As you can guess from their plucky name, the Okee Dokee Brothers love making music that kids and adults can enjoy together, especially if it inspires people to get outside and appreciate nature. Their new video for the bouncy “Walking With Spring” follows the guys during a month-long hike through the Appalachian Mountains.
“‘Walking With Spring’ is all about living life at a natural speed,” the band told CMT Edge by email. “So much of our time is dedicated to moving fast, progressing as quickly as possible and reaching the top. This song reminds us to take our time and to stop and smell the roses, on the trial or off the trail.”
As childhood friends growing up in Colorado, Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing were drawn to bluegrass and folk music. Now they make their own brand of roots music that keeps in touch with their childhood spirit.
“We don’t differentiate too much between writing for kids and adults since we like to keep the interests of the whole family in mind,” the duo said. “Of course, we avoid the whiskey references and questionable language, but other than that, we trust the kids to grow into our lyrics. If they don’t understand a concept or word in one of our songs, they can ask someone and start a conversation that leads to further growth. We’ve written songs about materialism, love, death, the ups and down of friendship and even antidisestablishmentarianism. Kids can handle it.”
In 2011, they organized a month-long canoe trip down the Mississippi River, writing and filming along the way. The adventure-album Can You Canoe? ended up winning a Grammy for best children’s album in 2013, and their next album, Through the Woods, is due May 20. It includes the tune “Walking With Spring.”
“When you hike the Appalachian Trail, you have a choice to go from north to south (south-bounders) or from south to north (north-bounders),” they explained. “North-bounders that start with the warmer weather in Georgia in early spring are said to be ‘walking with spring’ as the season creeps its way up the Eastern seaboard. It was this concept that inspired the song.
“Both trips were equally rewarding and spending a full month outdoors is always an incredible experience no matter how you’re traveling,” they added. “The coolest part about our hike through Appalachia was that we met lots of old-time mountain musicians. We learned tons of traditional songs, and we got to hear some pretty interesting instruments, not to mention stories.”
In honor of the first day of spring, let your imagination run wild for the CMT Edge premiere of the Okee Dokee Brothers’ happy-go-lucky “Walking With Spring.”