The Okee Dokee Brothers
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The Okee Dokee Brothers

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Band Country Bluegrass


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Staying In"

The charming Minnesota duo makes bluegrass for kids. Songs skip nimbly among the absurd ("The Extraterrestrials"), the romantic ("Lucy and Tighty") and the poetic ("What We Got"). Standout track "Neighbors" sounds like the sunny indie band Dr. Dog jamming on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The upshot? Grab your banjo, overalls and sense of humor, and get ready for a (bare)foot-stomping good time.

Read more: - Time Out New York Kids

"Review: Okee Dokee Brothers - Take It Outside"

I'll go ahead and say straight out that since I wrote some liner notes for Take It Outside, the second family album from Minnesota's Okee Dokee Brothers, I think you can guess that I like the album. I do, indeed.

It's a big step forward for Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander, who are neither brothers nor from Oklahoma, but who do share a big ol' grin behind their band's genial name. Their first album Kids With Beards was pretty good, but this one is stronger in every way -- musically, lyrically, and sonically. "Neighbors" sounds like they've packed everybody in their neighborhood into the studio for parts of the chorus. "Hero" features a soaring chorus and guitar work from the Honeydogs'/Bunny Clogs' Adam Levy. And midway through the bouncy "Antidisestablishmentarianism," they decide that "now we're going to spell for you / 'Cause that's what kids musicians do" and proceed to do just that. (Their joy mounts as they continue to sing as they provide a frequency distribution, for example, of the letters in the word, capped by the definition and a gleeful "what's that supposed to mean?" followed by "Who caaaaares".) They do reflective OK, as on "What We Got" and "Sweet Dreams," but their strength is silly and/or goofy.

Kids ages 5 through 10 will most appreciate the lyrical themes and humor, while their Americana/bluegrass take on pop-rock, polished to a nice sheen by producer Tor Hyams will have a fairly broad appeal. You can listen to samples at the album's CD Baby page. Take It Outside has an outdoorsy theme, but even more so it speaks to an engagement with the rest of the world. With good humor and heart, the Okee Dokee Brothers have produced a CD for even the most curmudgeonly recluse and the kids who just want them to play a little bit. Definitely recommended. - Zooglobble

"Parent's Choice Award Winner"

Bluegrass and folk vibes shape this loosey-goosey, happy music with down-home appeal, performed by a fine passel of musicians on fiddles, piano, banjo, guitar, horns and percussion-acoustic and electric-led by Okee Dokee Brothers Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing. The duo's original songs cover wide territory, from heroes and neighbors to face-washing and extraterrestrials who "never come to play anymore." Whatever the subject, word-play is paramount. Check out their "Antidisestablishmentarianism" track or the adventures of "Lucy and Tighty": "Lefty Lucy loved to lolly lacksadaisically/But Righty Tighty went by the book alphabetically…." - Parent's Choice

"NAPPA Gold Award"

Seamlessly threading bluegrass and rock, this sassy musical hybrid album reminds us that fantasy and fun are right in our own backyard. Use your imagination to play with aliens (“The Extraterrestrials”) and even participate in a real live auction (“Auctioneer”). But not necessarily at the same time, of course!

"The (Really Great) Okee Dokee Brothers"

You aren't likely to find me at a folk music festival or a bluegrass jamboree, but I'm totally taken by The Okee Dokee Brothers' new release, Kids with Beards.

This two-member band from Minneapolis make twangy, toe-tapping folk music with smart, funny lyrics that are equal parts hillbilly, seven-year-old boy and your favorite teacher.

Running in heavy rotation in my head is Too Much Time in Candy Land which wisely warns, "Mike and Ike were not my friends, And Laffy Taffys weren't so funny" (the perfect pre trick-or-treating song if I've ever heard one). I have even started enjoying the one song I originally avoided at all costs: Boogylicious. The lyrics aren't for the faint of heart (or stomach) but you may find yourself laughing in spite of yourself.

If you like your music served up with a lot of feel-good activism, know that all the proceeds from the CD go to The Medicinal Strings Foundation, the non-profit started by the duet to get music into underserved communities, which actually led to the creation of the CD.
-Christina - Cool Mom Picks

"The Gift of Song"

Kids with Beards from the Okee Dokee Brothers is one of those rare delights that is music to the ears of Raffi-weary parents. It will get the whole family dancing, laughing and singing along to the clever, funny lyrics in no time.
- Island Parent Magazine

"Wash Your Face - Video"

"The Twin Cities-based Okee Dokee Brothers' Kids With Beards is one of the better kids music albums I never got around to reviewing -- a solid, occasionally odd, but often quite enjoyable collection of tunes released in 2008. You've never heard banjos and disco mix quite like this.

Well, Joe and Justin have some new tunes, and they're trying them out live. More importantly for the audiovisual needs of your friendly kids music blogger, they're also posting them to YouTube. Fun stuff, plus banjos. Banjos go a long way with me, as do gratuitous mid-'80s references. I think they'll go a fair way with your kids, too."
- Stefan Shepherd - Zooglobble


“Kids with Beards is a fun engaging album by a talented duo that mixes a sense of whimsy with strong musicianship.” – John Wood -

"The Okee Dokee Brothers"

Awesome, funny, bluegrass-inspired music aimed squarely at kids. - Z Recs Punny Bop Blog

"Kids and Family Music Awards"

Kids With Beards was voted one of the top 20 family music albums of 2008 by the National Fids and Kamily Poll. - Fids and Kamily Blog


Kids With Beards (2008)
Take It Outside (2010)
¡Excelente Fabuloso! (2010) - Spanish Language album



It’s surprising to witness a parent telling their child, “How many times do I have to tell you to turn that music…UP! Is that all the louder it gets? We need bigger speakers…” But, The Okee Dokee Brothers’ music is full of surprises and it serves as a connection point for parent’s and their children. In every song there is room for kids to dance and parents to feel like kids again.

As childhood best friends and band mates growing up in Denver, Colorado, Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing dreamed of being professional singer-songwriters. Then, one day (poof!) they were all grown up and playing their music on the scene. After years
of touring the Midwest with their bluegrass band, Joe and Justin decided to keep their folk roots, but return to where it all began: childhood imagination. That’s when they moved to Minneapolis to start their “kindie” band called The Okee Dokee Brothers.

Inspired by their own backyard adventures, The Okee Dokee Brothers currently perform original music that reminds audiences of their own make-believes and treehouse-pretendings. Listening to their banjo and guitar is like Huck and Tom whitewater rafting
with Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger down the Mississippi. The Okee Dokee Brothers believe that music should be an energetic, interactive, and fun experience where kids can enjoy dancing, singing and playing instruments with their families.

As an independently managed band, the young duo has gained a loyal grassroots following that is drawn to their witty lyrics, off-the-wall humor, strong musicianship, and unique folk style. By appealing to the musical needs of the entire family and recognizing that kids deserve quality music, The Okee Dokee Brothers are working full-time to regain the integrity of the children’s music genre.