Prolific folk-rock and children's music duo composed of guitarist Ezra Idlet and bassist Keith Grimwood. Although they made themselves known with catchy, silly songs suitable for children (but certainly listenable for adults), many of their albums also include more serious folk-rock and sometimes country fare. Despite being a total No Hit Wonder
, they're prolific enough to have garnered four Grammy nominations.
They took their name from Trout Fishing In America
, a 1967 novella/travelogue by Richard Brautigan.
Tropes present in their work:
- The Big Easy: Not New Orleans proper, but two of their songs are themed to Louisiana: "Sing It One More Time Like That" and "Murrell's", the latter inspired by a restaurant in Shreveport.
- Cerebus Roller Coaster: Serious "adult" album, funny children's album, "adult" album with softer and funnier songs… they've been everywhere.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: "When I Was a Dinosaur," "We Are the Dinosaurs."
- Fat and Skinny: Keith and Ezra, respectively. Ezra is also a good 15 inches taller.
- The Funday Pawpet Show: Songs "Proper Cup of Coffee" and "The Window" became Pawpet standards, character Ezra was named after Ezra Idlet, and Ezra and Keith appeared in a FPS opening spot.
- Literary Allusion Title: They're named after the Richard Brautigan book.
- Multi-Armed Multitasking: "Two Brains" plays this for laughs — in that he wishes he had more body parts to keep up with daily life.
- Must Have Caffeine: "What I Want Is a Proper Cup of Coffee".
- New Sound Album: Over the Limit was their first album not explicitly composed of children's songs. From that point onward, they began alternating between children's songs and (comparatively) more serious folk-rock.
- Nobody Loves the Bassist: Discussed and inverted in "The Day the Bass Players Took Over the World".
- Non-Appearing Title: "Eleven Easy Steps". The title was inspired by a playplace whose instructions claimed that it could be built in "eleven easy steps".
- Something Blues: "Day Care Blues," "Breakfast Blues," and "Dead Egyptian Blues."
- Vocal Tag Team: They split the vocals about 50/50, although Ezra usually takes the ballads.
- Word Salad Lyrics: Some of their up-tempos go this way, such as "Spider's Fence" and "My Front Door".