Twin Kennedy are not ones to judge books by their covers.
In this case, we are talking about a cover of snow which greeted the country-music siblings on their previous tour of Atlantic Canada at the outset of this year. For these British Columbia natives, seeing mountains of snow was quite a sight to behold.
Even more remarkable in their eyes has been the warm hospitality that Carli and Julie say they have been afforded no matter where they find themselves in the Maritimes.
“All too often when you’re on tour, you don’t really get a good sense of the city you are playing. Typically, you’re there for one night and then it’s onto the next show,” Carli Kennedy says. “We are ones that really treasure seeing the sights though. Earlier this week, one of our show presenters took us out on a lobster boat! It is small gestures like that which endears the Maritimes to us all the more.”
In a very short amount of time, Twin Kennedy – performing at the Igloo Beverage Room on Thursday Sept. 24 – has made quite an impression upon the Canadian Country music scene. In addition to the release of “Feels Like Freedom,” the second single from their full-length debut record, It’s A Love Thing, the duo found themselves marvelling at their first Canadian Country Music Award nomination.
The Kennedys currently find themselves on a path that was laid out for them as children:
“We’ve been playing music together since we were young,” Carli explains. “We started out playing in a family band, which had initially started with us making music around a campfire but then turned into us playing a significant amount of town events in Powell River, B.C., where we grew up.
“We had matching outfits and everything,” she laughs.
“We were all very musical,” Julie continues, “but we were never professionals. Making music with our family came from a love of music and how it could be such a positive force in our lives. Not everyone is as lucky as we were to have such a close, unique bond with their family.”
For a period of time, country music took a backseat for the girls, who went on to study classical music as university students. And though they joke that they have dazzled some of their former university classmates with a classical guitar interlude on It’s A Love Thing, they agree it was only natural they would find their way back to country music.
“We listen to a wide array of music and have studied many different types, but coming back to country music, and finding a career because of it, is exactly where we were meant to be along,” Carli says.
The pride which the Kennedys take in their music is evident throughout each note of It’s A Love Thing. Produced by Nova Scotian native George Canyon, the record gave the twins the opportunity to work with renowned songwriters like Tim Taylor, Patricia Conroy and Ralph Murphy.
Although some folks might believe the music business is a merciless, cutthroat venture in which only the strongest survive, the Kennedys say the spirit of collaboration and realness are the more likely attributes to be found.
“We have been so lucky to travel across Canada, as well as to Nashville, and meet so many amazing musicians and songwriters. The community is a lot more closely-knit than what some might believe,” Carli offers. “You find there is a real positive energy; people just want to work together to make wonderful things happen.”
In spite of the widely-held perception that Canadian country music will always play second fiddle (no pun intended) to our neighbours to the south, the Kennedys share that the voice of Canadian country musicians are indeed being heard in Nashville.
“I feel Canadian country artists can’t help but be influenced and draw inspiration from what is happening in the United States, especially because there is so much great music coming from south of the border,” Julie says. “Our record is no exception to that, but we deliberately set about keeping our Canadian culture and roots.”
What: Twin Kennedy
When: Thursday Sept. 24, 9 p.m.
Where: Igloo Beverage Room, 300 Elmwood Dr., Moncton