Nine years ago, Sam Beam was a film professor at the International Fine Arts college who dabbled in 8 track home recording after his family went to sleep. After a couple of his breathy, folkish Iron and Wine demos found their way to Sub Pop records via A&R guy / Modest Mouse singer Isaac Brock, Beam suddenly found himself with an accidental music career, which has grown exponentially since his critically acclaimed 2002 debut The Creek That Drank The Cradle.
Beam has done just about everything there is to do in the music business. He headlined a stage at the Newport folk festival. He collaborated with Calexico to make a supergroup record. He has appeared on the soundtracks of multiple hit movies (Twilight among them). He has managed to make an arcane genre like folk music hip to 20-somethings.
As a result of that, he outgrew his digs in Miami Shores and moved his wife and five kids to Dripping Springs, Texas - an arid, hilly, semi-rural community an hour outside of Austin resides near cattle ranches, BBQ joints, box wineries and Jeff Pinkus from the B-hole Surfers. Since his move in 2006, tonight's performance at the Fillmore is Iron And Wine's first trip back to Miami. And it finds Beam in the catbird seat, with his next record, Kiss Each Other Clean, being moved from Sub Pop and on to Warner Brothers (who own 49% of Sub Pop).
The very brief preview of the title track found on Iron and Wine's homepage suggests a lush, more radio friendly sound for the adult alternative radio audience to eat up. Tonight should be a decent preview of what's in store, once the album drops in January. Will Beam remain a critical darling? Or will he turn into 2011's version of Duncan Sheik? Either way, his tunes are sure to be heard at a Starbucks near you.