Sam Beam has earned his beard

There’s nothing more pretentious than some rookie early-twenty-something folkie who’s taken to sporting a beard.

A beard should be earned, through age and experience, the way Iron And Wine’s Sam Beam — now 36 — has done it.

Born in Chapin, S.C., he earned an art degree in Virginia, and MFA at a film school in Florida, and quietly wrote intensely personal songs for seven long years before a friend finally loaned him a four-track to record himself.

It wasn’t long before he was snapped up by hip independent label Sub Pop.

But on Jan. 25, Beam is batting in the big leagues with “Kiss Each Other Clean,” issued this time around on Warner Brothers in the U.S. and through 4AD for the rest of the world.

By signing up to his mailing list at www.ironandwine.com, you’ll get an exclusive free download of the track “Tree By The River” sent to your inbox.

To preview the set, Iron And Wine will be playing two shows at The Wiltern in L.A. (Jan. 25 and 26) and one at New York’s Radio City Music Hall (Jan. 29).

And yes, his beard still appears to be John Brown, even Smith Brothers, proud and pendulous. Each hair, perhaps, representing a life lesson learned.

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