Steve McClain
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Steve McClain

Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Band Pop Adult Contemporary


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"Newtown Falls native finds enlightenment in Nashville"

March 24, 2005
One of the best things about being a musician living in Nashville is that everyone is a musician. It's a city full of like-minded people with the same goals and aspirations.
The worst thing about living in Nashville is - well, everyone is a musician, which means a club doesn't have to pay much - or anything - for acts when there are dozens of others who gladly will take their place.
Newton Falls native Steve McClain called his six-month stint so far in Nashville "enlightening,'' more for his musical education than his bank account.
"It's really tough to make money here,'' McClain said during a telephone interview from his day job at a music store. "I was kind of a full-time musician in Ohio, gigging and making money, but paying gigs are tough to find around here.''
The 1988 Newton Falls High School graduate comes home this weekend to play songs from his third CD, "One Shoe on the Highway'' in a free concert at 7 p.m. Saturday at Borders Books and Music in Niles.
The CD features a dozen tracks written or co-written by McClain that display a knack for melody as they mine the Americana/roots music genre.
One thing that distinguishes McClain from the like-minded acts that fill the pages of No Depression magazine is the instrumentation. While McClain's guitar and vocals are front and center, the viola of Matt Schildt frequently serves as a counterpoint to the rhythm guitar.
Schildt, who still lives in Kent, will join McClain for Saturday's performance, which also will feature selections from his first two discs, "lemonadestand'' and "Born in Captivity.''
While chance encounters with George Jones linger in the memory more than any professional break throughs during his time in Nashville, McClain doesn't have plans to come home permanently any time soon. And he believes there's a growing audience for Americana or alternative country, simply based on the number of folks trying to get attention playing it in Music City USA.
"It's huge down here,'' McClain said. "There's so many people doing it. With everything being owned by Clear Channel or Viacom, radio is like Wal-Mart. Everything sounds the same wherever you go. But there are niches forming, either through Internet radio or wherever for people who want this kind of music.''
- By ANDY GRAY Tribune Chronicle


one shoe on the highway: 2005

"Without You" featured on Lightning 100 in Nashville
"Passing Trains" played in regular rotation on 91.3 The Summit in Akron for over one year

lemonadestand: 2002

Born In Captivity: 2001



One Shoe On the Highway: a mystery for the modern age, indeed. But the new album by Steve McClain is no mystery. "one shoe on the highway" is a collection of personal and melodic acoustic rock songs composed within the span of year that are both upbeat and edgy and quiet and contemplative.

Influenced greatly by Lennon/McCartney, Croce, Simon, Mellencamp and Taylor, Steve's music has been compared to modern singer/songwriters such as David Gray, Five For Fighting and Grant-Lee Phillips.

Originally from Kent, Ohio, Steve relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, and released the much-anticipated CD, "one shoe on the highway" in early 2005. Produced and engineered by Robert Felmly, Jr. of SC Records, the album is 12 tracks of original music featuring long time partner Matt Schildt on viola, violin and piano. "I think that since these songs were all written during a relatively short amount of time, it lends a certain continuity to the whole record," McClain says. With introspective lyrics and modern singer/songwriter instrumentation, the album is a mix of sparsely orchestrated neo-folk tunes and radio friendly acoustic rock songs. "one shoe on the highway" also features the first collaborations of McClain and Schildt on the intimate guitar/vocal/piano track "Around" and the instrumental "Prelude to Ubiquity." Akron radio 91.3 The Summit began spinning the single "Passing Trains" in December 2004. Steve's music is also heard on the specialty shows Just Plain Folk and Anything Goes, which in the past have featured such artists as Janis Ian, Fairport Convention and the English folk/rock group Equation. Also in 2005, the track "Without You" was featured on Lightning 100 Nashville's Progressive radio; voted the number one radio station in Nashville eleven years in a row.

Music from McClain's current and previous albums (Born In Captivity: 2001 and lemonadstand: 2002) has been heard on WAPS in Akron, WKSR in Kent, internationally in Belgium, Germany and Taiwan in addition to being spotlighted on a compilation CD showcasing the best of Akron/Cleveland artists, entitled Bandwidth 2.0, sponsored by 91.3 The Summit in Akron in 2001.

In 2006, Steve was featured on the Northeast Ohio independent music program, Random Acts of Music on Time-Warner cable. Additional appearances followed, including a music video for the new song "Disappear In Nashville" produced by Henry J Productions in cooperation with Summit Broadcast. Archives of the show can be seen on channel 1111 on Time Warner cable/Ohio On Demand and "Born In Captivity", "lemonadestand", and "one shoe on the highway" are available online at, Apple iTunes, Sony Connect, MusicMatch, Rhapsody, select Borders Books and Music stores and Time Traveler music in northeast Ohio and at all shows.