Trout Fishing in America Captures the Heart of the Audience

Bob Mellman, a Montclair local, opened the show with his wonderful vocals and guitar playing at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair. Mellman played six songs to warm up the audience: three adult songs, two children songs and one for any age group. He engaged the audience with a sing-along that everyone enjoyed.

Trout Fishing in America achieved more than just a great performance.

© Rui Matos | Dreamstime Stock Photos

As Trout Fishing in America walked on stage, Ezra Idlet stepped out first. His partner, Keith Grimwood, followed behind. The renowned group in the folk community took the stage. As the duo introduced themselves, audience members couldn’t help but notice Idlet was cleverly sporting a fish hook shirt.

Trout Fishing in America’s first song was about a man who fell in and out of love with the wrong woman. This song was upbeat and very fun to listen to. As the concert continued, the audience learned that the duo had been together for 37 years, and that this was the first time they had ever been involved with Outpost in the Burbs.

After two more songs, Grimwood asked for some duct tape to fix his instrument. A well-thought act was put on by Idelt as Grimwood continued to fix his base guitar.  Idelt made the audience smarter by using left brain/right brain tricks. His first test was to have the audience point to him using their right hand, then give him the thumbs up with their left. Then, they quickly switched. Another test he gave was to have the audience slap their thighs, clap their hands and cross their arms while one hand grabbed their nose, and the other their ear. The trick was to repeat that motion, but switch hands to grab the other ear and use the other hand on their nose. The last brain trick of the evening was to have the audience draw a square in the air with their right hand, and a triangle with their left. Then, they tried it at the same time.

The next song was a performance song about Roman numerals. The duo battled it out seeing who could correctly say the most roman numerals in the lyrics of their song; Grimwood won.  After that came a song about Alberta, Canada. Grimwood and Idlet heard how great of a folk community there was in Alberta. Naturally, their longing to go there was at an all time high. They were persistent and kept sending their promo kits up there, but the receiver kept sending them back. Finally, after months and months, Alberta reached out to them. Trout Fishing in America was invited to play in January. When they got there it was 35 degrees below zero. They said it was so cold that when they would breathe in through their noses the hairs would freeze. They wrote a song about it, titled “Alberta Postcard.”

The next Trout Fishing in America song was a sensitive love song. However, it was the funniest, sensitive love song the audience has ever heard. It was all about a woman leaving a man and the man realizing how much more freedom, time and “closet space” he will have when she’s gone.

The group dedicated their next song to Mellman. This song was about snowflakes and how no snow flake ever looks the same, as a skeptical child Grimwood used to ask his teachers: “But have you checked them all?” The song opened with all of the snowflakes named Bob.

After a brief intermission, the duo came back on stage. They pulled out the third member of their group, a stuffed bear named Charles Beary. Trout Fishing in America sang a picnic song through the bear that made all of the children in the audience laugh.

The next couple of songs were played with Idlet’s banjo instead of his guitar. They played another children’s song, a song called “How Many Times a Fool,” inspired by the 80’s rock-and-roll time period, and another interactive song called “Don’t Touch My Stuff.”

While playing in Texas, someone stole their van that housed all of their equipment. A few months later, Texas Police found the van in a lot with other stolen vehicles. When Grimwood flew down there all he found in the van were their CDs. Whoever stole the instruments listed two on eBay, and the Texas Police were able to place a bid and buy them back for the group. However, all of the other instruments were gone.

The last few songs came next. “Very Best Thing,” written solely by Idlet, was a slow, romantic song. The next song was about their love of Mexican food, and then came a song about trains. They took advice about this next song from a man who refurbishes trains. He said, “anything you remake has to look exactly like the original.” The duo played a song about searching for home, and while Grimwood was singing, Idlet made the sound of an old record for authenticity.

Trout Fishing in America played a few more clever and catchy tunes, until their last two songs. They gave the audience a choice of which song they wanted to hear before they left, stupid or sweet. The audience chose stupid. The men began playing “Sunshine of My Love” by Cream, and sang “Santa Clause is Coming to Town.” As Trout Fishing in America walked off stage, the audience demanded an encore. The group played one last song of the night and thanked everyone for coming out.

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