A folk singer who defines his sound with songs that are perceptive and tell stories that resonate. Grimm has a voice of the ages that seems to go to the root of the people and places that are featured in his folk tales. The sound is a broad stroke that encompasses cello and violin alongside banjo, concertina and mandolin. These instruments often sit over a bass and drums base that give the songs some welcome propulsion and drive.
However it's the depth of Grimm writing and vocal presence that make these songs so compelling. King Of The Folksingers is a homage to the folk scene in general and to Rambling Jack Elliott in particular. A song like Rovin' Gambler is delivered with voice and guitar and some harmonium and shows Grimm well able to get a song across in the simplest of settings on themes that are as old as the format. The title track features the band Harpeth Rising to good effect as they add a additional perspective to the song with strings, drums and banjo. A long time supporter and supportive player is John Prine guitarist Jason Wilber who has made an appearance on all Grimm's recent albums.
A while back Grimm made an album of cover songs called Names that may give a clue to what makes Grimm the writer and singer he is now, There were traditional songs alongside covers of John Mellencamp, John Prine, Bruce Springsteen, Mickey Newbury and Woody Gutherie. Distill all these and you have the basic template for the thoughtful artist that Tim Grimm is now. He is however in no way a pale imitation of these writers but has found his own voice and delivers his full-blooded songs in it.
One such example of his writing is Anne in Amsterdam a song written about a visit to the place that Anne Frank hid from detection from oppression. He draws strength from this and it is a telling marker for the character that Tim Grimm is and his obvious concerns for humanity and it's many and varied patterns. Put he also writes of nature and it sense of survival like he does with his song The Tree. A song which brings to mind Guy Clark. No mean comparison. The humour of Blame It On The Dog ends the album in foot-stomping, upbeat string band style that rounds the album off the album with a smile.
Those who appreciate any of the artists listed above would do well to check Grimm out and I'm sure they will enjoy his music as it is certainly on a par with many a troubadour currently making their mark in people minds with memorable music. These are artist who exist outside the mainstream and rarely get the media attention they deserve but continue to deliver work of character and contemplation.