Simon and Garfunkel sang about the New York winters in “The Boxer.” However, blame climate change or El Nino or whatever you want, it was mild temperatures that welcomed the Okee Dokee Brothers from Minnesota to Manhattan last Saturday, January 5.
Childhood friends Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing have made a name for themselves (and won a Grammy in the process) with their rustic, modern take on traditional American roots music. Their return to Symphony Space as part of the Just Kidding Kids series drew a near-full house of rapturous fans who seemed to know the words to their favorites, from “Slumberjack” to “Blankets of Snow.”
The OG OD’s avoid making audiences OD on messages. There is a gentle conservation theme through their material regarding the magnificence of nature. Videos played behind a few of the tracks also celebrate participation, whether it involves water and boats or boots and forest snowfalls. Like icicles slowly melting on a pine tree, the hour-long concert was over before most young observers realized. And back into the rain (although not the cold) they went.
Joe and Justin have dedicated the most recent CD, Winterland, to their beloved and endangered winters, which are warming fast as a result of climate change. To help ensure their fans can enjoy a lifetime of snowy winter exploration, the Okee Dokees are donating 10% of all Winterland sales to Askov Finlayson’s Keep the North Cold initiative, which supports leading-edge climate solutions in the North and across the country. Read more about their important mission here.
The Just Kidding Kids series continues with “Beats, Rhymes, and Breaking” (featuring breakdancing performances) on Saturday, January 12 at 11 AM and 2 PM (click here for tickets) and “Go Home Tiny Monster,” a puppet play about a family of monsters on Saturday, January 19 at 11 AM and 2 PM (click here for tickets).