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Folk rock singer and songwriter Iron and Wine picture(s)/pic(s), wallpaper and photo gallery.
Birth name: Sam Beam.
Born: South Carolina, USA.
Iron & Wine biography (bio):
Iron & Wine is the stage and recording name of folk rock singer-songwriter Sam Beam. He has released three studio albums, as well as several EPs and singles, and a few download-only releases, including a live album (a recording of his 2005 Bonnaroo performance). Beam was raised in South Carolina before moving to Florida to attend school, but now resides outside of Austin, Texas. The name Iron & Wine was taken from a dietary supplement named "Beef Iron & Wine" that he found in a general store while shooting a film. He enjoyed the name, but decided to drop the "beef".
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 every track on the album by himself at a studio in his home. Featuring acoustic guitars, banjo, and slide guitar, the album's music has been compared, variously, to that of Nick Drake, Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Young, Elliott Smith, John Fahey and Ralph Stanley. It is often characterized as alt-country, progressive folk, or indie folk, and lyrical themes often follow a Southern Gothic paradigm. The album was followed up in 2003 with The Sea & The Rhythm, an EP collecting other home-recorded tracks with a similar style to the songs on the debut.
Beam's second 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 very different sound. Beam also recorded the song "The Trapeze Swinger" for the film In Good Company in 2004.
In February 2005, Beam released an EP titled Woman King, which continued to expand on the studio sounds that marked his previous LP, and also included electric guitars. Each track featured a spiritual female figure and had subtle Biblical undertones, although Beam has said in interviews that he is agnostic.
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 brought their trademark fusion of dusty southwestern rock, traditional Mexican music, and jazz to bear in the songs' arrangements. Several tracks feature brass, a very new sound for Beam's music.
The third full-length Iron & Wine album, titled The Shepherd's Dog, was released on September 25, 2007. Contributors include Joey Burns and Paul Niehaus of Calexico, as well as jazz musicians Matt Lux and Rob Burger. 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."
In late 2002, he 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 only included as a b-side of the original version by The Postal Service. (The same single, released in early 2003, also included a cover of another of their songs, "We Will Become Silhouettes", by The Shins; the fact that all three acts are Sub Pop label mates is likely not a coincidence.) In 2004, Beam's recording of the song was featured in an advertisement for M&M's, and in the film Garden State and its popular soundtrack; this version was also later used in a 2006 Ask.com advertisement. To satisfy popular demand, a single of I&W's "Such Great Heights" was released in 2006, backed with recordings of "The Trapeze Swinger" and "Naked As We Came" made for Radio Vienna.
Beam has released all of his music, including an exclusive EP, on iTunes. The Iron & Wine iTunes Exclusive EP featured unreleased studio recordings, including a Stereolab cover and two tracks which had previously only appeared on vinyl. The Live Session (iTunes Exclusive) EP featured Sam Beam and his sister, Sarah Beam, performing a number of tracks from his albums, plus a cover of New Order's "Love Vigilantes". Sarah Beam has contributed backing vocals on many of Beam's studio recordings.
Beam has a penchant for making music videos, having graduated from the Florida State University Film School with an MFA degree. For a time, he was a professor of Film and Cinematography at Miami International University of Art & Design.