On “Coyote’s Dream”, once again, Tim Grimm’s music blends elements of Country, Folk, and Roots/Americana. The music is rooted in a sense of place and Tim traverses our interior and exterior landscapes equally well. His work has often been compared to Johnny Cash (past and present) and it’s akin to what Nancy Griffith once said of herself: “too country for the folk traditionalists and too folk-y for the country purists”!
The breadth of songwriting is incredibly vast. From the opening ballad “Raining” about a man trapped in his house in a rainstorm and forced to reflect on his life, to the haunting title track “Coyote’s Dream”, a sort of neo-Luddite dream in which “all the lights went out, like something in the Bible was going down…”, to the Woody Guthrie ballad “1913 Massacre” learned from his pal Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. We hear the rural rumblings that have shaped Grimm’s life but we are also invited in to a bigger picture, as evident in the achingly beautiful “Slipped Away”. This foray into edgier territory gives a bigger scope to the cd and we also get the pleasure of the incredible musicianship of banjo-man Greg Cahill (of Special Consensus) and Grammy nominated mandolin player, Don Stiernberg.
Grimm is also joined on the recording by Jason Wilber, guitarist of the John Prine Band. Wilber lends his awesome talents on both electric and acoustic guitar, as well as mandolin, and he also shares the producing credit with Grimm. Ramblin’ Jack Elliott joins Tim on the rockin’ “Buffalo Skinners” (which Grimm learned from Ramblin’ Jack many years ago) and Stacy Earle sings on the sweet “Browning Mountain”, a tale of love and wonder. Pianist and guitarist Dan Lodge-Rigal plays beautifully on the recording, as he did on “Heart Land”, and bass player Todd Smith and drummer Jamie Reid round out the often lush and full sound. Tim’s wife, Jan Lucas, provides back-up vocals on a number of tracks, most notably “Heaven”, a tune of Jason Wilber’s, recorded lovingly here to close the record.
Tim Grimm is a musical storyteller and his voice evokes a “mellow Bruce Springsteen with the clarity of Johnny Cash”. His stories are rich with descriptive detail and he conveys a warmth and intimacy that draws us in. “Coyote’s Dream” is the culmination of two years of thoughtful songwriting and insightful production. He is not afraid to take his time with a few of the songs, nor is he afraid to spring to life with all the joy and energy the band has to offer. “Coyote’s Dream” is a gem.