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Iron and Wine Embrace Brass on 'Grace for Saints and Ramblers' - Song Premiere

Singer-songwriter Sam Beam returns with sweet, buoyant track

Iron and Wine
Craig Kief
February 25, 2013 7:00 AM ET

Click to listen to Iron and Wine's 'Grace for Saints and Ramblers'

On April 16th, Nonesuch Records will release Ghost on Ghost, the fifth album from singer-songwriter Sam Beam's project Iron and Wine. Now you can take an exclusive first listen to the album cut "Grace for Saints and Ramblers." Packed with pep, the catchy track is driven by a simple acoustic riff, steady snare thumps and a sweet, energetic vocal performance from Beam. However, the initial modest impression proves deceiving; the song expands to show its true colors with perfectly placed flourishes of strings and brass that emerge from the background.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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