This fall, Trout Fishing in America released their 15th CD (yes 15th!), Big Round World, and as a big fan of the duo for the last several years I was happy to discover that it is my favorite of all their albums so far. When a band or artist has released that many albums, you always look forward to the new release, and oftentimes you really like it because it's a group whose musical language you can identify with and appreciate, but it becomes harder after so many albums to really define things like "favorite" or "best". If anything, you might often be into the current album the most because it's the newest one and it's fresh. But in this case, I really think this is Trout Fishing's strongest album yet, which is saying a lot, considering how much I like their previous albums. And it was just announced last night that they have received their fourth Grammy nomination in the Best Children's Album category for Big Round World.
The opening title track is immediately identifiable as "the Trout Fishing sound", with chugging acoustic guitars, bouncy rhythms and Ezra's big, round voice singing a memorable song about our big, round world. "My Favorite Jeans" covers more of a rock sound with Keith belting a funny ode to his favorite jeans, which leads nicely into "When You Get Dressed", a reggae/ska flavored track which may be the catchiest Trout tune I've heard yet. Ezra dispenses important advice such as "You don't wear a ski mask to the bank, or an evening gown to drive a tank". Other highlights (among many) include "Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks", a terrific inspirational anthem; "Too Good to Be True", a funny story with cool saxophone and upright bass accompaniment; "Curse of the Spinach", which cleverly describes the downfall of that formerly revered vegetable; and "Five", the album closer which beautifully describes how we all were once (or will soon be) five years old.
Earlier this year, my family and I were grateful to be able to spend some time with Ezra and his wife, Karen, and I took the opportunity to interview him about the new album and about Trout Fishing's music over the years...
Interview with Ezra Idlet
Samples from Big Round World:
"When You Get Dressed"
"Too Good to Be True"
Order Trout Fishing in America CDs here:
Our family with Ezra in front of the "Dreaming" treehouse...