The Okee Dokee Brothers Receive GRAMMY Award Nomination for Latest Album "Winterland"

Article Contributed by JP Cutler Media | Published on Saturday, November 23, 2019

GRAMMY® Award-winning The Okee Dokee Brothers embark on an experience of a lifetime as Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing celebrate the spirit of the winter season on their latest full-length studio album, Winterland. Following their critically-acclaimed "Adventure Album Series" featuring Can You Canoe?, Through the Woods, and Saddle Up, The Okee Dokee Brothers released an exuberant yet introspective collection of 16 original songs exploring the wonders and beauty of winter on October 19, 2018. A voyage from autumn to spring, Winterland presents secular winter music the entire family can enjoy while cozying up around the fire.

In a world where people are all too often pursuing their own individual journeys, Winterland humbly reminds us that we are all human beings living within the uncontrollable motions of Mother Nature. Embracing the cycles of loss and new life, darkness and light, bitter cold and warmth, Winterland reflects that winter is not only a season, but a feeling we carry within. As we weather the storm by looking inward, we can redefine our seasonal perspectives. In fact, with just the right outlook, winter can become our own sense of paradise, even through the warm months. Join The Okee Dokee Brothers as they welcome you to experience a refreshing, wide-eyed view of the most exciting time of year with their forthcoming album, Winterland.

Produced by GRAMMY® Award-winning Dean Jones and showcasing a cast of guest musicians from the Hudson Valley in Upstate New York (as well as Hawaii-based ukulele phenom, Paula Fuga), Winterland plants a seed for communities to band together and collectively support our beloved and endangered winters. Winter's natural evolution is vital in keeping the earth healthy and hearty for generations to come. The Okee Dokee Brothers' adventures advocate enjoying life in the great outdoors, and now with Winterland, the duo encourages fans to find their love of nature no matter the season.

The Okee Dokee Brothers -- Winterland -- 16 Original Compositions
Winterland delightfully opens with "Blankets of Snow," a song reminding us that the more you welcome the cold, the more warmth it offers you. With imperfect production inspired by The Band's Music from Big Pink album, the raucous rendition highlights that life doesn't need to be perfect to be filled with love. "Welcome Home" celebrates Joe's newborn son arriving home for the first time, and the passing down of old stories and traditions for years to come. Winter gatherings are anything but dull with wild dancing and singing parties filling the air with jubilee. "Welcome Home" radiates warmth like a home brimming with hospitality and vitality.

"Ice Fishin' Shack" brings fans to the heart of Minnesotan culture. Whether getting out on the ice to spend time with friends or to simply take a break from society, it's one of the classic outdoor activities of the North. "Keep Me Warm" is reminiscent of The Okee Dokee Brothers' travels to Ireland some winters back, and inspired by the singing of "Belle of Belfast City" and other Irish traditional songs, in a rowdy pub of course. Spawned from Justin's time in the Himalayan mountains, "The Abominable Yeti" is a hilarious children's story with an undercurrent of how people often are fearful of things they don't know much about. Once one dedicates time to hearing new perspectives, it becomes easier to collaborate, even with a yeti.

The best anyone can do, no matter what your age, is to be your true self. "You You You" celebrates this authenticity as an ode to children who exude originality. While watching Joe's family grow, Justin offers a moving tribute with "Candles." A beautiful way to illuminate a dark winter room, candles are just like children, our universal light.

"Slumberjack" is the duo's first recorded a cappella song and nods to the shanties of Canada's Maritime Provinces. Chock-filled with juxtaposition, the writing sessions for "Ukulele in a Snowstorm" were done in the middle of a Minnesota blizzard. Learning to play the ukulele is one way to keep warm while staring at piles of snow. Having Hawaii's Paula Fuga as a special guest vocalist can take you right to the beach. On the flipside, one of Winterland's standout singles "Howl" takes the duo up North to the Boundary Waters at the border of the United States and Canada. Written while dog sledding and hearing the pack howl in unison, The Okee Dokee Brothers heard a song. Living up North, both animals and humans sometimes just need to howl.

With the arrival of Joe's baby boy came a slew of blue-colored gifts. "Snowpeople" asks whether or not we have to "wear" our genders. Snow-"men" get assigned genders and identities without much thought. This song encourages us to listen to our kids because they, like Snowpeople, might have their own natural style. Sometimes life can't get much sweeter than a "Lazy Day" filled with good ol' relaxation, daydreaming, and an afternoon nap. And on a super cold day, the energy of a "North Country Dance Band" is a sure way to warm up with your community and dance the night away.

Winterland's final three compositions harness the essence of winter's role in nature's life cycle. Based on a story by The Last River Rat (Kenny Salwey), the duo's song "Great Grandmother Tree" exemplifies how death is a critical part of the cold season. When discussed with children in age-appropriate ways, challenging issues such as death can prepare them for difficult life events in the future. "New Year" is filled with hope that spring is around the bend and that growth is in the air. Singing to Joe's baby, "New Year" notes that before long, it'll be our children singing these same songs.

One of the most powerful parts of winter, is winter's end. Watching the "Signs of Spring" pop up helps us to know that everything is going to be okay. The Okee Dokee Brothers complete Winterland with exuberance and the feeling that we all go through suffering in life. If we acknowledge that cold weather, darkness, and sadness are merely part of the journey, it makes life so much more enjoyable.

Climate Action
Winterland is dedicated to our endangered winters, which are warming fast as a result of climate change. To help ensure that fans of The Okee Dokee Brothers can enjoy a lifetime of snowy winter exploration, they're donating 10% of all Winterland CD sales and 10% of ticket sales from their recent hometown CD release concert at The O'Shaughnessy at St. Catherine's University (St. Paul, MN: Nov. 3) to Askov Finlayson's Keep the North Cold initiative. Keep the North Cold supports leading-edge climate solutions in the North and across the country. To learn more about Askov Finlayson's important mission, visit: 10% of ticket sales from their Colorado CD release concert at Newman Center at Denver University (Nov. 4) goes to climate solutions at Protect Our Winters (POW).

The Okee Dokee Brothers

Track Listing:
1) Blankets of Snow
2) Welcome Home
3) Ice Fishin' Shack
4) Keep Me Warm
5) The Abominable Yeti
6) You You You
7) Candles
8) Slumberjack
9) Ukulele in a Snowstorm
10) Howl
11) Snowpeople
12) Lazy Day
13) North Country Dance Band
14) Great Grandmother Tree
15) New Year
16) Signs of Spring