DIARY - 11 JUNE 2007 - TIM MCGRAW CD REVIEW
REVIEW - 2007
LET IT GO (CURB-SONY-BMG)
grab my old guitar/ I'll take a pencil from a jar/ open up a bottle of
90 proof and write a song for you/ like Kristofferson would do."
- Kristofferson - Anthony Smith- Reed Nielsen.
Taylor Swift scored her debut hit at 17 with her single Tim McGraw
she struck a familiar chord and continued that time honoured tradition
of name checking heroes and heroines.
The schoolgirl from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, soared to fame when
her music was streamed more than 14 million times on My Space and
Tim McGraw sold more than 500,000 digital downloads.
The song also became the CMT breakthrough video of the year.
Now McGraw, 40, has joined the song name game by including a new song
called Kristofferson on his 11th album.
McGraw didn't write the song - it came from the pens of prolific writers
Anthony Smith and Reid Nielsen.
Tim and co-producers
Byron Gallimore and Darran Smith, also leader of his studio-road band
The Dance Hall Doctors, have a knack of picking hits from grateful peers.
Ironically, the song that breaks the country pop mould here on his 11th
album is Train #10 that McGraw wrote with Warren Brothers Brad
& Brett who played a low key gig at the Continental Café on
their Australian promo tour in the nineties.
It chugs along with a driving rock rhythm and becomes refreshing roughage.
McGraw said he writes plenty of songs but doesn't like most of them enough
"Every now and then something comes up that I co-wrote that I really
like," he said.
"I think the older I get as an artist, there are more avenues I want
Last year, for the first time, he released a song he co-wrote, My Little
Girl, - from the soundtrack of his movie, Flicka.
The movie soundtrack has been released on Style Sonic - a label created
by McGraw and Gallimore.
also features singer-songwriter Lori McKenna who wrote the new McGraw
tune I'm Working with bluegrass artist Darrell Scott - writer of
some Dixie Chicks' hits.
McGraw opted for Big Kenny Alphin of Big & Rich to provide his first
hit single Last Dollar (Fly Away).
McGraw and Gallimore also chose a little nepotism with their offspring
- daughters - singing on the final chorus.
"You know, Big Kenny wrote it, and when Big Kenny gave me the CD
of it and I was listening to it over and over and over," McGraw revealed.
"The girls were just singing it every time they heard it. They'd
tell me to play the demo. I think they liked Big Kenny better than they
do me. But I just thought it was cute, and they did a great job on it."
And, of course, McGraw's singing spouse Faith Hill - mother of three of
those divas - also duets on the obligatory love ballad I Need You -
penned by David Lee and Tony Lane.
McGraw mixes booze on Whiskey And You, death on Nothin' To Die
For, ruptured romance and other country staples on a disc that also
has an Australian connection in its finale - Shotgun Rider.
of three co-writers is Australian born singer Sherrie Austin who was
also known here in her homeland as actress Sherry Kren who opened
for Slim Dusty as a 12 year old while living in Townsville.
The Tasmanian born singer also appeared as a teenager with Jason Donovan
in the mini series Shadows Of The Heart.
In more recent time she impressed New York critics in her starring
role in a limited run of stage show The Ballad of Bonnie &
Her last album was Streets of Heaven in 2003.
This Shotgun Rider is not the same song as the Johnny Slate-Larry
Henley-Jim Hurt tune that was recorded by singing actor Joe Sun in
1979 and a year later by veteran Texan Delbert McClinton.
is highly reminiscent of the Ed and Patsy Bruce song Mamas, Don't Let
Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys - an historic hit for Waylon &
But McGraw does include his own take of Suspicions - the song the
late Eddie Rabbit topped charts with in the eighties.
Rabbit wrote it with his producers David Malloy and Even Stevens and writer
McGraw also adds to the publishing royalties of The Warrens and Dierks
Bentley's producer Brett Beavers by including their tune Between The
River And Me.
Beavers is also Nashville producer of the belated third album by expatriate
Australian Catherine Britt.
MCGRAW CD REVIEW - 2003
TIM MCGRAW - DRUGS OR JESUS
reading street slang for dummies/ cause they put pop in my country/ I
want more for my money, the way it was back then." - Back When
- Jeff Stevens-Stephony Smith - Stan Lynch.
has long imitated art for superstar couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.
Their huge success earned them and peers a lucrative by-product -
movie and TV roles.
Hill, 37, landed a part with Nicole Kidman and Glenn Close in The
Stepford Wives and McGraw joined little mate Billy Bob Thornton
in Friday Night Lights that debuts this month.
It's based on the H.G. Bissinger book about the true story of the
1988 Permian High School Panthers in Odessa, Texas.
Tim, also 37, plays Charlie Billingsley, an alcoholic former gridiron
star abusive to his player son, Don.
late father Tug was a baseball star who split with his wife before Tim
see it as difficult to play," McGraw says. "In fact, I thought
it would be easier to play than any other character I could find. We all
have that side to us, and I think it's fun to explore that side to yourself,
and especially knowing people growing up that I had seen react in those
ways at high school football games and baseball games. I thought that
I could really put a face on it."
Tim also plays a sheriff in Black Cloud, written and directed by
actor Rick Schroeder.
Such perks are no surprise in a nation where county music on the radio
is a right not a privilege - the fate Australian artists suffer.
Slim Pickens, you could pun if you saw Shotgun Willie's bus driver in
Although Tim is not a prolific writer he teamed with The Warrens for sessions
on location in Connecticut with his singing spouse who swapped old wives'
tales with Kidman.
THE WARREN BROTHERS
None made McGraw's 16 track seventh album, Live Like You Were Dying
But The Warrens, who once played the now defunct Continental Café,
scored with Blank Sheet Of Paper.
McGraw's success, with 27 million albums sold, ensures hit writers including
Texan troubadour Bruce Robison who played the Prahran venue with Kelly
Willis - mother of their twins and elder son.
Robison, who penned McGraw hit Angry All the Time, and bluegrass
buddy Darrell Scott penned ruptured romance requiem Old Town New
- on a disc kick started by a Robert Johnson echo before Hank Jr style
entrée How Bad Do You Want It.
McGraw's slick style may not be a patch on Bocephus but his radio friendly
vocals ensured his first single - the title track - topped charts for
So how did Tim and Faith choose the Tim Nicholls-Craig Wiseman tune?
McGraw says he stepped into the shower and Faith cranked the stereo, playing
the demo three times in a row.
So when he stepped out of the shower, he told her Live Like You Were
Dying would be the first single.
It's easy to see why - it's a stone country song about a man in his early
forties who is diagnosed with a terminal illness making the most of life.
"I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing/ I went two point
seven seconds on a bull named Fumanchu."
A stark contrast to bi-polar pain of Kill Myself and domestic violence
in Walk Like A Man.
McGraw covers many bases - Steve Bogard-Rick Giles' Can't Tell Me Nothin'
finds a motor-bike wrecking narrator taking different forks in a road
to salvation saga Drugs Or Jesus and Rodney Crowell's Open Season
On My Heart.
Do You Want Fries With That is a deft touch on the new man taking
everything - a sibling of Just Be Your Tear and maybe Everybody
With 16 songs are there criticisms?
Well, Back When is a shameless refry of Merle Haggard spoof When
A Buck Was Still Silver.
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