‘Giving Thanks’: Shook Twins’ holiday concert has become an annual holiday tradition

By Ben Olson
Reader Staff

The holiday season around Sandpoint wouldn’t quite be the same without the annual Shook Twins “Giving Thanks” concert, with John Craigie opening.

Shook Twins, as photographed by Blue Gabor.

The show takes place Saturday, Nov. 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the Panida Theater. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and advanced tickets are available for $20 at Eichardt’s Pub in Sandpoint, or online at shooktwins.com.

This year’s show marks the eighth year Laurie and Katelyn Shook have returned to their hometown for a holiday concert.

“This is always our favorite show of the year, for me and for Katelyn too,” Laurie Shook said. “In the beginning, we tried to do something totally different (at the holiday show) from what we were touring with. We didn’t always have our band based in Portland available to come over to Sanpdoint, so we’d do different things, invite different openers.”

Over the years, Shook Twins have been joined by various performers such as Gregory Alan Isakov, Josh Hedlund, Bart Budwig, Justin Landis and others. 

“One person who is always involved is John Craigie,” Shook said. “He’s a staple now. He’s the M.C., the opener, the sit-in musician. We love Craigie. He’s our best friend and so good for morale. He loves Sandpoint, too. He comes to our family Thanksgiving dinner.”

Shook said this year’s show will be extra special because it will be the last performance with Shook Twins’ current band.

“Niko is staying with us, but our drummer Barra and bassist Sydney Nash are moving on to do their own thing,” Shook said. “So this will be a nice end show for all of us.”

These annual holiday concerts are more than just another show for Katelyn and Laurie – they are a time for homecoming, for connection with loved ones and a time to showcase their latest music. It’s also a connection to their early days, before they blazed onto the music scene.

“The first performance we ever did was on that stage,” Shook said. “Katelyn and I were lobsters in a production of ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ I don’t really know why we were lobsters, come to think of it. We were like five or six years old.”

The twins regularly found themselves performing on the Panida’s main stage over the years, for plays, choir performances, and later for their own performances as Shook Twins.

John Craigie, thinking about how he’ll crack you up and take your money. Photo by Missing Piece Group.

“It’s such a great theater,” Shook said. “That’s why Katelyn and I decided this year, and for years to come, that we’re going to start donating and raising money for the Panida, maybe get a little silent auction going. Most of our shows, we donate proceeds from our merchandise to a worthy cause, but we’ll do something extra for the Panida.”

Shook said the band has set their sights on releasing their long-awaited next album Feb. 8 with Portland-based record label Dutch Records.

“We decided to go with a small outlet from Portland, and now we just need to start promoting it,” Shook said. “The album will be called ‘Some Good Lives.’”

The last few years, Shook Twins’ holiday concerts have sold out, so make sure to purchase tickets early to guarantee entry.

When asked why this show is so important to them, Shook said: “It’s the feeling of home more than anything. It’s where we get our most concentrated support, I think. It’s the show that I’m most affected by the audience. The audience is such a huge part of it for me. We always love to see our friends and family singing along in the front row. It’s just amazing.”

Catch the show Nov. 24 at the Panida Theater.

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