McCain's new creative autonomy has paid off on The Austin Sessions. It's a gorgeous collection of stripped-down songs, some of them new, some of them reworked favorites, plus a few well-chosen covers, including Dire Straits' "Romeo & Juliet." "I was glad I went on that ride," McCain says of his major-label days. "It was definitely a necessary part of promotion the rest of my life. I could never have paid for the amount of promotion and advertising that Atlantic Records did on my behalf. And now that I've survived the advertising phase of my life, I can kind of get on with the musical phase."
With The Austin Sessions, he's off to a great start.