Sunday, July 10, 2011

Trout Fishing in America -- the band, not the book

Music on Sunday @ The Reaction

It's the weekend in the middle of the summer and, once upon a time, that meant I would be at a music festival somewhere in North America. Life has gotten busy over the years and more recently I just haven't been able to get to many of these fabulous summer events.

About 25 years ago, I met a couple of guys, who, at that time, were living in Houston, Texas, who had come up to Canada to play at the Summerfolk Festival in Owen Sound, Ontario. The power duo, called Trout Fishing in America, had already been around for a while but they were just starting to blow away audiences in Canada at a few festivals and clubs.

At Owen Sound that first year, I struck up a conversation with the bass player, Keith Grimwood, about baseball, which is a serious addiction for the man. A few years before, Keith's beloved Houston Astros had been beaten by my beloved New York Mets in the epic 1986 National League Championship Series and he and I made a connection about that and some other things and have been friends ever since.

Over the years, we've gotten together at various events all over Canada and the U.S. I even went down to Arkansas, where they now live, to visit several years ago.

Keith and Ezra Idlet, the guitar player in the duo, are what you would call hard working musicians. I've seen them in venues large and small and if you think making a living in the music business is an easy thing, think again. Audiences give plenty back, but I've seen Keith and Ezra jackass serious poundage in equipment up the back stairs of bars over the years to know what I'm talking about.

I've also heard enough stories from these guys, both good and not so good, to fill several dozen blog postings and have even been a party to a few, like the time we almost found ourselves in the middle of riot when some local kids decided to get drunk and trash our campground. (It's a long story). On the up side, I also remember the time we all drove through the night to a gig in New England as the previous night turned into a new day with the sun rising over the Atlantic Ocean. I still remember how that felt.

You should know that Trout Fishing in America is by now a four-time Grammy-Award-nominated band, so I think things are working out for them.

In the clip below they are playing with a number of others, but the group is really the two of them, though the ensemble effect here is really cool. I just picked it off of YouTube, but I think it's a live performance in Lima, Ohio.

If these two come to your town, do check them out. You'll be glad you did.

This number is absolutely one of my favourites. It's called "Murrell's."

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)


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