No matter the present weight upon your shoulders, everything grows better over time if you choose to believe it will. No struggle is unique, nor yours to carry alone. We are all given gifts to navigate roads bound by the burden, and even the most treacherous roads take solace in a smoother pasture.
Intense focus has a tendency to trap people inside the path they’re progressing, but music reminds us to take a breath, and open our eyes to the wide world around us filled with people just like us, each on their own journey. In February my path delivered to Kansas City for Folk Alliance where I had the pleasure of getting to know the winners of the 41st Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition, Trout Steak Revival. I had listened to their music but it wasn’t quite brought to life until I sat in a small hotel room with no more than 10 people, bathed and blessed in their ability to create music.
We grew close over the four days in Kansas City, which included three or four intimate performances. The bond has now been brought full circle with their performance this Friday at Otus Supply. Here’s my conversation with the Colorado bluegrass band with Michigan blood in their veins.
So, what's the best way to prepare/cook/ and eat a Trout Steak? (and enlighten us on the origin of the name)
I like smoked trout the best, maybe with a side salad and a really good piece of bread with goat cheese and capers or a bagel. -Bevin Foley
The best way to eat a trout steak is out of a lake on the fire on a backpacking trip in Colorado. Also, a similar backpacking trip spurred the name origin of a band. -Travis McNamara
Both Travis and Will have roots in Michigan; what do you each hold closest to your chest from those days?
I hold memories of Lake Michigan in the summer and exploring the country roads on a bike with my pal Josh. - Will Koster
From Michigan, I miss the clouds. I couldn't stand them when I lived there. But now I miss them. -Travis McNamara
Steve, what's the best way to defeat a Hodag? (a vicious, yet elusive woods creature of the Northern Wisconsin forests.)
Hodags eat white bulldogs. There is no way to defeat them. You can only hope to contain them until you're able to escape. - Steve Foltz
Bevin, at Otus we make a spectacular almost tartine, sourdough bread. What breads do enjoy baking/eating the most?
I'm not that big into baking bread, eating it yes. My favorite type is sourdough or some sort of rustic wheat or whole grain bread. I make quick breads a lot (apple, banana, pumpkin), but Casey is the true bread baker of Trout Steak. - Bevin Foley
More and more lately I remind myself of your lyric, "The sun is shining brighter every day..." what inspired this song and what are some methods y'all employ to remind yourself of this when times grow tough?
"Brighter Every Day" has come to mean a lot more to me since writing it originally. A man in Grand Rapids used it as his theme song to battle a brain cancer diagnosis. They made t-shirts. These are gifts to us that we could not have foreseen. I think about their stories, and everyone else who has connected to it in different ways, when I sing it, and it reminds me to have hope. -Travis McNamara
What musicians inspire you?
I love the great bluegrass fiddlers like Kenny Baker and Howdy Forrester. But I think I might be even more influenced by my musician friends. There are a ton of talented fiddle players out on the scene right now. Bridget Law of Elephant Revival, Jake Simpson of the Lil' Smokies, Allie Kral from Yonder Mountain String Band, Joe with The Railsplitters, Leaf with Front Country, Zeb with Hot Buttered Rum, Phil with the Brothers Comatose, 10 string symphony, and countless other friends I'll run into this year and find inspiration in. We are really lucky to be surrounded by inspiring musicians. -Bevin Foley
Catch Trout Steak Revival Friday night at Otus Supply in Ferndale with special guest The Railsplitters.
$10 adv / $15 doors (GA/SRO) | 21+ | 8:00 PM