Material: Shook Twins hail from Portland,OR. Their set encapsulated multiple genres including disco, psychedelic ‘60s and light beatboxing and rap. The song “Shake” has an energetic beat that keeps your feet stepping while it buckles your knees with a short beatbox break. It’s the kind of song you would play on repeat while driving up PCH without a destination singing, “the earth is gonna’ shake you down.” Shook Twins’ songs ooze politics with commentary on religiously motivated violence (“not killing in God’s name”) and themoroseness of today’s job market. “Time to Swim,” from their album Window, feels as if Massive Attack and Enya got mixed with a bluegrass inspired xylophone accompaniment.
Musicianship: The Shook Twins have beautiful and dreamy harmonies. Whether they are playing guitars, banjos or the occasional mandolin, the band shares not just a great musical affinity, but also an incredibly genuine human camaraderie. The members of the band play high-quality funky-folk music with a synthesizer-filtered keyboard, Texas-blues style lead guitar and the drummer is consistent on the rhythm.
Performance: Like their opener, harmony cousins, Rainbow Girls, Shook Twins’ Katelyn and Laurie are jack-of-all-trades musicians. They’re as good at audience interaction as playing and shuffling through acoustical instruments. The twin front-ladies have fun on stage with their guitarist who plays riffs resembling Stevie Ray Vaughn. Their cover of “Dreams” by the Cranberries was spot-on to the point I thought it was a recording when I briefly heard it through speakers by the bar. To one of the tracks you could dance “the hustle.”
Summary: As the lights turned on a little too quickly after the show’s end, the audience shuffled out into the drizzling rain that fell on the streets of Little Tokyo. The night felt cut short, with both bands just getting into rhythm as their time was up. The audience wanted to hear more. For the most part, the vocals are distinct but temporarily it was difficult to hear them amid the fast-paced beat. Since it was my first time at the Moroccan Lounge and my first time seeing Shook Twins, I could not tell if it was the venue sound system or an issue with the sound mix. Regardless, I would recommend rockin' at the Moroccan with the Rainbow Girls and Shook Twins.
Contact: Katelyn & Laurie Shook, [email protected]
Players: Katelyn Shook, lead vocals, guitar; Laurie Shook, lead vocals, banjo; Niko Slice, lead guitar, backup vocals; Aber Miller, keyboard; Darren Garvey, drums.
Photo credit: Jay Blakesberg