We’re just back from the beautiful state of Colorado. We played for the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad at our annual, “train gig”. Fred Hargrove and Keith on the train We take a train out of Alamosa, CO and spend a couple of hours rocking in the Rockies at an amphitheater surrounded by mountains and trees. We were in the process of starting a love song up there when a little boy walked up to the stage and shouted at us to “PLAY DINOSAUR”! He folded his arms and waited for us to comply. There was nothing to do but to stop the song we were playing and start “When I Was a Dinosaur”. At this point he started walking away. Ezra shouted, “HEY COME BACK HERE! WE’RE PLAYING THIS SONG FOR YOU”! Unfazed, the little boy shouted, “I CAN STILL HEAR YOU OVER THERE”! Ezra said, “YOU’LL MISS MY PRETTY FACE”! The young critic just shrugged his shoulders and walked off. We all had a great laugh and played the Dinosaur song.
The official release date for our new CD, “Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers”, will be September 3rd. BUT…. you can get pre-release copies through our website!! If you can’t wait to order them, know that we will have copies at all the upcoming shows! If you’re in Fayetteville, AR for our library show on July 31st or at the First Thursday performance on August 1, know that copies of “Rubber Baby Buggy Bunkers” will be available! If you miss us in Fayetteville, look for us in Rogers at the Frisco Stage on August 24th.Video shoot for RBBB We’re also working on music videos for two of the songs and we’re very excited about the possibilities. Recently, a really nice story by Becca Martin-Brown ran in What’s Up, a publication of NW Arkansas Newspapers!
We’re about to introduce our van, Whitey Ford, to Canada. (We have a white Ford van, hence the name Whitey.) Keith and Ezra in the new van He did a fine job taking us to Colorado and back, but this will be an even bigger trip. After an oil change and fluid check, we’ll be driving to Clarendon, Ontario for the Blue Skies Festival. Then we’ll head south to PA for performances at the Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia on August 8th and two shows at MusikFest in Bethlehem on August 10th. Come out and see us. Get your copy of “Rugger Bagee Buggy Bunkers” today!
Keith and Ezra
We just entered the New Jersey Turnpike and got an up close and personal look at 54 wheels on 3 big rigs. (That’s LIV for you Roman Numeral fans!) One big rig in front, one big rig in back, and one really big rig to the left. VIDEO
We’re on our way to festivals because it is finally festival season. We love festivals for many reasons. We often get to do both our adult and kids shows. We get to hear other musicians. And both of us love the arts, crafts, and foods. Here’s a list of some festivals in our near future.
Mayfest – Eureka Springs, AR Eureka is a town we love. If you’ve never visited Eureka Springs, bring your walking shoes. It’s truly an Ozark jewell! These people know how to have a good time.
Riverfest 2013 – Little Rock, AR On the banks of the AR River, we celebrate food, music, art, and fireworks. We play 2 sets of music divided by an impressive fireworks display during our break. How cool is that?
The Kerrville Folk Festival – Kerrville, TX In 1988, Trout Fishing in America was the opening act on the main stage. This has been a regular stop for us over the past 25 years. A family favorite, we’ve watched generations grow up around this musical community. Welcome Home! Indeed.
Woody Fest – Okemah, OK This will be our first time to play this festival honoring Woody Guthrie. We hear you should dress cool and bring sunscreen for hot days and nights of hot music under Oklahoma skies. A side note, on June 7th, we will be playing in Tulsa, OK for the First Fridays event at the brand new Woody Guthrie Center.
August festivals include Blue Skies (Clarendon, ON Canada) and Arts Quest Musikfest (Bethlehem, PA) – more on them later.
I just got ‘good’ news from home saying “Remember that tree you were worried about falling down? Tree down at the Grimwoods Well, you don’t have to worry anymore. It fell.” The good news is that it fell toward the garden and not toward the house. Folks, it could have been the house. So today’s lesson to you is – Get out of the house! Come out and enjoy some music!
Keith and Ezra
June 7th, Trout Fishing will be preforming in Tulsa, OK at the brand new Woody Guthrie Center in the Guthrie Green park as part of their First Fridays music series. Also performing are friends Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines, and then Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion. The center is partnering with the Girl Scouts of Eastern OK.
This is a night of free music and free admission to the Center and will also be an event to raise money for the TCF tornado relief fund. More about that below.
***In the spirit of Woody Guthrie, the Woody Guthrie Center will be accepting monetary donations that will be sent directly to tornado relief efforts in our state. Please come out for the free events at Guthrie Green and the Woody Guthrie Center, and give generously to our fellow Oklahomans who so desperately need our help. checks made out to tcf-tornado relief will be accepted in addition to cash donations.
For some reason, maybe the weather, maybe the coffee, joy seems to be the word that comes to mind at the moment. Sure, there are lots of distractions from joy, but there are a whole bunch of opportunities for finding it as well. It can be as simple as mowing your lawn and smelling the fresh cut grass and seeing the trimmed edges framing the green grass. It can be as common as people holding hands, laughing, singing, talking with each other. This week we’ve had some time off from the road and have had a chance to pursue some of the things that bring us joy. Keith is in Louisiana attending the Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Week. He’s brought his fiddle and is immersing himself in Louisiana music and culture. Ezra has been alternately in the recording studio playing drums and in the woods cutting firewood for next winter. Sounds like work, but it’s joyful work.
Honored with an Award
We mentioned on Facebook recently that we had been awarded the 2013 Coleen Salley Storytelling Award. We traveled to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to receive the award and to play for the event. We met a passionate group of people involved in telling stories to children. From authors to librarians to illustrators, the people we met were inspirational. Thanks so much to the folks at the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival for bringing us to this event.
Dates Near You!
We’re about to seriously hit the road again. If you’re looking for a little extra joy in your life, come out and see us. It’ll make us all happier. We’ll be in New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Arkansas and Texas in the next few weeks! Take a look at our calendar for dates near you. We’ll see you there.
Keith and Ezra
Keith brought the acoustic upright bass on our Texas tour. Thanks Gene for this photo.
©Gene Moore Photographic Partners Keith playing acoustic upright bass
Don’t get too excited just yet, but Trout Fishing in America is working on a brand new CD project. We’ve already written most of the songs and we’re recording every chance we get. It’s a ton of fun and we’re loving it! (See video) Ok, even though it won’t be finished and released until the Fall, you can go ahead and get excited if you want to. We sure are! The biggest problem we’ve encountered so far has been singing our title cut. If performing Proper Cup of Coffee wasn’t already tough enough, we’ve gone and written a delightful little song called Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers. Right… Go ahead and try this line – Which wristwatches are Swiss wristwatches? We’ll get it right eventually. You will too because, like Proper Cup of Coffee, it’s a sing-a-long!
Our new van, Whitey Ford, is cruising along nicely. Gosh, we already have over 12,000 miles on it. (note- it was a used ‘new’ van that came with 9,000 miles on it, so don’t be too impressed) That seems mighty unimpressive compared to the accomplishments of our old vehicles. Robert Red Ford was retired at around 540,000 miles. Stretch made it to 480,000. Whitey handles well on the highway, but the Radio/GPS/CD/Dashboard thing is proving most difficult. The instruction manual came in the form of a defective CD that will not play. Luckily, there is a booklet con-taining absolutely no useable information.
Ezra is resourcefully probing the mysteries of advanced technology and has had some success. While Keith did manage to recharge his cell phone, he is hopelessly lost trying to change the dashboard clock to Daylight Savings Time. Oh well, he figures it’ll be right again eventually. Maybe around the time our new CD comes out, or when he can actually sing Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers!
Keith and Ezra
March, magnificent March! Spring begins! In Texas, the rosebuds are already blooming. In Arkansas, daffodils sing out with their sunshine yellow flowers. Robins are dancing on lawns across the country. The forecast calls for green and warm. Our gardens, like Sirens, call for us to return. The traditional planting of potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day will have to wait a day until the 18th. Four leaf clover On the 17th we have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day Children’s concert scheduled at Poor David’s Pub in Dallas, Texas as a part of their Anniversary Celebration. Riddle question – Why should you never iron a 4-leaf clover? Think about it… The answer can be found later in this newsletter, so keep reading.
For many of us, Spring marks the beginning of Baseball Season. Sadly, this year Keith has decided to give up his Baseball addiction. Baseball Keith at 8 He started early as a baseball fan and always wanted to either play bass or baseball. Being vertically challenged, the bass won out. Still, he has suffered patiently with his beloved Houston Astros yearly since 1962. (accuracy note: yes, they were the Colt .45’s in the early years!) Now that the Astro’s have been ejected from the National League and relocated to the AL West, his heart is broken and he’s had enough. (note from Keith: Real men bat for themselves…) So in protest, he’s giving up baseball cold turkey. Please be kind and patient with him in his suffering and encourage his speedy recovery.
Luckily we have lots of music on the calendar to keep us good and busy. In the next 3 months we’ve got concerts scheduled in 11 states – AR, CA, MS, MT, NC, NJ, OH, OK, PA, TX, and VA. Riddle Answer – Because you don’t want to press your luck! Did you get it right? The sun is shining. Spring forward. Don’t forget that Daylight Savings time begins March 10th. Spring into action. Spring into life. Come out and say hello at a Trout show.
Keith and Ezra
(Ezra writing here:) Karen and I are in Hungary visiting our son Steven. He’s in his rookie season as a professional basketball player. He’s been in Europe for 5 months and it feels so good to talk face to face. Skype has been a big help for staying in touch, but nothing compares to being in the same place. Steven has been showing us around his world. He took us to dinner in Budapest at one of the most beautiful restaurants I’ve ever been to. The menu was absolutely delicious. The most fascinating item on the menu was goose liver ice cream over toasted egg bread, served with vanilla balsamic vinegar! That sounds like a song. We got to see a basketball game and Steven’s team won. This is definitely the furthest we’ve ever traveled to watch him play.
We’re Not a Household Name
There are so many people in this world! Can you believe most of them haven’t heard of Trout Fishing in America? At our shows we often ask the question, “How many of you are seeing us for the very first time?” After 37 years of playing music together, it always feels good to see folks raise their hands each night. It’s also amazing to go places we’ve never been and meet people that have grown up on our music. We just played with the Billings Symphony Orchestra, our first time ever in Billings, Montana. Prepared for frigid Billings symphony temperatures and piles of snow, we were greeted by warm weather and a very warm audience. Along with many first-timers, there were also a surprising number of long time Trout fans in attendance. We even met a young man who had found our music in a library when he was a child. He fell in love with it and credited us as the reason he learned to play bass. (note: We apologize to his parents) Seeing the excitement of a first time audience and feeling the love of long time fans keeps us pretty happy.
“Whitey Ford” hits the road
We’re about to take our maiden voyage in our new van, “Whitey Ford” . We are driving to Midland, Texas. Just a little over a year ago we took our last trip to Midland driving a rented van. Stretch, our old van, had been stolen with all of our gear. That sounds like a song! Keith and Ezra in back of Mr. Ford It’s time to get acquainted with Mr. Ford. We plan to read the owner’s manual for our super advanced music and GPS system. It has a backup camera too! Keith doesn’t like having it on while we’re driving forward though. He says the past is disappearing fast enough without it.
Our calendar this month takes us to new places as well as old places. We’re looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. Word of mouth is still our best advertising. If you know someone who lives near a place we’re playing, tell them to come out or bring them with you.
Keith and Ezra
We were in Billings, MT last week performing with the Billings Symphony Orchestra, and we also got to work with some of the schools there doing our songwriting workshops. We hadn’t ventured that far north at that time of year since our fateful January trip to Alberta back in the 90’s. It was a fantastic week and the weather was really nice! Here is a link to a story that the Billing Gazette did on one of the workshops. CLICK HERE.
Ezra is off to Hungary to visit his pro-basketball playing son. He promises to send some pictures of his adventure. When he returns we get to travel to Midland, TX to work with some really wonderful people – the Camp Fire West Texas concert at the Yucca Theater.
We hope your 2013 is starting out as well as ours!
Keith and Ezra
This Saturday we get to play with a very large band – The Billings Symphony Orchestra! We had our friend Dick Goodwin arrange several Trout Fishing songs for the orchestra and we have been practicing them. Here is a link to a video working on “Alberta Postcard” with the symphony parts being played by piano. High Tech Practicing
Then we have a break for Ezra to go see his son who plays professional basketball in Hungary! It will probably be as cold in Hungary as it will be in Billings Montana!
Keith and Ezra
It’s 2013! Happy New Year! (Imagine Barry Manilow singing “Looks like we made it…”) This promises to be an exciting year for Trout. We already have dates booked in 15 states and 1 Canadian province and it’s only the first week of January! Our new van, “Whitey Ford”, is almost ready. We dropped by Presidential Conversions the other day to have a look at the progress and make some final decisions on the interior. Keith and Ezra in new van New features for us include a Sirius/XM installation with Bluetooth connectivity, a back-up camera, a new mattress for the 7-foot bed, custom LED interior lighting, and a really good alarm system! You might remember that our old van, Stretch, was stolen last January. We got it back (sans musical equipment), but don’t want a repeat performance. Stretch will be retiring with around 495,000 miles on the odometer.
2013 brings other changes for Trout. We’d like to wish farewell and good luck to Patty Doyal, our longtime office employee. She doesn’t have nearly as many miles on her odometer!Patty has been with us for the past 14 years, only a year less than Stretch. Now she has taken a new, full-time position at the University of Arkansas. Thanks Patty! Great job!
After our extreme encounter with sub-zero temperatures in Calgary Alberta, we have often stressed that travel plans should be made according to weather. It’s good advice. Florida or the Caribbean would be an optimal place to visit in January and February. Eastern Europe, Hungary specifically, doesn’t seem like a winter destination. However, Paks, Hungary is where Steven Idlet is currently playing professional basketball. Steven’s been over there since August. After Trout’s winter appearance with the Billings Montana Symphony, Ezra and Karen are going to be visiting Steven. Steven’s Dunk Their Hungarian trip will include a couple of basketball games as well as a visit to Budapest! A couple of things we never knew about Hungary
1- Ernő Rubik invented the Rubik’s Cube! 2- László Bíró invented the ballpoint pen! It’s hard to imagine our world without those two creative uses of plastic.
Keith and Ezra