By GRANT ROWL
GTR Sports Writer
IDLET TEAM: Steven Idlet with his father, Ezra Idlet, after a home game in January at the Reynolds Center.
GTR Newspapers photo
Most Tulsa basketball fans know that Steven Idlet is a senior center on the University of Tulsa basketball team.
Some may not know that his father, Ezra Idlet, is a very popular musician in the popular musical duo Trout Fishing in America, which performs folk rock and children’s music. Ezra plays acoustic and electric guitar, banjo and vocals. His partner is Keith Grimwood, who plays upright bass, Clevinger bass, bass guitar and vocals. They took their name from the novel Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan.
Grimwood attended the University of Houston and played in the Houston Symphony Orchestra after graduation, whereas Ezra left the basketball team at McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas to pursue rock and roll.
The two met while performing together in the Houston-based folk-rock band Wheatfield, later renamed St. Elmo’s Fire. When St. Elmo’s Fire dissolved in 1979, Grimwood and Idlet formed Trout Fishing in America on the streets of Santa Cruz, Calif. The band was based for many years in Houston but moved to the Prairie Grove, Ark. area in 1992.
Their song “When I Was a Dinosaur” became a favorite of Dr. Demento, who played it frequently on his radio program.
Trout Fishing in America has received much critical recognition for both its family and adult music. This includes three National Indie Awards, numerous Parents Choice awards and four Grammy Award nominations in the Best Musical Album for Children category; first for their 2001 release inFINity, then for their 2004 release Merry Fishes to All, then for their 2006 live performance release My Best Day and most recently for their 2008 release Big Round World.
On the heels of their fourth Grammy nomination, their infectious mix of folk, pop and family music is tempered by the diverse influences of reggae, Latin, blues, jazz and classical music.
Both of Ezra’s children were recruited to TU to play basketball, as they inherited their 6’9” dad’s height. Steven’s older sister, Dana, is 6’4” and Steven is 6’11”.
Dana graduated from TU in 2008 with a bachelor of fine arts degree. Her interests in college were in art education and painting, and the three-year letter-winner was an honor roll student. Currently she is living in Arkansas and is concentrating on painting.
Steven says he is not a musician, though he does say that Dana may follow somewhat in her father’s musical footsteps.
Steven says, “My dad was on the road a lot when I was growing up. I usually didn’t travel with him. I played guitar some. I’m really not a musician. My sister is the musician.”
Steven says his dad attends about seven home games a year, while his mom attends almost every home game.
The Tulsa starting center is a history major, and he says he would like to keep playing basketball as long as possible. Currently, his interest is to help his team finish the season strong with a championship in the Conference tournament.
When Tulsa fans are not watching basketball and Steven Idlet, a trip to see Trout Fishing in America and Ezra Idlet could be a highlight of the year!
- — Susan Jan 24, 02:46 PM #