By Laura Wilson
STILLWATER, Okla. —
The last time he came to Stillwater, Ezra Idlet said, he discovered that an Oklahoma Pikepass works beyond Tulsa.
Idlet’s son plays basketball for the University of Tulsa and most of his travel in Oklahoma is in the Tulsa area, he said.
He and singing partner Keith Grimwood — together the two are Trout Fishing in America — came west to Stillwater in August 2008 to play at a benefit concert for the Rise School of Stillwater. The concert was presented by the Mya Gonzales Foundation and Friends.
They were back in Stillwater Saturday for another concert supporting the foundation, which works with the Oklahoma State University College of Human and Environmental Sciences to operate the Rise Program. The program, on the OSU campus, “teaches pre-schoolers who live with developmental disabilities in an environment that also includes typically developing children,” according to its website.
As Trout Fishing in America, Idlet and Grimwood write and record a lot of children’s songs, but also songs for adults.
“We’ve been playing for adult audiences since we started playing,” Idlet said.
They often find adults in their audience attended their first Trout Fishing in America concerts as children, and now are bringing their children to hear the band, Grimwood said. The audiences, he added, are often made up of “several generations of families. It’s really nice to watch from the stage.”
Trout Fishing in America released its most recent CD, “Looking at Lucky,” last fall, but Idlet said he and Grimwood have been in the studio recording new music, including a song called “Banjos on the Moon." The song came from a picture sent to the band by a fan.
“I like telling the joke, ‘Why are there no banjos on “Star Trek”? Because it’s the future,’” Grimwood said. “It’s not very funny, but it’s awfully true. Somebody sent a picture to Ezra of a man in an astronaut suit holding a banjo on the moon. I said, ‘Hey that would be a good name for a song.’ I wandered off, and Ezra started writing the next day.”
Idlet said they are working on two verses: one based on Grimwood’s belief that banjos won’t be around in the future and one based on what he calls his “beautiful belief” that more people will appreciate the music of banjos in the future.
The two have been playing music together since 1976, Idlet said, but each was playing and traveling before they met.
Grimwood, who plays string bass and electric bass guitar and sings, played with bands in bars to pay for college, where he earned a degree in music before playing for the Houston Symphony. Idlet, who plays guitar, played basketball in college for one year before taking a job playing music in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.