Live Video: Iron and Wine

photo by Renata Steiner (view set)

What is Iron and Wine anyway? A man? A band? A concept? A sound? For the past decade, Sam Beam has used his stage name to mean all of those things. The Southeastern raised songwriter first caught people’s attention in the Northwest, actually, through a demo featured in Yeti Magazine and followed by a spare yet beautiful debut released by Sub Pop. In 2002, The Creek Drank the Cradle placed dusty Americana in a modern context before it was fashionable to do so and stunned listeners with its gentle but undeniable songs and Beam’s own hushed voice barely above a whisper. Since then, Iron & Wine’s sound has grown, through increased production and instrumentation and by collaborations with other artists, culminating in 2011’s full-band LP, Kiss Each Other Clean, which with its lushly produced 70’s pop sound, seemed miles away from those first homemade demos. Yet even as he explores more jazz and R&B influences on this year’s Ghost on Ghost, Sam Beam always manages to sound distinctly himself. Recently, Beam got back to basics during an intimate, stripped down in-studio performance at KEXP, mixing up songs new and old, just a man and a guitar and Iron & Wine.

Full Performance:

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