The Okee Dokee Brothers’ New LP Not Just For Kids

Courtesy:  Okee Dokee Music

Courtesy: Okee Dokee Music

The Okee Dokee Brothers’ most recent album, Can You Canoe?, is a wonderful album not just for children but for the whole family.  While it was marketed as a children’s album, even parents will find this Grammy award winning album enjoyable with its mix of Americana, Dixieland, and even a touch of semi-Celtic sound.  The bonus DVD included with the CD is an excellent companion piece as the visuals expertly bring to life the images that are likely to run through listeners’ minds as they listen to the songs, right from the album’s opener and title track.

The album’s opener is a wonderful, relaxing song that evokes images of a canoe trip with sunny skies overhead and the sounds of nature all around.  That is exactly what audiences see in the bonus DVD as it opens.  What’s more it’s quite the first impression.  Again, one reminds one’s self that this album was marketed as a children’s album.  But the reality of the song is that it could just as easily double as a general folk song, with its themes of enjoying the simple things in life.  For instance, the duo sings on not needing candy bars and car toys, and of needing only the sound of the water instead of amplifiers.  These are themes that both kids and their parents will appreciate and that will never grow old with each listen.

The gentle vibes of the album’s title track are broken only slightly as the duo launches into the semi-Celtic sea shanty style song that is ‘Haul Away Joe’ before moving into more of a Dixieland sound in the fun little song, ‘Mr. & Mrs. Sippy.’  This song will no doubt have kids singing along as the pair spell out Mississippi through song and a story about Mr. and Mrs. Sippy.  From the fun and goofiness of ‘Mr. & Mrs. Sippy’, listeners are transported back to the album’s original, gentler vibe in the album’s fourth track, ‘Bullfrog Opera.’  Much like the album’s opener, the guys sing of the simple things in its chorus.  They sing in the chorus, “The moon becomes a streetlight in Central Park/And the river is a train/Brooklyn bound/The stars turn into pearls/On high heeled girls/Getting ready for a night on the town/Let’s take ‘em to the/Bullfrog opera/And the raccoon’s masquerade ball/We’ve got Broadway tickets to see a chorus line of crickets/and the loons are playing Carnegie Hall.”  These are such simple lines.  But it is their simplicity that makes imagining such visuals so easy.  And for younger listeners, it will hopefully ignite their imaginations enough to make them want to turn off their televisions and electronics and want to experience these same visuals for themselves.  The Okee Dokee Brothers are definitely to be commended for making a song that is both so deep and simple all at the same time here.

The first small portion of Can You Canoe? is front loaded with lots of wonderful material for both kids and their parents.  The fun doesn’t end after the first quarter of the album though.  There are fun songs about a mosquito named Rosita, taking a ride on a train, and lots more for the whole family to enjoy.  They can enjoy them together now as the duo’s album is available now both in stores and online.  The album can likely be purchased at the Okee Dokee Brothers’ shows, including the group’s upcoming show in Carrboro on April 13th.  Fans can get a full listing of the guys’ tour schedule on its official website, http://www.okeedokee.org and on its Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/okeedokeebros

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Buxter Hoot’n one of the bands all music fans should know about

Courtesy: Randex PR

San Francisco, California based Buxter Hoot’n (yes that’s really the band’s name) is preparing to release its brand new six track EP, “Na Na Na” this Fall.  It is a perfect piece of music for any fan of college rock.  The band mixes elements of both Americana and college garage rock on this upcoming release.  The mix of the two sounds makes for one of the more interesting releases in this second half of the year.  The EP’s opener/title track shows influences of certain college rock bands that have come before.  What really makes this song a great opener is the dynamic contrasts throughout.  While the verses are very soft and controlled, the choruses are the exact opposite.  They are very grand and almost anthemic.  The buildup to the chorus sections are really what help move the song along.  That musical contrast gives it that extra oomph needed to really get listeners’ attention.

‘Kids Those Days’ is just as much of a college rock style song.  It comes across as a very White Stripes-esque song thanks to both the music and the vocal style of Vince DeWald.  The EP carries that same vibe into the next song, ‘Fake Heart Attack.’  ‘Fake Heart Attack’ and ‘Kids Those Days’ are wonderful additions to this EP.  What makes it even better is their contrast to the EP’s fourth track, ‘Haunted House.’  This song oozes Bob Dylan-esque influence.  From the vocal style to the guitars to the harmonica, it boasts every element that has made Dylan so popular throughout his career.  It’s said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  If that’s true, then if he knows about the song, it goes without saying that Dylan would be very flattered by it. 

‘Hung Up’, the EP’s next track goes back to the college rock vibe again.  Instead of the White Stripes vibe, this time, the band boasts more of an interesting Jack Johnson/Ben Harper hybrid sound.  There’s no doubt that this song is bound to be a fan favorite.

“Na Na Na” closes with the song, ‘Better Way.’  After having taken listeners on a wild musical ride with the previous five songs on the EP, the band uses ‘Better Way’ to gently place listeners back on their feet.  Vocalist Vince DeWald shines yet again in this song.  At certain points, he changes up his vocal style once more, this time sounding a little bit like former Police front man Sting.  His ability to mix so many different vocal styles, mixed in with the band’s ability to take established sounds and make their own original works makes this EP one that any rock fan should listen to at least once. 

“Na Na Na” will be released September 4th.  The band will be performing a hometown CD release party at the Cafe du Nord in San Francisco on Friday, August 17th to celebrate the impending release of “Na Na Na.”  It will be the band’s only live date this year.  Fans that won’t get to see the band live can still follow Buxter Hoot’n online at http://www.buxterhootn.com, http://www.facebook.com/buxterhootn, http://twitter.com/buxterhootn, and on its official Youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/buxterhootn11.

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Philip Sayblack can be contacted at psayblack@wnct.com

NC band releases major label debut this week

Another North Carolina band is putting the “Old North State” on the map once again.  Durham, North Carolina’s own Delta Rae will release its major label debut, “Carry The Fire”, Tuesday, June 19th on Warner Brothers Records.  The band will celebrate its debut with a performance next on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno next Monday, June 25th.  The band was signed to WB Records by legendary A&R rep Seymour Stein.  Stein is known for having signed other major acts including:  Madonna, the Talking Heads, and punk forefathers, The Ramones.

Delta Rae is comprised of six members, three of whom are siblings.  The band is known for crafting its own version of Americana style sounds.  The band will celebrate the release of its album tomorrow with a sold out show at the famed Troubador in Los Angeles tomorrow night.  The band will also be performing at a special event at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles tonight with Seymour Stein.  Along with those dates, Delta Rae will also be performing a few dates in North Carolina as aprt of its tour to support this debut release.  The band will be performing a Hometown Album Release Show at the Cats Cradle in Carrboro on July 27th.  It will be in Asheville the following day at the Bele Chere Festival.  And then on August 23rd, the band will perform Kelly’s in Nags Head. 

Fans can keep up with all the latest from Delta Rae online at http://www.delatrae.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/deltarae, on Twitter at http://twitter.com/deltarae, and the band’s official Youtube page at http://www.youtube.com/deltaraeband.

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