Columbus singer’s tune featured in Redford film

Robert Redford’s new comedy, “A Walk in the Woods,” cuts a path through Columbus as it opens today at YES Cinema downtown and nationwide Wednesday.

The flick includes a song, “The Lake,” from Columbus folk singer Tim Grimm. Another Columbus native, Emma Smith, who works behind the scenes in the entertainment industry in New York City, selected the tune to be inserted in a diner scene between characters played by Redford and co-star Nick Nolte.

Smith, a recent graduate of the music-business-oriented Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, assisted the movie’s music supervisor, Susan Jacobs, a veteran in the field.

“I grew up listening to Tim’s music,” Smith said.

Other music picked for the movie falls under the folk/Americana banner that Grimm long has promoted through his own music and also his long-running local Americana Music Series featuring a wide range of nationally touring artists.

Smith mentioned that she put Grimm’s song into the diner scene “to try it out,” as she put it. “It ended up fitting very nicely. And the director loved it, so it stuck.”

In the film, travel writer Bill Bryson (Redford) takes a long-lost friend (Nolte) for a hike along the Appalachian Trail, which stretches more than 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine. The men joke about not dying before reaching their destination.

Grimm’s acoustic guitar- driven song, flavored with a bit of harmonica, was included on his last disc, “The Turning Point,” released last year.

The tune, about the digging of a lake, “also involves metaphors about loss and redemption,” according to Grimm, who is currently touring and performing in Ireland, where folk artists enjoy a much larger profile than in the United States.

The chorus opens with the words:

A little water

A little rain

It took the trees down

There’s so much change.

It marks the second time one of Grimm’s tunes has landed on the big screen, where he himself has carved out a career through the years.

His song, “Long Way Around,” appeared in the film “Slice of Pie” in 2009.

Perhaps the biggest film he appeared in as an actor was in a minor role in the 1994 Harrison Ford flick, “Clear and Present Danger.” He also co-starred in the NBC police drama series, “Reasonable Doubts,” appearing in all 44 episodes with star lead actor Mark Harmon from 1991 to 1993.

He sang in two episodes in that show in character, as the husband of a district attorney played by Marlee Matlin.

Grimm’s latest movie tune also will appear on the soundtrack for “A Walk in the Woods,” Grimm said.

“It’s a nice feather in the cap,” he said. He said the attention perhaps could “broaden my audience a bit, I hope.”

Smith is happy to see Grimm’s tune featured. But it makes her think of more than just a lake, or any other theme.

“Every time I listen to his music,” she said, “it reminds me of home.”

Showtimes and admission

“A Walk in the Woods” starring Robert Redford, opens today with a sneak-preview showing at YES Cinema, 328 Jackson St. It features a song by Columbus folksinger Tim Grimm.

Today: 7:01 p.m.

Wednesday: 4:30 and 7:01 p.m.

Thursday: 4:30 and 7:01 p.m.

Admission: $4 before 6 p.m. $6 afterward. $4 for children when accompanied by an adult.

Information: 812-378-0377 or

Author photo
Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.