A Walk in the Woods

Musical Score Composed By: Nathan Larson

Songs By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Varese Sarabande Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In the comedy adventure, A Walk in the Woods, Robert Redford is Bill Bryson, a travel writer who decides to forego retirement to go on a hike of the Appalachian Trail.  Though his wife (Emma Thompson) thinks he's crazy, Bill believes that the trek from Georgia to Maine over some of America's most unspoiled, rugged terrain will bring him peace and tranquility.  But that peace may be in jeopardy when Bill agrees to bring his long lost friend Katz (Nick Nolte).

            The A Walk in the Woods Soundtrack features music by various artists like Dwight Yoakam, Chatham County Line, Lord HuronBlake Mills and more, and a musical score by Nathan Larson.  Making his mark on music by performing in the Washington, D.C. hardcore punk scene, Larson eventually moved in to musical scoring, working on the scores of such notable films as Boys Don't Cry, Prozac Nation, The Woodsman, American Mystic, The Messenger, Our Idiot Brother and more. 

            This album contains some great travel music - mainly indie, with plenty of guitars, good beats, harmonicas and more.  The score created by Larson represents the beauty of the terrain the two friends are traveling through.  The score is quite beautiful, but the songs are what really grabbed me and I do have my favorites.  I felt Ends of the Earth by Lord Huron really represented the theme of adventure in this film: "Out there's a river that winds on forever.  I'm gonna see where it leads.  Oh, there's a mountain that no man has mounted.  I'm gonna stand on its peak.  Out there's a land that time don't command.  Wanna be the first to arrive...To the ends of the Earth would you follow me?"  Just a great song with a sense of adventure both in the lyrics and in the excitement of the guitar playing.  The theme of the relationship between Bill and Katz is best represented by Brother (Last Ride), also by Lord Huron: "How many miles have we wandered under the sky, chasing our fear.  Some kind of trouble is coming.  Don't know when, don't know what.  I will stand by you brother 'til daylight comes or I'm dead and gone."  I Don't Care (Just As Long As You Love Me) by Dwight Yoakam is a great country love song.  I don't quite know where it fits in this film, but it's a lot of fun.

            The A Walk in the Woods Soundtrack is just one of those albums that works great as background music to the film and as a stand alone album.  A hearty thanks to the folks who sent this album to me for review!  I can't wait for the next road trip - I'm going to pop this album into the CD player and have a whole lot of fun listening to tunes meant for a great journey. 


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