Ever-creative Edwin McCain lights the Lamp Theatre in Irwin |

Ever-creative Edwin McCain lights the Lamp Theatre in Irwin

Rex Rutkoski
David McClister
Edwin McCain

Creativity is mysterious says that most creative of artists named Edwin McCain.

“I have no idea where it comes from. My best guess is the energy people send out daily in our secular lives builds up like storm clouds,” the South Carolina native explains. “We send out all this energy, whether it’s good or bad, until eventually it’s big and black enough to fire off a bolt of lightning. Whoever that bolt hits writes a great novel or song or screenplay to account for that energy out there. People gravitate to the arts to assimilate their feelings.”

The veteran singer-songwriter brings the quality results of his own 10-album body of creativity to the Lamp Theatre, Irwin, March 11 for an evening of songs and stories.

Hailed as the “great American romantic” by the New York Times, he is best known for two of his hits, “I’ll Be,” which he penned, and “I Could Not Ask For More,” the Diane Warren song he first recorded and which was part of the 1999 soundtrack for “Message in a Bottle” starring Kevin Costner.

Both songs have been staples of what McCain refers to as “wedding season,” and he says he views them as a gifts that keep his artistry in the spotlight, a calling card of sorts enabling him to show curious audiences what else he can do.

It doesn’t hurt either that, in addition to couples choosing them for their wedding, “American Idol” and “The Voice” contestants, including “Idol” winner Nick Fradiani, turn to his ballads each season to try to wow judges and fans alike. Justin Bieber has been known to belt out “I’ll Be” during his own concerts.

“I just try to be as honest with the music as I can be. I hope we offer enough of a diversity and enough of a change people will find it kind of refreshing,” he says.

He is looking forward to his Irwin performance.

“There are times when we are playing that it feels like something is going on that is beyond your abilities. The whole is much more than the sum of its parts,” he says. “There are moments when you feel like the music is playing you, and you are just along for the ride. I think that’s why musicians play. When it happens, it feels like the ground drops off and you’re free falling. It’s pretty miraculous.”

The point of music, he suggests, is to bring communities and ideas together. Music really lives, he says, “in the ability to change things for the better.”

McCain is also trying to do that in another arena. He now is host of the “Flipping Ships” television show on Animal Planet.

It features his Boats Have Souls , a restoration company dedicated to bringing life back to vessels and customizing them for new owners.

“We started the business to put good boats into good families’ hands by restoring them in ways that might otherwise be financially out of reach,” he says.

Rex Rutkoski is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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