But they never lost their love for discovering and sharing new music. They’ve turned that love into a joint album, “Sing Into My Mouth,” which features covers of songs by acts as varied as Bonnie Raitt, the Talking Heads, Sade and Marshall Tucker Band. They’re currently touring behind the album, with a stop Monday in Atlanta at the Tabernacle.
“We just picked up where we left off,” Beam said. “It was fun this time. We were able to reinterpret the music that we were exchanging instead of just listening.”
Assembling the album was a natural process — they both offered up songs they thought might be fun to reinterpret, some of which had some meaning to them, and some they just thought sounded cool. The Sade song “Bulletproof Soul” was a nod to Bridwell’s father, who is a big fan of the smooth jazz singer. Beam suggested the Them Two song “Am I A Good Man?,” thinking he had unearthed a hidden gem that would be an impressive contribution — it turned out that Bridwell had been performing the song with his band for the past couple of years.
Recording the songs was just as organic of a process, with Beam’s band with the pair in the studio, and everyone collaborating on how the songs should be reinterpreted. Several of the members of the band are composers in their own right, so experimentation was welcome.
“It was done in the spirit of friends making a record,” Beam said. “There was no expectation of what this record should be, so we didn’t have any kind of strong art aesthetic argument to make. We were just going in and seeing what happened. Lots of times, we’d start playing the recorded version, and people would just start falling in with ideas.”
Even after the final tracklist for the album was whittled down, Beam and Bridwell were left with several tracks they still wanted to record. So does that mean there might be a sequel to “Sing Into My Mouth”?
“Yeah, maybe,” Beam said. “Never say never. We had a ball making it, so I would love to do it again.”
Iron & Wine and Ben Bridwell
8 p.m. July 20. $35-$42.50. The Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. N.W., Atlanta.