ryan Thomson

nicely done ! 5 thumbs up, if only i had 5 thumbs. oh well 5 stars!


October 12, 2010

Pender has made a comment on Fiddling Thomsons play "Old Molly Hare" twin fiddle style in the Anza Borrego desert

That was great! :)


October 12, 2010

R B has made a comment on Fiddling Thomsons - Egans Rattling Bog, Irish celtic polkas, pennywhistle fiddle, at Bella Rose

Wish I could have been there to play along with my Bodhran!! Fun tune and you play very well together. :-)


October 10, 2010

Alt has made a comment on Fiddling Thomsons in Balboa Park, San Diego, twin fiddles - "Over the Waterfall"

Amazing !!!!


October 8, 2010

Kat has made a comment on "Fishers Hornpipe" played on fiddle by Ryan Thomson "Captain Fiddle"

Very nice, and you look like you're enjoying it!


October 5, 2010

B has made a comment on How to position, setup, and adjust a violin or fiddle bridge, by Ryan Thomson, "Captain Fiddle"

thank you cpt fiddle


October 1, 2010

Hey, no problem, you're an amazing player ~wish I could play violin as well as you~



October 1, 2010

M has made a comment on "Milwaukee Blues" - The Last Chance String Band, old time fiddle banjo music

Sweet performance, this is the kind of music I totally enjoy. Thanks for sharing it 

M has made a comment on "Milwaukee Blues" - The Last Chance String Band, old time fiddle banjo music

excellent 5*****& shared


October 1, 2010

I G has made a comment on banjo bridge adjust setup and position for best intonation, tuning, by Ryan Thomson



September 30, 2010

Doah has made a comment on Violin and Fiddle tunes, blues, Irish slip jig, and cajun two step played by Ryan Thomson



September 27, 2010

O B has made a comment on Newmarket Heritage Festival 2010 - The Fiddling Thomsons fiddle Bluegrass

Very nicely done. Thank you.


September 23, 2010

Hi Ryan,

Thank you on behalf of all of us at The Ranch Golf Club for your great performance here this week. I am looking forward to next month’s event already. Please bring some flyers and/or business cards do I can refer you to other groups!

Warm regards,

Maria Coughlen

Event Coordinator

The Ranch Golf Club

(413) 569-9333 Ext 214


September 21, 2010

Ray has made a comment on Old Time Banjo, Soldiers Joy, Ryan Thomson, clawhammer style.

Good stuff!


September 20, 2010

NY W has made a comment on Rock style fiddle violin jamming by Ryan Thomson

Ryan was one of my favorite musicians to jam with in my eccentric Folk-Rock endeavors back in the 80's. I'd play with him ANY day! He really "got" the sound I was going for.


September 19, 2010

99 has made a comment on Fiddling Thomsons fiddle and clog to french tunes at concert in Durham, New Hampshire

I just listened to barge play this and would rather here you guys anyday there music seems to lack feeling.


September 18, 2010

G B has made a comment on "Top of Cork Road" Irish celtic jig and reel, Ryan Thomson on fiddle "Captain Fiddle"



September 17, 2010

B has made a comment on "Over the Waterfall" on fiddle and bones at Durham Unitarian Church by the Fiddling Thomson's

Wow! A great performance. Love the bones, Captain! And Young Thomson--GREAT WORK!


September 16, 2010

N L has made a comment on Red Haired Boy Irish reel by Fiddling Thomsons for Hampton Historical Society

Nice to see families keeping the tradition alive... great job, both of you :)


September 15, 2010

 Good morning genius!

Well it has been about a month since I received your tutorial DVD, and now I have evolved into a hopelessly addicted boom chucking maniac. I cannot begin to tell you how much fun I have been having, sitting at the piano with my swipe book of contra tunes. As I do not have a fiddle or flute playing friend readily available, I have had to sing "la las" for the melody as I play the rhythm and harmony. It has truly been a wonderful month of experimentation and discovery. I can figure out most tunes, but still have a problem with some.As with most things in life, the more you do, the better you become, I guess.

thanks Ryan,



 September 14, 2010

Y K has made a comment on "Over the Waterfall" on fiddle and bones at Durham Unitarian Church by the Fiddling Thomson's

This is gonna be a banjo friday tune. Good stuff!!


September 14, 2010

Hi Ryan,

Thank you so much for your wonderful article about Left Handed Music Making:


I am a fiddle teacher in California who grew up playing classical music and switched over to fiddling several years ago.  I currently have 45 children in my studio between the ages of 3-18.  I have a student who I started teaching at the age of 7 who is left handed. We went for about a year before I decided to switch her bow arm to her dominant side and voila! it was magic, she is now 13 and fiddling away left handed!



September 13, 2010

I just listened to several of your tunes on Youtube.  I think you guys are really good.  I noticed you were playing at the Blueberry fiddle festival, and I just found out that some old acquaintances of mine also played there.  I used to play fiddle in Northern Ca. in the town of Mount Shasta.  The Bryan Family used to live there, and we played together a lot.  I haven't  heard from them in about 20 years, but saw there names on the Blueberry fiddle festivals website.  Great bunch of people.  I still pick up the fiddle every now and then, but I haven't improved any since I was about 13.  I played for about 2 1/2 years under the instruction of Evelyn Horner.  I guess I need to get back into it.  Keep up the good work.



September 10, 2010


 I have been really enjoying your music with the Last Chance String Band on youtube. Are there any other recordings I could listen to - I'd be more than happy to pay for them!




September 8, 2010

B Y M has made a comment on Last Chance String Band, NH Folk Festival, old time acapella gospel

love it!


September 5, 2010

J B has made a comment on Cajun fiddle - "Bayou Two Step" - Ryan Thomson

i love your music ryan!!!!


September 3, 2010

S S has made a comment on Ryan Thomson fiddles "Mairi's Wedding," a celtic scottish tune



September 2, 2010

A L has made a comment on Twin accordions playing Chopique cajun two step, Ryan Thomson leads, Bedford - Great tune. Very good performance. I like this music. I would have been dancing with the kids! Fran

A L has made a comment on Old time appalachian square dance fiddle tune - Kitchen Gal, by Fiddling Thomsons

Good tune. Well done..It really gets those feet tapping. Fran

A L has made a comment on Starbucks Music night - Fiddling Thomsons play bluegrass in Manchester, Ragtime

Love this music! We don't have this at our Starbucks...We are underpriviliged. It is a pleasure to hear you all play together. Fran

A L has made a comment on Starbucks Music night - Fiddling Thomsons play bluegrass in Manchester, Ragtime Annie

Great. One of my favorite tunes. Very well done.

A L has made a comment on Starbucks Coffee and the Fiddling Thomsons - Soldiers Joy, old time twin fiddles

Great! Fran

A L has made a comment on Cajun Zydeco dance party Ryan Thomson Crawdad Wranglers New Moon Coffeehouse

I like your choice of music. Good group and good performance....This tune has been a favorite of mine for years. I first heard it performed by Jimmy Sturr orchestra. Fran


September 1, 2010

P P has made a comment on Gypsy banjo, clawhammer "Friss csardas", by Ryan Thomson

Thank you mister for the song. It was beautiful! Especially the run that comes around 00:32.


August 31, 2010

O L has made a comment on Irish reels, fiddle, whistle at Rollinsford Garden Club festival - Fiddling Thomsons

Great job. Love those reels.

O L has made a comment on Country Bluegrass twin fiddles at Starbucks, Manchester, NH, Fiddling Thomsons

Great fiddling.


 August 31, 2010

SH has made a comment on Turkey in the Straw, old time bluegrass fiddle version by Fiddling Thomsons

Great playin'!


August 26, 2010

Good morning Ryan!

I was pleased to have received, a couple of days ago, your DVD on Piano Accompaniment to Fiddlers. I am grateful that there are talented people like you in the world who generously share their gift with others who are wanting to learn more of the magic of the New England music genre.



August 22, 2010

M D has made a comment on "Haste to the Wedding" on irish celtic Fiddle by Ryan Thomson

you're soooooo good! =) Can i just say that you sir have real talent.

By the way i love your version! I can't stop listenning to it! & i can't believe you figured THAT out by ear.(I believe you!) I am definitely subscribing now.

Thank you for this video! :D Regards!

I'm gonna learn that someday. :|


August 22, 2010

Great !

I discovered your book when I was playing IN Splash Dance NC for contras. I have seen how useful it is and easy to use. I presume you have all songs from Portland Selection in it...




August 20, 2010

M W has made a comment on Gypsy banjo, clawhammer "Friss csardas", by Ryan Thomson

wow that song is fantastic! 


August 20, 2010

Mr S has made a comment on  Cajun fiddle - "Bayou Two Step" - Ryan Thomson

Nicely done good sir


August 18, 2010

We had an excellent overall experience with Ryan Thomson/Captain Fiddle. He was extremely responsive and communicative by email and phone, very pleasant, professional, and clear. Based upon the information he gave us, together we were able to select a lovely repertoire for my parents anniversary party. He arrived on time, interacted very nicely with us, listened carefully to the information we gave him about the party and the guests, and played beautifully. His music was perfect for the garden party we had planned. We would hire him again!



August 10, 2010

J B has made a comment on Old Time Music on Clawhammer Banjo - "Cluck Old Hen" Ryan Thomson:

Ryan , I love the way you play, no big deal, you just say I going to play this song and then do it.

And you do it well. I am very enchoraged by your stly . Real natural , and easy going.

Sounds great. I love the old time tunes.


August 10, 2010

Thanks for being part of our festival this year.


New England Folk Festival


August 9, 2010

Hello Ryan,

I just want you to know, that here it is 3 years later, and I am still learning new songs from your "Teach Yourself Fiddle" series. I cannot thank you enough for publishing these CD's and accompanying books. Do you have any plans for producing a "slow jam" session on CD using these tunes? If so, please let me know when it is available!


~ Still Learnin' ~




May, 2010


Thank you very much for all your help at PYW's annual fiddle contest and silent auction. We truly appreciate you stepping up to help judge the open competition. As you know the evening was a great sucess - we raised a lot of money for PYW's music and arts programs. We hope to see you guys again at next year's contest!

thank you

Zach and Paula


July 3, 2009

First I want to thank you for your book, Left Handed Fiddling for Beginners.

Trying to find a reasonable playable left handed violin and a willing teacher

was a challenge. Your book was a great start for learning. Nowadays I found

a great teacher who has been instructing me for one year now. Nevertheless I

go back often and review your book and DVD.


St Augustine, Florida


June 18, 2009

Dear Mr Thomson

I just wanted to take a few moments to thank you for giving us the opportunity to work with you for our facility BBQ on Tuesday June 16th. Our event would not have been the grand sucess it was without your availability.


J.K. HR Manager

Greenbriar Terrace Healthcare, Nashua, New Hampshire


March 12, 2009

Thank you for coming. We enjoyed your music. Hope to meet again!

Amy and Meals On Wheels

Brentwood Site

New Hampshire


April 28, 2009

Hi, Just placed an order  for the Folk Musician's Working Guide. to Chords etc... I picked up Fiddle Tunes and Variations at NEFFA. - I listened to the CD's today and got all excited, what a great book, can't wait to learn all of the music theory I never understood after 10 years of Suzuki as a kid.

Thanks, T. 

Quincy, Massachusetts


February 29, 2009

My wife has been playing regularly, going to jams. So great to have those that are successful who want to give back. The book arrived yesterday. She's delighted to have it. Thanks,


Exeter, Rhode Island


February 12, 2009

Hi Ryan, Thanks again to both of you (Ryan and Brennish) for your performance

today.  Everyone had a wonderful time. I'll be in touch again in the next few months.

K. T. /Meals on Wheels

Sunrise/Sunset Activity Center


January 23, 2009

Hello Ryan, I'm a guitar player and the clawhammer is such a different feel from fingerstyle guitar the right hand technique is so important for us guitar players to master. Anyway wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your  teaching,  I read your story about having to become a lefthanded fiddler, wow!  what an ordeal to have to go through! I relayed  the story to a southpaw buddy of mine and it turns out he 's been using your instructionals to learn fiddle and had already appreciated your story. Thanks for the teaching!

all the best, B.

Brooklyn, New York


January 5, 2009

Hi Ryan, I have had your Accordion Jam Session DVD for about a year now. I really enjoy it and it has been very helpful in my piano accordion playing (I think I bought it through Elderly Music)




November 11, 2008

Very, very pleased with Ryan Thompson's appearance at our event. Ryan has an unassuming, warm personality, and the guests at our event thoroughly enjoyed his performance and his friendliness. He readily solicited requests, and moved effortlessly from fiddle to accordion. Ryan made a major contribution to a very enjoyable event.

P.K. -  Taste of France

Winchester, Massachusetts


October 20, 2008

Hello Ryan,

What terrific music you provided for us at Church of the Advent on Saturday night! Thank you. Everyone had a wonderful time, enjoyed meeting you and the band members and Brennish. What a talented, nice young man! Several people have inquired about your CD's so I directed them to your web page. It was great to see you again. Thanks once more for helping us make an enjoyable evening for our Gulf Coast fundraiser.

Best wishes,



October 10, 2008

Dear Mr Thomson

It was a pleasure and an honor to be with so many supporters and new friends at the October 4th Riverwoods Auction Gala. Your support helped generate record breaking results for this year's event.

Best Regards,

Robin Drunsic

Executive Director

Squamscott Community Commons


October 9, 2008


It's steve from the NE Folk Music Festival (I bought 3 tapes from you, said I would learn for concertina)Well correction, I have an old A4 Gibson mandolin from ebay, and I am SO happy to have these tapes. They are just perfect  and it is so much more relaxing to learn by ear, the learning tempo is wonderful, and when you name the notes, I can be right there with you. Plus these are just the sort of old timey and celtic tunes I want to learn, less BG, more heartful old-time. By listening and repeating, I feel so much more relaxed, and I know it will stick better. That's the plan anyway.


Captain Fiddle tapes, not just for fiddle anymore :)


If you want to quote my testimonial for mandolin application somewhere, feel free. There is an advantage in my mind for a mando player to learn from fiddle since that's what many of the players are trying to catch, the spirit of anyway.




Sept 21, 2008

Hi, our family saw the Crawdad Wranglers about 7 years ago in August at a gazebo near Wells beach. My husband has worn out all of the CD's I bought for him. He asked you to contact you to see if the Crawdad's would be playing somewhere in Maine so that we could see you again. Please let me know.



May 26, 2008


Thank you. You are an awesome teacher. I have nearly worn out my beginner's DVD Thank you so much for the wonderful things you do to promote music. especially for us  "lefties." best regards,



May 2, 2008

 Hi Capt. Fiddle,

I am still trying to wear out your great instructional dvds and cds.

I favor the Irish fiddle and thanks to you I can play quite a few Irish

tunes so keep those Irish tunes coming.

Bob M.


April 29, 2008

 Hi Ryan -

Thanks so much. Every summer we spend some time playing with a contra dance band, and the fiddler in that group likes to play all sorts of arcane, esoteric and little-known tunes. It's great to have your chord book handy for those things.  We've lent out the copies we had, and they didn't come back, but we're glad that others are getting to use them.

Best wishes.



April 10, 2008


I have your "Great Bay Stomp Banjo" CD and can play several of your tunes

off that one.  "Watch Those Eels" really impresses a lot of people I've played that one for. My wife got me a Fiddle a few Christmases ago but I've found it to be the most challenging stringed instrument I've ever tried to play.  I'm writing this from work right now, so I will have to look at getting an order in to you later once I get home.


T. C.

Bremerton, WA


April 9, 2008

 Hi Ryan,

What tunes are played on your Banjo Clawhammer DVDs?  I purchased your Accordion DVD - Superb - Its really got me going!





February 15, 2008

 Hello Ryan,

A few years ago my wife bought me a walking stick flute after hearing one played in colonial Williamsburg by one of their cast members. So I recently bought your DVD "Celtic Wooden Flute" to start learning how to play it. Thanks for making the DVD!

D. C.


Jan 4, 2008

 Hi Captain Fiddle,

I just want to thank you for having the best fiddle lessons on the internet. I have both fiddle DVD's and I have learned to play every tune thanks to your slower clear instruction, unlike some of the other DVD's that teach at almost full speed which are very hard to follow.


East Meadow, New York


Sep 30, 2007

 Dear Ryan - What a wonderful contribution you made at my family's event! Hope we can do it again! Thought you might appreciate the photo. Thanks again!

Donna S.

Sanford, Maine


November 30, 2007

 On Behalf of the Winter Holiday Stroll Committee, thank you for your participation in the 14th annual Winter Holiday Stroll. We are grateful for your partnership with downtown Nashua and Great America Downtown. Thank you!

Anne Maas, Chairperson


Oct 22, 2007

 Dear Ryan -

 Our thanks to you and your son for coming to our celebration Friday night and adding so much fun and specialness to the event. You are both just wonderful and we really appreciate you taking the time!

warm regards,

Ann and Laurie

New Hampshire Made


October 20, 2007

 Many thanks for your DVD accordion Jamming. Really Excellent




September 22, 2007

 He did a wonderful job for our seaside wedding! He was very accomodating and overall a lovely person to deal with. Great job!


Portland, Maine


September 15, 2007

Dear Ryan and Brennish,

 Laudetur Jesus Christus! Thank you so very much for your enthusiastic participation at our festival last month. Your set was most enjoyable and your leading of the contra dance indispensable!...Thank you again and may our lady bless you!

Sister Maria Philomena

Blueberry Fiddle Festival 2007


September 5, 2007


This is the BEST way for me to learn. Since watching the DVD, I got up the courage to take out the fiddle and ran into the bony collarbone against the shoulder rest and went out and got a different one based on your DVD suggestions and i'm off and running. I still haven't finished the DVD as i keep going back and redoing parts. It is so realistic that at one point i walked around my computer thinking i could see the other side of you if i did. So, to wrap up, I'm living my dream: retirement and at least TRYING to fiddle and now i feel so much more confident as if i have a question, i just back it up and listen again. I'm more relaxed at home and I think that helps too. The book is great as well. I'm using them together.

THANKS AGAIN, this was the BEST investment i ever made for my music dreams. A MAJOR BARGAIN AT TWICE THE PRICE!!! And you can quote me on that!



Gloucester, Massachusetts


September 4, 2007

 Dear Crawdad Wranglers,

Thank you for your support in this year's First Annual Cultural Festival.

Helen Franco. Americorps Vista Member


August 26, 2007

 Thanks Ryan,

I learned a lot from your Irish fiddle dvd and I can play three of the tunes with hardly any mistakes and I am now working on learning the other tunes due to your very thorough direction. I hope that you come out with more Irish fiddle dvd's soon.


East Meadow, New York


June 22, 2007


S and I enjoyed your dual concert with your son very much last sounded even better after we moved inside. I'll be ordering several of your CDs over the weekend. Thanks again!

B. K.

Salem, New Hampshire


June 10, 2007

Thanks Captain Fiddle,

Jill and I are learning a lot from your book. What a joy this little instrument. I thank our maker each day for it. Though I'm sure my neighbors don't yet share my joy. Have a great day. I look forward to your next project and once again thank you for such a great teaching tool.


New Mexico


May 26, 2007

 Greeting Ryan, A few weeks back I purchased the wash tub bass DVD from you. I just want to let you know how much fun I'm having with it, I made the bass and its great. Thank you so much for producing what you did and your son was just amazing in it!

T. V.

Bethel, Vermont


April 29, 2007

 Hey Ryan,

One week after NEFFA and I've been working away on Lesson 1 in your Banjo

kit. By george, I think I've got it ! Getting ready to go on to Lesson 2.

Thanks for the great teaching method you use on your DVD's. They're

definitely working for me.


Toronto, ON Canada


March 1, 2007

 I just happened upon your web site and I spent quite a bit of time reading all of the interesting areas. I found it to be very well done and very interesting.


Durham, New Hampshire


 February 5, 2007

 I love this book. (Folk Musician's Working Guide) I play clawhammer banjo by ear and was mystified by some things.


Port Townsend, Washington


December 9, 2006

 Hi Ryan:

I am enjoying your instructional materials. Learning has been fun.

Happy Holidays! Thanks,

R. S.

Margaretville, NY


November 30, 2006

 Hi captain fiddle!

I'm Matteo from Italy. I already have your dvd on piano accompaniment and I would like to know if you are going to realize the level 2......

thanks so much U R GREAT




October 24, 2006


 I received your Clawhammer Banjo Kit yesterday. It's FANTASTIC! I am so pleased with the way

you teach. I may eventually get your fiddle course. Thanks again,

D. C.

Jenkintown, Pennsylvania


Sept 26, 2006

 I have really enjoyed your Fiddler's Almanac, thanks for sharing your wisdom!

K. C.

Chantilly, Virginia


September 18, 2006

Hi, received the cd/tab book yesterday. Love your playing and choice of tunes. All I have to do now is get down working my way through the tab!

Cheers, F. ( just north of Liverpool on the Irish Sea coast)


September 14, 2006

 Hey Ryan,

 Just writing to say thank you for your performance at our wedding reception. We recieved so many compliments on the music. We had a number of overseas guests who had never heard Cajun or Old-Time music and they all loved it! I especially enjoyed jamming with you all for a few tunes. Thanks for adding a special touch to our wedding day!

B. and M.


August 8, 2006

 Thank you for making our festival a great event!

 A. T.


July 15, 2006

 Dear Ryan - I thought you would enjoy having these photos from the Arts Conference - I always get duplicates. It was a wonderful week for me - thank you so much for your generous musical gifts to us - the music that just seems to "happen" is always a treat.


Hamden, Connecticut


July 4, 2006

 Hi, I just ordered your Great Bay Stomp tab book (I already own the CD and really enjoy it).


San Francisco, Califronia


June 28, 2006

 Thanks again for a wonderful, informative and entertaining week. (Star Island Conference on the Arts)


Plymouth, Massachussetts


June 26, 2006

 thanks alot for putting together such a great book of chords; i already have one and wanted another for a gift.


Lowelville, Ohio


June 13, 2006

 Thank you again - we all loved your music.

D. H.

Kingston, NY


May 24, 2006

 Ryan - I really like both CDs! I play the contra dancing one while shaving and showering - good acoustics in the bathroom!



Newburyport, Massachusetts

May 6, 2006

 It was a pleasure working with you. Everyone said great things about you too. Thank you for adding something very special to an already special day.

L.H. New York


February 28, 2006

 Dear Ryan,

I just wanted to let you know I received your book and have really enjoyed using it. Several of our friends play various instruments and jam regularly. I don't play by ear or read music well, so your book has allowed me to play along with most of the tunes they play. Thanks so much. 

C. B.

Stewartstown, Pennsylvania


December 6, 2005

 We went to your fiddle workshop at Nomad ages ago and have since taken up the fiddle. Liked your first book so much I am getting this one for my daughter for Christmas.




November 15, 2005

 Dear Ryan,

 Thank you again for bringing your wonderful musical talent to our wedding. It was so much fun and a real pleasure to meet you - Your playing added so much.


 La Jolla, California


November 4, 2005

 Thanks so much. I played music last night with a group in C. (9 fiddles, 2 mandolins and a couple of guitars - talk about a wall of fiddles!) and one of the players had your book. I'm one of the mando players, but your chord book is perfect to tuck in the case when we come up against a tune we don't know.

M. J.


Oct 10, 2005

 Thank you. Your kind gift to Light the Night Again! will help lighten the lives of patients and their families cared for by Seacoast Hospice. On behalf of River Woods at Exeter and Seacoast Hospice, and those they serve, we acknowledge your generosity and we thank you warmly.


August 29, 2005

 Hi There: Heard your music on Sandy Sheehan's show(WUMB). I loved it & thanks for the free shipping(much appreciated especially for a music fanatic like myself). Keep the great music coming. All the best,

John C.

Boston, MA


May 19, 2005

 Hi Ryan,

 Thanks for the book! I have been benefiting from your helpful suggestions -- I especially took to the advice of practicing all patterns through the circle of 5ths (F# and C# -- yuck!). It's also very nice to have discography, printed material and camp resources all in one place.

thanks again!

C. B.

Minneapolis, MN


May 9, 2005

 Dear Mr Thomson

 Our Enrichment Day was a tremendous success due to your generous contribution of time, effort, and enthusiasm. The students here are still talking about the things they learned and the activities they experienced first hand.

thank you again,

Diane Sawyer, Enrichment Day Coordinator

Cooperative Middle School

Stratham, New Hampshire


April 26, 2005

 I strolled by your workshop and it certainly looked like the kids were enjoying

themselves. I'd love to have a day like that! Thank you so much for coming and

sharing your talents.

Dale Velena,

Oyster River Arts Fest


March 16, 2005

 Thanks for bringing a special touch to our wedding. We received several compliments from our guests on your music and everyone said it made the dinner quite special.

P and K. M.



February 6, 2005

Thank you, Ryan, for entertaining at our Parish Appreciation Social. We all enjoyed your music. Thanks again.


St. Mary's Church

Rochester, New Hampshire


January 15, 2005

 Dear Ryan,

 Thank you for doing such a fabulous job playing at our October 23rd wedding. You were so easy t work with. It helped make a stressful time that much easier. We only wish we'd been in the room to hear more of your music! What we heard was exactly what we'd hoped to have at our wedding, and our guests had a ton of praise for your fiddling as well. Wishing you all the best in the new year,


Natick, Massachusetts


January 9, 2005

 Hi Ryan,

 I got your CD a few days ago, so the shipping was very fast!

 It´s a nice CD, good no-extra-frills old-time sound! Of different banjo

styles I like most clawhammer and Irish tenor, so I'm happy to have your CD.

Clawhammer solo albums are not especially numerous...;-)


Helsinki, Finland


January 9, 2005

 WOW! thank you so much! We got your booklet and built the washtub very easily with your excellent instructions...



December 30, 2004


Loved the c.d. Because we listen to Bluegrass every Saturday night after Prairie Home Companion, our son was given the Saturday Night Fiddler, which he thought was very special. George got the cajun and I, got much more perfect could it have been....

Thank you so much!



December 27, 2004 -

 My son is enjoying your first left handed banjo lesson and I'm sure once he's learned the first, he'll be wanting your second version lesson.



November 4, 2004

 Dear Ryan,

 Just a little note to let you know that we were so impressed with your musical talents! All of our guests commented about the outstanding music. Thank you for helping to make our 300th house celebration such a special and memorable day for all!

with sincere appreciation,

the G. family

Marshfield, Massachusetts


October 23, 2004

 Dear Ryan,

Thank you for helping to make our wedding day so special, and for being so easy to work with.

A. and M.

Natick, Massachusetts


October 18, 2004

 Hi, Ryan -- Thanks for playing at the Manchester dance. We had a great time being away, and I understand the dancers had a great time while you were there!



September 22, 2004

 Hi Ryan,

THANKS for sticking with us on Saturday. You were a trooper--and definitely added a bit of cheer to an otherwise pretty dreary day! Plus--you made the paper (nice photo!) On Sunday the crowds came out with the sun, and we had our best day ever. Thanks again for being with us this year, even in the wet and soggy circumstances. We really appreciated your music and your good spirits.

Suki Casanave

Festival Co-Chair, Newmarket Heritage Festival


September 12, 2004

 Ryan I hope you enjoyed your time in P.E.I. Claire enjoyed her lessons with you.

J. Q.

West Boylston, Massachusetts


August 28, 2004


 We'd like to thank you for a wonderful performance last Saturday -- it was all we had hoped for and more. Everyone attending said they had a mighty time. Your fine music made the afternoon fly -- and we had nothing but complements about you're playing. We'll keep track of you on your web site -- we'd certainly like to hear a few more of your performances and we do get up your way quite frequently.

Thanks again.


Dedham, Massachusetts


August 20, 2004

Hi Ryan,

I was at the class you taught in Eastham on Cape Cod. I had  a great time learning fiddle techniques and tunes from you.

K. B.

Eastham, MA


June 30, 2004

 Dear Capt. Fiddle,

Thank you so much for making the long and perilous journey to the Cape last night to teach us.

I think that I echo everyone who was there in saying thank you, we all enjoyed it immensely and found it very helpful. Hope to see you soon.

Another aspiring fiddler,



June 30, 2004

 Hey Ryan-thanks soooo much for our class last night. I really enjoyed it. I am the biggest novice of our fiddle group and my teacher stopped giving lessons so I am just learning from the group now. Of course if I practiced more I would get better but there is only so much time in a week when you work full time. I know...a bad excuse is better than none. Anyway, I will listen to your tapes and try to play along as many of the songs are ones the group does that I don't know. Hope you had fun and a safe trip home. Come again sometime when you can spend some time and enjoy the Cape.



June 30, 2004

 Hi Ryan!

Thank you so much for making the long trek to Cape Cod (Land's End!) to share your time, energy and gift of music with our fiddle group! You reached all levels of players with your down to earth, calm and fun approach to learning. The tips you gave us were invaluable and we love the new tune we learned.


I've been receiving emails all morning thanking me for working on creating a "master class" track for our group.....most of whom have never had any classes or specialized training. I'm so happy that L. recommended you to us and assisted in getting you on our calendar!!! I think you are the favorite by far!!!!


I had to chuckle as this morning several emails indicated friends had stayed up last nite to listen to your cds or tapes! HA! That is certainly the sign of getting motivated and excited about the potential learning ahead.


I hope you got to drive out to Ptown and experience the Outer Cape and how wonderful this area is......I've only been here three years but it is a special place.


K. is very excited (the "maybe" left hander!) that she will be in your neck of the woods for school this fall and may be able to do some studying with you....we are all jealous! Can't tell you how many comments I've already received wishing you were closer to take lessons from. I said that is where your resources can help us out......I have picked out so MANY of your books and CDs to much music, so little time!!!!


Ryan, it was such a pleasure having you among are a real treasure! May our paths cross in the future....and thank you again from a very appreciative new fan!!!!


Have a wonderful July 4th holiday!




June 30, 2004

 Dear Ryan,

I hope you enjoyed your time at the cape and teaching us as much as we did! I found your teaching style to be just excellent! I appreciated the slow build up to the tune. I'm sure I will enjoy the CDs and hope to send for more in the future.

I hope we can get you to come back and teach again, too!



June 17, 2004

 I just got it* and played through about half the book. Lots of variety, crystal clear printing, no spine to mess with...I'm very impressed. I can see using this book for a long, long time. Thanks for putting it together.


Columbus, Ohio

*Waltzes for Folk Instruments and Country Dancing


June 15, 2004


Thanks so much. I'm FINALLY starting to get this clawhammer style.....and it is really a lot of fun. Your DVD is "a picture being worth a thousand words". So, these songs are really getting fun to play. Thanks again.

M. M.

Nashville, Tennessee


June 13, 2004

 I'm retired, and I enjoy music as a student. I must say that I really enjoyed your book, "Fiddler's Almanac.......I was amazed how jam packed with facts, stories, varied articles and down right good info."


Aston, PA


June 8, 2004

 Dear Ryan,

Thanks so much for braving the cold and rain to come play at this year's festival. I wish the weather had been better so more people could have heard you, but those who did really enjoyed it. Many thanks,

Susan and the festival committee

Hadley Spring Arts Festival


June 7, 2004,


 Thank you, very much, for performing at our event. You were great and what a nice personality you have!! I look forward to hearing you play at other events (and maybe at our's again next year!!). Your donation of time and talent is much appreciated!

Linda Higgins

Executive Director

Ethel's Tree of Life, Inc.


May 20, 2004


 I am a purchaser of your Great Bay Bay Stomp CD and Tab and have since learned many of the tunes. It is a really great CD and I continue to enjoy it very much, especially when playing it on my Honda Goldwing while cruising down the road.


Bremerton, Washington


May 20, 2004

 Dear Ryan,

 Thank you very much for sharing your story with the Fort Worden Oral History Program. Your memories are a precious gift, one that only you could give to the future. We are working to make them accessible to scholars, genealogists, and historians by archiving the tapes, transcripts and other memorabilia according to professional standards.

Patience Rogge

Fort Worden History Center


May 10, 2004

 Hi Ryan,

 First, I want to greatly thank you for writing the book "A Folk Musician's Working Guide

To Chords, Keys, Scales, And More." I had put off my passion for music till "midlife" and now I am trying to quickly learn the crucial basics while an hour glass snickers behind me. Your book is clear, concise, greatly needed and ... approachable. Nice job.


New Hampshire


May 5, 2004

 Thanks Ryan,

 Please pass this note along. I'm spreadin the fiddlin' fever out here in the Rockies - teaching lessons from the lessons my father taught me from the lessons you taught him.


Lake City, Colorado


May 3, 2004

 Dear Mr. Ryan Thomson,

 I received your excellent CD named "Great Bay Stomp" and

their Banjo Tab Book today. I received it by perfect safety package.

I have listened your CD soon. I like your clawhammer style very much.

And your tab book is wonderful. I am enjoying your tablature and

very rare pictures on it. Thank you very much. I don't forget your kindness.


Tokyo, Japan


April 29, 2004

 You always seem to have such a fun group*, and such wonderful music. 

Thanks - Cathy Walz

Director - Kittery Adult Education


*I taught an 8 week course in "How to Play in A Contra Dance Band, " finishing up with a contra dance at the last session.


April 17, 2004

 Dear Ryan, i loved your C.D. it was great, I have been listening to it alot. anyone into good clawhammer music should hear this album. thanks again.

M. E.

New Orleans, Louisiana


March 26, 2004

 Hi Ryan, heard your music, inspired, bought a open backed

banjo, and being taught "clawhammer drop thumb" way

of playing. thank you for "getting me goin" glad you

like our music god bless

K. W.

Wales, UK


March 22, 2004 the way, I have your banjo CD and your learn the fiddle CD/Book set, Enjoying them a lot! Your playing motivates me to reach new levels. Thanks for the motivation and inspiration!

T. L.

West Sand Lake, New York


February 3, 2004

 Dear Captain Fiddle,

 I'm tired of loaning out my book, so would like to purchase two more: the Great Bay Stomp banjo tablature....




January 24, 2004

 Fast delivery and the clawhammer CD is awesome...well worth the money!!!


November 11, 2003

 Dear Captain Fiddle,

 I loved your music. It was EXACTLY what I had envisioned for my wedding. Thanks so much for agreeing to be present.




November 7, 2003

 Hi, I really enjoyed Great Bay Stomp CD! It is hard to find good clawhammer solo work--I really dug it. I was trying to figure out what tuning you were playing "Cold Frosty Morning", because I only know how to play it in the "sawmill tuning".




November 4, 2003

 Dear Ryan I wanted to thank you again for performing at the Richmond Blueberry Fiddle Festival. We really enjoyed your music and wanted to thank your for the two CD's you gave us. With your help, the festival was a big success for the first year.

Sister M. P

Immaculate Heart of Mary School


Oct 5, 2003


I have several if not all of your cds. I find them very helpful and very rewarding to learn something by listening. I am an adult fiddler that just started teaching myself 3 years ago. Ok so I learned Jesusita Lindo Polka, great song! Fun to play!



May 18, 2003

 Ryan ! 

I found you on the net a year or so ago, lucky me. I ordered the cd's for learning fiddle, I was a little premature for your cd's but I'm glad now I have them, so much to learn by my self. 

L. S.

Gallop, New Mexico


April 10, 2003


Thank you so very much for the "Tune Collector" sampler CD you sent me. I've got it on right now and it is really good. I really like the diverse mixture of tunes you got on there. I'm a "tune collector" myself, but I have no musical talent. Instead, I own 3000+ CDs and DJ on college radio. By the way, I'll be featuring your CD in its entirety on my May 4 program. Once again, thanks for the CD and for keeping the music alive...

Johnny Timewarp (Matt Schuyler)

WFCS 107.7 FM


March 25, 2003

 Dear Mr. Thomson

The Newmarket Historical Society thanks you very much for joining us last evening and giving us such a fun and interesting talk on music. We enjoyed hearing you play and learning about the different instruments. I do hope you will join us again. 


Corresponding Secretary

Eleanor McCormick


March 13, 2003

 Hi Ryan,

Last Fall your performance at our Jumelage dinner was a delight to everyone. So, we are having a similar dinner on Friday, May 4, this time with a "seafood" theme, and were hoping that you might be available, and interested, in a return gig

P. K.

Winchester/St Germain en Laye twin-city group


March 10, 2003

 I love the Captain Fiddle's Tunebook #1 Its my favorite thing to read when I get home from work.



March 8, 2003


 I received the CD and tab book and wanted to tell you how much I am enjoying both of them. I really like your clawhammer style. The tab book is very helpful in learning the tunes the way you play them. Any more clawhammer publications in the future?

 Thanks Again!

D. A.

Winter Park, Florida


January 10, 2003


I just received your Banjo Solo CD - I love it!!! 


Bogalusa, Louisiana


January 2, 2003

 Dear Ryan,

Thank you for sending your CD. The music you make is so fantastic. Thank you so much for being able to help children smile. It is great to turn to your music just to help a child as they struggle with challenge.

Elaine Tillman - Wish Coordinator

Springfield Regional Center

Springfield, Missouri


December 16, 2002


 I'll pass on a quick story. I went to a dance camp a few summers ago in Buffalo Gap. Never did anything like it . I'm an electronic musician, had bought a 12 string acoustic a few years back and enjoy playing it. They were forming a waltz band at the camp and I was eager to learn but didn't know many of the songs. The camp had a little shop filled with all things dance, including your books, including the 1400 fiddle tunes. I bought it, and in a few days was up and performing in a waltz band filled with guitarists and fiddlers. What a great time that was. I'll never forget it. Thanks for making it easy to make music.

all the best,


Silver Springs, Maryland


December 1, 2002

 I E Mailed you a few months ago asking for advice on playing the Polka in an exam. I took your advice and kept to the Polka rhythm throughout and have just got my results and am pleased to say that I got 97%. (Distinction) Thank you very much for your time. I am now a great fan of the Polka and have bought more Polka tunes to play and have been adapting other tunes, so I can now play a few medleys in the style of the Polka. I will always be greatful to you. I live in England and getting help from someone so far away is magical. A Big THANK YOU once again.


E. L.



November 21, 2002


 Bravo! Great class! Thanks again for such a wonderful class*..... I loved hearing the music each

week and the event last night was wonderful. Thanks for all the work you put into this class.

Pauli Rines, Director

Kittery Adult Education


*I taught an 8 week course in "How to Play in A Contra Dance Band, " finishing up with a contra dance at the last session.


September 23, 2002

 Dear Mr. Thomson:

 Thank you for granting the Lincoln Center Institute permission to use excerpts from the Fiddler's Almanac in our "Window on the Work."

Best wishes,

Alison Lehner-Quam

Library and Publications Director

Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education


August 1, 2002

 Thank you for being part of New England Folk Festival

Angela Taylor



July 24, 2002


Mr. Thomson, you kindly sent me your demo CD a few months ago, and after a hectic summer, I am only now finding time to review it. It's wonderful! Your skill on such a variety of instruments is quite impressive.


S.D. Coordinator 



July 9. 2002

 Great little book! Exactly what I needed. Thanks a bunch! (Fiddle and Violin Buyer's Guide)



July 8, 2002

 I checked out your 1985 Fiddler's Almanac from my local library, I enjoyed it very much. And judging from the condition of the book so have many others.



June 22, 2002


Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with us.


Muriel Orcutt

ASTA /NSOA American String Teachers Association


June 11, 2002

 Thank you. You were terrific.

 Barbara Massar, Production Coordinator

Market Square Day 2002 25th Anniversary Celebration


May 3, 2002

 Dear Ryan, 

On behalf of the students, administration, faculty and Cultural Arts Committee, I would like to thank you for donating your time and talent at the 2002 Oyster River Arts Fair. The students truly enjoyed the experience. We hope you enjoyed your time with them as well.

Don Lafferty,


Oyster River High School, Durham, New Hampshire


May 2, 2002

 Ryan....I like the CD....good fiddling work!!!!....I'm an old time fiddler

too here in the Atlanta I can relate (Flop Eared Mule)


Atlanta, Georgia


April 13, 2002

 Smooth!!! Great clawhammer banjo picken!!!!! Thanks



April 11, 2002

 Every banjo lover should have Ryan's Great Bay Stomp CD. It's terrific!


April 2, 2002

 I wanted to let you know I received the book, and am enjoying the heck out of it. (Fiddler's Almanac)


Malapan, New Jersey


February 24, 2002

 I thoroughly enjoyed your performance at the Stratham NH school a

few weeks past.



Dover, NH

Jan 18, 2002


I received the Fiddler's Almanac in today's mail. I got so engrossed in it that I am just now

getting this acknowledgement off to you. I am enjoying the heck out of the wide variety of

information you have compiled and the anecdotal stories are great fun! By the way, a personal

friend of mine is mentioned several times in your book. His name is Byron Berline.




Dec 24, 2001


The CD arrived and it is a lot of fun to listen to. I am relearning frailing

after many years of playing bluegrass. More recently I am playing Irish Tenor

banjo mainly to get back to my roots. Old Time seems to fit right in. 

 M. K.


December 19, 2001

 Hey Ryan, I got the Almanac and its great.


T. A.

St Charles, Missouri


December 4, 2001

 Dear Ryan, 

Thanks for your site! My part of the world isn't filled with Scottish fiddlers,

and browsing your articles has made me feel a bit more connected. 


Akron, Ohio


December 4, 2001

 Received it today, and it is great! (Great Bay Stomp banjo CD)


Yakima, Washington


December 3, 2001

 Hi Ryan,

 .........I think I got a great deal. I still enjoy your cd "Flop-eared Mule."


Pinole, California


December 1, 2001

 Ryan- the CD got here today- sounds great. Thanks a lot. (Newmarket Duets) Would your

music theory book be helpful to an "advanced beginner/ early intermediate mando picker? Santa's been asking what I want!



November 30, 2001


 Just wanted to let you know how much we appreciated your joining us and performing for our Russian guests on November 1. It was most gracious with such short notice and everyone had such a good time. Thanks again.

Macy Morse for

Portsmouth - Severodvinsk Connection


November 15, 2001


 Just a short note to let you know I received the banjo CD today. Thanks! It's great! I listened to it 3 times straight through, nice playing. Do you have any more banjo CD's that you have done? I love the fact that it is solo banjo too. I may order the tab book soon. Good job!

D. H.

Yakima, Washington


November 5, 2001


Received your CD today; am sitting here enjoying your playing! It is good listening and very good work! Cold, Frosty Morning is a very nice cut! I also like your Packers Falls! The "double bounce" on Soldier's Joy is a neat touch! (Great Bay Stomp)


Dayton, Ohio


November 5, 2001

 Hi Ryan, 

 I got the CD today. It's great. (Great Bay Stomp)


K. B.

Spring Hill, Florida


Oct 27, 2001

 Hi -- Received the CD (Newmarket Duets) yesterday and am enjoying it very much! Will

check into others later. 


Klamath Falls, Oregon


Oct 26, 2001


This is just a quick message to let you know that I received (and enjoyed playing) the "Flop Eared Mule" CD.

Thanks again,

C. S.



Oct 24, 2001

I received the " Fiddle and Violin Buyers Guide " and am very pleased with it.



October 20, 2001

 Dear Ryan,

 Thank you so much for being a part of the Maritime Folk Festival and all the wonderful music you brought with you.

Best regards and wishes for lifetimes of music.

Elsa Steffanson

Folk Horizons


Oct 5, 2001


 Thanks once again for all your help at our camp. We truly appreciate your talents, knowledge, enthusiasm, energy... Great reviews on your workshops!

Ellen Carlson and Kathy Zimpfer, Directors,

Fiddleheads String band Camp

Bristol, New Hampshire


Oct 2, 2001

 Hello Ryan, The book (Fiddler's Almanac) arrived today, nice book! You will be hearing from me for some other items in your catalog


Akron, Ohio.


Oct 1, 2001

 I recently bought the Great Bay Stomp CD from you and love it.




Sept 27, 2001

 Hi Ryan, project's done, your part sounds great! (I played accordion on Denis's new CD, "I Go Wild.")

Denis Coughlin



September 3, 2001

 I loved your CD, Ryan. You're really enjoying yourselves, and that's my first requirement for any music I listen to. I'm going to work on about three of the tracks, including that great chicken introduction. What a fine opener.



Aug 21, 2001

 Hi Captain Fiddle or Ryan,

I have ordered beginner fiddle tapes from you and they helped greatly.  I would be interested in getting mail and I thank you very much.

My name is H.W. and my address is.....


August 20, 2001


Hey Ryan, 

I've been playing along with your tapes since November of 2000 and I just went to my first Fiddle gig and was actually able to play along with my friends.  Thanks so much for the CDs they have really helped! 



July 2, 2001


Dear Ryan,

 On behalf of everyone here at Pro Portsmouth, as well as the tens of thousands of people who enjoyed the day, we want to thank you and your organization for your help in making Market Square Day 2001 the great success that it was.

thank you,

Sara Hamilton

Interim Executive Director


July 1, 2001

 Hello Ryan, the old time CD arrived at it's new home in fine shape yesterday. 

I'm playing it right now.  It's a toe-tapper! Love it.  

Thanks much.  



May 9, 2001

 Dear Mr. Thomson

 My sincere thanks for all of the wonderful music you provided to the annual South Boston's Saint Patrick's Day Breakfast. The Breakfast was a huge success, due in part to the fine performance by Curragh's Fancy. Please know that your contribution was greatly appreciated and noted by those in attendance. Once again, thank you for your wonderful talent and hard work.


Stephen F. Lynch

State Senator, Commonwealth of Massachusetts


May 7, 2001

Hi Ryan,

I received the CD and Book today in the mail. I am pleased with both items. I

sat right down and started reading the book and it is a 'good read'. ...

I just got through listening to the Newmarket Duets CD and I like it. I

especially liked the "3 tunes from Quebec" since they were new to me.I will

listen more thoroughly to the tunes as the time goes by.

Thanks again


New London, MN


May 3, 2001

Hi, Ryan,

I have enjoyed your fiddler's almanac very much. I received it from the ebay auction.


ingwood, TX


April 24, 2001


Just wanted to let you know i received your books and CD's. I have learned some valuable things and I know they will help me to improve my playing. 

Thank you, 

S. S.


April 14, 2001

Hi Ryan - 

Great that you had the evening free and could play with us. We had many compliments. 


Strathspey and Reel Society of New Hampshire

Tartan Ball


March 29, 2001

To the attention of Ryan THOMSON.

I'm G. P. S. I write from ITALY.

Thank you very, very, very much for the Cd you envoyed to me.

I already put it into my radio program and it had immediately a good success.

So thank you very much again and best regards.

G. P. S.


March 21, 2001

Dear Performer,

 Thank you for making the Downeast Country Dance Festival 2001 such a great success. We have been receiving wonderful feed back from the dancer's evaluation forms. We hope you enjoyed the festival as much as we enjoyed having you there.

 The Scheduling Committee


February 28, 2001

Thanks again for the fun evening...such a variety of ages to entertain...great job!  

Judi K. (Family Fiddle Fun)

Gilford Public Library

Gilford, New Hampshire

February 12, 2001


Hi Ryan,

I got the CD today (Great Bay Stomp) and am listening to it as I write. Nice sound and style.



February 5, 2001

OK got the CD. Its perfect. Just the simple. old timey, easy to hear music and a great selection of songs...some of my favorites and a few tunes new to me. Question: Do you publish the tablature to this CD? Would sure like to get it so I can use this to practice with.



Las Vegas, NV


January 17, 2001

Nice CD, Ryan. Thanks. I've just listened to "Give me Your Hand" about 10

times -- great traditional tune. (Newmarket Duets)

I'll have to think about some of your instructional materials, too. I'm

thinking about replacing my (first) student violin with something that has

more "character," better sound (no great hurry yet). You're the first one

I've seen who actually lists a "Buyer's Guide"!

B. W.

Champaign, Illinois


January 7, 2001

I've been playing clawhammer banjo for a few years but live in a place where I can't find a teacher. I bought your Great Bay Stomp cd and book at the Maritime Folk festival in Portsmouth this October and have been able to learn almost all the songs. Mostly I just played the CD lots and lots and after a few months the tunes were pretty familiar and that made it very easy to read the tab and get the sound right. Thanks a million. It has made playing the banjo a whole world of fun. 

D. H. 


December 25, 2000

Dear Captain Fiddle,

I am in possession of your excellent publication, Swing Fiddle, an Introduction. I am learning a great deal from it. I am a beginner fiddler. Please send me more information regarding your other publications Ryan Thomson. Thank you for your great contributions to the world of fiddling.

sincerely, J.M. 

Stuart, Florida


Dec 15, 2000

Hi Ryan,

I just purchased your fiddle buyer's guide. Good book and thanks again. I managed to pick up a nice Schweitzer copy at an auction recently. 




Dec 13, 2000

Hi there!

I received the Fiddler's Almanac today and it looks great! I can't wait to get into it! Thanks for signing it! I teach fiddle and step dancing full-time and I'm sure I will learn lots of new stuff to pass on to my students.

Fiddlingly Yours,




November 22, 2000

Dear Ryan,

The book arrived in pristine condition. Many thanks! It will make a great 

Christmas present for my niece the fiddler.

A. K.


November 16, 2000

...Also, on a personal note, I have befriended a classical violin teacher here in Switzerland who is giving me free lessons now so that I can learn a few "proper techniques". In turn, I am showing her how to improvise, some fiddling bowing action, and playing rhythm guitar while she tries her hand at country fiddling. It is a great arrangement. Yesterday I let her hear my copy of your solo fiddling CD and she absolutely loved it. I also lent her my copy of the Fiddler's Almanac, which she loves, and I will be giving her the second copy I bought from you as a gift when I return to Europe in December. I just wanted to say thanks for helping me bring a little of the good old music back to Europe. Wait till they hear the banjo in January. I am bringing it back with me on the plane as well. With the help of your CD and book, I should be claw hammering in no time! 

Yours Truly, 




November 2, 2000

To Ryan Thompson and his band, what can I say? You guys are the best, and the dance was really fun. My orchestra members left saying they wished we could do it every week. Thanks, Ryan, for a great evening the other night. It was a pleasure to hear you play, and great fun to dance. Everyone had a marvelous time.

Bob Eshbach

Director, UNH Symphony

Durham, New Hampshire


October 15, 2000

Hey Captain: I love your stuff. I started with the Beginner's Fiddle Book and tape and then went to CDs 2 - 5.........My dad has played fiddle since he was about 35. His father, whom I never met, also played fiddle. And now, at the age of 52 I have suddenly gotten the bug. Thanks to you and my dad, I can play about ahalf a dozen tunes where the dog doesn't howl anymore. Thanks.




Oct 25, 2000

Hello Ryan,

I received your package yesterday. It came very quickly, I was surprised. I LOVE both the book and the CD. They are both excellent tools for learning. The solo fiddle CD is perfect. It really lets you hone in on what the fiddle is doing. Your version of the Bonaparte's retreat is great. (Flop Eared Mule CD) I am working on that one now. I was really impressed to see the catalog, at the wealth of materials you have written. 

 Do you have any plans to record further solo fiddle CDs? I think it would be an excellent idea. I would buy them. It is hard to find old tunes like Billy in the Low Ground and the Arkansas Traveler. ... I appreciate your time and courtesy. You have already greatly helped my fiddling. Take care, 

 J. C



August 18, 2000


Thanks again for a wonderful performance at both Market Square Day and Exeter. Fiddling in Europe sounds like a great way to spend your summer.




July 10, 2000

Dear Ryan,

 This is a belated "hello" and thank you for fiddling with my son and me at the Old Songs Festival outside of Albany, New York. Your suggestions on improving Will's banjo technique were great. Will is visiting with his grandparents for a couple of weeks and expressed an interest in working on some new banjo songs. Enclosed is a check for your Great Bay Stomp CD and book of Tablature.

 very truly yours,


Slingerlands, New York


July 7, 2000

Hi Ryan,

Just wanted to let you know that I like your CD very much!  I wish when I got it that I had known you had a tab book to go with it!  Bet I would like that, too.  Hope the check arrived OK and that you are having a good vacation.


C. T.


July 3, 2000

I just received my signed 1985 copy of the Fiddler's Almanac.  I am so engrossed I could barely put it down to write to you.  But when I saw the print on page 2 of the Angel playing the violin with the children at her feet I just had to stop and ask you if this print is available for purchase

anywhere.  If you could tell me what it's called or tell me where I can obtain one I would be so grateful.  It is just beautiful.  Every illustration in the almanac is, to me, just breathtaking.  I am so thrilled to have this copy. No bidder would have appreciated it more. I will treasure it always. 

And I have to admit the picture of Ryan on page 138 just blew me away.  What a hunk! I wish I could hear him play. I would also like to know how far is Newmarket from Londonderry?  I have a brother in Londonderry and never bothered to visit, since I am in Florida.  However, a trip to

your store would be a thrill for me!  I do so want to be a fiddle player someday.  I've only just begun, considering I've only played 18 months or so, but you are correct when you say this almanac would set a fiddler's desire on fire!  I want it more now than ever and I'm not a teenager anymore!  I hope to hear from you soon.  And thanks again for the almanac - it's priceless!  




June 18, 2000 


I just wanted to personally thank you for donating your time to the Ranger Foundation.  Market Square Day was very successful for us and your performance added substantially to that success.  I am including a copy of a letter Tom Cocchiaro, The Ranger Board Chairman, sent to the Portsmouth Herald. Also, if you have any suggestions that could improve upon this year please feel free to send them along.




June 9, 2000

Hi Ryan,

I just wanted you to know that I received the book (Fiddle and Violin Buyer's Guide) and am very pleased with it. I started reading it almost right away and had a hard time putting it down. Very interesting! Thanks a bunch

C. B.


June 6, 2000

Hi there Ryan

Your memory and musical discrimination were right on target last Thursday night. ....Thank you for a pleasant series of classes.(Kittery adult education fiddle classes) See you next fall or so.


East Taunton, Massachusetts


June 1, 2000

I'm really enjoying my cd and just ordered your book to it. this is really 

great and look forward to many more cds you have. (Great Bay Stomp)

thank you,

D. P.

Dayton, Ohio


April 29, 2000

Hello Ryan,

I just received the Almanac today (Saturday).

WOW!!! This is going to keep me busy for a while. Lots of fascinating things in there for a fiddle lover. You did a hell of a job with this publication...nice work!!!

Thanks Ryan,


Malden, Massachusetts


April 27, 2000

Hello! Ryan,

Thank you for sending the two books. I received them yesterday. Your books are exceptionally impressive....FIDDLER AND VIOLIN BUYERS GUIDE BOOK, and THE FIDDLER'S ALMANAC. Thank you for your autograph, too. I am truly impressed with the way you run your business. Truly.




April 14, 2000

Hey Ryan,

I received the Fiddler's Almanac and your cd today. Thanks for the autograph too. Your fiddling style reminds me of a legendary Irish fiddler from Co. Clare, Paddy Canny. 

Thanks again.


Albuquerque, New Mexico


April 10, 2000

Howdy Captain Fiddle! - I recently got the high bid on a copy of your fiddler's almanac. Anyhow..... I just finished reading your fine book and just wanted to tell you how much I

enjoyed every page. I'm 28 years old and just started playing the fiddle this year and I can't believe how happy it has made me. Your book has even managed to make me even more excited about fiddle music! I've played guitar and mandolin for years (and made a few too) and I can tell that the fiddle will continue to be a bigger and bigger part of my life. My fears of beginning the instrument too late in life have been happily subdued with every practice session, every perusal of your book, and every time I listen to the music. Thanks for sharing all your information and putting it all

together so nicely. I don't mean to ramble on - just thought you'd like to know that your book did its job. You made a fellow fiddler very happy.

Thanks again and take care, 



April 3, 2000


 A very special thank you for the beautiful music you provided us with 

yesterday. We all really enjoyed your playing. Thank you for the excellent musical 

choices. I think the selections you made were precisely what I wanted and the music 

just "made" the party!

Thanks so very, very much for making so many people happy.


M. H.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire


April 2, 2000

Dear Mr. Thomson:

I believe I met you years ago at the festival at Univ. of Mass at Dartmouth, when I bought your Tune book #1, thinking that someday it might be interesting to look at.

I pulled it out of its hiding place last year, when my son Sam, age 7, and I needed a little bit of relaxation from the daily grind of Suzuki repertoire, and it became our guide into the world of fiddling.

We've acquired a lot of books since then, but keep coming back to yours, as the best balance between being too easy (like the Mel Bay Easy Fiddling Book) or too challenging (but instructive!) like the Mel Bay "Fiddling Across America."


Marion, Massachusetts


March 31, 2000


I got the book/tape. Thanks! Although I'm not purchased instructional

fiddle books before, I have purchased many for guitar. Your publication

seems to be much better thought out than most and the tunes are great.

I'll keep you appraised of my progress.

Thank you and all the best.

A. F.

Baldwinsville, New York


March 17, 2000

Hey there,

Well awwwright!!!! Great CD. I am really impressed with Packers have lots of talent. I play old timey banjo, and I am always 

interested in hearing fellow players. I like the sound you have, did you 

record that in a studio? I am in the process of figuring how to get a decent 

"home" recording. Mic vs. hook up in to the tape player or 

directional mic.....I am not sure.

Anyhow...have you any Tab books of your music? I would gladly buy one. What 

type of banjo do you play?

keep on keepn' on,



Feb 21, 2000


Once again, it was a wonderful performance!! (Crawdad Wranglers concert) Several of us are thinking of attending the March 25th event you mentioned. 


Pamela Wildes

Assistant to the Director

Institute for the Study of

Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS)

University of New Hampshire

Thank you Ryan for the information about the check . By the way, my daughter loves the CD! (Flop Eared Mule) She plays the fiddle also. My great great grandfather played her fiddle in the mining camps in the 1860's.He was blind and part of a group of 4 called the Blind Troupe or( blind boys ). They performed also in many towns along the North Coast, even in our town of Red Bluff I found an article about when they played here.

Keep up the good work! 



January 9, 2000

 Dear Ryan,

Happy New Year 2000. Once again, many thanks to you and Brian for your very enjoyable presentation, with so many musical instruments in our Extended Day Program for the Ipswich students on December 16, 1999.

Wilma S. Gooby

Director of Extended Day Program


Dec 2, 1999


Just a follow up:

I received the Flop Eared Mule CD and the Fiddler's Almanac on Monday 11/29/99 in good condition. 

Have listened to the CD numerous times already. Great CD and I enjoy your old 

timey style. Same style I play too.



November 30, 1999

Got the CD yesterday and listened to it last night. Great job. Nice

selection of tunes and played very well. (Great Bay Stomp)




November 26, 1999

Hey you probably don't remember me from a few weeks ago. I was asking what 

the difference between a fiddle and a violin were. Well, I went to the 

Music store and bought me a 21yr old fiddle and bow for $220. Believe it or 

not, the first time I ever picked one up , My parents actually let me play 

in the house. And they can recognize what I'm playing. But again, thanks 

for your help, and Happy Fiddling.



November 15, 1999 

Hi. I'm sure you don't remember me. I ordered and received your beginner tape and book about 1 month ago. We exchanged an email and your encouragement was great. I just wanted to update you on my progress, due to your instruction.


Sunday, I played a real fiddle tune successfully for family and friends at an annual chicken stew! This is an event I've attended and dreamed of impressing the crowd with my very own fiddling for 15 years! It's one that my Daddy once played at and his presence was sorely missed when he died in '87. My fiddling wasn't perfect, but good enough to grab their attention and show some promise.


I played "Boil Them Cabbages Down" and wanted to thank you for the clear, step by step instruction your materials offered. The folks that play bluegrass/old time fiddle around here are good at playing but, they're shy and backward when it comes to teaching someone else.


I'm now working on "Old Joe Clark" which is a little more challenging. The great tip about leaving the fiddle out on a table for easy pick up has helped greatly too. I jokingly tell friends I have the fiddling fever. I often hear the tunes in my head when I lay down at night. My children go around the house humming my songs, too. 


You were right about the clogging, too. My children love to dance while I play and that encourages me even more. I didn't realize how much dancers seem to applaud the players before now.

Anyway, thanks again. I really think I'm gonna be a fiddler!

Best wishes,

J. M.

Low Gap, North Carolina


Oct 29, 1999

Dear Mr. Thomson

Thank you for being a part of Jackson Hill Cider Day. Your music added a special tone to the day and the event.

Peter Michaud

Society for Preservation of New England Antiquities


Oct 20, 1999

Thank you for helping us create a wonderfully successful event! The crowd was pleased.

 Karen Goddard

Chair, Harvest River Festival

Nashua, New Hampshire


October 6, 1999


Thanks for the absolutely delightful time on Sunday! Enclosed please find your honorarium.

S.S. Kensington Public Library


September 28, 1999

Dear Ryan,

Thank you so much for your participation in our Ist annual Fall Festival at Harold Parker State Forest....We also hope that you will again be willing to participate.

B.B. State Forest Interpreter


September 28, 1999


I would like to thank you again for stopping by the radio station. I really enjoyed your passion for your music. Its a joy to see someone be so happy. It made me happy too! Thank you!

Kenny Tibbetts

Atlantic Star Communications Inc.


August 29, 1999

Hello Ryan,

A few years ago I found your fiddle book at our library and I really enjoyed it, last week I checked it out again and read it through.

S. C.

Battle Ground, Washington State


August 23, 1999


Do you teach beginner fiddle? I enjoyed learning form you at SAMW, you explain things well and don't intimidate the hell out of me! Plus, you're the only person who ever explained theory in a way that I understood. I know you're a ways away, but I travel a lot so it would be no big deal for me.


Boston, Massachusetts


Aug 21, 1999

Good Evening Ryan:

Your Flop Eared Mule CD arrived today and sounds terrific.


Rapid City, South Dakota


August 18, 1999


The Fiddle and Violin Buyer's Guide arrived safely today. Thanks! I enjoyed

reading it.



August 16, 1999

Dear Ryan

You helped make this festival a success.

Angela Taylor

New England Folk Festival


August 4, 1999

Hello Mr. Thomson,

Just letting you know I received your New Hampshire Hornpipe CD and I love 

it! Have you ever performed here on Long Island by any chance?

Thanks and good day!!!!!

C. R.

Commack, New York


Aug 2, 2001

Thank you for being a part of New England Folk Festival. Hope that you had a good time.

Angela Taylor


June 29, 1999

got the fiddle & bow guide, thanks for fast svc and I am enjoying the book.



June 24, 1999

Thank you for your prompt response. I've already read the book through once and was

very pleased with it. I'm 40 and took up the fiddle two years ago( I've played guitar for

26 years). .....Your book has a lot of information that will be great to have at my finger tips, it lives up to all the reviews I read.(Swing Fiddle)

Thanks again

Hope to see you play sometime

M. B.


April 27, 1999

The fiddle book (The Fiddler's Almanac) arrived yesterday and it is great. My husband loves it. He

is always looking for new fiddle books that he doesn't have. We will be looking forward to dealing with you again. 


Fishers, Indiana


April 22, 1999


I am really enjoying the cd! (New Hampshire Hornpipe) Tell me about your cajun cd... Are there vocals? I am specifically seeking music that I can ride my horses in rhythm with the music?

That means 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 time? Some of the pieces on the cd I purchased from you are suitable and extremely original and fun!

Thank you very much!!


Groton, NY


March 29, 1999

Dear Capt. Fiddle

A few years ago I ordered a Fiddle method from Captain Fiddle. I learned the first song, Bile Them Cabbages Down, the first time I tried to play. I mainly play guitar, but your method got me playing fast. Thanks for the help.


North Richland Hills, Texas


March 10, 1999

Dear Ryan,

Thank you so very much for participating in the Celebration of the Arts at the Main Street School. The staff and all of the students greatly enjoyed your "fiddling" talents. It was very generous of you to spend a day sharing your craft with the children. I hope that you enjoyed it as well. Thanks again,

Robin Baker


March 2, 1999

Dear Sir,

Your website is outstanding. It is effective and easy to get around in. Mr. Thomson has a very interesting line of products and services. My show is "Old Time Country and Bluegrass." On the program I have all kinds of Folk, Country, Celtic, and Cajun music.....

Thank you and God Bless,

Bob Newton, WHDM radio, McKensie, Tennessee


February 25, 1999

Hi Ryan,

Just a note that I received the book today in great shape, I read some

of it and was highly impressed with it. I'm also going to order the

Fiddle and Violin Buyer's Guide from you. It's good doing business with





February 23, 1999

Hi Ryan,

Received your book. What a treasure!! Thanks for autographing it. (Fiddler's Almanac) Did you

ever write and publish Vol. 2 and if so, is it available? .....Thanks again.



February 17, 1999

Your books and tapes are great!


Hillsboro, NH


February 6, 1999

Thanks Ryan, 

 .....Incidentally, I recently bought your Fiddlers Almanac on e-bay, and am enjoying it!) 



Raleigh, North Carolina


January 12, 1999


I went to fiddle camp this summer in Bristol and learned a lot from you.

do you hold jam sessions or know of any coming up? or can you put me in

touch with fiddlers who wouldn't mind an intermediate beginning fiddler

playing with them?



New Hampshire


January 11, 1999

Dear Captain Fiddle -

I enjoyed looking over some of your publications while visiting the Country Dance and Song Society office recently. Please send me a listing of your fiddling-related publications. I learned violin as a school kid in the 60's, and have recently picked up my violin again, aiming to fiddle-style play. I'm an avid English Country dancer.



Worcester, Massachusetts


January 11, 1999

 ..... Also wanted to let you know my wife and I are really enjoying

The Fiddler's Almanac. It is very interesting. It sounds like you

are about the same age as we are. We, however, only began the fiddle

a few years ago. I don't know if we'll ever amount to much starting

this late in life, but we are enjoying it.


New Cumberland, Pennsylvania


January 11, 1999


Just got your CD, very nice. Any more banjo solo's in the future?

Play some myself and love listening to others.

 E. S.

January 2, 1999

I am a fledgling fiddler, even after 5 years and all your books!  I live in a very "old-time music challenged" city (Las Vegas) and have to teach myself mostly.  When it is running, we go to the California Traditional Music Festival in Calabassas, CA.  Do you ever come west to teach any workshops?  Do you ever teach at any of the week long camps like Augusta or Swannanoa?  I like your materials and think you would be pretty good as an instructor!  


Las Vegas, Nevada

December 29, 1998

 Ryan -

Just wanted to let you know that I received the book, Fiddler's Almanac, in

the mail today. What a great book! I was bringing in groceries and saw the

package at my door and opened it immediately. I was thoroughly engrossed in

the book immediately and forgot to put away my groceries! I have just

purchased a violin and will be taking lessons with the ultimate goal of

becoming an Irish Fiddler. While I am working toward that end, I will enjoy

reading your book.

Thanks so much!


Rockville, Maryland


December 22, 1998

 Dear Captain Fiddle

 I recently purchased your Fiddling for Beginners book and CD and am quite pleased with my progress on the "Devil's Box."


Oxford, Ohio


December 15, 1998

Thanks much for your great little book. It got here in great shape. I have

left positive feedback. As a music teacher and a "rusty" violinist, I am grateful for insight on the

violin that I didn't get in college! Thanks, 



December 1, 1998

Hi Ryan,

I received your CD today and I'm enjoying it a lot. It's a good selection of

tunes, and your playing is wonderfully clean and good to hear. That Washburn

sounds really crisp with a great tone.



November 27, 1998

 Received CD today.  Great!

D. M.



November 25, 1998


All I can say is, "you kick butt", and were wonderful! Thanks for making the party a success; I hope you get some more gigs out of it. We plan an open house at Christmas, and will have you as a guest (You'll be off the clock) Regards to your sidekick from Berwick - Thanks again,


Hooksett, NH


November 14, 1998


Received CD today (banjo) and am listening to it as I write. LOVE IT !!!

Oh how I wish I could play that good. Thanks a million for the quick turnaround. 

D.V. on the internet


November 14, 1998


today I went to the post office and finally picked up the books.

Now after two hours of reading the almanac I would like to thank you again for

writing this great book. I learnt a lot from it and I am not through yet.

M.K. on the internet


November 3, 1998

 Hi there. I bought your CD a few weeks ago, and I'm really enjoying it

(it's playing on my computer as I write this). Anyway, I was just

wondering if you've ever published the tab for these tunes? I really

like your arrangements, and I haven't found enough books with clawhammer

tab to keep me happy. I like Ken Perlman's books, but I'd like to do

the kinds of arrangements you've recorded, rather than the heavier focus

on melodic style (even though I like that too).

Anyway, if you have anything you could share with (or sell to) me on

this, I'd sure appreciate it. :-)

Thanks for a great CD -- it got me all the way to Boston and back this

past weekend!



October 16, 1998

Hi, Ryan-

Received the CD today- (ordered it for my roommate) he loves the music!

He's just learning to play open-back/clawhammer banjo, so any source of

inspiration is welcome! 

P. T. 


October 14, 1998


You have inspired me at the grand age of 37 to learn the fiddle. Your website is terrific.

regards, N.M.

Hampstead, New Hampshire


September 13, 1998 

 I'd just like to say that I enjoyed reading your wheatland webpage. Did you

go this year? The new stage was great... so was everything else...

Happy Wheatland!



September 13, 1998 

 Crawdad Wranglers, Ryan Thomson

On behalf of the town of Durham, the members of the Durham Business Association, and the Citizens of Durham, thank you for participating in our annual Sunday Summer Concert Series. Your efforts have certainly helped to make our summer concert series a success, and the beginning of what we hope will be a summer tradition in Durham. Thank you again. 

Sincerely, Jane Faix, President, 

for the Durham Business Association


September 10, 1998

Hello Ryan,

I just wanted to thank you guys(Crawdad Wranglers) for doing such a great job. Everyone really loved the band. The best story I heard was when Eleanor (she runs Glen Magna) asked you if you needed a place to change. I also wanted to thank you very much for playing "Fly Me to the Moon". That was a surprise to me and a complete surprise for Maria. Well, gotta go. We're packing for our move to San Francisco. Good luck in you future endeavors.


Amebury, Massachusetts


September 4, 1998

 Dear Ryan,

Bill and I enjoyed your delightful CD today. Congratulations for such beautiful music! 


Green Valley, Arizona


September 3, 1998

 Its really nice to know the inspiration for "March to Culloden." I listened to it last night with the repeat button set and it must have played for two or more hours. I really enjoyed hearing it! You are now on my Scottish Shelf with Battlefield Band, Charlie Zahm, Andy Stewart, Sill Wizard et al. 


Chelmsford, MA


Sept 2, 1998

 I loved Fiddling for Beginners - Inspired me! I've taken two violin lessons - Suzuki, and will work ahead on fiddle. (I won't tell my teacher - she liked the beginner's book though. I'm 43 - so getting a late start!


Washington, IA


August 27, 1998

 Hey Ryan,

Its Brian Gessner from West Virginia Public TV. We were the ones videotaping Augusta in Elkins a few weeks ago. Thanks again for letting us videotape you all jammin' on the porch!

Brian Gessner

Production Manager, WNPB-TV


August 3, 1998

 Ryan, BTW--Woodchopper's Reel is definitely a keeper and I would enjoy hearing more

of your stuff. Do you have other recordings that I could purchase through the mail?


Ann Arbor, Michigan


June 27, 1998

 Enjoyed 'Fiddle and Violin Buyer's Guide' - very useful.


San Antonio, TX


May 6, 1998

 Hi there Ryan!

I don't know if you would remember me or not, but you taught me how to play the banjo at Exeter back in 1994 or so... I was just looking on the internet for info on building a washtub bass, and your name popped up! I just wanted to let you know that I'm still playing my banjo, daily, and having a great time at it! I've also had access to a woodshop here at Dartmouth and I've built myself a fretless banjo and a mountain dulcimer... Other than that, things are going swell. Well, I just wanted to say hello, and let you know that I really appreciate you teachng me to play the banjo! I hope you are doing well!

Yours truly,


Hanover, NH


March 16, 1998

 I just picked up your learning tape #3. It was available at a contra dance that I go to. I am a bluegrass guitar player and a few months ago I picked up a decent violin at a second hand store and started picking out some tunes that I play on the guitar, and then I found your tape which has helped me learn more.


Newburgh, NY


January 12, 1998

 Dear Captain Fiddle,

A few year's ago, I purchased a great video, "Last Chance String Band: New Hampshire Folk Festival 1980". Since then I have looked for records, tapes and/or videos by Captain Fiddle, Ryan Thompson, and/or The Last Chance String Band. I haven't found one. Do you have anything available by any and/or all of the above - or records, tapes, or videos of any good music of this type? If so please let me know. Thanks for your trouble.



Roselle, IL


January 6, 1998

 Dear Captain Fiddle,

Hello, my name is R. R. I purchased a used fiddle from you this summer at the Augusta Festival in Elkins, West Virginia. Additionally, I bought a few of your instruction materials. I can't begin to tell you how much fun I'm having. In the few months since buying your "Fiddling for Beginners" manual and tape, I've really heard some improvement. Of course, I'm not perfect (who is?), but I am progressing quite well. I have bought some other fiddling materials to provide some variety, but

none of them are as helpful as yours. Now that I have your internet site, I plan to order a few more of your books and tapes. Hope all is going well for you. 

Thanks again!


Buckhannon, West Virginia


December 1, 1997

 Dear Mr Thomson, 

I did receive my "Chord Encyclopedia for 1100 Fiddle Tunes, and I am very pleased with it. I will certainly show it to the rest of my band, and they may order copies also.


Ames, Iowa


November 11, 1997

 I enjoyed your book, the Fiddler's Almanac. Would like to be on your mailing list.


Hamden, Connecticut


November 1, 1997

 Dear Ryan,

I was impressed by your achievement. Your playing was delightful and added a festive air to the day.


Ann Lebrun, Northeast Regional Symposium Coordinator

Dystonia Medical Research Foundation


October 6, 1997


Hi. Just wanted to shoot you some kudos on your Buyer's Guide, which I found at my local public library (Salem Public Lib. in Oregon). Although I checked out your book THE DAY AFTER I bought my first fiddle, I was pleased to find that I didn't buy a piece of junk.

 Your book is definitely the most helpful book on the subject (and the ONLY book dedicated *solely* to the subject of buying) I've been able to find.


Salem, Oregon


September 22, 1997

 I saw your ad in Fiddler Magazine. I have one of your Capt. Fiddle learning cassettes, and it has been very helpful. I would appreciate receiving a catalog on other teaching materials you offer!


Alvarado, Texas


September 19, 1997

 I was so glad to see your catalog at Davis & Elkins College - I was at Augusta for Old Time Week. Last year I checked the Almanac out from the library. What a great book! Thanks for sharing.


Kansas City, Missouri


August 30, 1997

 Dear Ryan

Here are the photos which I thought you might like to remind you of the good times and Music at SAMW. I didn't think that country dancing could be so much fun. You teachers seemed to be everywhere and were very generous with your time and energy. One of the best parts was watching your beginner students play Little Brown Jug on Friday night, with such obvious pride and pleasure - congratulations and thanks.


Newington, CT


May 21, 1997 

 Dear Ryan: 

Thank you for helping to make the Barn Dance last Saturday such a success. We appreciate the fact that you are willing to work with us financially to bring income to the Museum, so necessary to keep us going! 

I've heard from people attending that the food was scrumptious, the ice cream delicious and fun to churn, the service excellent and the music and dancing great couple from Boston said this was their first barn dance and enjoyed themselves so much that they will come up for any future dances. 

Again Ryan, thanks for accepting the challenge to call dances for an unusual dance floor and for working with us. Please thank Bill for his wonderful fiddle music. 


Berrie Donovan Events Director 

New Hampshire Farm Museum


May 20, 1997

 Dear Captain Fiddle,

At NEFFA this past April, I purchased a book "A Folk Musician's Working Guide to Chords, Keys, Scales, and More" and Fiddling for Beginners " book and tape. ....I have thoroughly enjoyed your books and tape. You are a very dynamic instructor.


Waltham, MA


May 12, 1997 

 Dear Ryan: 

On behalf of the students and staff of both Main Street School and Lincoln Street School I wish to extend my thanks to you for being a special part of our Exeter Elementary Arts Festival for 1997. 

The festival represented a great school community partnership that enriched our students experiences in the arts. We look forward to a festival next year and hope you'll be able to be a part of it. Thank you. 


Richard M. Flagg Assistant Principal 

Lincoln Street School 


April 22, 1997

 I was so glad to see your catalog at Davis and Elkins College - I was at Augusta for Old Time Week. Last year I checked the Almanac out from my library. What a great book!

 thanks for sharing,



March, 1997


Thank you for taking the time to show me more about fiddling. I really appreciated it!




March 1997


I'm so glad we got your "The Complete Fiddle Contest Kit." I would have been SUNK!


New Hampshire


Feb 9, 1997

 I've read many books but have never had the opportunity to tell an auther thanks. I picked up your Fiddler's Almanac a while back, and found it most interesting and helpful. I love music, all kinds, and pretty much play for the shear enjoyment of it.... Oh well, I know you probably have a busy schedule and I really wanted to say thanks for writing the Fiddler's Almanac, because I really enjoy it!



The "Mangalated" Cassette.- Letter and photo

Dec 27, 1996

 Hi, My name is B.B. and I purchased your beginners tape #3 and book for my 11 year old daughter. She received it for christmas and I'm very happy with the way the book and tape are produced. I play the guitar so I accompany my daughter. Thanks again,



November 16, 1996

 I got this address from your booklet I got from "Lark in the Morning" on how to "Make and Play the Washtub Bass." I got it made - works well. I play in the Seniors Kitchen band here in town. Thank you for printing the booklet.


Litchfield, Illinois


Oct 27, 1996

 Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Dear Ryan! Thank you so much for your great musical contribution to the Essex Music Festival! It was a great lot of fun and we really appreciated your support! The music sounded super! I have received only excellent reports! Thank you again so much!

 All my best,

Sweet Loretta


October 25, 1996

 Dear Captain Fiddle, 

Hi I'm Stephanie and I have all your books and tapes. It's thanks to you that I'm a great violin player.


September 29, 1996

 After meeting you and talking for a few minutes at the 1993 Northeast Folk Festival in Natick, MA, I enthusiastically bought fiddle learning tapes #2, 3, and 4. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the many hours of "coaching and instruction" that you have provided me through these tapes as well as being a fiddling companion that was always there, ready and waiting to play along with me at the push of a button on the tape recorder.


I am pleased to see that Captain Fiddle Publications has its own web page and that I can browse your listing of fine books and recordings. I highly recommend any of your materials to any new or experienced fiddler who wants to improve their fiddling techniques. Sincerely,



September 29, 1996

 I wanted to drop you a line and say how much I enjoyed your book and how much I am excited to learn to play the fiddle. I learned a great deal from your book and am now ready to start looking. Your email said you had several fiddles for sale, price is important since this is a hobbie and I am just getting started. I will give you a call, your number was in the email. Thanks and I'll talk to you soon.



June 26, 1996

 The Fiddler's Almanac has been tremendously informative (far more so than anything else I've come across, and considerably more "down to earth") for a beginner such as myself.


Lynnwood, Washington


June 1996

I have recently obtained your Fiddler's Almanac and it has inspired me to take up the fiddle at a fairly advanced age - thank you for this.


Surrey, England


May 31, 1996

 Dear Mr. Thomson, 

I came across your book, The Fiddler's Almanac in our local library today and found it to be an enthralling goldmine of traditional folk fiddling, and I learned a lot from it despite the fact that I've been involved in traditional fiddle music for over 70 years. I'm now 77.


Stephenville, Newfoundland, Canada

not dated


May 1996

What a fun book! (Swing Fiddle) Johnny Gimble gives such great insight into improv. He always makes it so easy. Its a pleasure to read your book because obviously you know what you're talking about.



May 20, 1996

 I have enjoyed all the tapes, books, etc, I ordered from you. Keep up the good work.


Tifton, Georgia


March 17, 1996

 Hello Ryan, 

You probably don't remember me, but it was most pleasant to meet you last September at Pinewoods Music camp and I really liked your band. I especially remmber your music, playing the accordion on the cabin porch while I took a swim in Short Pond.



February 26, 1996

 Dear Ryan J. Thomson, 

I recently read your book, The Fiddler's Almanac 1985. It was very descriptive and informative. I did enjoy reading it.


Vernon, British Columbia, Canada


Feb 6, 1996

 Dear Ryan, 

A.B. came over to my house last Sat. night and we played a bit. He had a copy of your Chord Encyclopedia and left it with me to look at. I did look at it and can't believe how much work you must have put into it. It's got just about every tune I play in it. I'm impressed, so impressed that I would like to purchase the book myself to keep in my fiddle case.


Brookfield, New Hampshire


February 5, 1996

 I'm impressed with your instructional cassettes. My 10 year old daughter went from a good fiddler to a great fiddler, much of it due to your 2 cassesttes she played over and over again!! Thanks for the foot-stomping tunes!


Scotsdale, Arizona


February 2, 1996

 I purchased your book titled "The Fiddler's Almanac" via mail order, through Elderly Music and have found the book quite valuable. I have read the book many times, and each time I find something new or something that now makes more sense to me. It has proven quite beneficial in helping me to learn this wonderful, yet frustratingly difficult instrument.


Tasmania, Australia


January 30, 1996

 Dear Mr. Ryan Thomson: 

I have just "reread" your wonderful book "The Fiddler's Almanac." I thank you greatly for the well rounded, broad range, historical perspective, tips, talent, and more, that you poured into the work. You gave more than just the "mechanics" to fiddle playing, you gave the "feel." with history and heritage, to boot. My enjoyment was thorough and real, so I'll end the praises here. Although, be sure to enjoy the good praises when well deserved.


Weirs Beach, New Hampshire


Oct 1995

I was able to purchase your fiddle learning tapes from a company here in England and found them excellent.


Sheffield, England


September 19, 1995

 Dear Ryan,

Please pass along my sincerest thanks to your wonderful band members for their willingness to play at the cajun- zydeco weekend at Pinewoods two weeks ago. Even if the Crawdad Wranglers had been merely adequate in the music played, I would be indebted to you for the jam you got me out of. However, you guys were terrific! It was a superb way to end a fun weekend.

Marcie Van Cleave, Executive Director

Folk Arts Center of New England


May 8, 1995

 Dear Mr. Thomson, 

Some years ago I bought several of your tapes, and I've listened to them many, many hours. They've helped me learn dozens of tunes. As I listen to your playing, though, I hear something I don't hear in the slowed down versions and that I don't see in the music in my many fiddle books. 


Your playing at tempo has this wonderful bounce, almost as if you're hitting the notes a little before the beat, or as if you're syncopating your emphasis or... that's just the problem: it sounds wonderful but I can't tell quite what it is. So I don't quite know what to try. I've heard it in other great old-time players as well, though not as clearly as I hear it on your tapes.


Newberg, Oregon


June 15, 1995

 Dear Mr. Thomson, 

I've been playing fiddle for only a few years. I got more valuable information from your Fiddler's Almanac than all of the other fiddle books combined. Thanks


Richlands, North Carolina


June 1995

 Dear Sir, 

I have read with a great deal of interest and admiration your Fiddler's Almanac, 1985. I am 78 years old and have been "fiddling around" most of my life it seems like.


Wasau, Wisconsin


June 22, 1995

 Thanks for insight gained through your publications


Detroit, MI


May 15, 1995

 Dear Ryan,

I just wanted to take the time to thank you for my mandolin lesson of two weeks put together the musicality, ie., the possibilities with playing those lovely little tunes for me, and many more.

best wishes, sincerely,


Portsmouth, New Hampshire


May 10, 1995

 Dear Ryan,

I just wanted to take the time to thank you for my mandolin lesson of two weeks ago.....I am enjoying your 'Captain Fiddle's Tunebook' immensely and from this I hear your far reaching influence in New England music that I have listened to before. Thanks for assisting me out of that lousy music book of mine. You put together the musicality, i.e. the possibilities with playing those lonely little tunes for me as lovely ones. Best wishes and sincerely,


Portsmouth, New Hampshire


April 10, 1995

 Dear Ryan,

Thought you'd like the enclosed clipping. Thanks again for your part in making the Cajun Fest an enjoyable tradition.


International Student Office

Bradford College


January 30, 1995

 My wife Sharon, who I introduced you to, was extremely impressed at your ability to communicate cajun dance instructions to your audience. We have seen a number of instructors over the years and you certainly are one of the more capable instructors in making it as easy as possible to follow but that's also true in your ability to teach fiddle. You have helped me out very much in just those few lessons I took.


Nashua , New Hampshire

November 28, 1994


Dear Ryan:

We have had many wonderful comments on the music you provided at the "Gold Rush" auction on November 19. Our only regret was that the occasion did not allow for dancing! Thanks again for coming to Medfield, adding so much to the "atmosphere," and helping to make the evening such a success. Hope to see and hear you again soon!


Jeanne Sullivan

M.C.P.E. Auction co-chair


August 8, 1994

Dear Mr Thomson,

Thank you for taking the time to join us for the Celebration 94. Even though the weather disn't co-operate as much as we would have liked, everyone had a great time! We hope that you will plan to join us again next year .

with sincere thanks, Sylvia, Linda, and the Gunstock staff

Gunstock Ski Area, New Hampshire


July 24, 1994

 Dear Mr. Thomson, 

I recently read your book The Fiddler's Almanac. As someone relatively new to the old time fiddle, I found your book very valuable.


Springfield, Illinois


July 1994

 Dear Ryan Thomson, 

I would like to thank you for the tape I received sometime ago. I have learned to play them all and enjoy practicing them. Last year in school I played Old Joe Clark and Rag Time Annie in a school concert.


Meadville, Pennsylvania


January 30, 1994

Dear Ryan,

By Golly! Ryan. You're a dad burned genius. Me too. The defintion of genius is a guy who does something no one else has done. He has no teacher and needs none. He is the teacher. That's us Ryan - dad burned geniuses.

Frederick T. Edmunds, MD

Bones Unlimited


November 18, 1993

 Captain Fiddle, 

I just received your two Fiddle Learning Tapes #3 and #4. I think they are great!


Queensbury, New York


February 17, 1993

 Dear Captain Fiddle, 

Thank you for your excellent book, The Fiddler's Almanac. Its been very useful to me as a beginning "fiddler."


Ellicott City, Maryland


December 10, 1992

 Dear Mr. Thomson, 

I recently ordered your Capt. Fiddle Tunebook #1 along with the #2 Fiddle Learning Tape. I am really enjoying them. You have done a nice job teaching these tunes....I've bought a lot of music study aids and I must say I have enjoyed yours the most. Thanks. Have a nice holiday season.




December 1, 1992

 Captain Fiddle, 

I've recently gotten interested in fiddle music and was delighted to find the Fiddler's Almanac at Forbes Library in North Hampton, Massachussetts.


North Hampton, Massachussetts


November 10, 1992

Dear Ryan:

It was a real pleasure to have your band(Crawdad Wranglers) at the Fair. We all enjoyed your show. Thank you for coming. Have a great year!


Susan Frentzen

Marketing Consultant

League of New Hampshire Craftsmen


April, 1992

 Dear Ryan,

Nomad 91 was wonderful. Your booth was an important asset to the festival.


Hatty Roberts

North Eastern Music and Dance Festival


Feb, 1992

 Dear Capt. Fiddle, 

I am enjoying your Fiddler's Almanac book.


South Windsor, Connecticut



Note from Ryan: I was at a National Folk Alliance meeting in Tucson. When I returned home I found this letter in my box:


I bought Learning Tape #3 and #4 in Tucson last week and already have the first two tunes "picked out", but since I read music very well, I think I could save a lot of time if I had something to peek at once in a while. I'm determined to do this by I have discovered, by the time I have something picked out I also have it memorized!!! I'm so sick of music stands!!!...


Mr Thomson, were you there? At Tucson I bought the Fiddler's Almanac from a lady I met in one of the discussion groups-and I dimly remember seeing her with a gentleman and she said she was from New Hampshire...anyway, if you were there and I missed a chance to tell you personally how much I have enjoyed your book, (The Fiddler's Almanac) I'm going to be sick!!! 


I don't know how many times I've checked that book out from our local library!!!! When I saw it lying in the lady's briefcase, I just grabbed it - ITs MINE! Thanks for writing it. I love it!



Wichita, KS



 Hi Ryan, 

I have read Fiddler's Buying guide and Almanac and have learned from it and keep going back and looking and reading again.



November 11, 1991


Just a super evening with your band...will be sending you another check soon as simply a bonus and thanks! I hope to get you back here real soon.


Hanover, New Hampshire


October 2, 1991

Dear Ryan,

Thank you for sharing your all your many talents with everyone. We look forward to enjoying you again and again!

Fran Hendrickson and John Foley, Festival Coordinators

NOMAD Northeastern Music and Dance



Dear Ryan,

 Thank you so much for being a part of our 1991 United Way Awareness Week. The music you provided made for a festive atmosphere and helped encourage people to visit the United Way Information table....I want to express my thanks to you. Your music and skill were appreciated as evidenced by the many people who became involved in singing, 'spooning', foot tapping, etc.


Peter W. Burness

United Way Chairman


March 29, 1991

 I came across a copy of your 1985 publication, The Fiddler's Almanac at a local public library and took it home on a whim thinking I might find it interesting. What followed was litterally hours of reading enjoyment, learning, and even a few chuckles now and then again.


My fiddle teacher didn't realize that such a book existed and, as he fanned through the book and picked up on some of the quotations, he commented, "Yeah, that about says it all," or, "Boy, isn't that the truth!"


Houston, Texas


June 12, 1990

 Dear Ryan,

 Thanks to you and your band for a delightful concert on Sunday. I've enclosed some p.r. for you to have. Good luck and keep playing!

Judy Roberts

Mill Pond Center for the Arts

Durham, New Hampshire



Mr Thomson, 

Just finished reading your book "Fiddler's Almanac" and enjoy it very much. I became interested in playing the fiddle about 3 years ago and can't seem to lay it down.


Hopkinville, Kentucky



Dear Ryan, 

I loved the "Fiddler's Almanac." I have only been playing the fiddle for 10 months and you have really added new coal to my fire. I, like yourself, started playing the fiddle very late (age 23) and I am very serious about becoming a good fiddler..... Thank you for your commitment to the fiddle, you have added a lot to my life.


Scarsdale, New York


April 10, 1990

 Dear Mr. Thomson, 

Just finished your book, The Fiddler's Almanac and found it interesting and informative.


Bloomsburg, PA


February 27, 1990


Thanks so much for your help with the swing workshop. It suddenly dawned on me that we met at Micanopy Dance Camp. I had the pleasure of jamming with you and Judy Luis, piano player. Your book is very helpful in locating swing music. I'll be using your book much more in the future.


Opa-Locka, Florida


April 22, 1990

 I received th Last Chance Video and am pleased with it.


Carrabelle, Florida


May 10, 1990

 Dear Ryan Thomson, I spoke to you at the folk festival in Natick, MA. The five minutes or so that we talked has made a vast difference in my playing (The dog no longer leaves the room). Your Fiddling for Beginners Kit is great. It's just like having someone right there to show me what to do. I've had other instruction tapes by famous people for different instruments and they just don't seem to slow down enough or teach the whole tune. It's almost like they're just showing off. You by contrast are an excellent teacher. Keep up the good work.


West Roxbury, Massachusetts


December 12, 1989

 Dear Ryan,

A quick note to thank you on behalf of Strawbery Banke for participating in our Candlelight Stroll. I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as our visitors enjoyed listening to you!


Karen Murphy, Coordinator?Special Programs

Strawbery Banke, Portsmouth, New Hampshire


October 20, 1989

 Dear Ryan,

I wanted to thank you again for doing that gig in Georgetown. I've gotten a lot of good feedback since then. People were particularly pleased that you got them square dancing (the town fathers were impressed!)


Georgetown, Massachussetts


September 9, 1989

Dear Ryan,

Thanks more than we can say for your tremendous effort in participating in our "House and Porch Concerts for BETWEEN. On behalf of BETWEEN and ourselves - a million thanks - 

Charlie and Marylou


March 22, 1989

 Dear Ryan, I have thoroughly enjoyed your "Fiddler's Almanac." Absolutely excellent!


Vicker's Heights, Ontario



January 16, 1989

 Mr Thomson, I just started playing the fiddle a year ago and I have found the Fiddler's Almanac most helpful and useful.


Arlington, Texas


September 30, 1988

 Dear Mr Thomson, My name is xxxxxxxxxx and I am a violin, viola major at Missouri Western State College in St. Joseph, Missouri. I have just finished reading your 1985 Fiddler's Almanac. I found the book to be a wealth of information. Even though I consider myself classically trained I could appreciate the material presented.


Easton, Missouri


August 22, 1988

 Dear Ryan,

As usual Ryan, it was a pleasure to have you come to Farm Day. We always enjoy your music. It adds a festive atmosphere to the event. Thank you for supporting the museum.


Mellissa Walker, Executive Director

New Hampshire Farm Museum


June 17, 1988

 Dear Captain: I have taken the Fiddler's Almanac out of the Brookline, MA Public Library and enjoyed your book and got a great deal of valuable information from it.

W.N. Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts


January 21, 1988

 Dear Ryan Thomson, I have purchased your "The Fiddle and VIolin Buyer's Guide" and the "Fiddler's Almanac" and found both very interesting.


Schenectady, New York


January 15, 1988

 Dear Ryan, I am enjoying your book :Fiddler's Almanac." My father played the violin, and I used to play drums in a small band once in a while with a fiddler named Bill Close - from Bristol, Vermont...Thank you for your service. I appreciate having a source close by that can get me set up for "fooling around on the fiddle."


Lisbon, New Hampshire


November 29, 1987

 Dear Mr. Thomson, I've been reading "The Fiddler's Almanac" obtained by my local library through a search. My compliments to you, for sharing your great collection of fiddle-"ology," it is really full of great advise (especially the cloths-pins on the bridge... my family is very appreciative!



Clymer, New York


November 16, 1987

 Dear Ryan,

We are so happy that a member of our "Old Time Fiddlers" brought in a copy of your book - so we have one to read.

Best wishes to you,

Bob and Millie Shields

San Diego Old Time Fiddlers


September 24, 1987

 I read your book, "Fiddler's Almanac" and enjoyed it very much. As a beginning (ie less than 1 year) fiddler, I found it very useful.



August 20, 1987

 Dear Ryan:

Once again the New Hampshire Farm Museum's Old Time Farm Day was a great success. The trustees and I wish to thank you for your willingness to help us.

Melissa Walker, Coordinator

New Hampshire Farm Museum


August 11, 1987

 Dear Mr. Thomson: I have recently read your book "The Fiddler's Almanac and found it to be very informative and well written.


Oklahoma City, OK


July 31, 1987

 Sir, I am writing to let you know how satisfied I have been with the Fiddler's Almanac. It has a wealth of information that I have been looking for.


Taberg, New York


May 16, 1987

 Dear Captain Fiddle,

On behalf of the Christian Education Cabinet and our church school children, THANK YOU for sharing your time and talents with us yesterday morning. The children enjoyed your music and use of different instruments very much. You and Dan certainly put on a great performance!!! Thanks again so much.


Nancy Berndtson, Christian Education Coordinator


May 14, 1987

 Last Fall at Eisteddfod, at North Dartmouth, Mass. I spoke with you. You encouraged me not to be intimidated about trying to play again after over 25 years. I bought your book and later a fiddle/violin. ...Thanks for getting me in motion toward the fiddle and for helping me pick a tape. Sincerely,


New Bedford, Massachusetts


March 17, 1987

 About 3 weeks ago I was at the library looking around at violin books and accidentally came across your book "The Fiddler's Almanac" and found it very much to my liking. To me its a great book and I would like to buy one if you still have some in stock.


Fitchburg, Massachusetts


December 23, 1986

 Dear Sir, I have been looking over my copy of the Fiddler's Almanac, and I can attest to the fact that it is well documented and well done

yours, truly,


Waco, Texas


December 19, 1986

Hi! I checked out the Fiddler's Almanac at the library and decided I needed one. Sure enjoyed it. Its great.

Thanks so much,



December 15, 1986

 Dear Ryan,

Thank you for participating in the Candle Light Stroll and helping to make it a successful event.


Sandra Northrup, Program Director

Strawbery Banke


Oct, 1986

 Mr Thomson,

I am interested in anything relating to fiddling. Please put me on your mailing list. P.S. I recently purchased your Fiddler's Almanac and its really a blessing.


Midland City, Alabama


August 13, 1986


Thanks again for the work you did on Sunday. What a wonderful day! I hope that we can all get together soon and talk about the 2nd Annual New Hampshire Acoustic Folk Guitar and Fiddle Contest. Stay in touch!



Prescott Park Arts Festival

Portsmouth, New Hampshire


March 31, 1986

 Dear Ryan,

I want to thank you once again for presenting the "Folk Fiddling Workshop" at this year's Country Living Day. I only wish I could have spent more time listening to you play and speak about music. Its a truly enjoyable way to spend a Saturday afternoon.


Nancy Adams, County Extension Agent, Agriculture

Cooperative Extension Service

University of New Hampshire


March 4, 1986

Dear Mr Thomson,

I want to thank you for your Fiddler's Almanac: it is a splendid book, wonderfully designed, and full of information I have been looking for. Thank you for the care and skill with which you put it together.

J. H.

Irvine, California


Feb, 1986

 Dear Sirs,

 In one of the next issues of our art magazine we plan to review your "Fiddler's Almanac"


 Rudolph Radnai, editor

Okl. Villamosmernok, Budapest, Hungary


November 19, 1985

 Dear Ryan,

 You ran the best fiddle workshop I've seen yet at NEFFA (New England Folk Festival Association) last year because you really did teach!


Arlington, Massachussetts


October 21, 1985

 Dear Ryan,

You are a real warm and talented person. I am so glad I had the chance to meet you and hear you.

 thanks, again

Pinky Kram, Chair Person

Naturally Newmarket


September 30, 1985

 Dear Mr Thomson:

 I read with interest the article in Foster's Daily Democrat regarding your career as a fiddler. Congratulations on your book and best wishes on Volume II. It's rare for a person to be so fortunate as to make their living at an interest they enjoy. Fiddles and banjos and country music are my favorites. I hope to be able to meet and hear you play that fiddle sometime when I can be in the Newmarket area.

 with warm regards,

Bob Smith1st District, New Hampshire House of Representatives

Congress of the United States


Sept 11, 1985

 Dear Ryan,

You and your caller were a huge success at our opening of school dance. Many thanks for being there. Hopefully you'll be able to return next year. The kids are still talking about the square dance!


Susan Herney, Dean of Students

Phillips Exeter Academy


July 31, 1985

 Dear Ryan Thomson:

I am writing on behalf of Alasdair Fraser, Director of the Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School. We are having our second school the last week of August and this year we are planning to have a selection of fiddle related books and records available to our students,

 We would like very much to have 25 to 30 copies of the "Fiddler's Almanac" if at all possible.

 yours, sincerely,

Bonnie Thompson, Special Projects Coordinator.


July 5, 1985

 Howdy Captain Fiddle,

Just dropping a line to let you know how much I appreciated your kindness June 6 for the Children's Fest. Sending you this card with prayers that some day you'll have your records here at the Hall of Fame.


Rose Rio

Nashville, Tennesseee


April 22, 1985

 Dear Ryan J Thomson,

I got your book "The Fiddler's Almanac" I am not a fiddler but that is a wonderful book as somebody who likes to listen to fiddle music it is a real insight.

Thank you, T. M., Lynn, Massachusetts


April 8, 1985

 Dear Mr Thomson

Thank you for the Fiddler's Almanac. Its really quite an interesting book and one that I know our son Erik will enjoy. He was a Florida fiddle champ several years ago at age 19.




March 26, 1985

 Dear Ryan, 

I want to thank you for being a speaker(fiddling) at Country Living Day this year and for helping to make it such a huge success.


Nancy Adams, County Extension Agent, Agriculture

Cooperative Extension Service

University of New Hampshire


March 23, 1985


Hi Ryan!

Thank you for the copy of your book. I am very impressed with it, its content, organization, and general appearance. You ought to feel very proud of the result of your work.

M. F., Massachusetts


March 22, 1985

 Dear Ryan Thomson,

 Many Thanks for the Almanac! It is really super -- I haven't had time to read every single thing, but read enough to know it will really be a useful sourcebook. My husband is starting to play the fiddle and I showed it to him - I'm helping him, but there are lots of things I've forgotten about what its like to learn fiddle. That section of the book struck me as particularly useful - also really true, at least from my experience. Wonderful.


Jan Tappan

Scottish Fiddling Revival, Ltd &

Valley of the Moon Fiddling School


March 22, 1985

 Dear Ryan:

It's terrific. Very entertaining, informative and even inspiring... You've done an excellent job from cover to cover. Enclosed is a check for our first shipment. I hope that there will be many more. (Fiddler's Almanac)

Best Regards,

Noel Benson

Kschier Brothers, Inc.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania



Mr Ryan Thomson,

Thanks so much for your book. It is an invaluable addition to our N.E. Collection.

For the Board of Directors, Gordon Brown, President,

New England Country Music Historical Society, Inc.


August 20, 1984

 Dear Ryan,

A super combo. My particular thanks to you all.

very truly yours,

David Mattair, Coordinator

New Hampshire Farm Museum


June 14, 1984

 Dear Ryan,

Thank you very much for your fine musical contributions to our annual Market Square Day Festivities. The addition of "Captain Fiddle" and your sidekick Alan Brock provided much excitement and color to the downtown historic tour. I am aware that the extraordinary heat was a challenge to cope with, and from all accounts, you met that challenge admirably.


A little, true life story, captures much of why we put all of this energy into our Market Square Day celebration and helps to describe what you have helped us create: As I was approaching the square, long about 5:30 or so after marking off the streets for the next morning's vendors, I could hear your songs wafting over the traffic and with the breezes. As I rounded the corner, a group of store owners and hot tired citizens had accumulated on the benches and in front of the garden cement plot by the Atheneum. They were smiling and toe-tapping, despite the incredible heat.


One of them stopped me and said - full of pride, "That's what I like to see (gesturing with a sweep of his hand to the delighted crowd you had attracted) a city that looks lived in!" Thanks to you, Portsmouth was lived in to the hilt on our Market Square Day weekend. We appreciate the vitality you gave so freely to our residents and visitors. Best wishes from all of us at Pro Portsmouth.



Sandra Gae Mitchell, Executive Director

Pro Portsmouth Incorporated

Portsmouth, New Hampshire


May 3, 1984

 Dear Ryan,

Thank you for sending us the three excerpts from your book on fiddling; we like them very much.

yours sincerely, Kari Estrin, editor, The Black Sheep Review

Cambridge, Massachussetts


April 4, 1984

 Dear Ryan,

Thanks so much for your terrific performance! Everyone was thrilled and so pleased at your playing and spontaneity!

thanks again


Town of Newmarket Department of Parks and Recreation


September 26, 1983

 Dear Ryan:

Lowell National Historical Park's Fourth Annual Banjo and Fiddle Contest was a great success. Your participation in events of this type help promote community awareness of our musical heritage. Thank you for your continued support and great playing. We hope to see you again next year!


Alexander Demas, Musical Specialist

Lowell National Historical Park


October 6, 1982

Dear Ryan:

This is a belated thank you note to let you know how much we appreciated your participation at Milton Day here at the New Hampshire Farm Museum. The music added a lot to the atmosphere of the day...I hope that you enjoyed the home cookin' as much as we enjoyed the musical entertainment.


Will Elwell, Coordinator

New Hampshire Farm Museum


August 20, 1982

 Dear Ryan,

The music was great!

William Elwell, Coordinator

New Hampshire Farm Museum


August 20, 1982

 Dear Ryan,

Thanks very much for your performance at our Old Home Weekend activities. You added to the success of a special day and fun day at the sidewalk fair!


Leslie Smith

Town of Newmarket Department of Parks and Recreation


October 16, 1981

 Dear Ryan and Judy,

Thank you for coming in Yesterday and playing all the songs. We liked all the instruments. We loved the songs you sang. You are very nice to come and sing them to us and show us the instruments.

love, your friends, Mrs. Dawson's Class

Great Falls School, Somersworth, New Hampshire


August 10, 1981

 Dear Mr Thomson

We loved the music - it added so much to the atmosphere!

most appreciatively,

Will Elwell, Coordinator

New Hampshire Farm Museum


July 16, 1981

 Dear Ryan,

Just an enthusiastic note to thank you and your group for your fine performance at the Old Time Fiddling Celebration this year, which turned out to be a great sucess for all of us.

yours sincerely,

Nicholas Shoumatoff

Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation

White Plains, New York


June 14, 1981

 "Captain Fiddle" Radio Station WUNH

Dear Sir:

Just a note of support for your fine Sunday afternoon programming. As FM becomes more and more homogenized and "corporately controlled," programs of an intense personal nature become more and more important. Indeed, as someone who has only recently been exposed to bluegrass, I feel your program has opened up a whole new area of pleasure.


All of the FM tuners in our home and cars have pre-sets tuned to WUNH -- just for the hours of 12:00 noon to 7 pm (plus the Blues show). The other six days of the week, the presets aren't used at all. Congratulations for your enthusiasm, professionalism, and consistency. You make FM come alive the way all stations should.



Roger C. Parker

Roger Parker Advertising Resource Center

Hampton, New Hampshire


August 12, 1980

 Dear Mr Thomson,

Many thanks to you and the band for helping to make a great day!! Many good comments, my appreciation to you!


Peter Lamb

New Hampshire Farm Museum


June 7, 1980

 Dear Ryan and friends,

It has been six weeks since the NEFFA festival, and I had intended to write you long before this...My first reason for writing is to thank you for the contribution which you made to the festival...


Don Miller

New England Folk Festival Association


August 22, 1978

 Dear Paul Mangion, Ryan Thomson, and Jim Marks,

Jim Holter of the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, and Pieter Lamb of the Farm Museum have asked me to thank you for your support on Old Time Farm Day. The Last Chance String Band made all the difference in the success of our farm day. I enjoyed your music as did the many visitors, and many people commented on what an excellent accompaniment your playing provided to the various activities that day.

Alan Long

New Hampshire Farm Museum


March, 1978

Dear Captain Fiddle,

I wanted to tell you I especially enjoyed last Sunday's program. - I like Dave Grisman and Asleep at the Wheel, and of course the Last Chance Medicine Show. Sunday is the only day of the week I listen to WUNH - due to your show and the Folk Show. Feel free to point this out to your programming editor. (and many of my friends over here feel the same way) keep up the good shows and happy late birthday

a fan from Zoology Department

University of New Hampshire

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