Note: I’ll be trickling out some previews for sets that I’ll be sure to catch at the Nelsonville Music Festival throughout the week. This is a rough chronological order.
There has always been some sort of historical aspect to the vibe at the Nelsonville Fest, blacksmithing demonstrations and log cabins aside. The selection of acts has always included something that a previous generation would have turned out to see, in addition to plenty of current musicians doing a present-day take on older styles of music. Sam Beam of Iron & Wine is somewhere in between those two categories, but aligns perfectly with the bucolic feel of the festival. He’s emerged from his professorial career and evolved into a seminal folk musician- an elder who’s cut the trail for indie darlings like Bon Iver or Fleet Foxes. While Iron & Wine hasn’t abandoned the whisper quiet signature of early albums, Beam & company have continued to evolve their craft by experimenting with larger bands, layers, production, and even pop music influence. While I might not have imagined them as a big, open air act, I think sitting in the grass, basking in the sun while taking it in will feel pretty sweet.