For twin sisters Carli and Julie Kennedy, coming home to Powell River to perform from their newly released Christmas album, A Twin Kennedy Christmas, is a high point of their season.
The sisters recorded their latest album in Nashville, known worldwide as the capital of country music; it was the first time they had recorded there. They said they are excited to bring the famous music city's style back to the Sunshine Coast.
“We’re bringing Nashville home to Powell River,” said Carli, who predominately plays guitar.
“It’s kind of like full circle,” added Julie, the fiddle-playing half of the duo.
The sisters said they were thrilled with the calibre of musicians participating in the process of recording the album in Nashville.
“We got to work with some of the best musicians in the industry,” said Julie.
Artists performing on the album include Tim McGraw and the The Time Jumpers, a Grammy Award-winning, Nashville-based band featuring Vince Gill.
As the duo finish up the United States leg of their North American tour, they said Powell River is never far from their thoughts and part of their musical DNA.
“We talk about Powell River at every show," said Carli. "We always ask if anyone knows Powell River; there’s usually someone who has heard of it."
The sisters started playing in a family band at community events in town and remember performing at Sea Fair, Blackberry Festival and in local choirs.
“Those memories are always a part of us and that’s really where we got our first taste of life as musicians,” said Carli.
Brooks Secondary School music teacher Paul Cummings said the sister’s musicality was apparent at an early age, but it was their outlook that really stood out.
“They were really fabulous teenage musicians and multi-instrumentalists, but the thing that was absolutely the most impressive was just their attitude," said Cummings. "Sometimes kids drop out of music classes because they don’t feel challenged, but they were quick to see it as an opportunity to learn another instrument, to give back, to peer tutor, all those sorts of things.”
At Powell River Academy of Music, the Kennedys studied violin, guitar, voice and piano. According to the sisters, the classical training laid the foundation for their career in country music.
“The style of music we did was mostly classical in our days in Powell River, and that style is always a part of us,” said Julie.
The new Twin Kennedy album features Christmas classics, instrumental covers and four original songs. The concert at Max Cameron Theatre will be notable as the sisters graduated from Brooks and will be performing their first acoustic show in town.
“It’s going to be special because it’s an up-close and personal acoustic tour," said Carli. "We’re bringing the fiddles, guitars, the bass guitar, the banjo; we’re really bringing it back to our roots for this Christmas show.”
Although the sisters now split their time between Victoria and Nashville, they said they love coming back to Powell River whenever they have the chance.
“We have tons of friends who feel like family there," said Julie, "so it’s always going to be home for us.”
Twin Kennedy performs at Max Cameron Theatre on Wednesday, December 13. Tickets are available online at twinkennedy.com/shows or at the Peak office.