Two Americana songwriters with strong credentials are pairing up for this tour along with classically trained violinist Diederik van Wassenaer (This Amsterdam native, and graduate of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, does not hold a firm, classical view of the role of violin. Diederik soaked in the sounds of bluegrass in Nashville and you will be pleasantly surprised when you hear the freedom of expression from this fiddle player) and Connor Grimm on Bass.
TIM GRIMM is an award-winning songwriter, and actor on stage and screen. He has toured and recorded with his friend, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, appeared with Harrison Ford in the film Clear and Present Danger, and has shared the stage with writer and poet Wendell Berry. His recording, The Back Fields was named Best Americana Album in the 2006 Just Plain Folks Music Awards in Los Angeles (the largest and most diverse music awards in the world). Named 2000’s “BEST DISCOVERY in Roots/Americana Music” by The Chicago Sun-Times, and “2004 MALE ARTIST of The Year” by the Freeform American Roots DJs, his songs and performances have established him as a unique voice in Americana music. Each of his past 5 recordings have reached the top of the Folk or American-roots charts.
Grimm walks the fine line between folk and country, while maintaining a strong footing in tradition. We hear the rural rumblings that have shaped his life, but we are also invited in to a bigger picture, as evident in so much of his work. Critics searching for comparisons most often cite Johnny Cash, Woody Guthrie and (Nebraska era) Bruce Springsteen.
After several years working in Los Angeles (where he co-starred for 2 seasons on the NBC drama Reasonable Doubts and appeared in several films), Tim returned home to Indiana. He grew up in the woods and small town settings of southern Indiana, son of schoolteachers and grandson of farmers, and his return home was a conscious choice to live a life of significance rather than one of “success’. He now lives with his wife and sons on an 80 acre farm close to where he grew up. Tim’s songs are full of the rural rumblings that have shaped his life—rich with descriptive details, and sung with warmth and intimacy—recognizing the inextinguishable national romance with the idea of the family farm and the vanishing landscape of rural America.
In 2007, Grimm put together a concept cd with several of the Midwest’s finest songwriter’s— Krista Detor, Carrie Newcomer, Tom Roznowski, and Michael White. The recording, Wilderness Plots, was drawn from the short stories of noted author, Scott Russell Sanders, and explored the settling of the American Wilderness in the Ohio River Valley Region between The Revolutionary War and The Civil War. Two PBS programs have explored Wilderness Plots– the first, a documentary on the story and song, and the second a full Wilderness Plots- In Concert (2012). Produced by WTIU in Bloomington, IN, both productions were nominated for EMMY AWARDS.
Tim has performed in theatres and coffeehouses around the United States. Still very active on stage and onscreen, Tim’s most recent projects include guest spots on television’s, CHICAGO CODE and DETROIT 187, and work on the upcoming feature film, AT ANY PRICE, with director, Ramin Bahrani and starring Dennis Quaid and Zac Effron. In 2012 he has appeared onstage in The Indiana Repertory Theatre production of GOD OF CARNAGE and a new theatrical concert piece– FOREVER SUNG- songs about aging–at The Phoenix Theatre.
BEN BEDFORD delivers intriguing sketches of America, its individuals, their victories and their struggles. Poignant, but never sentimental, Bedford’s portrait-like songs capture the vitality of his characters and draw the listener deep into the narratives. With three albums to his credit, Bedford’s songs tackle scenarios including homelessness, the plight of a Confederate soldier’s wife during the American Civil War, the aerial triumphs of Amelia Earhart, the life of Jack London, the murder of Emmett Till in 1955, John the Baptist, the poet Vachel Lindsay and even the 1973 standoff between members of The American Indian Movement and federal agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Often drawing upon history, Bedford’s songs have a strong sense of time and place. The songs are rich in sensory detail which allows the listener to hear, see and feel each narrative.
“Ben Bedford has proven himself to be a truly inspired and talented storyteller…” according to Arthur Wood (Maverick). A true son of the heartland, Bedford dips into the deep inkwell of classic American literature and writes with the ‘old soul’ quality of his literary idols, such as John Steinbeck and Toni Morrison. Bedford has played his songs for audiences all over the United States. His music has received extensive airplay on folk and roots radio in the U.S., as well as in Europe, taking him overseas on several occasions for concert dates on the continent and in the United Kingdom. All three of Bedford’s albums have charted highly on the Euro Americana charts and the Folk-DJ charts with What We Lost also charting highly on the Roots Music Report charts. IIn July of 2010, Bedford was named one of the “50 most significant Folk singer-songwriters of the past 50 years” by Rich Warren of WFMT-Chicago. The list, which included artists such as Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, Judy Collins and John Prine subsequently appeared on the blog of journalist Eric Zorn on the Chicago Tribune website.