Edwin McCain

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

Arms and the Man Presented by Great Lakes Theater Festival at the Ohio Theatre, 1519 Euclid Avenue at Playhouse Square Through March 23, 216-241-6000.
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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