At the risk of becoming The Sister-Band Playlist Creator, this week’s music list brings a pair of Idaho-born identical twin sisters to light. Shook Twins are by no means unknowns, but unless you’ve been up on the Portland indie music club scene or the Americana festival circuit the last several years, or you’re a millenial, or all or some of the above, you might not have heard of Katelyn and Laurie Shook and their band of “quirky folksters.” The labels of “quirky folk” and “psychedelic folk” might not ring recognizable off the bat, but this band is clearly a throwback to 60’s crossover groups like It’s a Beautiful Day, combining ballads about love and social protest, and wrapping them up with traditional acoustics instruments and rich harmonies, along with a historically un-folkish use of beatboxing, looping machines, and repurposed telephone microphones.
Early on, Shook Twins became known for sounding just as good live as they do in the studio, and have been one of the most popular guests on the studio-challenged Jammin’ in the Van series. This playlist combines traditional love lyrics like Awhile (check out the YouTube video of Awhile below the playlist) with more edgy political riffs like their most-played and environmentally activist Shake. One thing’s for certain: 60’s-style folk music is alive and well, combining old-fashioned love and activism, and augmented with a few tricks from present-day music technologies. And that’s a good thing. So, put on your peace-and-love t-shirt and hop in the VW bus for a while. Who needs Twitter when you have the Shooks shaking things up? Have a fabulous Friday and a safe, low-and-slow smoking weekend. No matter what you’re smoking.