An evening of family music by the Grammy Award-winning Okee Dokee Brothers offers witty lyrics, strong musicianship, and a unique folk style, inspired by the musicians’ journey along the Appalachian Trail in Virginia. Presented by the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech, the Americana folk duo will take the stage with its full band at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10.

The performance will be held in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Moss Arts Center’s Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall. 

By appealing to the musical preferences of the entire family and recognizing that kids deserve quality music, the Okee Dokee Brothers are committed to advancing the family music genre. They have put their passion for the outdoors at the heart of their music, inspiring children and their parents to get outside and get creative.

Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing were born adventurers. As childhood friends growing up in Denver, Colorado, they were always exploring the outdoors — rafting down their neighborhood creek and discovering hiking trails through the Rocky Mountains. Now as the Okee Dokee Brothers, the pair continues to be inspired by nature.

In May 2013, the Okee Dokee Brothers embarked on a month-long trek on the Appalachian Trail. They camped, hiked, met mountain musicians, and wrote the songs for their latest family-friendly release, “Through the Woods.”

The songs on the album span from literal references of hiking the trail in “Through the Woods” and “Walking with Spring,” to the broader subjects of mountain culture featured in “Jamboree,” “Hillbilly Willy,” and “Black Bear Mama.” Mailander and Lansing add some deeper reflection on life through more universal songs such as “Lighten Your Load,” “Out of Tune,” and “Tiny Little Life.”

“Through the Woods” is the follow-up to their Grammy Award-winning album, “Can You Canoe?,” which is filled with songs composed by the duo during a month-long journey on the Mississippi River.

This performance is recommended for ages 3 and older.

Immediately before the performance on Oct. 10, families are invited to create their own makeshift percussion instruments that are found in many American folk music and jug bands — spoons.  This build an instrument event will be held in the Moss Arts Center Cube beginning at 2 p.m.

The Center for the Arts will also present a free matinee performance by the Okee Dokee Brothers for students in kindergarten through fourth grade from the city of Radford and Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, and Roanoke counties.


Tickets are $20 for general admission and $10 for students and youth 18 years old and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center's box office, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300.

Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

The Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech presents renowned artists from around the globe and from close to home, with a special focus on experiences that expand cultural awareness and deepen understanding. The Center for the Arts and the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, with which the Center for the Arts is uniquely partnered, are housed in the Moss Arts Center. The Moss Arts Center is a 147,000-square-foot facility that includes the Street and Davis Performance Hall and its 1,274-seat Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre; visual art galleries; the four-story, experimental venue the Cube; and research studios.

Share this story