Kennedy sisters play Nancy O's August 14
Carli and Julie Kennedy are used to people doing a double take when they see them on the street.
But whenever the identical twins hit the live stage, the music they create is a pure fusion of talent.
“We feel so lucky,” Carli told the Free Press on Wednesday. “We’re not only best friends but also we feel things the same way musically – and want to bring out the same things. Actually, I can’t think of anyone I would rather be performing on stage with than Julie.”
The dynamic Canadian duo – Carli on vocals and guitar (her gutsy rhythms have been compared to those of Heart’s Nancy Wilson,) Julie on vocals and violin – really have a sound all their own. One that’s won them praise from fans and music critics alike, and assures them a solid spot in the music industry.
From Powell River and now based in Victoria, they have a background in country, folk, jazz and Celtic music.
“Powell River was a great place to grow up,” said Carli. “We first performed for our parents in the living room (she laughs).
“The town really did support us, they helped us grow as performers – we were always performing country music and fiddle tunes at community events.
“We had a family band (Carli, Julie, their father and a younger sister). Powell River is very supportive of the arts [generally].”
Having a musical family helps.
“My dad is a guitar player. He played with his own bands when he was younger. I probably learned my first guitar chords from him when I was about three years old.
“Julie took up the violin. My younger sister is also a singer but right now she’s pursuing other things at university.”
That’s why Carli and Julie are a duo, not a trio. They share a place in Victoria and a place on stage. Both shine in the spotlight with their own solos as well as in their beautiful harmonies.
By spending time on the road, they hope to share their music with more people. And they have even more in common:
The Kennedy sisters studied at University of Victoria’s School of Music. In 2008, bothgraduated with their Bachelor’s degree in music performance. That same year, they released their first EP of four original songs that continue to get airplay on CBC Radio. They have played special events and festivals including the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, Sunshine Music Festival, Victoria Jazz Festival International.They recently returned from a show in Nashville, Tennessee. Reviewers say the duo is garnering a wide audiences with their talent as instrumentalists, vocalists and songwriters.
Country Life Tour is named to reflect smaller venues across B.C. they will be visiting on their tour.
It also takes its name from the title song on their new EP.
“This is our longest tour so far – July 7 to August 19,” said Carli. “We’re playing lots of smaller communities we’ve never been to before – like Prince George. This (August 14) concert will be our first time there, so we’re very excited.”
The warm summer weather has been ideal for the tour.
“We’ve played a lot of outdoor venues on this tour, and the weather, so far, has been great ... (she laughs.) Oh, I hope I don’t jinx that for Prince George.”
Carli and Julie Kennedy bring their Country Life Tour to Prince George when they play Nancy O’s on Tuesday, August 14. Show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door.