Album review: IRON AND WINE & BEN BRIDWELL – Sing Into My Mouth

IRON AND WINE & BEN BRIDWELL - Sing Into My Mouth

Black Cricket/Brown Records [Release date 17.07.15]

Iron And Wine is a strange pseudo name for an individual – Samuel “Sam” Beam, an American singer-songwriter who’s released five studio albums, here teams up with Band Of Horses lead singer Ben Bridwell to release an album of covers of songs that have inspired the duo’s collective 77 years.

Both South Carolina raised, the pair’s history dates back to Beam giving demos to Bridwell’s brother who passed then on to a magazine editor who included on one on one of his magazine’s compilation CDs.   It marked the start of Beam’s recording career at the beginning of the noughties – a period when he and Bridwell were regularly exchanging music they listening to.

15 years on, the pair have finally found the space to create a homage to 12 songs of the that had an indelible influence on them ranging from Talking Heads’ ‘This Must Be The Place’ to ‘Ab’s Song’ by The Marshall Tucker Band, and touching down in between on songs by Ronnie Lane, Bonnie Rait, John Cale, Sade, Spiritualised, JJ Cale and Pete Seeger, amongst others.

It’s a gentle, laid back, Southern affair with the most compelling numbers being Them Two’s ‘Am I A Good Man’ – a soul number that is give a Southern Man treatment, and ‘There’s No Way Out Of Here’, originally recorded by 1970s act Unicorn, but better known as the lead single from David Gilmour’s 1978 eponymous solo debut.

It just goes to demonstrate that music is a very personal thing, and when a number strikes a wider chord, it’s because it connects – for whatever reason – across a broad spectrum.  Across Sing Into My Mouth there’s echoes of The Eagles, Leo Sayer, Chris De Burgh, John Lennon and Neil Young.

But great songs, are great songs, and ‘There’s No Way Out Of Here’ shines like a beacon.  It’s little wonder it’s being released as a single.  ***

Review by Pete Whalley


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