Trout Fishing in America – Top 100 most influential independent artists in the past 15 years

Indie 100 Honoree

We are very proud to note Performing Songwriter Magazine( June 2008), has chosen three time Grammy Nominees, Trout Fishing in America as one of the 100 most influential independent artists in the past fifteen years. Sandwiched in the pages between Phish, and Widespread Panic, Trout Fishing in America could not be more pleased with company that included, such independent music luminaries as Willie Nelson, Jack Johnson, Ani DiFranco, David Byrne, Tom Waits, Bradford Marsalis, Alison Krauss , Jimmy Buffett, Steve Earle to name a few.

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Dear Fisherfolk – Thanksgiving is coming!

Four generations of Grimwoods family

It begins! Don’t look now, but it’s later than you think and the scariest time of year is upon us. Halloween is over and if you thought that was scary, the Holiday Season is officially upon us. The leaves are changing colors and that means cold weather is on the way. Turkeys are hiding nervously and proclaiming the healthy benefits of a vegan lifestyle. Christmas songs and jingle bells will soon be all over the radio. Excitement is in the air for many and emotions of every kind come bursting to the surface. This will be Keith’s first holiday experience with his grandson, Jameson, and also the first without his Dad, who at 91 passed away September 2nd.

 

Thanksgiving at the Idlet's    Trout will be returning to the Blue Door in Oklahoma City on November 9th. This is one of the coolest small venue rooms we’ve come across lately. Don’t miss it! After that, we head to Michigan for shows in Lapeer and Ann Arbor. This is our first trip to Lapeer and we’re looking forward to it. We’ve been to The Ark in Ann Arbor several times, but it’s been years since our last visit. Tell everyone you know in the area to come on out, or take a road trip yourself! We take off the week of Thanksgiving for a weeklong party at the Idlet House. Once again, Keith would like to express his deep and heartfelt appreciation to Ezra and Karen for not having to host this event at his house! It’s a ton of fun for all of us, but it’s truly more fun for Keith at someone else’s house.

CJ book set and MFTA

For those of you who want to get some ‘early’ shopping done, we have cooked up a special Trout Holiday gift package with our 2 books and a Merry Fishes CD at the super low price of $30. Fun for the whole family! Don’t put it off! Act now! Supplies are limited to the first million orders! Our operators are standing by! Order online with free shipping so you can stay home and finish that leftover turkey and pumpkin pie!

Troutfully Yours,
Keith and Ezra
Keith and Ezra proudly use Elixir Strings

 

 

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October 2014

October is Halloween month. Check out the video from our song “Boo!” to get in the mood for the season.

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September 2014

Dear Fisherfolk,

Questionable information on the internet says that we are born and live our entire lives with the same size eyes. Our ears and noses grow. This may or may not be verifiable, but we can verify that Ezra has shrunk an inch and grown one shoe size since he was in college. We’re not sure if his nose and his ears are still growing. Keith is not measuring!

Michael Hearne's Big Barn Dance

Keith and Ezra join Michael and Don at the Barn Dance

Information you can count on is that Trout will be at Michael Hearne’s Big Barn Dance again this year! The festival features top notch songwriters and musicians set in Taos, NM. If you have time to travel to a festival this September, this one gets our highest recommendation! If the Barn Dance was a normal 11 year old boy, it would wear somewhere between a size 6-9. If the festival is going to grow up to be as big as Ezra, it would be wearing a size 12 shoe right about now.

Canned pickles and hot sauce

Ezra’s summer canning

The Idlets are harvesting their garden right now. 32 quarts of sweet pickles have been put up and hot sauce is currently being made from the cayenne peppers and tomatoes that have been picked. There’s been a lot of time spent working in the kitchen, but it’s fun time. Greg Brown has a song called Canned Goods that pretty much says it all. Check this video out!

Wherever you are, we hope your summer is going well. Cooler weather is just around the corner. If your shoes still fit you pretty well, it’s a safe guess that they’re not growing too fast. If they’re too small, get some bigger ones. Can’t help with the nose or ears though.

Troutfully yours,
Keith and Ezra

Keith and Ezra Proudly Use Elixir Strings

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August 2014

Wheatfield band

Dear Fisherfolk, It’s already August! Wow, the summer has flown by. Keith and Ezra have been busy touring Texas with the group Wheatfield and the bands new CD “Big Texas Sky”. There have been some great evenings of music, and Mexican food has been consumed! It looks like there’s only one show for Trout in August. We’ll be at George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville, AR on Friday August 15th. We’re playing the early show (happy hour) and Ezra’s daughter, Dana Louise will be joining Trout onstage for that show. Don’t miss it if you’re in the area! Photo by Neale Eckstein

Dana Louise with Trout Fishing in America

Trout Records is expanding!
We plan to be in the recording studio with Dana Louise for the last two weeks of August. We’re working on another Trout Records release with her. Last month we released Joel Ludford and Anna Horton’s self titled CD “Handmade Moments”. The debut album is doing well and has garnered some good reviews already. More about them and their tour at Handmademoments.net.

Handmade Moments CD Cover

It’s been hotter than a billy goat in a pepper patch down in Texas. We’re looking forward to getting back to the cool nights in Arkansas. Hope you are all keeping cool and wearing plenty of sun screen.

Troutfully yours,
Keith and Ezra

Keith and Ezra Proudly Use Elixir Strings

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July 2014

watermelon

Dear Fisherfolk,

Are you worried about how to boost your bikini confidence? Are you looking for the best light jeans for fall? You’re probably reading the wrong newsletter. If you’re interested in what’s going on in Trout Fishing in America’s world, you’re in the right place! We ask the important questions. For instance: In what state are the best watermelons grown? How can you be sure of selecting a great watermelon? Are you wearing your sun screen this summer? You should!
Justin and guys KindiecommTrout just flew to Philadelphia to participate in the first annual KindieComm conference. We had a great time in Philadelphia meeting up with other independent children’s musicians as well as other people in the business of putting on great family programming. There were several standout moments at the convention. Ezra and Cathy Fink led a workshop on home recording  that was fun and actually informative to all involved. The session ended up as one of the “Seven Golden Moments ” during the conference! After KindieComm was over, Kid’s Corner (WXPN’s Peabody award winning radio show), put on the Kids Corner Music Festival that included a whole bunch of amazing, “kindie” artists. Trout, Justin Roberts, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, Jennifer Gasoi and Dan Zanes shared the stage at World Cafe Live and played for a massive crowd. Another standout moment from this trip was becoming Justin Roberts backup band! If you’re not familiar with Justin’s music, you should be. Here’s a nice review of the Kids Corner Music Festival.

Concert Under the Stars pictureLooking at our calender, we’ll be in OK, NY, PA and CO. If you live in these areas, or know someone who does, we’d love to see you or them. Or both you and them. Besides doing a series of library shows in OK, we’ll be playing the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival again this year! It’s hot in OK in July, but so is the music. We’ll be flying to the East Coast to cool off. Once again, Trout will be performing at Mohonk Mountain House, in New Paultz NY. This place is absolutely AMAZING! It’s been a while since we’ve done a Concert Under the Stars in King of Prussia PA, but we’re looking forward to returning. We’ll finish out the month with our yearly pilgrimage to Alamosa CO, where we’ll board a train and ride two hours up into the mountains (with our audience) to Fir CO. We’ll perform a concert on a solar and wind powered stage under the CO sky. What a great way to finish off a month.

Troutfully yours,

Keith and Ezra

Keith and Ezra Proudly Use Elixir Strings

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June 2014

morrells

Cooking Morrells

Ezra Writing: It was early in May, the nights were still cool and the rains had come. The woods were coming alive. Redbud and Dogwood blooms lit up the mountain and it was time to hunt the elusive, morel mushroom! After several successful days of harvesting and cooking morels, I noticed a tick attached to my hip. It was removed and not given another thought. Two weeks passed and Trout was on its way to play in Kerrville, TX at the Schreiner Mansion. I had a fever, body aches, and a terrible headache. For the two-day tour of Texas, all I could do was play the shows. The rest of the time was spent in my hotel bed or in the van. By the time I got home, I was running a 104.8 fever. Karen took me to a medi-clinic and we were promptly sent to the emergency room at Washington Regional Hospital. From the emergency room, I was sent to the ICU. The infectious disease doctor guessed correctly that it might be the tick bite Ehrlichiosis. Eight days later, after two separate stays in the ICU, exhaustive blood testing and nearly being “lost”, I was finally released. If you are bitten by a tick and have fever, body aches and an incredible headache within the month, you should definitely take it seriously and go see a doctor. Tick born illness can be serious stuff.

Tick magnet
Ezra’s sister Susan found the appropriate t-shirt.

Jameson and Boompa

Keith Writing
While Ezra was busy surviving his tick bite experience, I became a grandfather. On May 10th, Jameson Reza Grimwood was born to Kevin and Maryam Grimwood. Oddly enough, Maryam and Ezra were in the same hospital, even wearing the same dress. It was very weird for me bouncing between the Maternity Ward and ICU. It set off a strange vibration inside that I still haven’t fully processed. In the end, it all worked out and I am grateful. My parents are driving up to Arkansas this weekend with my sister, Janis, and her husband, Chris, to meet young Jameson. He’s a lovely, healthy boy and I’m looking forward to getting all four generations together.

WheatfieldCover 72dpi
Trout has a big summer ahead and we’re looking forward to sharing it with you. In early June, we have several shows scheduled in TX. In late June, we’ll be in Philadelphia, PA, participating in the First Annual KindieComm and the Kids Corner Music Festival. In early July, we’ll be returning for our second appearance at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in Okemah, OK. A bit later we’ll be heading back to Alamosa, CO for our awesome train shows with the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad. In August, we’ll be wearing a different hat and playing shows as Wheatfield with Connie Mims and Craig Calvert. In case you don’t know, Wheatfield was the band Ezra was playing with when Keith met him 38 years ago. Keith is the new guy. We have a 2-week mini tour set up to celebrate the release of our brand new Wheatfield CD, Big Texas Sky. The CD will be officially available as of June 10th. You can order it now from Trout’s website. The Wheatfied reunion concerts have resulted in a wonderful collaborative effort of 12 new songs.  Check out the calendar! Come see us.

Troutfully yours,

Keith and Ezra

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May 2014

Bass and crate backWe got some more of our stolen stuff back! Keith was reunited with his Sadowsky bass guitar and Ezra got one of his Crate amplifiers back. We’d like to thank Officer Greg Shelton of the Houston Police Department for his perseverance. We’d also like to thank our friend, Walter Bryan, for picking up the musical equipment at the police station and holding it for us until we could come and get it. It had been over 2 years since our van with all the equipment was stolen. What a surprise to see any of our stuff again after all this time!

Grandparents

And then for the biggest news, it looks like Keith and Beth are going to be grandparents. Their son, Kevin, and his wife, Maryam, are expecting the arrival of a son on May 12th. Everyone is really happy and so excited! Beth has chosen to be known as Nana, in honor of her own grandmother. Keith likes the sound of Boompa. It has a nice, resonant ring to it. Does anyone recognize the Boompa reference? Hint, hint…it has to do with an old, relatively obscure Jimmy Stewart movie that was one of Keith’s favorites.

Troutfully yours,

Ezra and Keith

PS. T-shirt weather is coming…

It’s heating up outside, unless you are in Canada! Time to start considering cool summerwear. May we suggest our soft, breathable, vibrant and more environmentally friendly brand new adult T-shirt. Each order comes with the retro Trout fishing bumper sticker!

Fishstock tshirt mar14

 

 

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April 2014

Ezra in the garden
April is here. Warm is almost here. It is almost time for joy to begin again. Spring allegedly arrived on March 21st. For a variety of reasons, the Idlets didn’t plant a garden last year. After giving it a rest, they have re-entered the gardening world with renewed enthusiasm! The asparagus beds passed the 20 year mark and it was time to plant new beds. New asparagus crowns have been planted and covered with the appropriate organic helpers to get them on their way. They’ve also planted strawberries, Brussell sprouts, spinach, lettuce, and ghost peppers. There’s something so wonderful about the smell of fresh dirt being turned over for planting. We can hear the sounds of the Canadian geese in the pond across the road and just as the sun goes down, the peeper frogs start their song. After sitting inside all winter avoiding the cold, it’s exciting to see and hear the first inklings of spring.
Hear us from anywhere in the world

Trout is beginning April in a big way, 3 shows in 2 days in Texas. On the 4th, we will be at The Bugle Boy in La Grange, TX for the first time ever. We hear it’s an intimate setting and a great place to play. If you can’t make it to La Grange for the show, you can listen to it on the internet via this Link. You pay what you want to listen to the webcast with a minimum of $1 and the folks at Concert Window allow you to stream the performance. On the morning of April 5th, we will be playing at the Grand Old Opera House Kids Festival in Galveston, TX at the Grand 1894 Opera House. We believe this is the first place Keith ever played a show with Ezra, way back in the summer of 1976 in the days of St Elmo’s Fire. The evening of the 5th, we run up to Spring, TX for a show at The Centrum. We’ve played here several times in the past and it’s always a pleasure. On a side note, Keith’s parents will be out for that concert. If you do come out and run into them, please wish them a Happy 70th Wedding Anniversary for April 28! That is not a mis-print. 70 YEARS! As of this summer, Ezra and Keith will have only been playing music together for 38 years, and that seems like a lot! Happy Anniversary, Hilda and Jim!

Grimwood family

Road Trips Ahead
If you check our calendar, you’ll see that we’ll be doing shows in PA, VA, TX, and IL before festival season kicks in. This year’s Trout Festivals include Riverfest in Little Rock, The Kerrville Folk Festival in TX, KindieComm in Philadelphia, PA, and The Red River Revel in Shreveport, LA. Others are not absolutely for sure yet, but we hope to be at The Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in Okemah, OK, and Michael Hearne’s Big Barndance Festival in Taos, NM. You’ll probably be needing some new clothes to wear this year to these festivals. May we recommend the new Trout T-shirt design “Fishstock”. They are so comfortable, not to mention fashionable. Keith put one on and wouldn’t take it off for nearly a week!

Fishstock tshirt mar14

Troutfully Yours,
Keith and Ezra

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Speaking at the Capitol about Music in Schools

Speaking at the capitol today about Music in Schools and thought we would share our message and the latest songwriting workshop song.

(Keith) Try to imagine a society without art or music. It’s almost impossible. Now I am not a Trekkie. I do not generally define things in my life in terms of how they relate to Star Trek. But, I was snowed in at my house the other day and watched Star Trek Into Darkness. I was also thinking about what I was going to say to you today. So I started imagining the Starship Enterprise coming upon our planet. If they found no art or music, what would they think of us? They’d probably consider us primitive at best and maybe not even bother with us at all. But what if they discovered that we once had art and music and let it go, let it die, because we considered it unimportant? I think they would be horrified. They might even consider us dangerous.

My parents are not musical. My Dad is a historian. He was Chief Historian at NASA and put together the NASA Library. He and my mom always stressed education, but also thought that as a part of that education, everyone needed at least 1 year of piano lessons to be a well-rounded human being. They believed studying music would help develop abilities and life skills and enrich the quality of life. They never expected me to become a musician and were very surprised, to say the least, when I did. But they always encouraged me to do what I loved. I was a good student and loved school, but I especially loved music. I had interested teachers who cared and I owe all of them a great debt of gratitude. They opened a rich and wonderful world to me.

(Ezra) Keith and I were different kinds of students in school. I was the kid always getting in trouble. I talked out of turn in class, I was late and I didn’t do my homework. When I was in 9th grade (for the first time) my final report card had 5 Fs and one A. The A was in band. I didn’t and still don’t read music. I managed to learn my musical parts and become an integral member of the school band. I wasn’t a total failure. Some children excel at receiving lists of facts as well as science and mathematical concepts. They’re able to then prove their knowledge on tests. Not everybody works well with that system. I sure didn’t. I think it’s interesting to point out that Keith, the A student and I, the bad student, currently have the same job.

Why is music important? I don’t even know why you would ask. It seems obvious to me that music develops your brain to work in ways it wouldn’t work otherwise. Music is logic, and beauty, and form, and structure, and freedom, and emotions, and inspiration. Studying music develops skills like problem solving, self-expression, working together, creative thinking, learning how to follow rules and, yes, even learning how to break them.

We give songwriting workshops. They began back in the mid 90’s. Educators wanted to bring our music into the schools, but needed to prove that it was somehow educational. We don’t write overtly educational songs. You can learn things from them, but we’re not writing about how to tie your shoe. We decided to talk about songwriting. But why just talk about it? Why not do it? Learning by doing is a great way to learn! I feel like we’re delivering fire. We present the novel idea that kids can think creatively and work together to build something beautiful. We de-mystify the creative process and tell them they can do it! While its going on, the kids sometimes feel like they’re getting away with something. They sort of look around as if to ask, is this really OK? It’s work, but it’s fun. Is that allowed? You can ask our friend, Delynn West. We’ve written several songs with her classes and she’s developed them to use in her school programs.

Last week we gave a songwriting workshop in Joplin MO. There was nothing uncommon about it. We sang two of our songs and examined the ideas that created the song as well as the form. There were about 20 children from 3rd to 6th grade participating. It was a Saturday afternoon. Some of the children wanted to be there and others clearly didn’t. We sang one of our songs, “There’s an Alien in My Nose”, as an example of songwriting. One of the kids refused to smile or be involved in any way. Even when the only way to defeat the alien was to eat the alien. After we perform our songs and dissect them, we ask the students to contribute their ideas for songs. It’s usually pretty easy to get them to respond. The young man who refused to smile was asked for his idea. “I don’t know” he said. Keith said, “Great idea!’ and wrote it down. “Not Nothing!” was the next thing out of our reluctant participant’s mouth. “Even better!” said Keith. I Don’t Know Not Nothing. We put three of their ideas up to vote on and the idea that most of our workshop voted for was, I Don’t Know Not Nothing.

Soon we were all involved in coming up with lyrics for the tune. Our reluctant child was up to his elbows in helping out. Whatever divisions of age or attitude that had been very present at the beginning of the workshop disappeared. We were all involved in creating something. By the end of the workshop, we recorded the song. Every voice singing together, smiles and fun being passed around the room like electricity. What was passed to the workshop went beyond just songwriting. They learned about teamwork, creative thinking, learning melody and rhythm, understanding dynamics. This learning was done actively with genuine enthusiasm. It involved all of us and we now have a wonderful song to listen to as a result. “I don’t know about nuthing”

This song may not be a number one hit, but as a device for bringing people together, it works. Music is an art form, much like architecture, that can bring us all together. It can potently deliver ideas and it can lift spirits. We’ve seen it elevate our audiences for almost 40 years. It’s important to expose our children to music and to allow them to participate in it. If we don’t, where do we expect our next generations of creative minds to come from? Visiting a society without music seems absurd and sad. Thanks for your time. And thanks to all of the music teachers who open our children’s minds to the architecture of the spirit.

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March 2014

Dear Fisherfolk,

If you have to pick a month in the year to be short, February makes sense. It makes winter shorter. We get to March so much more quickly. Not that there’s anything really wrong with February. Fats Domino, Farrah Fawcett, George Washington, Kathy O’Connell and Abe Lincoln were born in February. Valentine’s day is in February. Keith wants to know, who says bigger is better?! Just because a month has a lot of days doesn’t make it all that much more exciting!

airloom and trout pd

Before we leave February, we’d like to remind you folks in Arkansas that Air Loom will be opening shows for us in Little Rock on Thursday the 27th at Juanita’s and in Fort Smith at Second Street Live on Friday the 28th. Air Loom is the musical duo of Jackson Jennings and Dana Idlet (Ezra’s daughter). We shared the stage with Air Loom in Dallas and it was a wonderful evening. If you’re near either of these places, it’s not a show to miss! Click HERE to see a video of us performing an old Trout song, “Buffalo Shuffle”.

peeper frog

The month of March is a full month for us, but we’ll be doing a lot of work in schools which will limit the amount of public shows we do. So if our calendar looks empty, don’t worry for us. There’s plenty going on in our world. We are ready for winter to ease its icy grip on the weather. The peeper frogs have started peeping up here in Northwest Arkansas and that’s always a cheerful sound. Spring is just around the corner. There’s wood to cut and gardens to get ready. Come to think of it, enjoy your February while you can, there’s lots of work to be done when the weather gets good!

Troutfully yours
Keith and Ezra

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