A Look at Folk Artist Iron & Wine

At first the name sounds like it should belong to a rock and roll band, not a one man folk legend, yet Iron & Wine is the stage persona of Samuel Beam. Sam is an American born folk singer who for the last decade has made a name for himself with a number of soulful hits that epitomize the heart of folk music.

iron-and-wine-2011_article_story_mainThe 41 year old Sam hails from South Carolina in the United States, where he was raised by a school teacher mom and a father who worked in land management. He spent most of his summers on his grandfather’s farm, where he learned how some folks are making a living the hard way. He went on to study painting in Virginia and film in Florida before deciding that the musical arts was where he belonged.

A professor of film and cinematography in Florida, he had been writing songs for years but never recorded one until he was lent a four-track. This led to his first LP The Creek Drank the Cradle which was produced and recorded all at his in home studio. It was an instant hit in folk culture, and likened to the early works of Simon and Garfunkel and Neil Young.

His acoustic sound has mass appeal, and his second album, Our Numbered Days was recorded professionally. This time other musicians were brought in, giving more substance to the music. His next album, Woman King took things a bit further with the introduction of electric guitars. This was an album clearly designed to bring to light the mysterious wonder that is woman kind.

Beam is a married man, living in North Carolina with his wife and 5 daughters. This is likely has led to his obvious appreciation of women, and reverence to them. He sports a very typical folk singer look, with a full beard that would work perfectly on an Amish farmer. Although it is obviously well groomed and taken care of with some quality beard balm by Liberty Premium Grooming Co.

He is also dedicated to his extended family, having his sister Sarah contribute back-up vocals on a number of his tracks. This is a folk singer who has never forgotten his past, and uses his experiences and influences to create music that calls to everyone who loves the genre.

Now having achieved worldwide recognition, Sam Beam is a frequent guest at many of the festivals that highlight the best in folk music every spring and summer. If you have an opportunity to see Beam in person, don’t pass it up. He is a modern folk singer who is well versed in the soulful history of folk music.

An Interesting New Innovation To Take Along on To the Next Folk Festival

infrared-canvas-saunaFolk festival season is just around the corner, and already you are probably making plans and getting your itinerary together. For some people, the idea of missing out on some of their daily necessary health routines is scary, but there is something to try if you are one of those folks who likes the feeling of a daily detox.

Introducing the Portable Infrared Sauna

Holistic individuals have known for a long time the many benefits of a half hour sit in a sauna. It helps to maintain a healthy weight of course, but it also does so much more. Saunas encourage your body to sweat, without the benefit of exercise, which actually helps your body purge itself of toxins naturally

And now you can get that benefit while on the road following your favorite folk stars. But instead of hot and sticky steam, these portable saunas use infrared technology to stimulate the body to sweat.

Is Infrared Healthy?

So long as you use it in moderation, just like anything else, infrared will not harm you. In fact, if you are suffering from any muscle aches or joint swelling, it will ease the pain and restore function. You just need to remember to drink plenty of water before and after the sauna, not spend more than a half an hour and take fifteen minutes to relax afterwards before doing anything strenuous.

Since infrared does penetrate deeper than a steam sauna will, your body is cleansing itself of deep rooted toxins, which you will realize once you start to feel better from the effects.

How Can This Be Portable?

Since you do not need insulation to protect from the steam, a very lightweight material is used for the construction of the portable infrared sauna. This makes them easy to fold up and carry wherever the folk music takes you to.

Units are sold to fit 2, 4 or even 6 people if you want to share, or just invest in a light infrared sauna blanket and take joy in the pleasure by yourself. For the best brands and prices available, you should check infrared sauna review sites. These will help you in making the right decision about which one fits your purpose.

Whether you are a folk singer or groupie, the relaxing feeling of an infrared sauna will be of great comfort during busy festival season. If you want to stay up with at least part of your healthy living lifestyle, than the portable infrared sauna may be the way to do it.

A Look at Joan Baez – One of the Best Female Folk Singers of All Time

Joan Baez is one of the most well known female folk artists of all time. Performing for over 55 years, she was one of the voices behind the 1960’s peace movement and is known for her activism in a number of worthy causes.

Joan Baez hails from New York, where she was born in 1941, but lived all over the world due to her father’s profession in the health care system. She developed a love for music of all nations and treated herself to an acoustic guitar for her 18th birthday.

Joan’s family settled in Massachusetts in 1958, just as folk music was beginning to make waves. She started playing in clubs and colleges around Boston and Cambridge, eventually making a small name for herself in that local music scene. By 1960 she was asked to perform at a major folk festival and to record an album.

It was Joan who introduced the world to a then unknown Bob Dylan after she had made become a household name in the roots revival. She also appeared on the cover of Time magazine during this time, an amazing feat for a female musician in the ‘60’s. By 1969 she had achieved worldwide acclaim after her appearance at Woodstock in upstate New York.

Joan Baez Today

In 2009, Joan returned to the stage of the first festival that she had hosted to mark her 50th anniversary as a singer and songwriter. She is still very active in music today, often seen on stage at festivals with a signature essential oil diffuser necklace and acoustic guitar. She has never strayed from her “hippy” demeanor, and is still an activist for a number of causes.


She is very active in protecting the environment, and practices environmentalism in her everyday life. The use of natural essential oils like showcased here over chemically enhanced perfumes is just one of dozens of ways she has shown the world her commitment to this cause.

Joan was also very vocal about her disapproval over America’s involvement in Iraq and was an active participant in a number of protests and rallies. This led her to a special tour in 2004 where she encouraged young people to vote for peace minded candidates. In her 55 years as an activist, the only presidential candidate she has ever openly endorsed was Barack Obama.

Joan Baez has been the voice of dozens of records and hundreds of songs over the course of her career. Yet it is not only her music that has made her a stand out in folk music. It is her continued commitment to world issues and willingness to voice her opinion that makes her such a legendary artist.

Canadian Folk Bands: Elliot Brood

One of the best known folk bands in North America is Elliot Brood. With a new CD dropped this past October, they are now busy touring Canada and the United States. This tour is expected to last into next year.

Band members and their friends worked around the clock on this new collection of music and are very proud to be able to showcase it live.

This new CD – Work and Love- is a compilation that truly epitomes the spirit of folk music. Band members Casy LaForet, Mark Sasso, and Stephen Pitkin know the genre well and present it in a way that will warm your heart.

I have seen the band live more than once in Toronto and can tell you that rugged looks and unruly beards aside, they really do put on a great show. Stephen most of all really looks the part, and could really use a beard trimmer and beard balm to take with him on tour (hint hint Santa)


Folk music has never been mainstream, unless you count the iconic John Denver. This is a genre for the free spirited who only want to hear heart warming lyrics sung along with simple music. The festivals that are sprouting up all over Canada and the United States show that more people are falling in love with that simplicity and calming effect folk music has.

Many people confuse folk music with country, but if you are a true fan, you ear can pick out the difference. While both styles like to use story telling in their lyrics, country music is more brash in its approach. While some die hard country fans are able to appreciate the soft melody of folk music, it is hard for a folk music lover to get used to the change in tempo.

If you are unsure if folk music is something you might enjoy, check Elliot Broods tour schedule to see when they are playing close by. If you can, try and catch them at a folk music festival which showcases a number of different bands and artists. This will give you a well rounded perception of what folk music is all about.

I will be looking for Elliot Brood when the folk music festival starts back up in the spring, but am also going down to Toronto to catch them live this winter. They are really that good to hear twice. If you are going to try the same, don’t forget your copy of Work and Love. If you are lucky, you could get one of the band members to sign it for you.

Day Jobs to Help Fund Your Folk Music Without Interfering With It

Most folk musicians need an alternate source of income if they want to keep on playing their music. While it is rewarding on a personal level, it is not on a financial one. In order to keep your self from going bankrupt, while still getting to play at festivals and gigs, you need to find the right day job.

Trying to find a career that won’t interfere with your folk music? Canada has a loving history with folk music, and a number of career opportunities to support it. Here are a few ideas that you should consider:


teacherIt should come as no surprise that many teachers are closet folk musicians. The hours are perfect, with nights and weekends always free. Plus, they get the entire summer off, when the best folk music festivals are being held around the country.

Picking teaching as your profession will of course require that you continue your education at a local college, but this will only give you a chance to expose more people to your music. Expect four years of college in order to get a degree that will allow you to land a job in a local school.

Ultrasound Technician

There are special ultrasound technician schools that can help you obtain the licensing you need to become a sonographer. An ultrasound technician is responsible for taking images of people for medical purposes. These images are created with sound waves which are then projected onto a TV screen. The most common use is in obstetrics, where a sonogram creates a picture of the unborn baby.

An ultrasound technician salary is substantial enough to carry your folk music dreams, especially if you work inside of a private doctor’s office. This type of job will give you nights and weekends off where you can schedule your practices and gigs. Consider applying to schools or look for jobs at www.medicaleducationhq.com.

Forex Trader

If you are more involved with your music, and need complete flexibility with your time consider becoming a trader in the Forex market. This is a currency market where you make money by predicting the growth or decline of the currency. Although it may sound complicated, there are tons of sites online that can assist you in starting out. Plus you will need a broker, who will provide you with a trading platform to learn off of.

What makes Forex trading so appealing is that the initial investment can be as low as fifty dollars. When you work with a broker, they will leverage your trades to help you make more money. This is a type of loan, which is paid back from your profits. Since you can trade whenever you want, this type of money making venture gives you all the free time you want and need for your folk music career.

Make sure that you choose a day job that gives you the time and space you need to do the things you love. Playing folk music can take up a lot of your time, so ensure that the career path you choose to fund it does not cut into that time you need.

How to Keep Your Pet Safe When Attending Music Gigs

If you are a musician and you are looking for ways to keep yourself at ease when you are on the go, most of the time you get yourself a pet to keep you company. Traveling with your pet cannot be that easy at all as is you are busy rehearsing and performing, chances are you forget about that little buddy who keeps you company when you are feeling lonely.


One of the biggest concerns of musicians who carry along a pet dog with them is keeping their pet in a safe place. Musicians travel a lot and bringing along a dog fence with them is not at all a perfect solution. That is the reason why technology advancements for pet gear are being offered nowadays to be a part of a solution for the usual issues that pet owners have.

As you are preparing for the next big gig that you are about to go to, you are now wondering what you can do to make sure that when you leave your pet in a certain area, it is safe from harm and at the same time it as well enjoys its freedom without being in a container or being locked inside your van. Well, one great solution to this is making use of a Petsafe wireless containment system.

This time around you don’t have to worry about putting your pet dog in chains or putting your pet inside a container where it cant move at all for hours. With the new wireless fence technology, your pet can now stay in once place and at the same time play.

How it Works

The fence is like a virtual cage but it allows your pet to roam at a certain radius. This radius can be controlled through a collar that you will be placing on your pet’s neck and a controller that will send a signal so you can control the radius where your pet can roam. Investing on this kind of pet confinement system especially when you are always on the go will save you all the worries about leaving your pet in a safe place.

Knowing that a musician is always on the go and cannot afford to bring his pr her own pet along to keep it safe, taking advantage of a wireless technology that will promote safety for pets and convenience for pet owners can surely be the best solution to this.

For more travelling info for the musician or festival-goer, take a look here.

Basics you’ll need if you’re overnighting at a folk festival!

folk festivalHey all! Mike Hauk here. Before I became a folk singer, I used to be just like you. Waiting in massive line ups to see your favorite singer and get their autograph, camping out overnight to see your favorite band, going up to who-knows-where for a weekend long festival. I’ve done it all, and as of recent years I’ve been on the other side watching it all happen before my eyes. Fans are the greatest aspect of being a musician, we would be nothing without you guys! So I wanted to share a few tips with you about the best camping gear and how to camp safely and properly!


Finding the right tent can be a long and expensive journey if you don’t do it right. Start out by doing a bit of research on the kind of tent you need and what attributes best suit your needs such as amount of people, weather resistance, and more (try checking out http://www.advensport.com for some pretty unbiased info on camping gear). Seeing what your options are and weighing your needs is the first place to start. There are tons of awesome tents out there, some specialized for camping, some tailored to families. My best suggestion for a more than 2 person tent to bring to festivals and camping would be the Coleman Sundome 4-Person Tent. It’s affordable, easy to set up, and fits 4 people pretty easily.

Sleeping Bags

Comfort is key when you’re tent-camping. Generally you won’t be bringing a mattress (unless you happen to have an inflatable one on hand), so you want something that make your nights sleep as cozy as you can get under the circumstances. There are tons of different styles that run at all sorts of price ranges. Finding something that will keep you warm, is easy to transport, and washable is important. If you’re just using it for summer camping and festival-going, you won’t have to worry as much about keeping warm in cold climates. Summer nights can get chilly though, so don’t cheap out too much! If this is you though, I’d probably pack something like the Wenzel Conquest 25-Degree Sleeping Bag. It’s very affordable, pretty cool looking, and you can curl up pretty well in it.


Let’s face it, you’re going to have to eat during a festival. Sure, most will have food carts and the sort, but why blow all your money on food when you probably spent a decent amount to get in there in the first place? Picking yourself up a little camping grill or stove will save you tons of money in the long run. You’ve got gas powered, propane, coal, and butane to choose from. Basically whatever best fits your needs and is easiest to manage for you will be the right one. I don’t suggest cheaping out too much in this category though. Cheaply made stoves can be have a short life and possibly be dangerous if not handled with utmost care.


If you’re more of a backpacker and want to carry it all yourself, there are tons of great backpacks out there for travelers and outdoor overnighters like you. Some small, some massive, make sure to pick one that is not oversized for your frame. You can do some damage to your back and legs if you’re carrying too much! Just make sure when doing your research that you take into account everything you might need to bring with you (food, water, sleeping bag, supplies, etc).

Have some fun at your next festival!

Discover More About Archery in Canada

archery targetArchery in Canada is now becoming more and more popular not only for adults but for young people as well. Since this became a sport, more and more people became more enthusiastic in learning how to manage the skills needed for aiming and shooting with the use of a bow and an arrow. Well, if in the movies you quite find this type of weaponry an amazing addition for some of the battle scenes, nowadays, you can easily learn how to go about using your own bodily techniques to allow you to participate in the sport called Archery.

Talk About The History

Archery has been a very popular sport in Belgium. Back then, they have various Belgian groups which are focused on enhancing the skills of individuals who would like to learn how to use the bow and arrow and enhance their skills in the field of archery. These clubs are also joined with various tournament organizers to compete and master the techniques of this sport.

These Archery clubs in Belgium have their own way of practicing archery. They have various ways and techniques which came from the Medieval Ages. They as well enjoy playing this sport either indoors or outdoors.

If you are wondering what they are actually accustomed with when it comes to targets, you may find them shooting various types of man made flocks which are made of wood and sometime feathers. There are as well bird targets which are made from materials that are synthetic.

The New Age of Archery

Nowadays, the bow and arrow hunting option became a sport that is not only focused for its main purpose which is to aim and shoot at your target, but it as well helps in enhancing the skills of a person when it comes to precision and focus.

If you were to compare the technology being added to bows and arrows nowadays from the ones being used for hunting during the old times, you will find out that there surely is a huge difference. However, the same principle in aiming and shooting at your target is being used.

When aiming at your target you will have to be patient enough before you release your arrow. This entails focus and determination. On the other hand, when it comes to shooting at your target, you will have to maintain composure and grip, so you will have to control force and convert it to the amount that you need to hit the bulls-eye.

Read what else we’re up to here.

Popular Traditions in Canada – Folk Music and Motorcycle Riding

gold canada flag leafCanada has a lot to offer and two of the best traditions that this developed country can contribute and share to the world is the rich culture that is focused on folk music as well as their fascinating bike riding activities. Both traditions may have their own worlds but they are equal in providing the country the popularity it gained abroad.

Canadian Folk Music

Knowing how folk music has evolved nowadays, you still cannot forget how various folk music singers who have given the inspiration to build the new generation of folk musicians in Canada. There are various folk songs from the English origin which is still being kept alive until this present time.

Because of the diversity of Canadian folk music, the country’s folk heritage is now made known throughout the world which gave birth to this new age folk singers and song writers who have revived songs that inspired huge groups of music fanatics for decades now. You can definitely visit music centers to explore more about this traditional music.

Motorcycle Riding

On the other hand, another tradition that is being passed on from one generation to the next is the most popular Canadian Motorcycle Riding. Unlike folk music which is quite mellow, this traditional global contribution is more known for the adventurous experience it can offer.

Back in history, motorcycle riding was first allowed in Manitoba and Quebec, however other provinces and territories have their own programs where restrictions and licenses are being provided. Nowadays, you can find various options when it comes to joining motorcycle riding clubs which also have their very own programs to encourage riders to drive safely or drive for a cause.

Nowadays, you can either enjoy motorcycle by driving your own bike or you can opt to rent one. You can join groups and clubs and learn more about driving on roads and highways, and get to know various landmarks in Canada. There are a lot of places to explore and wide roads to travel to. All you need to make sure is that you are geared up safely with your motorcycle helmet. Once safely geared up you can definitely go anywhere you want but just make sure you bring your license with you.

These two popular activities are both worth your time to explore. Either if you are musically inclined or you are more of the adventurous type. You can definitely find both music and motorbike riding an exciting tradition in Canada that you must explore.

Some of the best festival food EVER…Including fried goodies

Below we have another story from a reader of the site, Marie Jackman. She had a good break last summer with various festivals and gigs, and wanted to share a fun post about the greatest food she found on her various festival stops. Take it away, Marie!

Last summer was hectic, though it was surely a wonderful experience. I arranged to appear at several different folk music festivals in Ontario and attend many more. Being a rather young musician and a developing singer, this was quite a break for me. I was seen and listened by thousands of people, while I was having the time of my life. The atmosphere in music festivals is fantastic; everyone is smiling, everyone seems happy. There is much dancing taking place, quite a lot of drinking and of course, lots of eating!

In Eaglewood I had the best hot dogs. A big, juicy sausage was perfectly grilled and placed within the best hot dog bun I have ever tasted. It was topped up with a rich, spicy, homemade sauce, some green salad and deep fried onion rings.

At the Mariposa festival I had an incredible deep fried chicken (I may or may not have gone right home and searched for deep fryer reviews). It was served on moist pita bread, sprinkled with fresh parsley and green onions. You could choose between 5 different dips and I went for the spicy honey and mustard. It was fantastic.

fried fish platterThere was a vendor in Home County that had 5 huge trays of different deep fried seafood on his stall. There were clams, shrimps, crab, cod and some kind of fish fingers, the truth is that I never asked what it was. All I cared about was how amazing it all tasted. Different batters were used to coat different foods. It each matched the consistency and texture of the particular food and it was spiced accordingly. The large sauce selection was reinforcing already delicious dishes. I never got to taste the salads; I was already full before I got to them.

Deep frying is not particularly healthy and I usually avoid it for healthier ways to cook, but these were three occasions in which I could not resist. Especially in the last case it was impossible to keep away; I ate almost a plate of each. Although deep fried food has been linked to elevated cholesterol levels and coronary disease, no one can deny how scrumptious fried food is.

amazing_deep_fried_chickenHowever, the grilled beef steak I had in Summerfolk was equally mouth watering. The meat was great; it was properly seasoned and perfectly cooked. It was accompanied by roasted potatoes and a fresh, green leaf salad.

By far the best dish I had was simply a beef burger. It was in Red Rock festival if I recall correctly. The burger was grilled on the spot. It was large, juicy and a little spicy. The bun was a whole meal, homemade piece of heaven. It was filled with a crunchy mix of very finely chopped vegetables, red and white cabbage, carrot and cucumber combined with herbs. The final touch was a thick, homemade barbecue sauce.

I had much more over the summer, but these were the most memorable dishes that make me drool just thinking about them. It was particularly surprising that I did not gain any weight over the two months I was on the road.

In for more interesting reads? Check this out!