Who Are These People? by Karen Liebowitz

Music Monthly/National Beat

‘Who Are These People?’-That was my exact reaction when I first glanced at the CD cover. What kind of name is that for a band? It sounds like a how-to-do-it-yourself manual on catching, cleaning, and cooking fish. I thought for sure they’d be another Seattle grunge band.

I was dead wrong. Trout Fishing in America are actually a folk duo who place heavy emphasis on bass and acoustic guitar. The bass in particular is mixed in such a way that all the songs have a strong rhythmic quality to them. Quite a change from the normal folk stuff. Most of the songs seem to fall under the folk rock heading, but out of the blue comes a tune or two that will surprise you. My personal favorite is ‘Serious About You’, which has a soulish beat to it. Horns blast out giving a ’60s feel, but what instrument takes the solo? The acoustic guitar does, thereby retaining that folk edge. Still, I could see Jr. Cline and the Recliners covering it.Another interesting song is entitled ‘Breakfast Blues’–a ditty loaded with puns galore about breakfast food, some so bad you just have to laugh.

This might be a new direction for folk music. Gone are the days when there would be just one person and his guitar singing mournful odes about the world’s injustices. Now you get duos with strange names singing about flapjacks. The times they are a’ changin’ indeed.