This past Saturday, concert goers in Abilene, TX had an experience that doesn’t happen very often- Iron & Wine in concert. I was privileged to be a part of the show, in getting to meet Sam (I&W’s real name) back stage and present him with the coveted Appetizer Golden Fork award for Best Song 2009. Fans from across the country voted in this contest. We’ll name the other winners later on.
Typically what I’ve done with this award is use it as a way for listeners from all over the place to look at all the great new and emerging talent that’s been heard over the course of the year and give everyone a voice to state their choice of who’s the best. The turnout has grown tremendously each year. For past year’s winners, we’ve made banners for them for our website and their social network platforms. Never before have we had an official trophy to present. Until 2010.
My good friend and Appetizer artist Elliott Park helped me craft the official Golden Fork Award by welding a large serving fork in a bass cleft shape and molding it to a custom made pedestal. We finally had something to give an icon in folk music that would be worth holding on to. A special thanks to Big Country Trophies for the pedestal.
Before the show, I met Sam backstage for some pictures and to talk a bit. As I opened the box with the trophy, I told him “I have an award for you. It’s not a Grammy, but…..” and handed him the Golden Fork. He seemed genuinely surprised and intrigued. Congrats to Iron & Wine for the win. Well deserved.
I was also privileged to get to introduce Iron & Wine to the sold out crowd at the Historic Paramount Theater in Abilene. As part of the annual concert series (Live at the Paramount Art Series) from local public radio station KACU and the Historic Paramount Theater, this was the first ever sell-out crowd in the five year history of the concert series. Seeing a new group of fans and concert-goers was a real treat.
Iron & Wine was a unique experience all it’s own. Leading up to his performance, local and international indie music star Micah P Hinson opened with some old and new material, including a cover of “The Times They Are A Changin.'” This marked one of the only times Micah has performed in his hometown and proved to be a remarkable performance. When Iron & Wine performed, as when Micah did, it was the artist alone on stage with only their guitar. Yet nothing else was needed to pull the audience into the world of the artist and experience their universe through the stories of their songs. Iron & Wine played fan favorite tracks like “Trapeze Swinger,” “Naked As We Came,” “Resurrection Fern,” and an almost A capella version of “Flightless Bird, American Mouth,” made popular in part by the Twilight movie soundtrack.
This concert set the bar for future performances in the concert hall, and invited a new gathering of music fans to partake in a concert series they might not have known about otherwise. The future of the series looks bright as now more great emerging artists have a new platform to perform from. A great experience for me, an unforgettable night for all.
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