They didn't meet Beyonce but Okee Dokees were A-OK with Grammys

  • Blog Post by: Jon Bream
  • February 11, 2013 - 2:39 AM



Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander of the Okee Dokee Brothers were stylin; with their Grammy and bowties.

Associated Press photo/ Matt Sayles

Speeches, media opportunities and, of course, parties.

After Minneapolis’ own Okee Dokee Brothers returned to their L.A. hotel on Sunday night with a Grammy for best children’s album, Joe Mailander was in typically mellow mood., “Everything went smooth," he said with the comforting tone of a kid's music singer ."People were kind. It was a comfortable experience.”

As for winning the trophy for “Can You Canoe?” in the pre-telecast ceremonies, well, “we were pretty surprised,“ he admitted. 

Then the Okees – Mailander and Justin Lansing, childhood buddies from Denver who moved to Minneapolis in 2007 – went through the media gauntlet that is the Grammys. In each tent, they held a new not-to-be-kept Grammy for about one minute as they posed for photos or answered question.

The most unusual question? “They asked us where we got our bowties,” Mailander said. “Most people wear black bowties to the Grammys. Apparently, ours stood out. They were flannel striped and plaid. So I gave a shout-out to St. Paul and Heimie’s Haberdashery.”

The Okees will receive their official Grammys, with their names engraved, at a later date.

During the telecast ceremonies at Staples Center, the Okees sat close to the stage, on the side. For Mailander, the musical highlight was the all-star tribute to the Band’s Levon Helm featuring Elton John, Mavis Staples, Alabama Shakes and Mumford & Sons.

At the big Recording Academy after-party, the Okees, who are in their mid-20s, retreated to the room featuring a jazz band because “it had a more laidback vibe.”

Did the Okee Dokee Brothers meet anyone famous during their whirlwind weekend in L.A.?

“We sat next to Noam Pikelny from the Punch Brothers,” Mailander said. “We’re big fans of the Punch Brothers. He’s no Beyonce. But to us, he’s the best banjo player there is.”

The Okee Dokee Brothers are scheduled to return to the Twin Cities on Monday because they will perform at 10 and 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Mall of America. On Thursday, the duo is at Edinborough Park in Edina and Saturday at the Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis’ Linden Hills area.

The Grammy isn’t going to change the Okee Dokees, Mailander said. “I don’t think there’s an arena anywhere in our future.”

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