Captain Fiddle Music

Ryan and Brennish


Fan Letters

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36 years of letters to Captain Fiddle!

I've received many unsolicited letters and messages 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! This page contain letters, emails,

and You Tube comments from 1999 to the present. To read letters from 1978 - 1999 click


Here are letters from the most recent, back to January, 1999

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-professsional 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 Jambalya.  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


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



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


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


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


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


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



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 you on 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


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


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


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


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


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


@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


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


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


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 was delivered 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


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


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


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

I received 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


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



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


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


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




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


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.



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


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



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 teacing



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 realise 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


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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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


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


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


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



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




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


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


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


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


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


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


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



Las Vegas, Nevada

To read letters from 1978 - 1999 click here: