Posts Tagged ‘Richard Brautigan’

TFIA Album CoverIt seems that there are mainly three types of people:  Those who have never heard of Trout Fishing in America in any matter; those who know that as a title of a book written by Richard Brautigan; and those who know that as the name of a two-man folk-based band of Ezra Idlet and Keith Grimwood who took their band’s moniker from that book. There are those who know both the book and the band; however, it seems that that group of people is a rather small exception to the rule.

And for those who know the band, you usually come to know them through two different directions:  through their children-based music where the duo creates music like the song “The Window” that is generally for younger audiences and their parents OR a song like “A Proper Cup of Coffee” for their more mature (but NOT adult-rated) music for the adult set.

Together, with both musical mindsets, the duo of singer/guitarist Ezra Idlet and singer/bassist Keith Grimwood has amassed an impressive library of music. And whether you are for the Adult set or for the Children/Parent set, the duo has a large amount of albums to choose from. And that library of music from the duo has just recently grown by one as the duo has just released a new album for the Adult portion of their fanbase. The new album from Trout Fishing in America is entitled The Strangest Times.

The Strangest Times from Trout Fishing in America begins with the album’s title track. “The Strangest Times” is a track that features Ezra Idlet and Keith Grimwood creating a track that falls into a Folk category with a slight Rock and Roll edge to it. The easy pace to the music helps add to the Folk influence in the track. The guitar solo in the track helps to add to the Rock and Roll influence. The lyrics find guitarist Ezra Idlet lamenting his hard life but also being glad when his lady shows up to help him through all of the problems. “The Strangest Times” is a semi-sweet song with a hint of hope to it.

Trout Fishing in America’s newest album continues with the track “In the Morning”. The feel of the music changes on this track. The song features a slightly easier feel to the music as the duo of Ezra Idlet and Keith Grimwood create the track with more of a Folk influence with a little Blues feel thrown in. This time, bassist Keith Grimwood handles the vocals on the track. The Folk/Blues combination in the music along with Grimwood handling the vocals combine to create a track that is reminiscent of something from Canadian troubadour Gordon Lightfoot. The overall gentle feel of the track creates a song that will easily satisfy fans of Folk music.

With the next track, the duo creates one of the most commercial tracks of the album. “A Place to Fall” finds Ezra Idlet once again handling the vocals to a track that features a definite Folk-Rock style. The track’s musical delivery as well as lyrical direction brings to mind a timeless Folk-Rock style that would be right at home on radio today but could easily have found a place on the airwaves back in the sixties/early seventies. “A Place to Fall” is one track on The Strangest Times that demands repeated playing.

Speaking of a commercial appeal, the album of The Strangest Times continues with the song “When the Fog Rolls In”. The song hits the listener with a style that will immediately catch the ear of the listener. The track features a definite Folk-Rock approach that adds to that appeal. This is one track from Trout Fishing in America that will make you wish the act was much more than just a duo Ezra Idlet and Keith Grimwood. As the track proceeds, the listener can all but imagine the track being completed with a drumbeat and maybe a rhythm guitar to add some depth to the track. As it exists, “When the Fog Rolls In” is easily one of the standout tracks on the newest album from the duo.

The Strangest Times continues with two of the more “adult” tracks on the release. With the track “Where’s Your Mama,” Keith Grimwood finds himself in the predicament of finding someone who is just his type but NOT in his age range. And the song “Someone Your Age,” he handles the vocals on a song about growing old. The two tracks seem to have several things in common, which is probably why they ended up being grouped together on the release. The two tracks deal with age issues while being on opposite sides of the coin. They also have a certain amount of humor as they deal with the subjects they contain. With the subject matters of the tracks being what they are, “Where’s Your Mama” and “Someone Your Age” are two of the more “realistic” songs on this new Trout Fishing in America album.

Staying in much the same vein as the previous two tracks, the song “Where Did Everybody Go” contains a grown-up quality to the lyrics as Ezra Idlet sings a song about falling out of the in crowd as everyone around him disappears. While this song may be relevant to the older crowd, it has mass appeal as everyone can relate.

The mood of the album changes with the track “Quiet Alleys”. For most of the album, bassist Keith Grimwood plays his instrument by plucking the strings. But with this track, he changes directions and bows the instrument. The bowing motion of the bass creates a completely different sound to the music than any previous track on the release. The orchestral quality of the Grimwood’s bass mixed with Idlet’s guitar combine to create one of the more solid Folk-like combinations of the entire release. Add to that the gentle vocals from Ezra Idlet and “Quiet Alleys” is one of the strongest moments of folk music on the release.

The Strangest Times from Trout Fishing in America is a solid effort from the duo of Ezra Idlet and Keith Grimwood. The album contains many moments of both serious and more lighthearted moments. And in the case of the song “When the Fog Rolls In,” the duo seems to have hit gold with yet another song that with end up being as much a staple in the duo’s set as songs like “The Window” or “A Proper Cup of Coffee” but on a slightly more serious side.  This album will easily make any fan of Trout Fishing in America. Plus, for those who have yet to discover the magic of the duo, this album is a great place to start your relationship with the music of the duo.

To hear just a hint of the music from Trout Fishing in America, check out the song “When the Fog Rolls In“.

Check out this live version of the title track, “The Strangest Times”.