Iron and Wine, the principal recording/performing vehicle for current Austin, TX resident Sam Beam has, since 2002, released three full-length albums, a handful of EPs and singles, plus the collaborative In the Reins EP with Calexico. An incredibly prolific songwriter, Sam has built each album from a wealth of recorded material. Many of the songs not found on individual Iron and Wine releases later surfaced in live performance and in various limited-edition compilations. Up till now, any fan would find it difficult to track down these rarities.
Collecting songs ranging from out-of-print to never-before-released, Around the Well spans Iron and Wine’s earliest sessions which yielded the band’s debut (2002’s The Creek Drank the Cradle) through material recorded for 2007’s The Shepherd’s Dog. The double-disc/triple-LP Around the Well collection is broken up into two sections. The first half is an assortment of hushed home recordings, unedited and raw, and the second highlights moments captured in the confines of proper studios with the help of other musicians, friends and engineers.
The album’s title comes from a line in the song “The Trapeze Swinger,” a fan favorite which was written for and included in the movie In Good Company. Three more songs written and recorded for the film finally make their appearance here as well: “Belated Promise Ring,” “God Made the Automobile” and “Homeward, These Shoes.” Around the Well also brings together hard-to-find covers such as The Flaming Lips’ “Waitin’ for a Superman” and New Order’s “Love Vigilantes,” along with one of Iron and Wine’s earliest originals, “Sacred Vision,” which appeared on a compilation for Sound Collector magazine.
In support of Around the Well, this May Iron and Wine will perform ten intimate shows in five cities. Each individual show will be wholly unique, as Iron and Wine will allow fans to create each night’s set list through votes cast at ironandwine.com March 6th-30th. In addition, Iron and Wine have begun work on the follow-up to The Shepherd’s Dog and plan to release a new album in spring, 2010.