The Canote Brothers

by Adam McKinney for OLY ARTS

Music history is lined with family bands, with qualities spanning the good (the Everly Brothers), the bad (the Jonas Brothers) and the indescribably weird (the Shaggs). Those examples are all sibling acts, and that avoids the potential sleaziness of parents promoting their children as music acts. It’s easier to read joy into siblings autonomously deciding to make music together. The Canote Brothers follow in that tradition.

Greg and Jere, twin brothers, have been performing old-time music in the styles of bluegrass, folk and ragtime for over 30 years. Their music has a stripped-down quality, with the two brothers singing and providing instrumentation via fiddle and guitar. This is no postmodern take on the Americana genre. The Seattle-based Canote Brothers take care to be as true to the art form’s rustic fundamentals as possible.

There’s no stodginess to The Canote Brothers. There’s a wry charm to their songs, a mix of originals and long-lost classics. Their performances are a celebration of the American songbook, in much the same way Tiny Tim would offer a giddily encyclopedic exploration of music from the early 20th century. With a lightness and joviality, The Canote Brothers approximate an intimate jamboree.

In their storied career in music—which includes a 13-year run as sidekicks on the Potluck radio show, which reveled in roots music—The Canote Brothers have never been anything but delightfully themselves, even as they reach back into American history for sonic inspiration.

What: The Canote Brothers

Where: South Bay Grange,
3918 Sleater Kinney Ave. E, Olympia

When: 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17

How much: $20

Learn more: email | The Oly Old Time Festival