MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities duo, The Okee Dokee Brothers, won the best children’s album of the year Sunday night.
Their album “Can You Canoe?” took home the award for Best Children’s Album. It’s about a trip Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing took on the Mississippi River.
Band member Joe Mailander says he and fellow band member Justin Lansing played bars and cafes in high school and college, but decided in the last five years to do music for kids. But the Okee Dokee Brothers didn’t want their music for kids to be what they call “dumbed down” or “cheesy.”
“Hopefully now, there’s some other options for people who want something that is listenable and maybe a little bit more meaningful,” said Mailander.
Last June, Lansing and Mailander paddled the Mississippi River, from the Twin Cities to St. Louis. They hired a video crew to go along on the 30-day canoe trip, and are selling a DVD alongside their album.
They also publish their work and control everything.
“We aren’t represented by a major label,” said Mailander. “We kind of do this out of our basements. All of the business is taken care of in house. We are our own managers.”