Keats think big at Country Music Week

Andrew Robinson
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Keats busy writing, recording, performing

The sisterly country duo known as The Keats is hoping an upcoming trip to Edmonton, Alta., will lead to big things for the Halifax-based group with central Newfoundland roots.

COUNTRY KEATS – Gambo-born twin sisters Jolene and Sharlene Keats are hoping to make a big splash in Edmonton, Alta., next month at Country Music Week. The pair, who perform as The Keats, will be competing in the New Artist Showcase along with seven oth

Jolene and Sharlene Keats, twin sisters from Gambo, will be one of eight emerging artists from the nation’s country scene to take party in Country Music Week’s New Artist Showcase. The event is being put together by the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA), and will take place Sept. 8-12.

The winner of the showcase will receive the 2010 New Artist Showcase Award.

“It feels great because the timing is perfect,” said Jolene Keats, who plays keyboards, guitar and mandolin in the group, while sister Sharlene handles fiddle, keyboards, and guitar.

This year, the group nabbed an East Coast Music Award nomination for Country Recording of the Year in honour of their six-song release, Good to be Home. The nomination helped the group’s exposure, as did airplay on Country Music Television for its music video, Give Me a Ring.

“It feels great because the timing is perfect.” – Jolene Keats

“All these little things created a snowball effect, and now we’re playing at big festivals, and then we got invited to do this,” said Jolene Keats.

The showcase has proven to be an effective launching pad for country talent in the past. The 2004 winner was Corb Lund, who has since gone on to become a popular recording artist who has won Juno and CCMA awards and toured Europe.

Jolene Keats said Country Music Week will be filled with industry types who can help open new doors for The Keats. In fact, the last time the sisters attended the event was in 2008 – an experience that helped get the group discovered, said Jolene Keats.


Organizations: Canadian Country Music Association, The Keats, Mount Allison University

Geographic location: Country Music Week, Gambo, Country Recording Country Music Television Europe Winnipeg Nashville Sackville Hare Bay

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