The Okee Dokee Brothers
About The Okee Dokee Brothers
Based out of Minneapolis, the Okee Dokee Brothers are a Grammy-winning bluegrass and Appalachian folk duo with a focus on children's music. Known for albums like 2012's Can You Canoe? and 2016's Saddle Up, the band's material is largely inspired by outdoor adventures they've undertaken together including hiking the Appalachian Trail, canoeing the Mississippi River, and camping along the Continental Divide.
Featuring Denver natives and childhood friends, guitarist/singer Joe Mailander and banjo player/singer Justin Lansing, the Okee Dokee Brothers were born out of the duo's shared love of the outdoors and folk music. While both Mailander and Lansing grew up playing music, they eventually earned degrees in Spanish, with Lansing attending Lake Forest College in Illinois and Mailander attending Saint John's University in Minneapolis. After graduating college in 2008, they based themselves in Minneapolis and released the debut Okee Dokee Brothers album, Kids with Beards. Two years later, the duo followed up with Take It Outside and the Spanish-language ¡Excelente Fabuloso! In 2012, they took home their first Grammy Award for their fourth album, Can You Canoe?
Mailander and Lansing embarked on an extended tour of the Appalachian Trail in 2013, during which they wrote and recorded new music. The trip resulted in their fifth studio album, 2014's Through the Woods, which also earned a Grammy nomination for Best Children's Album. The following year, Mailander and Lansing took a horse-packing trip together along the Continental Divide. Their adventure inspired the Okee Dokee Brothers' next release, 2016's guest-heavy cowboy-themed album Saddle Up. Another themed release, Winterland, arrived in October 2018, exploring the seasonal voyage from autumn to spring. Returning in 2020, the Brothers released a collection of original songs modeled after the old-time folk tunes of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie titled Songs for Singin'. It was released as a two-disc version and featured a 32-page songbook with lyrics and chords. ~ Matt Collar