Tim McGraw serves up new genre-twisting LP Sundown Heaven Town
Since his debut in the early '90s, Tim McGraw has taken over Garth Brooks' position as the most popular male singer in country music. His sound epitomizes the commercial country that dominated the era from updated honky tonk and Southern-fried country-rock to well-polished, adult contemporary-tinged pop ballads. McGraw’s latest album, Sundown Heaven Town, is no exception. First single ‘Meanwhile Back At Mama's’ featuring wife and fellow country superstar Faith Hill, is currently No. 7 on the Mediabase Country radio airplay chart, and follow up single, ‘Shotgun Rider,’ is described as midtempo song with a “cool, confident melody that feels tailor-made for a road-trip mixtape,” states a review by Radio.com.
“[‘Shotgun Rider’] is one of those songs that really paints a picture and sets a mood,” says McGraw in a press statement. “In my mind, you look over and see the person that you love next to you sitting in the front seat, and you think, ‘How good do I have it? Life is perfect.’ There is a certain warmth to this song and several others like it that really establish the tone for the whole album.” McGraw previously recorded a song called ‘Shotgun Rider’ on his 2007 album, Let It Go, but the current single is a new song the Grammy-winning artist premiered earlier this year on The Tonight Show.
Sundown Heaven Town captures a “distinctly country and a distinctly McGraw sound,” reads a press release from the artist’s Big Machine Records label. The album co-produced by McGraw and longtime collaborator, Byron Gallimore, is available as both a 13-track standard edition and 18-track deluxe version. “This album is very encompassing of everything that I’ve done in my career,” says McGraw. “I think it’s a good microcosm of what my 20 or so years in music have been, in a lot of ways. You can certainly hear parts of my career throughout all of these songs, as well as the future and where my music is headed.”
McGraw says the title of the new album is about not doing what you have to do, but starting what you want to do. “I picture a little town, like the one I grew up in,” he says of the album's picturesque title. “It's late in the afternoon. Sunset. Maybe some kids are playing baseball, and their family members are in the stands. You're at the point where the working week has given way to the weekend. That's my idea of sundown in heaven town.” From the banjo riff that kicks off the opening track ‘Overrated’ to the digital percussion that pushes ‘Lookin' For That Girl’ into pop-influence territory, Sundown Heaven Town is a typical Tim McGraw mix of old and new.
McGraw continues to distinguish himself as a country superstar unafraid to release new music as often as he wants “I feel like I’ve got a lot of music in me and that's part of the reason why this album is so soon after the last one and why I wanted to start sharing it with everyone as soon as I could," continues McGraw. "I’m excited about where music is gonna take me and where I’m gonna take my music." McGraw is touring U.S. venues in support of Sundown Heaven Town through Nov. 8.
Watch Tim McGraw and wife Faith Hill in the official music video for ‘Meanwhile Back At Mama's’ off McGraw’s 13th studio album, Sundown Heaven Town.
As A Matter of Fact…
* Samuel Timothy McGraw was born May 1, 1967, in Delhi, Louisiana. The son of star baseball pitcher Tug McGraw never knew until years later that the ace hurler was his father as the result of a brief affair. He was raised in rural Start, La., and grew up listening to a variety of music including country, pop, rock, and R&B.
* McGraw attended Northeast Louisiana University on a baseball scholarship, studying sports medicine and performing as singer-guitarist around the local club circuit. McGraw dropped out of college in 1989 and moved to Nashville, singing in local clubs for a couple years before landing a deal with Curb Records in 1992. His debut single, ‘Welcome to the Club,’ appeared on a 1993 self-titled debut album that failed to chart.
* McGraw found some early success in 1994 when the Top 10 country single ‘Indian Outlaw’ became a novelty hit off second album Not A Moment Too Soon. Follow up single, ‘Don't Take the Girl,’ topped the country charts and reached the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. The album spawned three more country hits on its way to selling more than five million copies, topping both the country and pop album charts to become the best-selling country album of the year.
* In 1995, McGraw's superstar status was assured when the album All I Want yielded the No. 1 smash single ‘I Like It, I Love It’ as well as a handful of other hits. McGraw supported the album in 1996 by opening for Faith Hill, whom he married following the tour.
* McGraw has released 13 studio album, including 11 for Curb Records and two on the for Big Machine label. Ten of his albums topped the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, and his studio catalog accounts for more than 50 singles—25 of which have reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs or Country Airplay charts.
* Tim McGraw owns three Grammys and 10 or more awards from the Academy of Country Music, Country Music Association, and American Music Awards. His Soul2Soul II Tour with Faith Hill is also the highest grossing tour in country music history—and one of the Top 5 among all music genres. McGraw has also starred or appeared in the films The Blind Side, Friday Night Lights, The Kingdom, Four Christmases, Flicka, and Country Strong.