Iron & Wine is the stage name of songwriter Sam Beam, a former college professor. Beam recorded his first release, The Creek Drank the Cradle (2002), on a four-track recorder in his home as demos, and intended to rework the songs with the american roots band Calexico. The collaboration never took form, and legendary indie label Sub Pop ended up releasing the demos as they were, to great critical success.
The work itself is very intimate, Beam’s almost whispered voice is accompanied by his soft guitar playing, with touches of banjo and steel guitar. The lo-fi aspect of the record also works towards Beam’s intricate folk sensibility.
Sam Beam has continued writing music and touring, although his recent work has a more rock and country based sound. Although Beam was included on Arthur’s Golden Apples of the Sun compilation (2004), his connections to the ‘New Weird America’ seem to end here, as he tends to be more associated with the indie-folk scene.