“‘I wouldn’t say I sat down and said ‘I’m going to write a ’70s pop record. You try a couple different arrangements for a song and sometimes what works is a Wurlitzer—and you start playing it and it starts to sound like ‘Daniel.” —Sam Beam
I chatted with a man possessing a much-admired beard for this advance feature in Metroland on Iron and Wine, who play MASS MoCA’s big room, the Hunter Center, on Saturday. It sold clear out just about three or four weeks after tickets went on sale, and has only built in interest since—with added value from the presence of The Low Anthem as support act, who themselves sold out the cabaret room at the venue on March 5. (See my review here.)
"Samuel Beam has been at the leading edge of the hipster reconsideration of American folk and Appalachian music that blossomed into a bona fide subgenre—call it beard rock—for nearly a decade.
Unlike the sound of bands who might be considered first or second cousins to Iron and Wine, Beam’s is informed by American roots music but doesn’t set out to be the musical equivalent of Colonial Williamsburg.”
Photo by Piper Ferguson