Shook Twins and the Golden Egg

Tahoe Onstage

Laurie Shook and the Shook Twins are back onstage at the High Sierra Music Festival.
Tony Contini / Tahoe Onstage photos

Shook Twins are a four-piece folk pop group fronted by twins Laurie and Katelyn Shook. They’re Idaho transplants with Portland as a new home base.

Their first High Sierra Music Festival experience in 2013 was a blur. This time, they played a beautiful daytime set on the Grandstand then stayed for a true festival experience.

Laurie and Katelyn are both multi-instrumentalists who don’t stop at strings and woodwinds, they love to dabble in quirky and electronic devices.

One of Katelyn’s mics is a retrofitted rotary phone in a golden case. And that’s not the only golden oddity onstage. There’s also a giant egg. I sat down with Laurie in their tour van to get some backstory.

Katelyn Shook

This is a tale she’s told and loves to tell. She lights up like a magician dazzling the crowd while telling it. In short, they were gifted a large egg from a man on the streets of Seattle. The man said he got it from some lady who told him to sign it and pass it along. The fella knew Laurie was the next person.

It was a decoration for years until Laurie wondered if it could be a shaker. She filled it with popcorn kernels and added a mic to make it a drum. It’s been on stage ever since. But that’s not where the magic ends.

They received an email from another former possessor of the egg. He was ecstatic to see the egg again and had the signature to prove it. He reassured Laurie the egg was magical. Laurie thinks she’ll know what to do with it when the time is right, in the meantime, it’ll also be musical.

Both sisters perform with multiple microphones for varying textures. One of Laurie’s is used for beatboxing, often laced with delay and hooked up to pedals.

“I keep building onto my pedal board,” Laurie said. “I do tricks and think of ways to accent vocals.”

The last magical part of Shook Twins is the harmony between the sisters. Singing is a part of who they are. They were always singing, always writing, from their first song “On Our Way To Grandma’s House” to about a decade of choir and now the festival circuit.

“We never really thought about it,” Laurie said. “We are so grateful and fortunate to have the same vocal cords and DNA.”

Laurie’s voice is lower, so when they sand together, at top volume, it completely filled the festival’s largest venue.

After deciding they wanted to be a band, their first restaurant gig was eager for them to perform and get paid a valiant wage. One might say the path these women walk is paved in gold.

— Tony Contini

Laurie Shook and the golden egg.

About Tony Contini

Photographer and journalist Tony Contini graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in art photography. He loves working with bands and telling stories. Photography portfolio:

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