The Library Sessions: Jim and Sam
Los Angeles-based folk duo plays Golden State’s first installment of our live music series, The Library Sessions.
Last fall, Los Angeles duo (and husband and wife) Jim and Sam embarked on The Anywhere Everyday Tour—a musical experiment where they would commit to playing one show every day for an entire year. And while some of these shows would undoubtedly be held at typical concert venues, they also opened their minds and opportunities to so much more.
“The idea has been bouncing around for a few years now,” says Jim. “It started out as a late-night conversation with the producers we were working with. It has taken different shapes and forms since then, but after we got married last July we decided to give it a go. It was essentially—quit waiting around for the perfect opportunity and do what we love to do. Everyday.”
When we found out about their undertaking, it seemed like the perfect fit for our inaugural recording of The Library Sessions. And so it came to be that fresh off a series of showcases in Austin at SXSW—and right before heading to Europe with open-ended tickets—the husband and wife team joined us at our office in El Segundo on a Tuesday afternoon to play for a group of about 30 for their 139th show in a row.
Armed simply with a guitar, the folk duo’s haunting harmonies filled our library, both unaffected and enchanting at once. The six-song set mixed catchy melodies with harmonic odes to relationships and friends long gone.
They told us about playing in an airport for a group of TSA employees who were on lunch break. And another small show at a salon in Brooklyn. In London alone, they performed in a 1700s-era church, an airline hanger, a legendary folk venue, an ex-servicemen’s club, an apartment, the Richer Sounds headquarters, an Indian restaurant and a late-night lounge.
One especially memorable night happened completely by a fortunate accident. After having a show cancelled in London, they were walking by a double decker bus at 10 p.m. They were worried they might not find a place to play.
“We heard three men of different ages and races talking passionately about making music,” says Sam. “We started talking and told them about the tour and asked if could sing them a song. We sang ‘Great Escape’ and explained it was about giving in to your addictions and how sometimes you don’t make it back from that. After we finished they told us they had all just come from an NA meeting and were all in recovery. We talked about who we had lost to addiction and just listened to their stories. This tour has been an endless invitation and opening to so many conversations we never would have had otherwise.”
Currently doing a batch of shows in Iceland, they are officially more than halfway through the tour. So how does it feel? “Tiring, exhilarating, hard, inspiring, overwhelming, insane, and also just the new normal. It feels like there is so much more to go, and at the same time that there is not enough time left.”
The duo is writing and recording throughout the tour and plans to have new music out this fall that will consist of songs recorded in a church in London, and old mansion in Sweden and a garage in LA.
Keep your eyes open. You never know where they might be playing next.
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