It's kind of surprising that 's Sam Beam has ended up making his living in music. Early on, he received a cautionary lesson from his dad.
"My father used to book Motown bands in college," Beam says. "And he imparted some wisdom on me that it's an easy gig to lose your shirt in."
Beam grew up in South Carolina; he studied art in college, then got into making movies. Music was just something he did on the side, for fun.
In this interview with All Things Considered host Melissa Block, Beam compares lyrical wordplay to coat hangers, describes the "exposed, vulnerable place" in "Caught in the Briars," and discusses the themes that run through Ghost on Ghost, Iron and Wine's fifth full-length studio album.