By Carolina de Busto
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
On his new album, The Austin Sessions, guitarist/vocalist Edwin McCain titles one of his new songs "I Want It All," but in fact he's not nearly so greedy. After a terrific run on Atlantic Records -- which included the albums Misguided Roses and Messenger and the hits "I'll Be" and "I Could Not Ask for More" -- McCain was happy to downsize a bit, releasing his latest effort on the fledgling Nashville label ATC. "It's a lot less of a clusterfuck," McCain says of his new situation. It's a lot less of me having to talk to 25 people before I can go scratch my balls. It's over. All that stuff is done with."
McCain's new creative autonomy has paid off on The Austin Sessions. It's a gorgeous collection of stripped-down songs, some of them new, some of them reworked favorites, plus a few well-chosen covers, including Dire Straits' "Romeo & Juliet." "I was glad I went on that ride," McCain says of his major-label days. "It was definitely a necessary part of promotion the rest of my life. I could never have paid for the amount of promotion and advertising that Atlantic Records did on my behalf. And now that I've survived the advertising phase of my life, I can kind of get on with the musical phase."
With The Austin Sessions, he's off to a great start.