I went to see Iron & Wine on Wednesday night at Dick’s. I’d only heard one song, and knew it was a kind or lorneful (sp?) country/folk ballad, but I’d had that in my head as an exception, not the rule. But it turns out that country/folk is exactly what Iron & Wine does, and you know what? It was pretty darn good. Sadly for the show however, their strong point is lyrically, and the lyrics were pretty much obliterated by the muddy sound at Richard’s. Being right up close, I could hear ok, but when I went upstairs to chill out later in the show, it was all lost.
So the show then, while pleasant and enjoyable, was definitely not fantastic, and felt over all a little underwhelming. I think I’m more used to the Dan Bern school of folk, where there’s a lot of audience interaction between songs. There was some, but he (whose name I wish I could remember) seemed fairly uncomfortable up there still. I do think I’ll pick up the latest CD, however, because I suspect it will be really wonderful, with clear lyrics. My one final complaint about the show: The guy’s sister was on stage to sing back up vocals, which turned to consist entirely of singing harmony with him. Which is alright, and good — but not on every song. And what about some variations on the theme, or call & answering, etc (You can tell I know no musical terms, eh?) — just to create some vibrancy and make her seem, I don’t know, more useful. It really felt like we wouldn’t have missed much if she hadn’t have been there.