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Exploring Old Time Recordings and Artists 


Canote Brothers

West Coast duo (with a Knoxville connection)


Jere and Greg Canote are identical twins from Seattle, Washington who perform as the Canote Brothers. They are known nationally through their touring and teaching at music camps and festivals across the country. The brothers have played an important role in the old-time music scene on the West Coast through a string band class they have been teaching for several decades. 

Jere and Greg have published an extensive list of tab and sound files from these classes. Jere has additionally published a guitar tab book of their tunes, and is known for building custom banjos. The brothers also performed in a popular radio variety show for nearly 15 years called Sandy Bradley’s Potluck, which earned the nickname “Seattle’s Prairie Home Companion”. 

The Canote’s repertoire includes original compositions, obscure fiddle tunes, early country songs, quirky novelty numbers, children’s songs, and swing classics. Their shows are “delightfully unpredictable,” filled with jokes and stories as well as good music. The brothers are known for their infectious, positive energy, and for humorously capitalizing on their relationship as identical twins. Here is a link to 21 Canote Brothers videos that showcase their unique style.

The Canotes perform lots of Old Time fiddle tunes, saying, “We love the beautiful old fiddle tunes and the hypnotic ‘in the moment’ experience of playing this American Old Time music.” Several of their original tunes have become popular with Old Time musicians, including “Sadie At The Back Door," and “Obama’s March To The White House.” A documentary film entitled “The Canote Twins” has been made that chronicles their “...journey from infancy to festival favorites”. This film, along with a dozen short features, is now available for free home streaming.

The Canote Brothers left their mark on the Knoxville area Old Time music scene in an important way. Knoxville fiddler Ken Bronson met the Canotes at Mt. Airy in the late 70’s, and when they were touring the South in the early 80’s, the Canotes often used Ken’s big farmhouse as their base. (The brothers were also known as “The Clone Tones” at that time - which is now the name of their record company.) When the Canote's touring ended, they returned to the West Coast, leaving Ken two cassette tapes that contained dozens of tunes which they had gathered during their travels. This was a pre-internet treasure trove, and these tapes were shared extensively among Knoxville players. Ken said, "I gave a copy to everyone I knew!" Due to years of playing them at Festivals, several tunes from these tapes eventually became known as “Knoxville tunes” (or “Mumbilly versions”), such as Rat Cheer, and the "extra chord" versions of Big Sciota and Booth Shot Lincoln. The Canote connection also explains why you may hear uncommon tunes such as Willits Or Won’t Its, Numero Once, Numero Doce, and Throw The Old Cow Over The Fence in Knoxville jam circles even today. 

Full Canote Brothers Show

From the 56th annual Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest

The Canote Brothers

"Obama's March To The White House"

Greg Canote (2009)

The Canote Brothers

"Sadie At The Back Door"

By Jere Canote, Originally on “Concert Collection II” (1999)

by Sandy Bradley & the Small Wonder String Band

(Sadie was a cat)

Walkin' Back To TexasThe Canote Brothers
00:00 / 02:59
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