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Ryan & Brennish Thomson

Updated September 16, 2021

Old time Country Dances in Newmarket, New Hampshire, in the late 1970’s, early 80s


by Ryan Thomson


In 1978, when The Last Chance String Band started the twice a month dance in Newmarket, New Hampshire, we didn’t have a proper sound system. I lived in Newmarket at the time and arranged for the use of the Town Hall for our dances. The town hall was only two blocks from my apartment. I cobbled together parts including an old Bogan hi fi amplifier, an electric guitar speaker cabinet, a Radio Shack mixer, and a speaker from a Sony reel to reel tape recorder. 


Here we are playing in one of our first dances in the Newmarket Town Hall. From left is Ryan Thomson fiddling, Jim Marks - guitar, Paul Mangion - banjo, and Steve Hundert standing and calling. Not seen is fellow band mate Charlie Nolan, playing guitar, hidden behind Ryan’s fiddle in the picture below.


I continued running the Newmarket dance and fiddled at every dance in the town hall until the fall of 1982 when I was hired to play in a full time Nashville band. I turned over the dance to Claire Mattin to run as she saw fit and the dances continued with other bands and musicians. 


Last Chance String Band playing for a dance in the Newmarket Town Hall, New Hampshire
Poster for dance in the Newmarket New Hampshire Town Hall, Last Chance String Band

Newmarket Town Hall dance poster

Poster for dance in the Newmarket New Hampshire Town Hall, Last Chance String Band

Last Chance String Band dances at the Stone Church, Newmarket

Poster for a contra dance by the Last Chance String Band in the Stone Church, Newmaret, New Hampshire.

Newmarket square dance with 

Last Chance String Band

Poster for a Last Chance String Band square dance for the July 4 Celebration in Newmarket, New Hampshire

Newmarket Town Hall dance poster

Poster for a Contra Dance, Newmarket, New Hampshire

Newmarket Town Hall dance poster

Poster for a Contra Dance, Newmarket, New Hampshire

Newmarket Town Hall dance

Newspaper article about contra dancing, picture at Newmarket Town Hall, New Hampshire

Click on the image below to enlarge it.

Newmarket Town Hall dance poster

Poster for a Contra Dance, Newmarket, New Hampshire

Newmarket Town Hall dance poster

Newmarket Town Hall dance poster

Poster for a Square Dance, Newmarket, New Hampshire

Newmarket Town Hall dance poster

Poster for a Halloween Contra Dance, Newmarket, New Hampshire

Newmarket Town Hall dance poster

Poster for a Contra Dance, Newmarket, New Hampshire, Captain Fiddle

Newmarket Town Hall dance poster

Poster for a Contra Dance, Newmarket, New Hampshire, Captain Fiddle

Newmarket dance in the High School, poster

Poster for a Contra Dance in the HIgh School, Newmarket, New Hampshire, Ryan Thomson, Timm Triplet


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