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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Iron & Wine

Beam at a 2006 concert at Brooklyn's McCarren Park Pool
Background information
Birth name Samuel Beam
Born July 26, 1974 (1974-07-26) (age 35)
South Carolina, U.S.
Genres Folk
Folk rock
Instruments Vocals, Guitar, Banjo
Labels Sub Pop
Associated acts Calexico

Samuel Beam (born July 26, 1974), better known by his stage and recording name Iron & Wine, is an American singer-songwriter. He has released four studio albums, several EPs and singles, as well as a few download-only releases, which include a live album (a recording of his 2005 Bonnaroo performance). He tours with a full band.[1]

Beam was raised in South Carolina before moving to Florida to attend school and now resides outside of Austin, Texas. The name Iron & Wine is taken from a dietary supplement named "Beef Iron & Wine" that he found in a general store while shooting a film.[2]


Early life

Beam was raised outside Columbia, South Carolina, where his father worked in land management and his mother was a schoolteacher. When he was a child, his family took regular trips to the country where his grandfather ran a farm. He attended Seven Oaks Elementary School, Irmo Middle School, and Chapin High School. While home from college, he was a waiter at California Dreaming restaurant in Columbia.

Beam earned a bachelor's degree in art from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.[3] He specialized in painting. He graduated from the Florida State University Film School with an MFA degree. Before the release of the first Iron & Wine album, Beam's main source of income was as a professor of film and cinematography at the University of Miami and Miami International University of Art & Design.[4] He had been writing songs for over seven years before a friend loaned him a four-track recorder. He made demos which his friends distributed and eventually the owner of Sub Pop Records contacted him to propose a deal.[5]

Musical career

Iron & Wine's performance at the Swedish American Hall in San Francisco

Beam released his first Iron & Wine album, The Creek Drank the Cradle, on the Sub Pop label in 2002. Beam wrote, performed, recorded and produced the album in his home studio. Featuring acoustic guitars, banjo, and slide guitar, the album's music has been compared to that of Nick Drake,[6] Simon and Garfunkel,[7] Elliott Smith, and John Fahey.

Also in 2002, Beam recorded a cover of The Postal Service's then-unreleased song "Such Great Heights". Rather than being included on an Iron & Wine release, the track was initially included as a b-side of the original version by The Postal Service. He then followed up on his debut album in 2003 with The Sea & The Rhythm, an EP containing other home-recorded tracks with a similar style to the songs on the debut.

Beam's second full-length album, Our Endless Numbered Days (2004), was recorded in a professional studio with a significant increase in fidelity. Produced in Chicago by Brian Deck, the focus was still on acoustic material, but the inclusion of other band members gave rise to a slightly different sound. That same year, he recorded the song "The Trapeze Swinger" for the film In Good Company, and had his version of "Such Great Heights" featured in an advertisement for M&M's and in the film and soundtrack for Garden State. This version was later used in a 2006 advertisement, and eventually released as a single in 2006 backed with recordings of "The Trapeze Swinger" and "Naked as We Came" made for Radio Vienna.

Sarah Beam at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland

In February 2005, he released an EP entitled Woman King, which expanded on the sounds of his previous LP, and added electric guitars. Each track featured a spiritual female figure, and had subtle Biblical undertones.

The EP In the Reins, a collaboration with the Arizona-based rock band Calexico, was released in September 2005. Beam wrote all of the EP's songs years earlier, but Calexico added their trademark fusion of dusty southwestern rock, traditional Mexican music and jazz to the songs' arrangements. Several tracks feature brass instruments, a first for Beam's music.

The third full-length Iron & Wine album, entitled The Shepherd's Dog, was released September 25, 2007. This album was voted one of the ten best of 2007 by Paste magazine.[8] Contributors included Joey Burns and Paul Niehaus of Calexico, as well as jazz musicians Matt Lux and Rob Burger.[9] When asked to describe the album to The Independent, Beam remarked that "it's not a political propaganda record, but it's definitely inspired by political confusion, because I was really taken aback when Bush got reelected."[10]

Beam has released most of his music on iTunes, including several exclusive EPs. The Iron & Wine iTunes Exclusive EP features unreleased studio recordings, including a Stereolab cover and two tracks which had previously only appeared on vinyl. The Live Session (iTunes Exclusive) features Beam and his sister, Sarah Beam, performing a number of tracks from his albums, as well as a cover of New Order's "Love Vigilantes". Sarah Beam has contributed backing vocals on many of Beam's studio recordings.

Beam's music has appeared in television series such as Grey's Anatomy, The L Word and House, M.D.. "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" was used in the film Twilight. The song was specifically chosen for the film's prom scene by Kristen Stewart, the female lead, and appears on the film's soundtrack.

The b-sides and rarities album Around the Well was released in 2009.

Personal life

Beam is married and the father of four daughters. He lives outside of Austin, TX with his wife Kim and family.[3] [11]






Other contributions


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Sims, Dave (25 Sept 2007). "Growing a Bard". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  4. ^ "Iron and Wine, Jason Ferguson, Miami New Times, April 10, 2008". 
  5. ^ ""Iron and Wine", Georgiana Cohen,". 
  6. ^ Kearney, Ryan (2002-10-02). "Iron & Wine: The Creek Drank the Cradle". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2006-05-14. 
  7. ^ Bickford, B.R. (2003-02-19). "Iron & Wine: "The Creek Drank the Cradle"". Retrieved 2006-05-14. 
  8. ^ Paste magazine issue #38
  9. ^ Khanna, Vish (October 2007). "Iron and Wine's Guiding Light". Retrieved 2007-09-26. 
  10. ^ Gill, Andy (2006-11-17). "Sam Beam: Love, God, death and a tree of bees". The Independent. 
  11. ^ Gross, Joe (26 Sept 2007). "Music". Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  12. ^ a b c Billboard, Allmusic
  13. ^ "The Billboard 200 Iron And Wine Around The Well". Billboard. 2009-05-28. Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  14. ^ In the Reins Charts, Allmusic

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Iron & Wine article)

From Wikiquote

Samuel Beam (born 1974-07-26) is an American folk/rock singer and songwriter who is also known by his stage and recording name, Iron & Wine.


  • I thought I already was.
    • Reply when asked, during a live show in Brisbane, Australia (March 9, 2008) to tell the crowd a little about himself.

External links


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