The Austin Sessions
(ATC Records)

This South Carolina-raised singer-songwriter has matured a great deal since his 1997 radio smash “I’ll Be,” and his growth shows on this mostly acoustic album. Included on his sixth release are original songs (“Little Girls” is reminiscent of Mellencamp in his “Jack and Diane” heyday) and cover tunes (like Dire Straits’ “Romeo & Juliet”) that take McCain’s music to another level. To get the full effect of his performing, check out the live DVD also being released.