PORT ARTHUR —
Driving into Port Arthur after a rain storm in the 1980s Ezra Idlet and Keith Grimwood, members the band Trout Fishing in America, found a alligator stretching across the road.
Although they didn’t write a song about it, it was an experience they will never forget.
“We’ve had a lot of experiences on our career, but it was pretty amazing to see an alligator right there in the road,” said Idlet, during a telephone interview Thursday.
The folk-rock, children’s music duo will be performing Saturday night at the Carl Parker Center to benefit the Port Arthur International Seafarer Center and The Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce.
With these guys everything is a joke.
The Arkansas-based group, popular since the early 80s, used to travel around in a big red truck called “Robert,” because it is a red Ford, which added to their absurdist image. Pronounced in-full: Robert Red-Ford.
Even when tragedy strikes, Idlet and Grimwood use the opportunity to prove the power of positive thinking.
Recently, while touring the country, their Chevy van was stolen with all of their instruments and equipment inside.
“It was really devastating,” said Idlet. “We lost instruments and equipment that we had owned for years.”
After notifying the authorities, who eventually tracked down the van and Idlet’s banjo via eBay, the songwriters sat down and wrote a new song they call, “Don’t Touch My Stuff.”
The song, which they wrote for their adult fans, shows how the band is able to appeal to both children and their parents with intelligent themes and good clean fun.
“We got so excited about that song and did it for the kids and they went nuts,” said Idlet.
The band plays a wide variety of music from folk, rock, Cajun, reggae. As fan once described it, said Idlet: “Music for people who take their fun seriously.”
Idlet, who is 6 foot 8 inches tall, towers over his partner who stands “a solid five foot five and a half inches on a humid day,” giving them an already comic aesthetic.
“It is an archetype that we did not plan” said Idlet. “I didn’t go out looking for a short guy and he didn’t go out looking for a tall guy.”
Trout Fishing in America will perform at Southern Summer Nights event, which starts at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Carl Parker Center on the Lamar State College-Port Arthur campus, located at 1800 Lakeshore Drive in Port Arthur.
The cost, which includes food, is $30 at the door and $10 for children ages 5 to 13. Kids under 5 are free.
Alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages will be sold.
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