Still Fishin’

Still Fishin’

Duo reelin’ in plans for new record


Saying that Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet have played music together for 42 years might imply they’ve played the same music … in the same way … to the same audiences … with the same colleagues. And nothing could be further from the truth. The duo has found harmony in the continued evolution of new instruments, new influences and new side projects. What has remained the same for Trout Fishing in America are the joy, the sense of adventure, the desire to learn and grow as musicians and the fans — who are now adults bringing their kids and grandkids.

“We played for our peers in the ’70s and ’80s,” muses Grimwood, the bass player and— for the uninitiated — the shorter half of the duo. “We had kids, and they had kids. And then those kids had kids. And now we’re planning to record an album for those people — with music from our entire catalog, recorded by the two of us as we are today — but we’re also talking about a booklet of pictures and a video, maybe, of songs and stories. You know, you wind us up, and we’ve got stories!”

The new release — which would definitely include CDs for “people like me who like to hold things in their hands,” Grimwood says — would also be accompanied by new concerts, with more stories interlaced with songs.

The question, says Grimwood, is how to choose 24 songs for the double CD — just 24 songs to represent 42 years.

“How do you narrow it down?” he wonders, sounding bemused. “I think we’re going to record between 20 and 24 songs and then test the waters for a podcast — play a couple of songs, talk about them — and that would help cover all the songs we miss! We can’t include them all!”

While what to record is still not set in stone, where to record it isn’t an issue. Ezra Idlet — who plays guitar, banjo, sometimes percussion and always from the high altitude of almost 7 feet in height — is in the process of finishing a recording studio at the new house he and wife Karen built.

“The old Trout House studio was one room about the size of a big walk-in closet. The new Trout House studio has three very comfortable rooms with climate control,” he says with obvious glee. “It may seem like a small thing, but during the summer in our old studio, we’d have to turn on the window unit for about 20 minutes to record for about 10 minutes. Sometimes we’d push the recording time and just sweat it out.

“The new studio was designed by Steven Klein whose clients include Beck, Don Was and Stan Ridgway,” Idlet adds proudly. “I also got some help from some great local folks with lots of experience. Darren Novotny, Scott Westbrook and J.T. Huff have lent hands getting this place up and running. Having a place to play and record music any time of day or night right downstairs is an amazing luxury! I’m looking forward to starting on the new Trout project as well as working with other folks as well.”

Before Grimwood and Idlet return to the studio — which Idlet says could be within a couple of weeks — they have two local gigs, one in Fayetteville and one in Fort Smith.

“We loved this area enough to move here, way back in 1992,” says Grimwood, “but we don’t get to play around home as much as we’d like to. We’re excited.”

Photo courtesy Don House
Grammy-nominated duo Keith Grimwood (left) and Ezra Idlet have been Trout Fishing in America for 42 years — and they have absolutely no plans to retire, they say, even though both their wives have.



Trout Fishing

In America

WHEN — 10:30 a.m. July 28

WHERE — Fayetteville Public Library

COST — Free


BONUS — TFIA will also play in celebration of the Fort Smith bicentennial at 1 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Fort Smith Convention Center. Tickets are $5 at

Categories: Family Friendly