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Guitarist Edwin McCain likes to be honest.

"There's a school of thought that in order to be successful a musician has to have an upscale production," he says in his Greensville, S.C., drawl. "I think the trick is coming out and playing the music the way it's supposed to be - true. I mean look at the (Grateful) Dead and Shawn Colvin. They are all unbelievable musicians. And also Bonnie Raitt. She is the testament to the grass-roots mentality that takes years to accomplish. I mean she and Delbert McClinton can go out and play anywhere at any time and people will go see them, just because of who they are. They don't rely on big broad productions to sell their music."McCain and his band - saxophonist/keyboardist Craig Shields, drummer T.J. Hall and bassist Scott Bannevich - will headline the Zephyr, Monday, Feb. 19. Doors open at 7 p.m. Modern folk singer Jewel will open the show.

McCain has been influenced by many things. Music of the aforementioned talents is just a small part of the world from which he gets his ideas.

"I usually take an obscure point of view and eventually tie it in with a universal view," McCain explained about his songwriting.

As a nod to his philosophy, McCain says there are no outside pressures confronting him on the tour.

"I pretty much eliminated those things," he said. "Everything fits into my duffel bag, my girlfriend is in England and I have no home. There is no other priority around but to tour and make music."

The last time McCain stepped into town was as the opening band for the Grateful Dead offshoot Rat Dog Revue - featuring Bob Wier, Rob Wasserman and Vince Welnick.