South Carolina bred singer songwriter Sam Beam, aka Iron & Wine, returned to Tucson’s Rialto Theatre for a sold out show Tuesday, August 12, 2014. He has become one of the premier players of the indie-folk scene with his haunting sonnets and deep-telling stories often draped in Southern imagery. According to Spin.com, 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.
Beam released his first album in 2002, “The Creek Drank The Cradle.” It was an acoustic record that Beam wrote, performed, recorded and produced in his home studio. He has been compared to the likes of Neil Young. He has released five studio albums and has ties with Tucson’s Calexico. Calexico added their trademark fusion of Southwestern rock, traditional Mexican music and jazz to the songs' arrangements in Beam’s EP “In The Reins” released in September 2005. They paired again with the 2007 single, ”Dark Eyes,” a Dylan cover. Bottom line, Tucsonans love Iron & Wine.
This was an intimate and interactive show from the beginning since Beam had no set list. The crowd was like hungry wolves shouting song titles at every opportunity between the songs. Yet there were many pin-drop moments during the songs! His voice and guitar allowed the clarity of his poetic lyrics to be heard. There were mistakes made toward the end as expected from a show that was extemporaneous. This occurred more toward the end of the set. One mistake after “Love And Some Verses”, led to the audience to shout, “You owe us another song.” Beam duly complied with “Flightless Bird/American Mouth.” Needless to say, he brought his sense of humor to Tucson. Sam brought his “A-game” and presented an uplifting, energetic show. For a complete set list, click here.
Iron & Wine’s opening act was Jerome Holloway. He also gave us a lively acoustic set. The singer songwriter accompanied himself on guitar with a 30-minute set of self-penned love songs. He was paired well with Iron & Wine.