After a trip down the (spiritual) heart of the country, the Mississippi River, on their Grammy-winning album Can You Canoe?, and along the Appalachian Trail spine of the East Coast for Through the Woods, it's time for The Okee Dokee Brothers to finish their Adventure Album trilogy. On Saddle Up, the duo head west for adventures along and around the Continental Divide.
As with their previous two albums, this new one celebrates the outdoors in songs both heartfelt and (occasionally) silly. In more the latter category (but also a little bit the former) falls "Jackalope," a tall tale about a mysterious and rarely seen animal.
For the song's video, Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing recruited a couple westerners to help -- Red Yarn helps out with a familiar puppet, while Laki Karavias, known to kindie fans as one of main ringleaders of the Big World Audio Theatre, handles the cinematography. I asked Joe and Justin what motivated them to work with the pair of Portland-based musicians, and this is what they said:
We love both of their work as family musicians as well as their work in puppetry and filming. On top of that, they're really nice people with a similar aesthetic to our brand. Justin and I aren't great with puppets, so we reached out to our favorite folk singer/kids musician/puppeteer about using one of his Deep Woods critters for this video. We had thought Andy would need to make a whole new jackalope for us, but he had the great idea of giving Bob Rabbit a makeover. He sent us some photos before they did the filming and we approved of Bob's new look. Both Laki and Andy did a great job of matching Bob's "acting" (which took place in the woods of Portland) with our jackalope hunt story (filmed in AZ during our western trip). When we got the footage back, we were all so surprised at how well everything matched up - from the lighting and setting all the way down to little plot points. It was a real pleasure working with those two.
As for the titular character, when I asked if they'd ever gone jackalope hunting when they were kids, they said:
Yes! Growing up in Colorado we would always see taxidermied jackalopes hung on walls in people's basements or in gift shops. We had some tricky uncles who convinced us that, if we waited long enough, we could catch a jackalope (along with some other strange creatures... snipes come to mind). They would teach us how to hold our gunny sacks and what calls to make in order to lure the jackalopes into our bags. I remember staying out in the woods for hours one night with Justin, whistling and chirping at the moon to no avail. But guess what, tricky uncles: We did catch something... it might have taken 20 years of wandering around making weird noises, but we caught a song out of the deal!
Joe and Justin seem particularly flummoxed in their search for this particular jackalope, but their fans should enjoy this world premiere video from The Okee Dokee Brothers just fine.
The Okee Dokee Brothers - "Jackalope" [YouTube]