Move over Carrie Underwood, the Foo Fighters, Kanye West, and make way for the Okee Dokee Brothers—Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing. The group’s latest album, Can You Canoe?, nabbed the coveted 2013 Grammy Award for Best Children’s Album on February 10 at the star-studded awards ceremony held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
The album, inspired by their canoe trip down the Mississippi River, features original mostly folk, country, and bluegrass numbers enhanced by virtuoso performances on a variety of instruments, including accordion, auto-harp, rhumba box, fiddle, udu, drums, pots and pans, tuba, trombone, and many others. According to a recent review in School Library Journal, “this unique, outstanding musical performance should have a place in every library.”
The two childhood friends took a month-long journey on the Mississippi, but never dreamed that their voyage would take them to the Grammys. About to board a plane home to Minnesota, Mailander told SLJ, “We are thrilled that the recording academy chose our album to represent the quality music that’s being made in the children’s genre right now. All the nominees were deserving and we’re honored to be in such great company.”
Four other children’s albums were nominated for a Grammy this year by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences in the Best Children’s Album category: Bill Harley’s High Dive and Other Things That Could Have Happened (Round River); the JumpinJazz Kids’s A Swinging Jungle Tale (JumpinJazzKids), narrated by James Murray and featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater, Al Jarreau, Hubert Laws, and various artists; Little Seed: Songs for Children by Woody Guthrie (Smithsonian Folkways), re-imagined renditions of classic Guthrie favorites by Elizabeth Mitchell; and the Pop Ups’s (Brooklyn-based music duo Jason Rabinowitz and Jacob Stein) Radio Jungle (CDBaby.com).
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