ST. CLOUD - Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander have been friends since childhood. Now they take their love of the outdoors, and turn it into music. The Okee Dokee Brothers have once again been nominated for a GRAMMY in the Best Children's Album Category. They have been nominated in this category before with the album, "Can You Canoe?". Now, The Okee Dokee Brothers have a new album "Through the Woods".

The Okee Dokee Brothers goal is to inspire kids and their families to get outdoors.  The duo have gone on hiking trips, and canoe trips to inspire their music. Their latest album, "Through the Woods", took them on a hiking trip along the Appalachian Trail meeting musicians from banjo players and fiddlers, to singers. Mailander says they were learning the history of the region, and the cultural backdrop of the music.

A lot of those weave their way into the lyrics, and themes of our original songs. So while we're out there, we're taking note; we're writing songs; we're writing verses; we're also finishing ideas that we have come up with before, and then when we get home, we wrap it all up, and go to the studio. We call it an adventure album for that reason.

"Through The Woods"
(Photo: www.okeedokee.org)

Their first Adventure Album, "Can You Canoe?" won the GRAMMY Award in 2013 for Best Children's Album. With "Through the Woods" also being nominated for the 2015 GRAMMY Awards, Mailander says it's an honor.

"It means that it's resonating with people, and that getting outdoors and old time folk music is still relevant. Even in this modern culture that we live in, and this fast paced world that there is something about the message of slowing down, unplugging, and spending time outdoors that is still important to the folks that vote for the GRAMMYS," says Mailander.

- The Other Nominees Are -

  • "Appetite For Construction" by The Pop Ups
  • "I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education And Changed The World (Malala Yousafzai)" by Neela Vaswani
  • "Just Say Hi!" by Brandy Rymer and The Little Band That Could
  • "The Perfect Quirk" by Secret Agent 23 Skidoo.
The Okee Dokee Brothers
(Photo: www.okeedokee.org)

Mailander and Lansing, along with the rest of the Okee Dokee Brothers Band, will be performing at the Paramount Theatre this Sunday, December 14th. Even though they've been here before it is almost like a homecoming for Mailander, who is a graduate of St. Johns University.

"I love coming back up to Stearns County, and the St. Cloud Area," says Mailander, "It's fun to play the Paramount, and fill the place up with a lot of energy, and a lot of familiar faces. This is our second year doing that around the holidays, and it's just one of those shows that we look forward to all year round."

As for this weekend's show, Mailander says you'll get the full sound of the Okee Dokee Brothers. Band members Jillian, Liz, and Jed will be here in St. Cloud. They will be performing songs from "Can You Canoe?", "Through The Woods", along with other new, and traditional songs. Mailander says everyone can look forward to dancing, interaction, and having a big old hootenanny.

This year's GRAMMY Awards ceremony will be on Sunday, February 8th 2015 at 8/7c.