Sam Beam of Iron & Wine with the Cincinnati Symphony Review – March 22, 2019

This evening was special. It was a very interesting choice; selected Iron & Wine indie folk material backed up with lush symphonic arrangements. At first, I couldn’t imagine it. But to my delight, Iron & Wine, The Cincinnati Symphony and the conductor/arranger David Campbell were on the money!

It was special in many ways. First, it was witnessing Iron & Wine in this unique setting, a beautiful concert hall with full orchestra in back and Campbell’s dynamic arranging and youthful conducting in front. It gave me the sense, both visually and audibly, of being transported back in time and place to simpler times that had an elegant European feel when music was considered royal and just as important as politics.

Secondly, it was because of the lovely and haunting opening warm up piece, Follow My Heart, by composer, Pauline Frechette, who was in attendance. I found the song on Spotify and discovered it is both a vocal as well as instrumental piece from her 2018 release Colors of My Heart.  Tonight, with Campbell’s full arrangement, it was truly a romantic showstopper! But the show must go on!

Then, Mr. Beam, beaming as he entered the stage, charming and silly in a mature way, opened the set with “Sunset Soon Forgotten” from his latest release Our Endless Numbered Days Anniversary Deluxe Edition, establishing the mood and elegance for the entire remainder of the evening. This was the first evening of 3 of the same (with different symphonies); Disney Hall in Los Angeles this Sunday and Kennedy Center next month. I couldn’t possibly imagine it getting better than this night, but if you are in either of those areas, whether you are familiar with these artists or not, I highly recommend getting your ticket, if it’s not already sold out!

Mimi Lavelle