Last time Iron & Wine tiptoed into the D.C. area, it was for a sold-out show at Arlington‚Äôs Iota Club & Caf?©, a venue petite enough to make even Sam Beam‚Äôs whispering discernible. Playing the considerably roomier (but equally sold-out) 9:30 Club requires more powerful projection, a detail that might have worried Beam if he wasn‚Äôt rolling up on November 30 with Calexico at his side. Iron & Wine bonded with the Tucson-based duo in 2004, a union that birthed the collaborative and critically acclaimed ‚ÄúIn the Reins‚Äù in September 2005. Calexico‚Äôs addition of trumpet, pedal steel and operatic outbursts to Beam‚Äôs feathery murmurs make for an album ‚Äì and, conceivably, a performance ‚Äì that‚Äôs as hearable as it is heartfelt.
Since only seven songs were released on their joint CD, here‚Äôs hoping that I&W&C have a back catalog. Then again, seeing as 9:30‚Äôs doors aren‚Äôt opening until 10 p.m. for this Wednesday show, maybe they should rein it in.