Style, definitions and ‘living in the moment’: A conversation with Trout Fishing in America
When I was preparing to interview Trout Fishing In America’s Ezra Idlet, I had a nice little plan laid out in my head about how things were going to play out – a little history of how the band came to be, a little discussion about current projects and tour schedules and maybe a little look to the future about what’s next. But once Ezra and I began our conversation, all those best-laid plans flew immediately out the window as the discussion turned philosophical – just two people talking about writing, resistance to being categorized and “living in the moment”.
When Keith Grimwood and Erza Idlet teamed up in 1979, they didn’t set out to start making and performing children’s music but Ezra remembers how it came to be. “When we were first starting out, we played a show with some friends at an elementary school and not really knowing what we were doing or what we wanted to be. The kids loved it, immediately connected with the music. It was just one of those moments. We got paid for that day with handmade thank you cards from the students.” It’s been quite a journey for these two musicians who have been making music together for thirty four years, but, for Ezra, the commercial success has always been secondary to simply making music, regardless of category. “Living in the moment is really comfortable to live, but really difficult to market”, he laughed. This is a duo that is resistant to categorization – they just perform music with influences from reggae, folk, blues, jazz and early Americana.
Riding the first wave of artist-owned labels, Keith and Erza have enjoyed being able to make music on their own terms, easily switching between children’s music and adult music. “Calling one entire adult music seems kind of lame,” notes Ezra, “we need to come up with a different title for that”. Makes sense, doesn’t it? For a duo that has switched easily between different genres and styles for so long, definitions are slippery creatures and I daresay they like it that way.
With a new full-length adult CD slated for release in September, these guys aren’t slowing down. They’re taking chances by exploring new instruments (Ezra plays percussion and drums on the new recording, Keith tackles the keys) and putting them into unexpected places (banjo-funk, what?) and having a blast doing it. Expect a touch of gospel bluegrass, too.
Trout Fishing in America play this weekend’s Southern Shore Music Festival, Sat June 19th!
June 19, 2010 | Gates Open: 11:00am | Performances: 12Noon – 8:00pm
Trout Fishing In America
Sin City band
Just $25.00 for 8+ hours of peace and music…
$35.00 at Gate | Children 12 & Under Free!
WXPN & Jersey Arts Card Members Receive Advance Ticket Discount When Purchasing Tickets Online!