Edwin McCain (January 20, 1970)
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Edwin McCain was born in Charleston, South Carolina. McCain decided to learn the guitar at the age of 15 and joined his first band two years later. He went on to enroll at the University of South Carolina, but was kicked out after he was caught streaking across campus. McCain subsequently spent the next few years touring as an independent musician until he was signed to Atlantic Records and released his major label debut, Honor Among Thieves, in 1995.
Commercial success came with McCain's second major label album, Missguided Roses
, released in 1997. The album spawned the hit single, "I'll Be." Over one million Dr. Phil viewers voted this the greatest wedding song of all time. McCain told us
that "I'll Be" was not intended as a love song, but was instead a "kind of a Hail Mary prayer."
Edwin McCain once opened for LL Cool J. McCain told Heavy.com
it was the worst gig he ever played: "That was a disaster. I played three songs and got the hell out of there. They were not huge fans."
McCain is open about his past battles with alcoholism. During our interview, Edwin told us fear of being dropped from his record label lead him to drink: "I was in a place where everything that I had dreamed about in my whole life was kind of falling apart. I was not dealing with that information in a healthy way. I was drinking and following a course of action that would be described as self-destructive."
McCain is a keen runner. The musician explained to Runners World why he took up the sport: "I found myself in poor health after thirteen years of touring and I think, like a lot of people, just kind of got to a point where I was like, 'Man, this is ridiculous, I'm 32 years old and completely out of shape' and that's not the way I envisioned it to be." In 2004, Edwin McCain participated in the 35th Annual New York City Marathon.
McCain used to host a show on Sirius Satellite Radio where he interviewed the likes of Phoebe Snow and Poison front man, Bret Michaels.
Edwin is the co-founder of Euphoria, a four-day food, wine, and music festival which takes place in Greenville, South Carolina. McCain told EventBrite.com
why he started the event: "A friend of mine in Greenville is a restaurateur, and, obviously, I'm a musician. We were both trying to find a way to benefit local charities and showcase Greenville as an up-and-coming Southern city. We got our heads together and thought, instead of doing festivals separately, let's do one festival dedicated to food and music. Since then, we've had chefs from all over the world come join us, as well as musicians such as Shawn Colvin and the Zac Brown Band. We always include local talent in the festival, as well. That's part of our drive – to take locally-grown talent, and coach and build them up."
McCain frequently works alongside renowned singer-songwriter, Maia Sharp, who has previously collaborated with the likes of Cher
, Trisha Yearwood and Art Garfunkel. Sharp is credited with 12 different roles (from "Composer" to "Wurlitzer") on McCain's 2011 album, Mercy Bound
. In our interview, McCain said of Sharp: "She challenged me as a songwriter since the day we met. She has a hard and fast rule: the way that she writes and her approach to song writing is based on the fact that if you don't follow an idea to its greatest conclusion, then it's disrespectful to somebody who would have. And I never thought of it that way when I met her. I very selfishly looked at songwriting and said, 'The first answer is usually the correct one.' The first idea is usually the right one. And that's kind of a lazy way of doing it, and an egocentric way of looking at it...And by challenging each other in that way and being slightly adversarial in the way that we song-write, we've gotten better."
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