Gateway Festival Highlight Interview: The Karpinka Brothers

Karpinka Brothers

Among the many talented artists appearing at this year’s Gateway Festival are Saskatchewan’s own Karpinka Brothers, who provide a delightful blend of folk, country, blues, and fuzz in their unique style of music.  They will be emceeing the event, as well as performing at the pancake breakfasts and at the Seniors Home in Bengough (a special outreach of the group that they have been doing for several years now).

The Karpinka Brothers have released three albums thus far: 2008’s “One Brick at a Time,” 2012’s “There’s a Light,” and the 2015 release “You Can Count on Me,” which saw a darker, yet fuller sound enter the brothers’ music.  A fourth album, “Talk Is Cheap,” is scheduled for release this fall.

Karpinka Brothers - You Can Count on Me

We were delighted to get the chance to talk with Aaron Karpinka about their upcoming appearance at the Gateway Festival next month.

For folks outside Saskatchewan who may be coming to the festival but aren’t yet familiar with your music, how would you describe it to them?

Our music is designed to make your good days better and turn your bad days around. It has a positive vibe and is heavy on brotherly harmonies.

In reading through some of the press material on your site, I saw that you made the decision a couple of years ago to pursue music full time.  How has that worked for you, and how has it changed how you approach your music?

It allowed us to tour much more extensively and develop more as writers. It’s been a positive change because full time jobs pay the bills but sap your creativity some times without you even realizing it.

A lot of reviewers compare your sound to Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers – personally, I hear touches of the Sadies.  How would you define your musical inspirations and influences?

The Sadies were a huge influence on us from how we conduct ourselves on stage to our matching suits. We performed with them at the Ness Creek Festival in 2010 and had some nice conversations about the every brothers and music in general. We love Buddy Holly and many newer artists with similar pop rock sensibilities.

You have a new album coming out in the fall, I believe – I assume you’ll do at least a few of the new songs at Gateway?  If so, what can folks who are familiar with your music expect from your new material?

We will probably play all the new songs. It’s the first record where we sing half and half and is split lyrically.

You’ve been described to me as “the nicest brother duo around.”  (No pressure, right?)  It’s clear from your website and socials that doing for others is pretty important to you – how does that worldview feed into your lives as musicians?

It makes our lives more full. We feel like we stand for something as musicians even just within the realm of our shows which we try to present with an open heart. Music is for everyone and can take you away. Give you peaceful joy-filled moments.

~ L

Photo credit: Susan Moss

Visit the Karpinka Brothers’ website.

Visit the Gateway Festival website.

Listen to “You Can Count on Me” on Spotify.

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