In the nearly 15 years since Edwin McCain scored his one major hit with the über-romantic "I'll Be" - which holds the unique/dubious distinction of having Dr. Phil viewers vote it the best wedding song ever written - the South Carolina musician has done just fine with his regular-guy persona and heartfelt, rootsy rock. McCain recently released his 10th album,
produced by friend and sometime-collaborator Maia Sharp. While the disc doesn't break much new ground musically, it has the unpretentious singer-songwriter doing what he does best - creating often-catchy, impassioned Americana-rock tunes with story lines about the usual suspects: love, loss, and redemption. Performing as an acoustic trio, McCain will be joined onstage by saxophonist Craig Shields and guitar player Larry Chaney. Devotees (and road warrior McCain has plenty of them) can expect a mix of old and new, with some Southern soul-infused covers thrown in: Teddy Pendergrass' "Love TKO" and the Temptations' "I Can't Get Next to You" have been recent faves.
- Nicole Pensiero
More than five decades after he came out of South Philly and became an international rock-and-roll star, Charlie Gracie is not resting on the laurels that made him a favorite of George Harrison, Van Morrison, Graham Nash, and many others luminaries. The 75-year-old singer and guitar virtuoso has a new album,
For the Love of Charlie,
produced by Al Kooper and featuring appearances by Nash and Peter Noone. He also has a new single, "Baby Doll," a scorching little rocker (not on the album) that is getting airplay on WXPN-FM and other AAA stations. So here's a chance to see a rock-and-roll original in the flesh.
- Nick Cristiano
As a fiddler, Carrie Rodriguez marries the merry bounce of western swing with the mournful moans of classic country waltzes. As a singer, she favors sultry ballads, although she can be tough and edgy (on Lucinda Williams' "Steal Your Love") as often as she's seductive and wistful (on Townes Van Zandt's "Rex's Blues"). Her musical partnership with Chip Taylor yielded four fine albums, and she's released two excellent albums of covers in the last two years: 2010's quietly powerful
Love and Circumstance,
which featured guitarists Bill Frisell and Buddy Miller, and this year's twangy
We Still Love Our Country,
a series of duets with Irish singer Ben Kyle in classic American country styles. At the Tin Angel on Thursday night, the talented Texan will be accompanied by steel guitarist Luke Jacobs.
- Steve Klinge