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Edwin McCain 

With Jeffrey Gaines and Oval Opus. Thursday, March 20, at the Odeon.

Edwin McCain
  • Edwin McCain
On his new album, The Austin Sessions, guitarist-vocalist Edwin McCain titles one song "I Want It All," but in fact he's not nearly so greedy. After a terrific run on Atlantic Records -- including 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 promoting the rest of my life. 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.

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