edwin mccain

During the first full week of February, Mr. Barb and I embark on our 5th journey through song.  For the 2nd year our floating sold-out home is The Pearl.  Almost 2,400 passengers on a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise, with three days at sea and ports-of-call that include St. Maarten & St. Barthelemy.  There are over 40 performers.

Returning Headliners are:  Lyle Lovett , John Hiatt (Lovett & Hiatt will be performing together with Hiatt also performing solo), John Prine , Buddy Miller , Richard Thompson and Loudon Wainwright III .  New on board: Lucinda Williams and Keb’ Mo’.

Other returning acts include:  Shawn Mullins (a 5-time cruiser), Chuck Cannon , Enter the Haggis , David Ryan Harris , Edwin McCain , Holly Williams , Aslyn , Levi Lowrey , Beth Wood , Sarah & Christian Dugas (The Duhks) and Works Progress Administration (WPA) (WPA will include Glen Phillips , Sean Watkins , Sara Watkins,Greg Liesz on pedal steel, and Willie Watson from Old Crow Medicine Show).

New on the journey through song will be: Grammy nominated duo The Civil Wars , Greg Brown , Iris DeMent , The Belle Brigade , James McMurtry , Maia Sharp (who will be performing with Edwin McCain), Rhett Miller (of the Old 97’s) , Joe Purdy , Michael McDermott , Sarah Buxton & Tom Bukovac , Angie Aparo , Winterbloom (Antje Duvekot , Anne Heaton , Meg Hutchinson & Natalia Zuckerman ), Shannon McNally , Ryan Montbleau Band , Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion , Sarah Jaffe , Native Run (a trio comprised of Rachel Beauregard , Bryan Dawley and Luke Brindley ) Bobby Long , and Aurora Belle .

In advance of the cruise, we were able to download 37 songs from the artists scheduled to be on the 2012 voyage.

It’s a treat to see so many returning performers; and like always we will definitely become fans of the new acts on board.  There will be solo performances by members of WPA - Glen Phillips (who will be also, again, be hosting a beer tasting), Sara Watkins, and Willie Watson.  The Watkins Family Hour one evening at Midnight.  A Songwriting Workshop with Shawn Mullins and Chuck Cannon.  Shawn Mullins will be headlining a concert in the main theater (for which, again, we have front row seats!).  There’s Tai Chi, Name that Tune, Bingo, Wine and Beer Tasting, Karaoke, Guitar Workshop and Open Mics with the performers in addition to the shows.  We will start the journey with WPA and can end it with David Ryan Harris: The Band – The First Waltz.

We again chose the earliest headliner seated show time of 6:00 PM; many of the shows are general admission, even in the main theater.  The schedule starts as early as 10 AM and can extend to 1:30 AM.

We expect plenty of sunshine, permanent smiles on our faces, unexpected impromptu collaborations (which is what this journey though song is really all about), and to add to our CD collection.  I’ll have lots of stories to share upon our return via the WYEP Music blog (the lap top is staying home this year).  And we’re packing the sun block to prevent sunburn in the winter.

Barb S.- Sunday Mix Host

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Angie Aparo Anne Heaton Antje Duvekot Aslyn Aurora Belle Beth Wood Bobby Long Bryan Dawley Chuck Cannon David Ryan Harris edwin mccain Enter the Haggis glen phillips Greg Brown Greg Liesz holly williams Iris DeMent James MsMurtry Joe Purdy john hiatt John Prine Keb' Mo' Levin Lowrey Loudon Wainwright III lucinda williams luke brindley Lyle Lovett maia sharp Meg Hutchinson Michael McDermott Natalia Zuckerman Native Run Rachel Beauregard Rhett Miller Richard Thompson Ryan Montbleau Band Sara Watkins Sarah & Christian Dugas Sarah Buxton & Tom Bukovac Sarah Jaffe Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion Sean Watkins Shannon McNally Shawn Mullins singer-songwriters The Belle Brigade The Civil Wars Willie Watson Winterbloom wpa

Sometimes you have to travel 95 miles to see a show.  Edwin McCain, with the acoustic trio, plus one, performed at the Kent Stage, in Kent, OH, Thursday night.

The Kent Stage is one of the best "listening rooms" I've been to over the last couple of years to see some of my favorite singer-songwriters perform including Livingston Taylor and Marc Cohn.  I can now add Edwin McCain to that list.

Mr. McCain was in Pittsburgh in March with his full band.  It was an energetic performance with the songs sounding like what you hear on the CD's with some great jams.  But where Mr. McCain is at his best is when he can tell stories and just let the songs speak for themselves.  The acoustic trio consists of Edwin McCain on vocals and guitar with long time sidemen Larry Chaney on guitar and Craig Shields on saxophone and wind instruments.  A couple of songs into the set a long time friend of Mr. McCain's, Kay Smith from Kent State made the trio a four-some when he came on stage to play percussion. In his early 40's. Mr. McCain is married with three young children at home.  His stories now are more about his family life and how he tries to still look cool driving a sedan to a local coffee shop drive-thru with car seats in the back. Mr. McCain casually walked on stage and began the show with Walk With You. The set included more of the songs that make you think and sound good in a small theater with just a few musicians on stage.  White Crosses, I Could Not Ask For More, Shooting Stars, Sober, and I'll Be were intertwined with stories of Mr. McCain's life with his family, including his mother-in-law. The three song encore started with Mr. McCain on stage alone singing The Lucky One, and ended with all the other musicians joining him on stage one by one on Holy City.

Opening the show was 22 year-old Seth Glier.

He began his 35-minute, 7-song set singing the title track of his latest CD The Next Right Thing acapella. He next performed Walk Katie Home and Gotta Get Away before Pittsburgh musician Brad Yoder joined him on stage to play sax on I Don't Need You and First.  Mr. Glier also tells stories:  living at home in a small town in MA with his parents and taking care of his 26-year old brother Jamie who is autistic.  The young singer-songwriter has been polishing his performance by spending 200 nights on the road each year.  Mr. Glier ended his set with the song he was thrilled to hear on the radio as he was driving into Ohio, Lauralee.  The audience rewarded Mr. Glier with a standing ovation.

Barb S. - Sunday Mix Host

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brad yoder edwin mccain seth glier singer-songwriters

The opening act is the entertainer who performs at a show before the featured entertainer. The opening act's performance serves to "warm up" the audience. The opening act will usually be an up-and-coming performer with a much smaller following than the featured artist.

I attended two shows recently, based upon the opening act.

Sunday night, Luke Brindley was the opening act for Willy Porter. Brindley is a Washington, DC based singer-songwriter, who was making his 3rd visit to Pittsburgh in a span of about 7 months.  He immediately grabbed our attention by playing an instrumental.  During his set he tried out some new material (for a yet un-named "fan funded" CD) along with older material like "Wrecking Ball" and another instrumental "Dervish"; as he alternated playing  his two guitars.

The Willy Porter show was re-scheduled from November (Porter cancelled then due to illness).  I was mesmerized the entire evening by Porter's finger-style guitar playing.   He told stories in a humorous style, took requests, and got us to sing-along.  Brindley did join Porter on a song.

Tuesday night 21-year-old Seth Glier was the opening act for Maia Sharp.  He plays the keyboards and guitar.  He writes his own songs. In this reality TV make a star overnight world, it's refreshing to see a young singer-songwriter doing it the old fashioned way with mature lyrics and a stage presence way beyond his years.  Glier began his short set singing a cappella, showcasing his amazing voice.  Glier also told stories about living with his parents and 99-year-old grandmother in a small town in MA and how it has influenced his writing. Ryan Hommel joined Glier on stage playing guitar and backing vocals.

Maia Sharp immediately caught my attention by doing a new song ("Sorry") that I had just heard her frequent co-writing partner Edwin McCain sing at his recent show in Cleveland.  Sharp also thanked WYEP for their support (applause applause).  She sang quite a few songs from her most recent CD "Echo" with Linda Taylor on electric guitar and backing vocals.  Sharp not only played the guitar, but keyboards and saxophone as well.  She shared songs and stories that she wrote that were sung by Bonnie Raitt and The Dixie Chicks.  Sharp also brought up on stage local singer-songwriter Bill Deasy to sing "Say Anything".  Deasy was aided by a lyric sheet to sing with his long-time friend. Sharp expressed her gratitude for all the fan support over the years and truly seemed to enjoy playing in Pittsburgh.

Barb S. - Sunday Mix Host

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Bill Deasy bonnie raitt edwin mccain luke brindley maia sharp seth glier the dixie chicks willy porter
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