Singer-songwriter uses music to copeWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
When life was blowing up around him, Edwin McCain found solace in song and wrote “Boom.”
“My mom got ovarian cancer, my wife got breast cancer, and my father got prostate cancer, all within about a six-month window, so it was all kind of piling up. And at the time, my son was injured in an accident. It was one of those kinds of moments where it tests your mettle,” he said.
“We just kind of bonded together, put our backs against each other and stood strong through it all, and that’s kind of what that song’s about. I wrote that line, ‘Love’s when it’s hard’ on a piece of paper in my truck when I was at the hospital, and it ended up being a song.”
“Boom” is on McCain’s 2011 disc, “Mercy Bound.” He worked with friend and songwriter Maia Sharp on the CD, which also features lighter moments, including “Strange Angel.”
“There’s a line about the Virgin Mary on a cinnamon roll. There’s a coffee shop in Nashville that had a cinnamon roll that looked like the Virgin Mary and then they actually ended up shellacking it and sending it on tour around the world. I found that ironic that there was a cinnamon roll that did considerably more touring then some musicians in Nashville,” McCain joked.
The singer-songwriter grew up in Greenville, S.C., and began singing early.
“I think church choir is pretty much like Southern day care,” he said and laughed. “And I sang along to my sister’s records, a lot of Earth, Wind & Fire, a lot of folk music, so that’s where I was influenced.”
It was the late 1990s when McCain’s breakthrough came with “I’ll Be” and “I Could Not Ask For More.”
“We were in a climate of the last hurrah of the music industry, and at the time, all of our cohorts — Dave Matthews, Hootie & The Blowfish, Kid Rock, all label mates — everybody was having huge success, so we were hopeful that that would happen for us and happy when it did,” he recalled. “I’m incredibly lucky and it was really great timing that was involved in the good fortune of our career.”
He’s amazed that the rain continues to fall “angry on the tin roof” with “I’ll Be.”
“How long that song has been on the radio and how it just continues to go and go and go, and how it’s spread to different parts of the world, that’s been the surprise,” he said.
McCain will perform at 8 p.m. July 12 at the Ark in Ann Arbor. Tickets are $20. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
“We’re bringing the full Monty; we’re bringing the full band on this run, so it’s going to be a good time,” he said and laughed.