Edwin McCain has no fear | VailDaily.com

Edwin McCain has no fear

Laura A. Ball
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BEAVER CREEK ” The crowd who came to see Edwin McCain at the Vilar Tuesday night didn’t hold back its whistles and applause, in the same fashion the singer/songwriter performs.

Some musicians, incredibly famous musicians at that, perform their whole lives and never really put themselves out there.

Not Edwin McCain.

He’s not afraid to be himself. He’s not afraid to tell a silly story ” or a serious story, make funny faces, or sing straight from his soul.

Aside from his obvious musical talent, that’s what inspired me the most when I walked out of the show. It’s not easy to lay it all on the table like that and just go for it. Especially when you’re not even sure you can get away with it.

The show started out with a number that Edwin compared to the musical equivalent of the Monty Python. Hardly setting the mood for the rest of the show’s melodic ballads and thoughtful lyrics, the band showed it could jam. “And now for something completely different,” he told the audience.

As the set moved back and forth between upbeat and slow songs, I couldn’t help but smile. Edwin and his band were enjoying it and invited the audience to come along for the ride. The power music has over people is still beyond my comprehension, and I fell victim.

He’s like the pied piper. Every story is a song. Every song is a story. He wasn’t bashful about revealing the songs’ inspirations ” like The Grammercy Park Hotel. It’s Edwin’s favorite hotel in New York. He said its decor hasn’t been revamped since the ’30s and he learned that Babe Ruth used to stay there and get smashed. As Edwin sat on the bed, he thought to himself, “what a coincidence.”

Another song was a rebuttal to mean-spirited reality TV. Although he does think “Pimp My Ride” is pretty cool, he said. He liked the episode where they put a fish tank in a car and ensued with a dialogue of what the fish was thinking when he went from living in Pet Smart to living in an Eclipse, arms flapping and all.

Even his talented sax man’s smooth ways inspired him. They used to play at a college bar in South Carolina, and every week a beautiful woman would come and sit in front of sax man.

“I say woman because this was a college bar, and she was a woman,” Edwin told the audience.

One night during one of the sax man’s solos, the woman pulled out a cigarette and before she could light it the sax man pulled out a lighter from his back pocket and lit it from the stage.

“It took me 10 years to get that into a song,” Edwin said.

It was interesting to learn the inspiration for the songs. Some were so beautiful, like the one inspired by two homeless people in New Orleans “amorously engaged in a doorway.” He sheds new light on subject matter.

In a word, Edwin was charming ” a pleasant evening spent, removing me from the life’s chaos for a good couple of hours.

Staff Writer Laura A. Ball can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 619, or laball@vaildaily.com.

Vail, Colorado

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