Tim's January, 2023 interview with David Paccia for "Behind the Strings" can be found here:
Read about Tim's songwriting process and his favorite instruments, watch videos of him performing, and purchase some of his music.
THE LITTLE IN-BETWEEN
Each new disc proposed by Tim Grimm represents a poetic, intense, exciting, passionate immersion in the heart of America. It is no coincidence that the Indiana musician is able to enter the depths of his land and of those who live and work there in such a natural way, such is the symbiotic relationship with the protagonists of the most real and profound province. The result was therefore a sequence of works that over the years have led him to portray places, situations, emotions, people in the best possible way, making him an excellent storyteller, one of the most incisive of the last few decades. We had left him with a painful album full of bittersweet and sharp poetry like "Gone" where there was no lack of references to friends who are no longer here (Eric Taylor, David Olney, John Prine and Michael Smith) in an intense roundup of originals and covers and now "The Little In-Between" adds another splendid piece to his artistic career. This album has a particular genesis, in which the songs were all recorded in the 'voice/guitar' format in the Breathing Rhythm Studios in Norman, Oklahoma and to which the contributions of the cellist Alice Allen from Scotland and, from the Kitchen Sink of Santa Fe, New Mexico by Jono Manson, the rhythm section formed by Mark Clark on drums and Justin Bransford on bass, with Sergio Webb on electric and steel guitars. Naturally at the center of everything are the new songs by Tim Grimm, once again interpreted with such a big heart, with great attention to how to narrate the intensity of emotions and how to make them pure poetry. A solid confirmation of her extremely important qualities, also at an interpretative level, with a voice whose nuances only underline passages of considerable literary weight, made more appreciable by the now customary in the Appaloosa house, translations into Italian that effectively help enthusiasts not so accustomed to the English language. Nine are the songs that give life to a selection that fits into a consolidated tradition, that of a songwriter who never forgets his inspirers (the closing of "Bigger Than The Sky" is strongly characterized by the musicality of John Prine for example) but who at the same time has created his own personal style. The fundamental family ties of "New Boots" and of the title track "The Little In-Between", the love for nature that Tim Grimm lives every day and that shines in "The Breath Of Burning", the sometimes contradictory feelings that dwell in our minds in "I Don't Know This World" are only flashes of a poetic of great importance that also appears clear and intense in this record. A new, 'little interlude' in the life of a great overseas songwriter like Tim Grimm.
Remo Ricaldone- Lonestartime- Italy
What a wonderful singer-songwriter this Tim Grimm is. The CD is a candidate for the first place on my list of 2023, absolute top class!
Realrootscafe- The Netherlands
He's perceptive, reflective and engaging. His music is personal and intense. It's deep. Deep.
ROOTS IN MAY -Spirit Rocks
by David Pearson
For this, Indiana’s finest singer/songwriter has pushed the boundaries – literally as it was recorded in Oklahoma – and metaphorically as it’s comfortably his most confessional and personal work. There’s a world weariness about “The Leaving”, there’s a sense of trying to find a way through the confusion on “I Don’t Know This World” but there’s a warmth too. The title track is perfect in its poetry and the way the violin adds a texture is wonderful. On “New Boots” you almost feel like you’re intruding on a confessional and “20 Years Of Shadows” underlines the clever use of instrumentation that’s evident throughout.
Maybe that’s what happens when you work with famed musicians like Sergio Webb (one of the world’s most pre-eminent slide players) but its more than that. The vocals for all these were recorded in one day, and there’s an energy here – as if Grimm simply had to get everything down while he could.
A quite brilliant record, the whole of “The Little In-Between” can be summed up by the note I made about the last song, “Bigger Than The Sky”. Simply put “Springsteen at his most early hours”.
Maximum Volume Music- UK
Via a meditation on loss and grief, the often enigmatic songs (illustrated by his charcoal and pastels illustrations) trace a literal journey from the hills of Southern Indiana to the Oklahoma prairie and an abstract one from the past to an unknown future, via the spaces in-between…Again marks Grimm as one of America's finest songwriters.
Mike Davies- Folk Radio.co.uk
Highlights are the tumbleweed drifting, high lonesome tones of ‘Lonesome All The Time’, not unlike Guy Clark. ‘Twenty Years Of Shadows’, a great road song and for me the highlight of the album. Of particular note is ‘The Breath Of Burnin’, a delicate pastoral song with a fine, yearning quality.
an absorbing nine-track work of penetrating writing that really grabs you and implores you to listen. From the opening song 'The Leaving' to the closing 'Bigger Than The Sky', his rugged voice opens many doors.
His most personal work to date, which is simultaneously full of sadness, hope, uncertainty and love. An album of transition into a new phase of life. An album that really touches you. A brilliant, thoughtful folk album.
Thomas Walher- Country.DE
Tim Grimm The Little In-Between Cavalier
I have listened to the music of Tim Grimm over the years and it has always been a rewarding experience. He seems to be always moving forward, or at least consolidating and developing his ability to observe and comment on the people, places and political manifestations he encounters on his path. This new album, I think, does just that. It also brings the talents of the great Sergio Webb back into focus. Formerly Webb was the guitar foil for David Olney and a member of Pinto Bennett's Famous Motel Cowboys. He, however, is just one of the components in place that lift this album to a new level. Alice Allen plays cello which gives a resonant character to the tracks she plays on. Webb is joined by Mark Clark and Justin Bransford on drums and bass, while Grimm adds his robust vocals and guitar to the forefront of the recordings.
This is his fourteenth release so, by now, he knows his way round the process of delivering his work to his audience. He has worked in the balladeering tradition of folk music that focused on his community, his family and his beliefs - often based around his family farm in Indiana. Here, he has again looked both inward and outward, and does so by placing the lyrics from a first person perspective throughout. The songs were written and recorded (Grimm's parts anyway) in Oklahoma, with the Allen parts recorded in Scotland and the band tracking in New Mexico. It also marks the first time Grimm's voice has been heard without harmony or backing vocals. There is a strongly emotional feel to many of the songs that are rooted often in the landscape and love.
The Leaving opens the album with voice, guitar and cello offering the hope of finding a new welcoming shore. By way of contrast, the next song Lonesome All The Time has more than a hint of Hank Williams Senior's troubled tales and features, very effectively, Webb on guitar and pedal steel. These two directions offer the musical compass points that the album travels between. I Don't Know The World has a discordant tone that fits and offsets the directness of Grimm's voice and guitar.
The lyrics of Stirrin' Up Trouble take a shot at those who like to poke their noses in where they are not wanted, again balancing the acoustic strumming against the electric guitar tone. More gentle and reflecting on the earth and the trees, nature and the loss of such is where The Breath Of Burning takes us. The lyric "the hardest part of losing things/is knowing when they're gone" offering a truth to be told. New Boots is a gentle but heartfelt remembrance of his father (and mother) delivered in its simplest form, as suits the song.
The list song format sees Grimm detailing again the association between a person and place. Twenty Years Of Shadows effectively uses the band to give it a driving rhythm and a harder edge. The closing song is a straight love song that offers a hope that is available to all and finds the two guitars intertwining to an effective liaison.
Album fourteen proves that Tim Grimm is far from the end of his musical journey and his partnering with Sergio Webb offers the possibility of an alliance that will be fruitful for both parties going forward.
Review by Stephen Rapid
Lonesome Highway- Ireland
In the singular poignancy of these songs, one believes one can feel the flannel shirt on one's skin, the ax in one's hand, the smell of grass and moss and forest. That's exactly what Bob Dylan must have had in mind when he invented this type of song a good 60 years ago
Akustik Gitarre Germany
an atmospherically coherent folk-rock album, some of which is damn reminiscent of the legendary Kris Kristofferson
an eloquent storyteller in the tradition of Guy Clark or John Prine. The central motif of the songs is life as an uncertain path on which one finds plenty of shadows, but can also count on the continuum of love and human empathy ("Bigger Than The Sky").
Several of the songs stopped me in my tracks. The CD grabbed my heart in so many ways. (It) has to be one of the best I've heard in several years. Thanks for a masterpiece.
On one level ‘The Little In-Between’ muses on how life is lived mostly between the leaving and the arriving, however long that may be – the moment that lingers between the breath taken in and the exhalation, or the moment that comes after the brush is lifted and before the artwork is begun. Anticipation. Inspiration. Trepidation. That’s where life exists.
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“ The dozen songs are packed with simple truths—which are the best kind—and immensely easy to become totally immersed in. With evocative imagery of life and rural landscapes, Tim seamlessly blends his deeply personal ruminations on family, friends, lovers, a musician's transient life, and the frequently confounding nature of existence—and creates a universally felt home for memory, gratitude, acceptance, and regret. His songs carry an independent spirit and grit … a hard bitten yet romantic eye that seems bred into the greatest songwriters.” - Alan Cackett
“Tim Grimm should be considered an Indiana treasure. This one (Wilderness Songs and Bad Man Ballads) blew me away when I first listened back in the fall and still haunts me 4 months later. I nominate "China" as song of the year.” - Steve Clarke
— host, Acoustic Planet-CHES, Canada
“ Tim Grimm has the sort of warm lived in voice that we all associate with someone who has seen and experienced most of the ups and downs that life can throw at us and still continues to plough on with an indomitable spirit. It’s either that or he is a very good actor, which he probably is with his background in films! It’s unfair to joke about his being in films really because that often conjures up pictures of a star being indulged by all and sundry, but this man appears to have left the film (but not Theatre) world behind and as far as musical talent is concerned he is the ‘real deal.’ This is the first of his seven albums that I have really listened to, for no other reason other than the fact that each of his previous releases seems to have flown just under my radar! I didn’t know much about him and neither did I know anyone else who seemed to, both situations I have now started to rectify, and on the strength of this new release I can’t wait to explore his back catalogue. Certainly if previous recordings are even half as good as this one they will be well worth investigating. I’ve seen him compared to many other edgy singer songwriters but personally keep coming back to Sam Baker, although Tim Grimm, with his warm expressive vocals, has a much better and more melodic singing voice and more of a rural sound. He blurs the line between folk and country music in a similar way to artists such as John Prine, and it’s easy to imagine his songs are rooted in everyday life perhaps in a farming or rural community. All of the songs on this excellent album were written by Tim Grimm except for the traditional Rovin’ Gambler, Family History by Beth Lodge-Rigal and there are three co-writes with Jan Lucas. Most of the instrumentation is acoustic and there is always a lovely easy on the ear open feel to each song, giving plenty of breathing space to everything that is going on. Amongst the musicians who help out on the album are Harpeth Rising, Cindy Kallet, Beth Lodge-Rigal, Jason Wilber (John Prine’s sidekick for many years), Jan Lucas, Connor Grimm and newgrass band, The Underhills. As you would expect the playing is excellent and the lead vocals and harmonies create the variety of atmospheres essential to these tremendous story songs that are played with such conviction. The Lake is a slow moody album opener on the story of a family returning to a rural life after time spent in the city. It’s not a simple tale and includes several other strands that lift it to the stratospheric quality of singer songwriters such as Prine, Clark, Baker, etc. As the song meanders along with a nice acoustic guitar it is given a further lift by the inclusion of Rebecca Reed-Lunn on banjo plus an occasional atmospheric harmonica. King Of The Folk Singers is a terrific song that name checks Cash, Walker, Elliott, Kerouac et al on which Tim at times adopts Sam Baker’s talk vocal style and whilst there is more instrumentation it is never overdone and still has a rural dramatic quality. This is followed by the sparse treatment of the classic traditional song Rovin’ Gambler, with an excellent vocal, acoustic guitar and harmonium. This version is up there with the very best versions of the song and is both heartfelt and evocative. On Title track The Turning Point there is a nice acoustic guitar and banjo with lovely fiddle and bowed bass and atmospheric female harmonies courtesy of Beth Lodge-Rigal on the chorus, on an incredibly epic tale of a soldier and a reverend. It is an intensely descriptive and atmospheric tale that becomes more harrowing with each verse. It could very easily be a song that could end up as a ‘classic’ of folk music with those dramatic lyrics and the sympathetic instrumentation. Another tremendous song that many will be playing is Anne In Amsterdam, a gorgeously descriptive story with banjo, violin and cello on what is an exceptional and emotion drenched tribute to Anne Frank inspired by Tim’s visit to her house, with Cindy Kallet’s lovely harmony vocals adding to the sad emotional feel of hopelessness.Indiana is a trip in the time machine back to the 18th century American wilderness that includes some lovely harmonies as well as acoustic guitar and banjo on a story of life and love in those far off days. As I said earlier these quite riveting stories have their roots in rural life and are as descriptive and well thought out as those of most of the greatest singer songwriters of the last four or more decades. Certainly Tim is of that quality on this album with his songwriting and is a better vocalist than many. As I finish writing this review I’m going to start looking for his previous albums with bated breath, knowing that this man really is a huge talent who needs to be heard by far more people. Buy the album and settle down to listen to some of the best story songs around, told by a singer songwriter who is genuinely ‘the real deal!’”
“THE TURNING POINT- one of this year's best (cds)… a taste for melody and keen insight that few of his colleagues can boast. Along with greats like Greg Brown and John Gorka, Tim Grimm is in my opinion among the best singer-songwriters in the United States."THE LONG JOURNEY- Roots and Country Music- ITALY”
— The Long Journey- Roots & Country Music (Italy)