Mississippi River Adventure Album!
As childhood friends, Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing, spent summers at their neighborhood creek building makeshift rafts, fishing for crawdads, and dreaming of great river adventures. Now, as The Okee Dokee Brothers, they are pursuing these boyhood dreams on none other than the great Mississippi River. On June 1st, 2011, Joe and Justin began a canoe trip in Minneapolis, MN and continued down the river for the next 30 days until they reached the St. Louis Gateway Arch. During their month long journey on the Mississippi, they camped, canoed, and most importantly, composed the songs that will make up their next album for kids and families, to be released in May 2012
Thanks for visiting www.okeedokee.org. If you would like to help promote this trip or if you’re interested in being involved in anyway, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The Mississippi river splits America in half, so to speak.
Alex Johnson - Videographer - Alex Johnson has no idea what he’s doing most of the time, but he’s pretty handy with a camera. His background lies in making movies and taking photos as a kid, falling in love with it, and continuing to hone his craft to the present day, working on many projects involving musicians, brides, puppies, mountains and even the occasional ghost. Growing up in and around the wilderness, he has an avid love for slow moving water and vessels that float down it. He first encountered the Okee Dokee Brethren one fine winter afternoon along the banks of the Elk River. While there were no Elk to be found, something else emerged from the wilderness that day, a friendship.
Bryan Sieh - Wilderness Expert Extraordinaire - Duluth native, Bryan C. Sieh was born with a love of all things wild.
He spent his boyhood on the shores of Gitchigumi, amongst the white
pine, maple, and birch. The heron and the beaver were his friends. By
age four he was nearly weaned from society, preferring tree-tops to
houses and ski slopes to terra firma. He spent summers with the “Lost Boys” in the thick of the
forest. Chipmunks were the mainstay of his diet, but he would join his
family for meals between trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area
Wilderness, or state parks. He was called by the loon on Lake
Kabekona, and swam with the musky in Spirit Lake. He graduated
Wilderness-Cum-Laude from Saint John’s University with a bachelor’s
degree in Rock Climbing and Adventure Travel. Upon graduation he was
thrust into the vast west as he pioneered trail through the great
Rocky Mountains, and protected the majestic Desert Tortoise in the
Great Basin. He has since returned to the woods of the Saint John’s
Arboretum where he helps lost boys and girls like him make great
discoveries in nature. Also, he caught that fish in the picture above with his bare hands, and that's the truth.
Destinations along the river
The duo will conduct research on the history, geography and environment of the great river valley to gain a general understanding of the context of the river. The main focus of their trip, however will be to draw inspiration from the people, songs and stories of the region by researching the music and culture found along the river. The cultural research aspect of the trip is essential as it directly impacts the song compositions.
The Science Museum of Minnesota's Mississippi River Exibit - St. Paul, MN
The River Music Experience Museum - Davenport, IA
National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium - Dubuque, IA
The Boyhood Home of Mark Twain - Hannibal, MO
St. Louis Gateway Arch and Museum of Western Expansion - St. Louis, MO
People on the river
Throughout the trip, Joe and Justin will meet with selected storytellers and singer-songwriters in order to uphold the folk tradition of story sharing and song preservation. Whether it is an idea for a song, chord pattern, melody, genre, storyline, character, or even a full version of a song, congregating and collaborating with other artists is how folk music thrives and survives.
Tom Walter - Singer-songwriter from La Crosse, WI and leader of the band Prairie Smoke who just released an album called “River of Dreams” about the Mississippi River.
Kenny Salwey - Storyteller, author, hunter, trapper, and self-proclaimed “Last River Rat” who has lived off the Mississippi for his whole life.
Paul Spring - Singer-songwriter who grew up on the banks of the Mississippi River in St. Cloud, MN, wrote the song “Mississippi River” and will be canoeing the whole river this summer.
Paul Stark - Radio host for KDHX community radio station in St. Louis. Paul has agreed to connect Joe and Justin to local musicians who focus on songs of the river and to share songs of the river with them from his collection.
Follow us down the Mississippi River
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