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,

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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February 2014

Mountain of snow

Just a few short days ago, Ezra was commenting to me that this had been a mild winter. I quickly pointed out to him that he was in sunny Canada for those 8 days I was iced in at home with no kitty litter at the beginning of the year. I also pointed out that winter is not over yet. Now Punxsutawney Phil agrees with that assessment and says we’ve got 6 more weeks to go. It was 0 degrees in West Fork, AR this morning and I’m looking at about 4 inches of white stuff in the yard. Mild winter, indeed. We have been lucky with our shows. It seems like the bad weather stops every time we play. We sure hope that pattern continues a bit longer. Maybe we should play more shows next winter!

Ezra writing here:
It really felt like a milder winter to me when I said that to Keith. I spoke too soon! Right now, freezing rain is covering yesterday’s snow. Assuming that the roads are clear and we are able to travel to Dallas this weekend, we have a special event lined up at Poor David’s Pub. First we do a children’s concert in the afternoon and that is always fun.

airloom promo

Then the duo, Air Loom is opening for us at our evening show. Air Loom is Jackson Jennings and Dana Idlet. Ezra’s daughter, Dana, is now writing and performing music for a living.  She and Jackson are making some great music these days and we’re really looking forward to having them with us in Dallas and a couple of other upcoming dates in Little Rock and Ft. Smith, AR. You don’t want to miss these shows. We are heading back to Midland, TX to perform for our friends at Camp Fire USA. These are fabulous people who do great work with the kids in their community. And the Yucca Theatre is a true classic! It’s a wonderful concert we look forward to every year.

Keith writing here:
Craig Calvert has been visiting this past week. He and Ezra have been mixing the new Wheatfield CD that we’ve been threatening to release for the past couple of years. Wheatfield is the band Ezra was playing with when I first met him. It includes Connie Mims and Craig Calvert. Great writers, great singers, wonderful musicians. The three of them had a reunion concert awhile back and decided they really needed a bass player.

OMNI 2010 and Wedding 190

So, I’m the ‘new guy’ in the band. We’ve done quite a few shows together over the past few years, but decided to take a bit of a break until we finished this CD of all new material. 12 fine original songs, beautifully performed. I’ve been listening to them non-stop and I love it. We’ll let you know when it’s ready, but know that it’s close!

Stay warm, but come out to see us at our shows. It’s the only way we can slow this ‘mild’ winter down!

Troutfully yours,
Ezra and Keith

P.S.  It’ll probably be warmer here on February 23rd. At least we hope so! We’ll be at the Jewish Community Center in Jacksonville, FL for a Family concert.

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January 2014

Dear Fisherfolk,

icycles
It’s already a week into the New Year and so far, I’m not all that impressed. In my opinion, 2014 has only one direction to go. WARMER! I am cold and I have been cold. I’ve been snowed in and iced in enough already. And it’s cold in weird places, too. We have friends in southern Louisiana who have frozen pipes! That’s just not right. Please excuse me while I continue to whine. It’s not just cold cold. It’s wet cold. Cold cold can be invigorating or annoying, but wet cold permeates your soul and makes you hunch your shoulders. It makes you tired and crabby even before you begin to do the things you need to do. OK, enough of that. On to the cheery side of life!
Small interjection here from Ezra
Yeah, it’s been cold. The Idlet’s water system broke for two days and there were no showers to be had. You might be able to imagine the other inconveniences. We did some binge watching of HBO’s The Wire. In two days, we watched almost three seasons of the show. Wow! We hardly noticed the weather outside. The other plus was that Ezra cooked wood fired pizza for the first and second time! AWESOME! Imagine having gourmet pizza down a dirt road with no water in the house. The food was great, but cleanup was a bit of a booger.

 

We are doing what many sensible human beings do this time of year. We are heading to Florida! After a brief visit to Beacon, NY to visit the new Towne Crier, we are traveling to Miami , St. Augustine, and Gainesville, with a stop in Alabama in the middle. Keith’s taking a bathing suit and a pair of Christmas Crocs. He’s packing sun screen, sunglasses, Hawaiian shirts, and shorts. Are you cold? Join us! Walk away (carefully so you don’t slip down) from that snow globe you’re living in and head south.

   Both of us got to spend some quality time off with our families this holiday season. We hope you had a nice one, too. We also hope it gets warmer soon! Troutfully yours,
Keith and Ezra

Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers

Here’s a link to a song on our new CD
“It’s C-C-C-Cold Outside”

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December 2013

Dear Fisherfolk,
Don’t look now, but the Holiday Season is upon us! This will be our final newsletter of 2013. With the year’s end, Keith likes to do a bit of an overview to keep things in perspective. In the calendar year 2013, Trout Fishing in America performed in 23 different states. AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, IL, KS, LA, MO, MT, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, TN, TX, VA. In January of 2014, we have shows scheduled in Alabama and Florida, which will make it exactly half (25 of 50) of our United States in a 13 month period. In August, we played internationally at the Blue Skies Festival in Ontario, Canada. This year, we finished recording our newest CD, Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers, and released it on September 3rd. We also filmed two music videos (Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers and Boo!) in support of the CD and posted both of them on YouTube. On April 10, we were awarded The Coleen Salley Award for Storytelling. In short, it has been a very full year for Trout.

We mentioned in our last newsletter that we were participating in a new kind of online music streaming subscription service. The Standing O Project is the brainchild of John Dillon and Vivian Nesbit. The website is the first of its kind to generously give back a large portion of the subscription fees to the artists that participate. There is a lot of interesting exclusive content to be found on this site. We’ve added two Trout tunes you’ve probably never heard before. “Don’t Giggle” and “I Am a Man” are two songs that we’ve written and recorded that haven’t made it to any of our CDs yet.

give-the-gift-of-trout-music-promoWe are currently in the middle of our Thanksgiving break. We hope you all get to spend time with your family and loved ones and hope everyone gets plenty of good things to eat! We also want to wish you a Happy or Merry whichever December Holiday you celebrate. If you want to avoid the perils of Black Friday and other terrifying shopping adventures (but still want to find that perfect gift for that special someone in your life) Trout is here to help! We have sales going on to please just about everyone and we are going to continue to throw in a free cd with every order. The two of us have now been playing music and writing songs together for over 37 years. We still love what we do and are grateful that you still enjoy it. Thanks!!

Troutfully yours,
Keith and Ezra

PS How many instruments can you find in this photo?
how many instruments

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Dear Fisherfolk – We have a gift for you!!

Dear Fisherfolk,

BOO! “Does that scare you? It scares me too.” It’s that scary time of year. If you haven’t already checked out our video “Boo!” on You Tube, you ought to do that right now.

While you’re at it, you might as well check out the Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers video, too. Share them if you like them!

We really enjoyed making both of them and we’re very proud of the results. They are as different as night (one filmed at night on a rooftop in downtown Philadelphia) and day (one filmed in the bright sunlight at Terra Studios in rural Arkansas). We are, if nothing else, a band of stunning contrast.

A few years ago, we did a radio show out of Albuquerque called, “Art of the Song”. The show was a combination live performance and interview. John Dillon and Viv Nesbit, (creators of Art of the Song) have started a new venture. It’s called the Standing O Project. The Standing O Project is sort of like Pandora or Spotify in that it’s a subscription music streaming service.

Subscribers have access to hundreds of hours of rare interviews with singer/songwriters that include Trout Fishing in America, Dr. John, Susan Werner and Richard Thompson to name a few. Live and studio cuts from these artists are also available for your listening pleasure. One of the big differences between The Standing O Project and other subscription music services is that a hefty portion of the subscription fee goes to the artists involved. The idea is to start a grass roots effort to connect singer/songwriters and their audiences in a way that works for everyone involved. If this sounds interesting to you, check it out at this link.

Online orders get a gift from us!
The leaves are already changing in the Ozarks. Glittering gold, rapturous red, and vibrant yellow are beginning to splash across the landscape. Keith will probably see a lot more of that in the next two weeks as our touring takes us to Connecticut, New Hampshire, Illinois, and Ohio. Ezra, being colorblind, will just have to listen to Keith’s rapturous ooh’s and aah’s. Most of these venues are new to us, but they sound great. We are familiar with The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago and it is awesome! Don’t forget that changing leaves means a very scary thing. Winter is coming! Snow, sleet, ice, Christmas… If you’re thinking of presents, don’t panic. We’re here to help. Check out Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers, The Chicken Joe Books, and a host of other Trout stuff that is sure to please somebody on your list. Orders in November will include a free CD from us!

Troutfully yours,
Keith and Ezra

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Teachers – Activities for Trout’s new song and video “Boo!”

The great team at MyFreshPlans.com created this wonderful study guide for teachers using Trout Fishing in America’s new song “Boo!”. Turn it Up! Have some fun!
CLICK HERE

Stream the song

 

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