Grammy weekend was a grand time for two old friends whose road trip, er, river trip helped them take home music’s top honor for the Best Children’s Album of 2012. Even though the Okee Dokee Brothers‘ Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing’s folksy Can You Canoe? , born out of a 2011 trip the two took down the Mississippi river from Minneapolis to St. Louis, has had a fantastic reception, they were still surprised and delighted by their win on Sunday in the pre-telecast ceremony.
“We didn’t have any expectations. We were up against some really quality kids perfomers. The range really represented the genre and what’s going on in the industry,” Mailander told EW as he headed home to Minneapolis from L.A. Other contenders in the category were Elizabeth Mitchell’s Little Seed: Songs For Children By Woody Guthrie, The Pop Ups’ Radio Jungle, Bill Harley’s High Dive And Other Things That Could Have Happened…, and JumpinJazz Kids – A Swinging Jungle Tale – Featuring Al Jarreau, Hubert Laws And Dee Dee Bridgewater by James Murray & Various Artists.
Canoe was the first of an adventure album series. Next up is trip down the Appalachian trail, which will lead to an album that Mailander says won’t stray far from their folksy roots but “will nod to the traditional instrumentals and melodies of that region.”
After making children’s music for five years, there’s definitely a lot of optimism about what this win could mean for the band.
“Hopefully it’ll get the music out to a larger audience so that parents and families recognize that there are independent musicians out there that make quality music for kids that isn’t dumbed down,” says Mailander.
And sharing the success with Lansing, who he’s been friends with since they were 3 years old, is just icing on the cake.
“I wouldn’t know what I’d do if it was me by myself. It’s so nice to share it as a brother,” he says. “It keeps it authentic and keeps it humble.”
Check out their video for Can You Canoe? below.