(Saguaro Road Records)
Living here in Greenville, SC, I watched Edwin McCain’s rise from local favorite to opener for his friends Hootie and The Blowfish, and onward and upward to become a major star in his own right. All along the way, McCain delivered sensible pop and acoustic rock and scored several hits that made the Top Ten, but until now he has never had the opportunity to explore his one true love. Rhythm and blues. Sweet Southern soul.
Living a long time dream, Edwin has recorded some of the best soulful covers of tunes made popular by the likes of Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Al Green, Wilson Pickett, Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin, to name a few. The true soul thang Edwin has been holding back comes on like gangbusters in tunes like the funky “T.C.B. or T.Y.A.,” “Can I Get a Witness,” and my personal favorite “Grits Ain’t Groceries.”
Along for the ride is one powerful band that includes Eddie Bayers and Ivan Neville, plus special guests Steve Cropper and Joan Osborne. Nobody’s Fault But Mine was recorded live in the studio, so the old school feel is there full tilt boogie. And the horn section rocks.
Joining Edwin on the timeless Otis Redding ballad “I’ve Got Dreams to Remember” is the super soulful Joan Osbourne, who helps to make the song smoother than Tennessee sipping whiskey. McCain joins Otis, Eddie Hinton, Travis Wammack and a few others who have turned out timeless versions of this classic ballad.
McCain and company keep it real with excellent covers of “The Happy Song,” “Some Kind of Wonderful,” “Ain’t Nobody (Gonna Turn Me Around),” “You Don’t Know What You Mean To Me,” “Ninety Nine and a Half Won’t Do,” “Nobody’s Fault But Mine,” “Raise Your Hand,” “Who’s Making Love,” “I Know I’m Losing You,” “Good Times,” and a bluesy slow jam on “I Can’t Get Next to You.”
Just one listen to Nobody’s Fault But Mine proves that Edwin McCain is waist deep in his element, his true musical love. Sweet soul music, filled with funk and rhythm and a whole lot of Southern heart. Excellent.
-Michael Buffalo Smith