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Ski tour brings the Shook Twins to Snowbasin this weekend

Published February 28, 2014 10:03 am

Music • Portland-based sisters will play three dates in Utah.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It may have guitar, banjo, double bass and all the elements of traditional folk music, but the Shook Twins' take on the genre is just a bit left of center. They're folk musicians with a whole lot of quirky weirdness inside them and they aren't afraid to feature it prominently.

Shook Twins are indeed identical twins, born in Sandpoint, a small town in far northern Idaho, where they pretty much made up the entire music scene. Their deep connection is part of what makes their music stand out, combined with the indie sensibility born of songwriting in Portland, Ore., where they currently reside. Their subject matter can range from robots to rainstorms and back again in just a few songs, all grouped around a harmony-driven bluegrass style that's as tight as it is sonorous.

But, as you might imagine, there are downsides to being identical.

"The bad part about being so similar and being connected is that we mess up at the same time," said Laurie Shook, who spoke to The Tribune recently while in Salt Lake on a short vacation before the group's three-day performance schedule at Snowbasin resort in Huntsville this weekend.

Laurie said she and sister Katelyn have been writing songs since the end of high school, but it wasn't until they graduated from college that they really became a band and started writing seriously. They moved to Portland partly to pursue their musical career, and it's there that they picked up a lot of their offbeat attitude, as well as the giant golden egg shaker that accompanies them on tour and onstage.

"I don't know. I guess we've just always had big imaginations," she said, trying to explain songs like "Long Time," ostensibly about robot love, but really about human relationships. "It's tough these days to be original."

Though she said it takes them a while to write new material, the timing has worked out fairly well for new fans, as the sisters have a new album coming out April 9 called "What We Do."

In the meantime, they're finishing up a tour of ski resorts around the West, with their final dates bringing them to Snowbasin Feb. 28 through March 2. You'll be able to see this identical duo at the Cinnabar Lounge. —

Shook Twins

When • Friday-Sunday, Feb. 28-March 2, 3-6 p.m.

Where • Cinnabar Lounge, Snowbasin Resort, Huntsville

Cost • Free