May 2012

Dear e-Fisherfolk,
When we lived in Houston, it was pretty common to see the Goodyear blimp. The blimp was parked near Spring, TX just off of I-45. It was still magical to watch that old technology in action. Friends from out of town would visit and they’d go nuts seeing something that was pretty common for us. Last week, when we played in Maryland, we flew into Dulles Airport. There on the runway was the space shuttle on top of an airplane! If you fly in and out of Dulles all the time, it might be commonplace for you to see this.

It was awe inspiring to look out our window and see one of the most amazing pieces of space equipment casually hanging out at the airport.
A New Song Lands In Our Laps
By now, it’s old news that our van and our gear was stolen back in January. We’ve gotten pretty much back to normal. Our new teddy bear, Charles (Chuck for short) Beary has been doing a stellar job singing “Teddy Bear’s Picnic”. We’ve gotten some of our instruments back, most notably the electric banjo! Oddly, there were quite a few good things that came from this experience. The offers for and actual help we got from all over the country eased us through the difficulties of dealing with our loss. The most recent good thing that came from our experience is a new song. “Don’t Touch My Stuff!” Some songs just write themselves. This tune just landed in our laps. It features a cathartic vocal performance from Keith and Ezra grooving on his beloved electric banjo! It turns out that more than a few of us can identify with the feeling. The tune has inspired both children’s and adult audiences.
Consensus In Our Audiences
There are lots of good things about doing what we do. One of the best moments is when we see consensus with adult and children’s audiences about the music we play. It can be surprising to someone who is used to seeing adult and children’s concerts done separately. For us, it’s as common as watching the blimp take off next to I-45, but every bit as magical.

Troutfully yours,
Keith and Ezra

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April 2012

Re-united and it feels so good…” In 1978, Peaches and Herb sang these lyrics to a song written by Dino Fekaris & Freddie Perren. It seems appropriate to mention since, thanks to E-Bay and the Houston Police Department, we have been re-united with some of our stolen equipment. Last month, we told you that our van, Stretch, had been found. In spite of his advanced odometer reading (467,000+ miles) it is good to have him back. Then Al Price of Nechville Banjos spotted Ezra’s banjo on E-Bay. It was creepy looking at it sitting there on somebody else’s couch. We notified the Houston Police Department and they put a different kind of bid on it.Through a bit more investigation they also found Ezra’s Renaissance 6-string guitar at a local pawn shop. “We’d like to thank Sam and Walter Bryan for picking up and delivering these two instruments to us. You can just imagine how excited Keith was about the banjo’s return. It’s like a bad banjo joke. If thieves steal all of a band’s musical instruments, which one is the most likely to be returned? THE BANJO! There are a lot of items still missing, but we are grateful to at least have some of it back. Ro-Bear, we miss you!

After a very mild winter, spring planting has begun. The Grimwoods upheld their tradition of planning potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day. Lettuce, beets, peas, and onions are in the ground. Catnip, a very important crop for keeping the Grimwood kitties happy, is also doing well. The Idlets have another fabulous garden started. It takes 3 growing seasons to be able to eat asparagus. For years the Idlets have grown it, eaten it, and enjoyed it while Keith has been quietly envious of their success. Yesterday, Keith ate the only asparagus spear he has ever managed to grow. It was planted in a broken washing machine as part of his Dead Appliance Recycling gardening experiment. It was delicious!

Troutfully yours,
Keith and Ezra

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March 2012

‘Stretch’ has returned! The Houston Police Department found our missing van in a lot with a couple of other stolen vehicles. Our old friends at Remmert’s Automotive in the Heights fixed him up and Keith drove him back to Arkansas. Of course almost all of the musical equipment, Ro Bear, the juggling gear, and even Keith’s boots were gone. They did leave some things. They apparently did not like the Trout CDs or any music we listen to in the van. They did take kids T-shirts and Chicken Joe books. Go figure… The thieves unsuccessfully tried to pry a speaker out of the van, and left us their pry bar.
We have been performing an informal exorcism ritual on Stretch to get rid of all of the bad vibes. He’s been cleaned, washed, polished, and given an oil change. Over 467,000 miles on the odometer and he’s never been cleaner or more appreciated!

Before any of this happened, we suspected that our friends and fans were some of the finest people on the planet. Now we know it’s true. The outpouring of sympathy, love, and support has been awesome! The good people in the world still outnumber the bad. People everywhere have offered assistance of every kind. Our Facebook page has been full of messages of encouragement. Jim Scoggan has provided Keith with a bass bow. JT Huff supplied a PA system. Presidential Conversions supplied a van for our trip to Midland. The number of Teddy Bear offerings alone is enough to choke anybody up. Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!! We do have spare amps and instruments and we’re getting more. And we do have a new Teddy Bear. His name is Charles Beary. We call him Chuck for short. He would love to meet you.

After a bit of time off for recovery, Trout is about to get into full swing again. We have upcoming shows in AR, CA, IN, all over LA, MD, TX, VA (with our good friends at Center Stage), and many more. Come out to Poor David’s Pub in Dallas for their Anniversary Celebration. Be an April Fool with us at the Mucky Duck in Houston. Festival Season is on the horizon, leading off with Jiggle Jam in Kansas City, Riverfest in Little Rock, and The Kerrville Folk Festival.
Keith would like to wish his Mom a Happy 90th Birthday on March 7. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!!

Troutfully yours,
Keith and Ezra

 

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February 2012

UPDATE: The police found the van with two other stolen vehicles in an apartment parking lot on the east side of Houston off I10. It was a mess inside, and all the instruments are gone, but they left a couple mic stands. After a repair to the door lock and steering column at Remmerts in the Houston Heights – where we use to take “Robert RedFord”, “Stretch” is back home. 

 

We’re just back from what should have been a great trip to Texas. Our performances and workshops with Trout and Wheatfield went even better than expected. It would have been the perfect trip, except that our van and all of its contents were stolen!  Imagine the surprise and shock when Keith went out to the parking lot of the hotel and there was no van waiting. We’re still coming up with things that are missing as a result of the theft. At first, it was just the instruments that we were thinking about. Then we thought about the PA and the amplifiers. Our dolly (Salvadore) was in the back of the truck. There were boxes of t-shirts and CDs.
   We came to grips with all of this. Then we remembered, Ro Bear!!!!!!! They got Ro Bear!!!! What a surprise for Ro, when he woke up from his overnight hibernation to strangers pawing through his home. We can see him summarily lifted from his box of cables and tossed aside as the thieves dug through looking for valuables. Those bad people had no idea who they were leaving behind.  
   The outpouring of love and support from our friends and fans has been overwhelming. Pictures of our instruments have been shared on Facebook and across the web. Our friend Chris Hirsch (banjo player extraordinaire) created a web page for our instruments. Folks from all over have offered to lend us equipment including a box van to drive around in! We do have insurance on most of our stuff and our van. In the long run, it is only stuff. Special stuff to be sure, but we know that whatever instruments we play, through whatever amps and PA we play through, it will still be us.
   A lot of you have asked us how you can help us through this. The best thing you could do is to come out to our shows and enjoy the music. If you bought CDs and t-shirts for yourselves and your friends, we all win. Our next gig is Saturday, Feb 4th, in Bartlett, TN at the Bartlett Performing Arts Center. After that, we’ll be at the Yucca Theater in Midland, TX.

   Something that’s totally getting lost with the stolen stuff news is that Ezra went on a guided fishing trip in south Texas and caught some, “epic” speckled trout! Thanks to Jay Watkins for putting us where the fish were!

Troutfully yours,

Keith and Ezra

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Ezra’s treehouse story on TV

 

This is a story done by our local TV station about my treehouse! Thanks to Mitch Roberts and Channel 5 for doing the story. Also notice my very handsome hoodie! It was a Christmas present from my son. Click HERE

For a slideshow we did of the progress on the treehouse check out the Kids page on our website or Click HERE. (When you see the slide with me and my two kids, you realize how long this project has taken. My son is now 6’11”. )

 

 

 

 

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Latest Trout Fishing Videos!

Keith and Ezra did a music video with their friends Montie and Jayna. It’s a song from their CD “Lookin’ at Lucky.” It’s called “The Car’s Running” by TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA. Go HERE to see it!

The Trout’s were inspired to put together a video using a song from the new Book/CD set “Chicken Joe Forgets Something Important.” The song is called “16 or 17 Hours of Sleep” and you can go HERE to see this one.

You can also visit Trout Fishings Youtube page called MusicbyTroutfishing. Subcribe to us, share the videos, and make comments.

No telling what is next!

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January 2012

Dear Fisherfolk,
Happy New Year!! It will be 2012 or almost 2012 by the time you get this. We are writing it a bit early as we head into our Christmas holiday season. Keith and his family will be driving to Houston tomorrow. Wait a minute!! If you won’t read this until later, all this will have already happened! It’s sort of like writing in time-travel talk. Predicting the future… anything is possible! Would you believe Keith bought a lottery ticket in Texas and is now a billionaire. He plans on continuing playing with TFIA because he can’t think of anything else he’d rather do.
Ezra and his family had a fabulous holiday gathering at home. Santa Claus was going to bring Ezra an extra 10 hours a day to add to his time, but Ezra couldn’t decide what he wanted to do with them. So Santa gave them all to Keith instead. Keith will need the extra time to spend all his extra money. Seriously, we hope you all have a great holiday season and have a Happy New Year to come.
Two New Downloads
You might have overeaten this holiday season, but we have new “bytes” for you to chew! We’re releasing two new Trout songs digitally. We recorded “Banjos on the Moon” and “The Very Best Thing.”
You can download these tasty bytes via CDbaby.com now or in a few days try iTunes or your favorite download site. There will be no messy wrapper to struggle with when opening. No plastic was harmed and no trees were used in the production of these songs. It’s amazing to think that when we first started our record company, we were releasing our music on vinyl albums. We went to cassette tapes and then CDs. Now we’re seeing the release of music via the internet. The only music delivery systems we haven’t used are 78 records and wax cylinders. We’re not that old!
Plenty to do, not enough time
The Christmas tree is still up in the Idlet house. Not so much because we’re hanging on to Christmas, but more because we just haven’t gotten around to doing it. Looking at the tree brings back memories of what we’ve just been through. There were some joyful moments and some stressful moments. It’s a good thing that none of those moments last forever. It’s the contrast that gives this life its texture and beauty. “Nothing lasts forever and forever don’t last long” (from our song “Spider’s Fence” – which Ezra is working up on the banjo!) We’ll get around to putting the ornaments and lights in boxes and storing the tree ’til next year soon enough. There’s always plenty to do and never enough time to do it all. Even if what you’re doing is goofing off!

Troutfully yours,

Ezra and Keith

Keith and Ezra proudly use Elixir Strings

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*HOLIDAY SALE*

Here are a couple of ideas for holiday gifts or stocking stuffers. And this just in…”Chicken Joe Forgets Something Important” Book/CD set makes MetroKids Top 10 Best Family CDs of 2011!! 


The book/cd also earned a Mr. Dad Gold Seal of Approval.

Keith says buy the new “Chicken Joe Forgets Something Important” Book/CD set and get a free copy of “Merry Fishes to All” … buy 2 books, get 2 Merry Fishes CDs…etc!
(Please don’t add Merry Fishes to your shopping cart, we will add it as we process your order.)
ORDER

Ezra says get our Four Grammy Nominated CDs with FREE SHIPPING! $40
(includes inFINity, Merry Fishes to All, My Best Day and Big Round World) ORDER
 

We are getting the orders out within a day, so try to order by Tues the 20th and your order should make it for Christmas.

Questions? Just give the Trout House a call at 888-HEY-TFIA (888-439-8342) or 

Email Karen@troutmusic.com

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December 2011

Dear e-Fisherfolk,
We hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving break. We sure did. There was a week-long party and jam session at the Idlet’s house. There were 3 turkeys, over 30 people, juggling, reindeer games, and many hours of great music. Once again, Keith loves the people and the party, but is eternally grateful that it’s not at his house.
We are moving on toward the end of 2011. At least that’s what our calendars are telling us. Amazing. The individual days are getting longer and the years are getting shorter. 2011 has been a tumultuous year for a lot of people and ours has been ‘interesting’ as well. Dick Renko, our longtime manager, retired in May and we are grateful for his many years of service.

In September, The Secret Mountain publishing company released our 2nd children’s book/CD, “Chicken Joe Forgets Something Important.” Keith reached a milestone birthday in September that he’d rather forget. Our tour schedule remains constant, as does our love for the music. By the end of 2011 Trout Fishing in America will have performed in 20 states (AR, CO, CT, DE, GA, IL, KS, KY, LA, MO, NC, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, TX, VA, WV) and 1 Canadian Province (Manitoba). NOTE: STILL NO IDAHO!!
Our December calendar has some choice dates you don’t want to miss. First of all, we’ll be back at Off Broadway in St. Louis for an afternoon family concert. Then it’s on to Chicago and a morning visit to the Old Town School of Folk Music. The next weekend we have 3 big Holiday shows at the Mucky Duck in Houston. We have an afternoon kids concert and the 2 evening shows for the ‘adults’. Later on we’ll be back in Arkansas to celebrate the 31st Anniversary of the statewide arts and entertainment magazine, Nightflying, with publisher Peter Read in Little Rock. On Dec 29th we will be doing a show at Mike Shirkey’s Goodfolk Concert Series in Fayetteville, AR. This is something we’ve wanted to do for years. Goodfolk presents concerts in an intimate listening room and the show will be aimed more for the adults, although kids are always welcome. Last, but definitely NOT least, we have a gigantic New Years’ Eve planned on the East Coast. We kick things off with a kids “Countdown to Noon” at World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington, DE and then we’ll drive over for 3 evening shows at the Ocean City Music Pier in NJ. If that’s not enough, Peter Tork (of Monkees fame) will be playing after us! Come on out and join us as we welcome in a fresh and exciting New Year! Maybe this year, we’ll get to Idaho. Maybe Lucy will let Charlie Brown kick the football!

Troutfully yours,

Ezra and Keith

PS Another nice review from blogcritics.org on “Chicken Joe Forgets Something Important.”

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November 2011

As we begin writing this note to you, it’s 1:11pm and the calendar reads 11.1.11. This is the warm-up day for the big one 11.11.11. Feel the excitement! Where will you be on this monumental occasion? We’ll be driving in our van, probably at mile marker 111 on Hwy 11.

It’s been a crazy ride this year. We’ve already survived not 1, but 2 ‘Ends of the World.’ Now we’re tumbling headlong toward 2012 and all the problems those Mayans started by not planning ahead far enough. Gosh, I hope it’s not as bad as the Millennium crisis was when they forgot to include the 21st century in the computers. But, I guess we’ll muddle through somehow.

Our new book/CD, Chicken Joe Forgets Something Important is still doing great. Last month, we told you about the NAPPA (National Parenting Publications Awards) Gold Award. Right after that letter went out, we got word that the book had received more Gold!

This is in the 2011 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards (Book with Music). We went to NYC last month to showcase the release at Symphony Space.We also recorded a show on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio. The book/CD really is a lovely project. Even our Moms like it… and they can be tough critics! If you’d like to listen to it on the radio, you’re in luck. We were asked to guest host a radio show called The Hilltown Family Variety Show. You can tune in Saturday, Nov 5th to WXOJ 103.3 FM – Northampton, MA from 9-10 AM or listen to the podcast at HilltownFamilies.org. We talk, say intelligent things, play some of our songs, play some of our favorite songs from some of our friends, AND present the Chicken Joe story in the middle. Don’t miss it! Don’t forget something important!

Please check our calendar as some new dates have been added to our schedule. Among other places, we’ll be in Dallas, Houston, St. Louis, Chicago, Fayetteville AR, Wilmington DE, and Ocean City NJ. We hope you have a wonderful 11.11.11 (especially at 11:11 AM and even at 11:11 PM!!)

Troutfully yours,

Ezra and Keith

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