It's odd approaching a b-sides and rarities collection from a guy whose initial recording budget was approximately the cost of a fifth of Jack Daniels. It's not like Sam Beam had to find a place for all those house remixes he commissioned. So no, there's nothing revolutionary here - just music by dudes with beards for dudes with beards. But here's the thing that hits you somewhere along these 23 tracks - this outtakes collection is better than most of the regular albums you'll ever listen to.
The 2 CDs are split up between the whisper quiet strumming of the "Creek Drank The Cradle" years on the first and the more robust "Shepard's Dog" sound on the second. I think the second CD is much better than the first, but that's of course all about which side of Sam Beam you prefer. And although I wouldn't substitute most of these songs for their counterparts on I&W's proper albums, the unquestionable quality across the board serves to underline what a remarkable musician this one man is. Finally, the closing track "Trapeze Swinger", which is essentially a 9 minute repeated refrain, might be the best thing Sam Beam has ever done. Listen while stroking your beard, real or imagined:
I also have a bit of blog news to share, check this out:
Estimated blog worth of $1380??? Not too shabby, friends and colleagues. Give it a few more months and we'll start talking IPO...
I've got a ton of new music I'm excited to get out there, so I'm going to try to post more often - roughly every other day - to try to keep up. Thanks for dropping by, and I hope you all keep tuning in.