Lost In America
Edwin McCain has a romantic soul and a way of investing life’s everyday moments with a poetry all his own. Lost In America, his seventh album, and Vanguard Records debut, is another collection from a man whose career is marked by his talent for delving into the human condition and producing songs of uncommon insight and compassion. “I live my life and I write about it,” McCain said. “I take whatever happens to me between records and spend time thinking and feeling it through, then I draw on the lessons I’ve learned and try to find the music in it.” It’s the same method McCain has used since he first picked up a guitar and decided he wanted to be a wandering troubadour.
Like his past albums, Lost In America is marked by McCain’s finely crafted meditations on the human condition. The music may be more electric than before, but McCain’s sympathetic vocals retain the ability to touch the hearts of listeners and pull them into his stories. “Gramercy Park Hotel,” the first single, is a sarcastic look at the movers and shakers in the entertainment industry, based on a trip McCain took to New York City for a music industry dinner. Its loping groove, sing-a-long chorus and Larry Chaney’s Joe Walsh inspired doubled guitar solo make it instantly memorable. “Black And Blue,” a poignant portrait of a young, troubled, drug addled woman, co-written with Nashville heavy Maia Sharp, features Craig Shield’s sinuous sax work, McCain’s acoustic and Larry Chaney’s funky rhythm guitar fills. Long time friend of the band Bill Mallonee, formerly of Vigilantes Of Love, contributes to “Welcome To Struggleville.” “The song captures the life of a musician,” McCain says. “The long tours, missing your family, all the heartaches and hazards of life on the road.” McCain delivers the surrealistic lyrics in a soulful, anguished tone that intensifies the song’s inherent drama. On the anthemic title track, co-written by McCain and Sharp, McCain’s vocals walk the fine line between hope and despair. The song combines the impulses of Heartland and Southern rock for a tale of America’s blue-collar workers, a population trying to find salvation in a world torn between material pleasures and mind numbing labor. “I was writing in a bar in Florida when this guy plopped down next to me and started spinning his hard luck yarn. The first verse is a paraphrase of his tale and the character took off from there.” “Babylon,” another Mallonee tune, is a brutal song of love gone wrong. It closes the album with an almost heavy metal arrangement, one of the hardest rock performances the band’s ever waxed. Riley’s screaming solo, McCain’s powerful vocal and the pummeling back beat of the rhythm section underlines the bitter frustration of the lyric. “It’s darker, rougher and more aggressive than anything we’ve done before,” McCain explains. “It lets you know what kind of band we are and what we can do live. We wanted to go out with a bang, not a quiet acoustic track like we’ve done on most records.”
Lost in America was recorded at McCain’s OMG Studios in his hometown of Greenville, SC, and produced by Noel Golden (Matchbox Twenty/Lee Ann Womack). “It’s an up-tempo record, shorter … Read More