Okee Dokee Brothers earn GRAMMY® nomination for latest album

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December 15, 2016

Okee Dokee Brothers

The Okee Dokee Brothers: Justin Lansing (left) and Joe Mailander '08.

The San Francisco Giants won World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

The Giants had a chance to continue their streak of winning titles in even-numbered years in 2016 — until the Chicago Cubs defeated them in the National League Division Series en route to the Cubs first World Series title since 1908.

It turns out the Okee Dokee Brothers — which includes Saint John's University graduate Joe Mailander '08 and Justin Lansing — has a similar, every-other-year streak going as far as GRAMMY®Award nominations go.

For the third time, the Okee Dokee Brothers have been nominated for a GRAMMY®Award in the Best Children's Album category with its latest album, "Saddle Up."

The Okee Dokee Brothers are one of five artists to be nominated for the Best Children's Album award, which will be presented at the 59th annual GRAMMY®Awards Feb. 12 in Los Angeles.

The bluegrass duo was also nominated for the award for its previous album, "Through the Woods," at the 57th GRAMMY®Awards. And, they won the GRAMMY® for the Best Children's Album for "Can You Canoe?" at the 55th GRAMMY®Awards.

Mailander's sister, Ann, attended the College of Saint Benedict, graduating in 2005.

"When I went up to visit her, I just fell in love with the campus and kind of the outdoors scene there, with the lakes and trails," Joe Mailander said in 2012. "That really pulled me in. We were out hiking on almost a daily basis."

Although Mailander graduated with a degree in Spanish, he took part in the SJU Men's Chorus and the CSB/SJU Chamber Choir, as well as a choir that toured Asia. He also played in a campus group called the Wagon Wheels, a folk-rock-bluegrass combo that regularly played at Brother Willie's Pub.

"I can honestly say I wouldn't be in Minneapolis making music today if it wasn't for Saint John's. That's where all of my connections in the Twin Cities music scene came from — or started from, I should say," Mailander said in 2012. "I kind of tapped into a lot of upper class musicians when I was a freshman, and they were major influences on me musically when I came in as a freshman.

"More institutionally, I'd say Saint John's provided me with a strong work ethic and the idea that building community through positive messages like the outdoors and family is a valuable thing to society. It gave me the skills and the confidence to pursue those things."