Sandpoint’s Shook Twins featured in Ting commercial
Christine Ottoni • August 24, 2018if( has_post_thumbnail( $post_id ) ): ?>
Meet Sandpoint’s Shook Twins
Have you seen Ting’s commercial for Sandpoint? Maybe you recognize the track, “Growing Things” by Shook Twins. Born and raised in Sandpoint, Idaho, Laurie and Katelyn Shook have been making music together since their teen years.
We got the chance to catch up with the Shook Twins and chat about their music as well as their formative years in Sandpoint.
The start of something great, somewhere great
“We started out in choir in fifth grade,” says Katelyn Shook. “And we discovered how much we loved singing then. We continued in choir in college and picked up instruments around that time.”
The group is made up of the namesake duo, Katelyn Shook (vocals, guitar) and Laurie Shook (banjo, vocals), as well as band members and collaborators. The Shook Twins came out in 2008 with their indie debut You Can Have The Rest, followed up by Window in 2011, What We Do in 2014 and their EP 2 in 2017. To date, the Shook Twins have played shows, festivals and showcases across the world. Their sound is best described as alternative or indie folk-pop, with more traditional acoustic instrumentation as well as the use of electronics.
“The first songs we starting writing were influenced by nature and were poetic,” says Katelyn. “We were influenced by the outdoors, [Sandpoint is] such a wonderful place to grow up,” says Laurie.
Sandpoint is a small, rich community with lots of mentorship opportunities for local artists and musicians.
“We had lots of mentors here, including a wonderful musician named Beth Peterson and rigging professional, Zeppy Lyster,” says Laurie. “Beth is a wonderful person and a wonderful musician and lent us advice here and there, and Zeppy helped us get a photo shoot and hooked us up with managers in the beginning years.”
Laurie and Katelyn attended the University of Idaho and after they graduated, they moved back home in 2006 and picked up a regular gig at the Pend d’Oreille Winery in Sandpoint. They started playing around Idaho and came out with their first album in 2008.
Today, Katelyn and Laurie Shook live in Portland. The track in Ting’s commercial, “Growing Things” was actually written in Sandpoint.
“When we write now, we spend days renting an Airbnb or at a friends house, working for ten or twelve hours a day,” says Laurie.
“Typically the songs themselves come out of nowhere,” says Katelyn. “Sometimes we write individually as well and then we bring it to each other or the band. For [“Growing Things”], we wrote that one together here in Sandpoint, and I specifically remember that we were listening to a lot of Bon Iver at that time and we wanted to do an exercise that was influenced by his style. His lyrics have stand-alone lines, they’re not typically story songs and we wanted to write a whole bunch of lines, and to just put the lines together and discover the meaning after.”
The track feels like a homage to growing pains and the difficult parts of growth and change as well as the good.
Ting and the Shook Twins
At Ting, we’re proud to have the opportunity to connect with artists and musicians in our Ting Towns. When we make a commercial celebrating a town, we do our best to partner with local bands and artists. It gives us a chance to support local artists and to meet them. We had a blast catching up with Laurie and Katelyn Shook and hearing about how growing up in Sandpoint influenced their journey as artists.