Iron & Wine to get fans buzzed at Grog Shop

Erika Kreider

Sam Beam, a.k.a. Iron & Wine, promises not to lull listeners to sleep when he plays a dreamy, sold-out show at the Grog Shop this weekend.

Credit: Erika Kreider

Most of us have heard of Iron and Wine from the Garden State soundtrack.

Sam Beam, the solo artist also known as Iron and Wine, covered The Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights,” back in 2002 that appeared in the hit Zach Braff/Natalie Portman movie. Despite the publicity he received for this project, Beam said he still hasn’t seen the movie.

“Well, it wasn’t my song,” Beam said calmly. “It was very flattering. Anytime something like that happens is very flattering.”

“It’s been very helpful (for my recognition),” he added.

Beam is a mirror image of his music — totally chill. Despite his daughter yelling for him in the background, Beam kept his calm, laid-back tone and simply said, “Daddy’s on the phone.”

“I don’t know. How would you describe it?” Beam wittily asked at one point during my interview, throwing my question about how he would describe his musical sound.

Having been put on the spot, I stammered out, “Mellow and calm.”

“Yeah, good. I agree,” Beam replied.

It seems like I was put to a test, which makes sense since he is a retired college professor.

“Sometimes it’s rowdy (at the concerts). It’s mostly quiet these days,” Beam said.

Beam’s quiet mood makes sense since his lyrics circle around a heart-filled, lullaby tone.

At his concerts, Beam said his main goal for the audience is for them to enjoy themselves.

“The audience always likes the (songs) they’ve heard before. I guess my favorite song is one I haven’t written yet,” Beam said.

Matching the folksy, loving, indie sound are lyrics that seem to make Beam’s voice an instrument in itself. A flattering comparison for him, he said, was Paul Simon.

“The lyrics are based on the sound of the music. Imagined or heard, they come from everywhere,” Beam said.

Even though most of his music is played on acoustic guitar, Beam said he found his talent on an electric guitar. On his new EP, Woman King, Beam branches out and experiments using a guitar, fiddle, and piano.

“I had an electric guitar for a long time, I’ve always been drawn to the talent,” Beam said.

Playing music and writing relaxing lyrics is not all what Sam Beam is about, however.

To complete his loving and calm persona, Beam chuckled a little and said, “Yeah, I like whiskey a lot,” comparing his last name with the drink of the similar name, Jim Beam.

Contact Pop Arts reporter Erika Kreider at [email protected].