Twins bring upbeat country vibe to showcase in P.A.

Alex Di Pietro
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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. 

Julie (left) and Carli Kennedy will perform at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre Saturday afternoon as part of the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils’ annual showcase. 

“A lot of our family is in Saskatchewan,” Carli Kennedy said. “We 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.” 

This year’s Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils’ 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.

“This is our first time performing at OSAC, so we’re just really looking forward to that,” Carli Kennedy said.

“We often say that we are mix between the Rankins, Alison Krauss and the Dixie Chicks, so (expect) a country vibe and upbeat performance,” she continued. “There will be some rocking fiddle tunes, as well as a lot of fiddling harmonies.

“We’re going to play one cover and the rest will be original material,” Julie Kennedy added. “But we always finish off with our guitar/violin duel, so we call that duelling strings and it’s twin versus twin.”

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. 

“We performed at a lot of the community events, and we were always playing country music,” Carli Kennedy said. 

“(Powell River) is actually quite isolated, even though it’s on the mainland,” Julie Kennedy said. “And I imagine it’s similar to Prince Albert … They did a lot of events for a really small number of people, but the community was just really supportive of the arts.”

While the sisters took piano lessons when they were five, Carli Kennedy knew from a young age that she wanted to play guitar. 

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. 

“Country music’s our true love, so that’s when we seriously started pursuing country music,” 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.

“We went as far as Burns Lake, which is up north,” Julie Kennedy said.

“And we got to see a lot of the province that we’ve never seen, and that was pretty special,” Carli Kennedy added.

The twins said they would play the title track off of their EP Small Town Stories at the showcase.

“Being small-town girls, visiting small towns always feels like home for us,” Carli Kennedy said. “Especially (playing) in some small towns that are more remote — that don’t get artists all the time — it’s so fun to visit.”

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