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CD Review: The Okee Dokee Brothers – Winterland – by Bob Everhart for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

THE OKEE DOKEE BROTHERS

Winterland

Blankets of Snow – Welcome Home – Ice
Fishin’ Shack – Keep Me Warm – The Abominable Yeti – You You You –
Candles – Slumberjack – Ukulele in a Snnowstorm – Howl – Snowpeople –
Lazy Day – North Country Dance Band – Great Grandmother Tree – New Year –
Signs of Spring

Joe Mailander is the mover and shaker behind this ‘brother’
kind of music makers, his other half being Justin Lansing.  Sometimes
my own road in music takes me to some very interesting occasions and
adventure.  Joe Mailander, once a resident of Colorado, has an uncle in
our little town of Anita, Iowa.  And that brought Joe and a ton of his
music making friends to do a show at our little theater the Oak Tree
Opry.  They had a super tremendous good time, so did the audience.  Then
things happened, Joe downsized to an ‘on the road’ act.  A duo with his
buddy, they started writing ‘kid’ songs.  First hit about taking a ride
in a canoe.  Now they’re out with another simply fascinating,
country-oriented, ‘kid’ song album that is so fresh and so interesting
and so delightfully done it should be in every kid’s music listening
experience.  These guys use some of the very best ‘old-timey’ country
songwriting style and they produce it using interesting musical backing.
Lots of their original music makers help out on this project.  Justin
Lansing on banjo, Dean Jones on harmonica, Rosie Newton on fiddle, Mark
Murphy on upright bass, Jullian Rae on fiddle, Fooch Fischetti on pedal
steel, Marianne Tasick on violin, Chris Johnson and Wayne Montecalvo on
accordion, Mike Grande on ukulele.  Well there’s much much more from
that department, but you can ‘see’ it’s a grand ‘get-together’ of young
folks enjoying a super production of what country might have sounded had
‘progress’ not taken the heart and soul out of it.  Well, that ‘heart
and soul’ is right back where it needs to be.  Anyone who likes that
early ‘fun’ sound of early country music will absolutely love this
album, and anyone considered a ‘kid’ will love the words and the
‘meanings’ of the songs, the love, the adventure, the sharing, the tall
tales of winter life, snow, cold weather, and what might be happening to
‘winter’ itself. I quote from the adjoining ‘kid’s book’…”Ain’t it
kinda funny how a cold day keeps you warm? Your gift is your presence.
Only thing bitin’ is the weather.  Wrap me up and give me a hug, keep me
snug as a bug in a rug. I was just afraid at first, afraid of what I
didn’t know.  I just love it why you YOU. You turn a dark room bright. 
Children close your eyes with the hopes of a comin’ day. Singin’ to the
shoreline and strummin’ that sunshine.  We’re the wild ones. Why do we
roll up circle, just to put ’em inside a square? I got naps to take and
slippers to wear. It’s a shindig, a wingding, a hoedown, a ball! She
doesn’t live but she’s still alive. Where does the time go? Spring wakes
up and hollers out, that death is part of life.”  It’s absolutely
amazing to see the wonderful cartoon critter drawings attached to each
of those wonderful ‘sayings.’  These boys took a Grammy on their
previous work, expect more this time around.  I can’t wait to send this
off to the Rural Roots Music Commission to see what they think.  Good
going boys.

www.music-savers.com RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, President, National Traditional Country Music Association by Bob Everhart for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

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