As Sunday turned to Monday, the Shook Twins effectively dissolved time with their set at Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place. The show featured the up-and-coming locals, Ghost Dream, who kickstarted the music with a noteworthy set. Their eclectic sound of weaving cello accented with haunting vocals highlighted frontman Jeromy Smith’s timeless song writing.
Consisting of singer/songwriter Jeromy Smith, cellist and vocalist Sam Rae Sidwell, lead guitarist Holden Young, and bassist Adrian Engfer, the quartet has been earning praise around Boulder with their almost spiritual performances. Ghost Dream effectively warmed up the crowd for the much anticipated Shook Twins who took the stage to a packed house.
Popping the cork on their performance, The Shook Twins came out with a fizz of excitement for their last show on their Colorado tour. Going straight to work with hits “Window,” and “Rose,” the group enticed the crowd with likeable banter and farm jokes during song breaks. Even through a few technical hiccups, the group maintained their composure with their quirky yet captivating humor and wit that made the missteps an enjoyed debacle.
The Shook Twins, hailing from Portland’s folk scene, have been performing since 2006. Starting out as a sisterly duo, Katelyn and Laurie Shook took on bassist Kyle Volkman and multi-instrumentalist Niko Daoussis.
“Laurie and I started out playing with just the two of us and we had the same strum, and all of our songs sounded the same, and all of our covers sounded the same, and we just weren’t that great,” Katelyn Shook said. “Then we started realizing we should really diversify. So we started learning more instruments just to make ourselves sound different. But then as we started adding more members, each of their unique qualities came in, and being able to feature their songs too just makes it such a wide array.”
The quartet would later add singer/songwriter and violist Anna Tivel to the lineup, whose musical approach brings an element-like truth serum to the already expansive repertoire of The Shook Twins.
Hosting one of Daoussis original “Never Do,” the group laid into a ukulele driven piece centered on their string arrangements. “Yea that song was basically about me being alone in my house and being like ‘why don’t I just call somebody up and get it going,”” he said.
The Shook Twins biggest draw lies in their layering. Their large sonic palette coupled with each performer’s ability to layer instruments makes for an intriguing lineup and show.
“The looping stuff definitely started when we were a duo and trying to make it sound like it was more than just the two of us,” Laurie Shook said. “I was like, ‘why don’t I pound on the banjo, what if I beat box what I learned from these Mormon guys in high school, and what if I push a button and make it happen all the time?”
Utilizing the banjo as a bass drum in cohesion with taking drum sticks to guitars while tossing around a giant golden egg, The Shook Twins took their instruments beyond their design. “What I go for most of the time is what I like… I do feel like when I am making something that I can get behind and that I like, than I am usually doing the right thing,” Daoussis said. “It just feels good.”
“I am always trying to feel honest about what I am doing, and playing with you guys always feels like that to me,” Tivel said.
The Shook Twins finished with a double encore, praising the owners of Shine for hosting the nearly sold-out show and to Ghost Dream for opening the night in fantastic fashion.
After releasing their live “EP” recorded at The Triple Door in Seattle in November, The Shook Twins look to record their next album in April. The album is set for a fall 2013 release while they continue partnering with Ninkasi Brewing company for the “Beer is Love” campaign to promote their 2011 record “Window” on Vinyl.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Kyle Ward at Kyle.firstname.lastname@example.org.