Through the Woods: An Appalachian Adventure Album

By Dan Clendenin

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Through the Woods: An Appalachian Adventure Album (2014)

The Okee Dokee Brothers — childhood friends and current band mates Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing, won a Grammy for Best Children’s Album of the Year for their first album called “Can You Canoe? A Mississippi River Adventure” (2012). They followed up that successful formula (a CD along with a DVD) with this second effort, based upon a one-month trek along the Appalachian Trail in May of 2013. During their hike they met local musicians, wrote some more songs, and relished the history, crazy instruments, and various styles of bluegrass mountain music. Like its predecessor, “Through the Woods” was also nominated for a Grammy. A third effort, based upon a one-month horseback trip across the Continental Divide in June of 2015, is called “Saddle Up.” The stories and music, said one musician, “are the ways that we hold on to our heritage.” All three movie-albums are pitched for kids, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching this one-hour whimsy of some seriously good music. It’s an ethnographic delight. I watched this film on Netflix. Note: this movie should not be confused with Bill Bryson’s similar sounding “A Walk in the Woods” that’s also about walking the Appalachian Trail.

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