Grammy-award winners and all around super guys The Okee Dokee Brothers follow up their stellar Mississippi River-themed album, Can You Canoe?, with Through the Woods, all about their adventures hiking a chunk of the Appalachian Mountain trail. This is another collection of songs that should rightfully become a family classic for the joy, fun, and great music it’ll bring into your home and on your family’s travels.
Childhood friends Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander pack Through the Woods with a variety of “mountain music”, including American folk, bluegrass, blues, and a bunch of cool-sounding instruments. Songs like the gently rambling title tune that invites you to join them on their journey, and the lively “Jamboree” which may get you all clogging (or at least tapping your toes) sing of love for a simpler life that is contagious in its enthusiasm. And the incredibly talented guest musicians heard on songs like “Fiddlestick Joe” and “Black Bear Mama” give the album so much authenticity, it’s clear that this duo immersed themselves in their mountain surroundings.
Through the Woods starts off on the thoughtful side, with songs like “Evergreen” and “Walking With Spring” pulling us into the natural world. Then the very silly guys’ even sillier side comes out with songs like “Black Bear Mama”, “Hillbilly Willy”, and “Riddle & Rhyme”. I’d say they were pure fun “for the kids”, except these are some of my very favorite songs on this album. It’s Joe and Justin’s great way with words–handling tongue-twister-esque lyrics with ease or making crazy rhymes–that will have all ages smiling.
Through the Woods alone is more than worth the price of a download, but I suggest you purchase the album/DVD combo to fully experience The Okee Dokee Brothers’ adventures. The scenery in their documentary-like DVD has me itching to lace up my hiking boots, and I equally love the stories about the musical people they meet, as well as the excellent music videos.
Even if I never set foot on the Appalachian Trail, after seeing their documentary I feel like this region’s original music is as important to protect as the towering trees, clear-running streams, and those cute ponies the guys meet along the way. Powerful stuff.
The Okee Dokee Brothers new album Through the Woods releases today. Download a copy of the album from our Amazon affiliate if you can’t wait another minute, although the CD/DVD combo is pretty special. Check out the brand-new video for their song Echo on YouTube.