For more than three decades now, Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet — otherwise known as Trout Fishing in America — have entertained audiences of all ages with their artfully seasoned blend of roots rock, traditional folk, and anything else they decide to stuff in their musical grab bag. As longtime fans know, it’s a mixture that lends itself naturally to family music — the band has been releasing CDs for kids alongside their “regular” albums since the early ’90s.
With the release of the first Trout Fishing in America book/CD combo, My Name Is Chicken Joe, in 2009, Grimwood and Idlet seem to have started a whole new franchise for themselves. Chicken Joe, the farm-dwelling cat who sleeps in a henhouse, has returned with a new adventure: Chicken Joe Forgets Something Important, which bundles an album of brand new family tunes alongside another beautifully illustrated hardcover book. It’s a really lovely package, and to welcome Chicken Joe back to our shelves, we knew we had to talk to Keith and Ezra about the project.
Happy new release day! What kind of response are you seeing so far?
Keith: So far, it’s been fun. We just put out this little video thing that came out on YouTube and stuff, and it’s doing really well.
Ezra: The local station came out and filmed piece on us earlier this week — that was pretty nice, too.
Chicken Joe Forgets Something Important features more new songs than the last book, right?
Ezra: Absolutely. From beginning to end, the songs were written with the story in mind — and we also wrote the story by narrating and taking on different characters, which was a lot of fun. It was territory we had never explored before.
Keith: We’re working on doing it as a performance piece, where we read it by becoming the characters. As we read it, we play the music in the background, and we take on those characters. We’re going to be doing it as part of the kids’ show, which should be a lot of fun. Continue reading