Identical twins Carli and Julie Kennedy may hail from Powell River, B.C., but their inspiration to play country and folk music stems from their roots in Saskatchewan.
© Submitted photo
Julie (left) and Carli Kennedy will perform at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre Saturday afternoon as part of the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils‚Äô annual showcase.
‚ÄúA lot of our family is in Saskatchewan,‚ÄĚ Carli Kennedy said. ‚ÄúWe were in Saskatoon for the Canadian Country Music Awards in September, but the last time before that was a family reunion back when we were seven (years old) in Cypress Hills.‚ÄĚ
This year‚Äôs Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils‚Äô showcase will be held at the E.A. Rawlinson on the weekend. The twins will be performing at the showcase Saturday afternoon, making their first visit to Prince Albert.
‚ÄúThis is our first time performing at OSAC, so we‚Äôre just really looking forward to that,‚ÄĚ Carli Kennedy said.
‚ÄúWe often say that we are mix between the Rankins, Alison Krauss and the Dixie Chicks, so (expect) a country vibe and upbeat performance,‚ÄĚ she continued. ‚ÄúThere will be some rocking fiddle tunes, as well as a lot of fiddling harmonies.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre going to play one cover and the rest will be original material,‚ÄĚ Julie Kennedy added. ‚ÄúBut we always finish off with our guitar/violin duel, so we call that duelling strings and it‚Äôs twin versus twin.‚ÄĚ
The twins played in a family band with their father as they grew up in Powell River. Like many aspiring musicians, they played wherever they could.
‚ÄúWe performed at a lot of the community events, and we were always playing country music,‚ÄĚ Carli Kennedy said.
‚Äú(Powell River) is actually quite isolated, even though it‚Äôs on the mainland,‚ÄĚ Julie Kennedy said. ‚ÄúAnd I imagine it‚Äôs similar to Prince Albert ‚Ä¶ They did a lot of events for a really small number of people, but the community was just really supportive of the arts.‚ÄĚ
While the sisters took piano lessons when they were five, Carli Kennedy knew from a young age that she wanted to play guitar.
‚Ä®After graduating from the University of Victoria in 2008 with degrees in music performance, the Kennedys decided to turn their attention back to country music.
‚ÄúCountry music‚Äôs our true love, so that‚Äôs when we seriously started pursuing country music,‚ÄĚ Carli Kennedy said.
Currently, the duo is touring across Western Canada. They said the proudest moment of their careers was completing their longest ever tour this past summer, when they got to travel all over British Columbia.
‚ÄúWe went as far as Burns Lake, which is up north,‚ÄĚ Julie Kennedy said.
‚ÄúAnd we got to see a lot of the province that we‚Äôve never seen, and that was pretty special,‚ÄĚ Carli Kennedy added.
The twins said they would play the title track off of their EP Small Town Stories at the showcase.
‚ÄúBeing small-town girls, visiting small towns always feels like home for us,‚ÄĚ Carli Kennedy said. ‚ÄúEspecially (playing) in some small towns that are more remote ‚ÄĒ that don‚Äôt get artists all the time ‚ÄĒ it‚Äôs so fun to visit.‚ÄĚ