What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Can You Canoe? is a superb collection of acoustic Americana folk tunes inspired by a month-long canoe trip adventure down the Mississippi River. Most are original songs, with a couple of traditional renditions, all in a mix of old-time bluegrass, Dixieland, river songs, and early jazz and blues styles. The songs are well written and produced with clean and clever lyrics; most have the Mississippi and The Great Outdoors as their backdrop. These are uplifting songs about embracing nature and enjoying the simplicities of life that the whole family will love. Can You Canoe? won the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Children's Album.
What's the story?
The Okee Dokee Brothers are Minnesota songwriters Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander. The two are longtime childhood friends who spent a month canoeing the Mississippi River together, which is the inspiration for this album. This Grammy Award-winning album contains 15 songs, mostly original tunes, with a couple of traditional renditions; its accompanying 40-minute DVD chronicles their journey from the Missisipppi River's headwaters in Minnesota to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. The Brothers' next adventure album project will focus on hiking, including a month on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia.
Is it any good?
Like fellow Mississippi River traveler Mark Twain, CAN YOU CANOE? is loaded with heart, humor, and gentle, well-measured contemplation. The songs celebrate nature and the childlike wonder in us all. It's a hootenanny of guitars, banjos, fiddles, accordion, tuba, trombone, percussion, even pots and pans and kazoos, all with Joe and Justin's tight, brotherly harmonies. While most of the album is foot stompin', there's also a calm feeling that these songs induce, like that of the endless, lazy days of a childhood summer. Standout tracks are many and include "Can You Canoe?" "Haul Away Joe," " Mr. & Mrs. Sippy," "Campin' Tent," " Memphis Town," "Thousand Star Hotel," "Brothers," "Small and Simple," and "Roll On River."
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the river songs. River songs are work songs that were very common during the pre-Industrial Revolution days. Laborers like river rafters, steamship pilots, and deckhands would sing to help pass the time. Are there times when you or your family likes to sing to help pass the time? Try singing a song the next time you're doing something that might be boring, like cleaning your room, washing dishes, or folding laundry.
The Okee Dokee Brothers have been friends since they were 3 years old. How do you think such a long-time friendship affects their musical relationship, especially when they write songs together as a team?
What songs do you like the best? What makes them so special?