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McGraw Is Back Two Lanes of Freedom Review

Posted on 05 February 2013 by Bill West

Two Lanes Album CoverTime to break out those iTunes Gift cards you got for Christmas.  Tim McGraw is back in stores.  Two Lanes of Freedom is not a comeback album for Tim McGraw. He hasn’t really been gone. It is a kind of re-birth for the artist who has over 13 albums under his big buckled belt, and three Grammys.

McGraw’s been tussling with his original label home for the last several years so album releases have been slow to come.  Two Lanes of Freedom (out now) gives him a bit of a career reboot.  He has a new deal with Big Machine Records and now his biggest challenge is to keep up with his track record of being one of the biggest album sellers of the past fifteen years.

The album takes the opportunity to be very radio friendly and very commercial country.  Songs like Truck Yeah, Mexicoma, and Southern Girl have a whiff of cheese but they work.  It’s just enough.  Nashville without You sounds like it may have been commissioned by the Nashville Chamber of Commerce with inspiration from Paisley’s This Is Country Music; but , again, it works.   There are very familiar country blue-print songs here too.   Book Of John is a photographic journey into the life of a deceased

Tim McGraw

Photos Big Machine Records

loved one. Annie I Owe You a Dance is like Garth Brooks Unanswered Prayers part two but with unique flavor that will touch his many female fans.  Familiar themes in country but McGraw keeps them fresh.

There are only a few slight artistic stretches on this album for McGraw.  There’s some trombone in Mexicoma and Tpain-esque vocal effects on Southern Girl, and a Phillip Phillips “Home” chant on the uplifting title track.  No ventures into rapping thankfully (although some would argue Truck Yeah is leaning that way).

All in all the album is easy to listen to from beginning to end and sounds even better the second and third listen.  The single One of Those Nights is a proven hit on the radio and songs like Dear John and “Annie” will become favorites for many.

One of the most talked about tunes on the album features a collaboration with Taylor Swift and the guitar licks of Keith Urban.    Highway Don’t Care is a fantastic superstar mash-up that uses Swift’s charm and Urban’s punch to really make a special tune.  Let’s hope all parties agree to give it a go as a radio single.

Tim McGraw will have some fun new material from Two Lanes of Freedom to perform live on tour too.    The title track will get the arena chanting.

The Grade: B+ ( Two Lanes is a solid project fans will love more than critics)

Don’t Miss: Book of John and Highway Don’t Care

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Tim McGraw One Of Those Nights

Posted on 04 January 2013 by Bill West

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Tim McGraw Partners Up with a New Blonde

Posted on 14 December 2012 by Bill West


tim_mcgrawTim McGraw has been experimenting lately.  It’s not that McGraw needed to reinvent himself.  He’s the biggest country star of the last fifteen years.  But he has had some legal tussles with the record label that brought him to the table so he has branched out recently with unique collaborations that allowed him to record under different umbrellas.   His last full studio album on Curb records was a long time in the making and it was released as Emotional Traffic in 2012 to solid acceptance despite McGraw feeling it was long overdue for release.

Next up for McGraw is a new studio album on a new home, Big Machine Records.  Big Machine is also the home to superstar Taylor Swift so it may be no surprise to some that she appears on a special new cut on the album along with Keith Urban called Highway Don’t Care.

The new album, along with a “deluxe” version that includes a live performance of his recent hit “Truck Yeah” is set for a February 5th 2013 release.

Tim McGraw ‘Two Lanes of Freedom’ Track Listing:

Tim Mcgraw album1. ‘Two Lanes of Freedom’
2. ‘One of Those Nights’
3. ‘Friend of a Friend’
4. ‘Southern Girl’
5. ‘Truck Yeah’
6. ‘Nashville Without You’
7. ‘Book of John’
8. ‘Mexicoma’
9. ‘Number 37405′
10. ‘It’s Your World’
13. ‘Highway Don’t Care’ (Feat. Taylor Swift and Keith Urban)

Deluxe Version Includes:

14. ‘Annie I Owe You a Dance’
15. ‘Tinted Windows’
16. ‘Let Me Love It Out of You’
17. ‘Truck Yeah’ Live

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Truck Yeah – New McGraw

Posted on 07 October 2012 by editor

tim mcgraw

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Tim and Kenny Talk

Posted on 07 June 2012 by editor


mcgraw_chesney_concertPEOPLE Country sits down with summer’s hottest touring duo, Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney, who open up about their 21-year friendship.  A decade after they last toured together, the forty-something singers (Tim’s 45, Kenny, 44)  are combining their star power for this summer’s 22-city Brothers of the Sun stadium tour after scoring a hit with their duet “Feel Like a Rock Star” off Kenny’s new CD Welcome to the Fishbowl.  As they gear up for rehearsals, the longtime pals took time with PEOPLE Country to discuss their friendship and touring together.

 

What will it be like to go on the road together again?

KC:  As good of friends as we are, we’ve been on different paths for several years.  To be able to spend the whole summer together and reconnect is awesome.  One of the reasons there’s so much chemistry onstage is that Tim and I both grew up the same way; we both have a lot of the same heroes – George StraitBruce SpringsteenKeith Whitley – and we’re both competitive.

TM:  That’s a good thing.  It makes us elevate our game.

 

How did you two meet?

TM:  Tracy Lawrence and Kenny and I were running around town, playing clubs, when we crossed paths.

KC:  Tim and I met at Mack’s Café, a meat-and-three.  I ate there every day.

 

Where you competitive back then?

KC:  Not really.  Tim already had a record deal, and I was just trying to survive.

TM:  I had a record deal that wasn’t doing anything.  Tracy [Lawrence] had success before either of us, and we both watched him take off.

KC:  To me, Tim had made it.  I remember him telling me when “Indian Outlaw” hit, “If this song doesn’t hit, I might be in trouble.  I might be going back to Louisiana!”  Watching Tim’s success gave me something to shoot for as an artist.

 

What do you most admire about one another?

TM:  Kenny’s focus.  He’s very smart and has a grasp of the details of the things he wants to accomplish.

KC:  In being that focused and driven, you struggle with balance.  Tim has put out great songs, put on great shows, branched out into the movies, but he has a family, and he balances both worlds.  I can’t imagine how tough that is.  I mean, I just got a dog and I thought I was going to have an anxiety fit.  That’s just a dog!

TM:  Well, I appreciate that, but I have to step in and say my wife [Faith Hill] is the reason it’s balanced, not me.

 

Has Faith ever tried to fix Kenny up?

KC:  I don’t think Faith wants to be involved in that – she wouldn’t want to disappoint anyone!  There was one time she said, “Kenny, don’t you want a couple of these?” meaning kids.  And it was like, “Yeah…maybe…one day…”

TM:  Don’t wait too long, man!  You’ll be like Larry King!            (Cover StoryPage 52)

Much more on Tim and Kenny, including an exclusive photo of Kenny’s new dog, Pancho, is featured in the July 2012 issue of PEOPLE Country, which hits newsstands nationwide on Friday, June 8th.

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Country Song Reality For Chesney

Posted on 09 March 2012 by editor


chesney mcgraw

Brothers In The Sun

Singer-songwriter Kenny Chesney scores his 23rd # 1 single this week with “Reality,” which he co-wrote with longtime writing partner and friend Brett James. Their previous collaborations include the chart-topping “Out Last Night,” the Top 10 “Keg In The Closet,” and “Spirit of A Storm,” from Chesney’s introspective ‘Lucky Old Sun’ album.

The idea for “Reality” was born in a dentist’s chair. Chesney says, “I was lying in the chair, I had the mask on, you know, where they give you that funny gas, so they can work on your mouth without you feeling it, and I remember thinking, ‘Wow, I haven’t been this relaxed in a long time.’ That was my escape from reality and that’s what the song is about. And when people come to our shows, they’re not thinking about what’s going on in their job or school, they’re having fun, escaping reality and I’m glad to be a part of that. I say it every night on stage we all got problems but for the next couple of hours, let’s push them aside and relax. That’s how I feel about it!”

Chesney leads the Academy of Country Music Awards pack with 9 nominations including Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year (Hemingway’s Whiskey as both artist and producer), and Male Vocalist of the Year. He also earned double nominations for Single Record of the Year and Vocal Event of the Year as both artist and producer for “You And Tequila” with Grace Potter.  Chesney is also nominated for Song of the Year for “You And Tequila” with Grace Potter.

On June 2, The ‘Brothers of the Sun ‘Tour starring, Chesney and Tim McGraw, kicks off in Tampa, FL. The tour marks the first time in 10 years the longtime friends have hit the road together and features Grace Potter & The Nocturnals and Jake Owen. The tour will play stadiums across the country and are the only cities and venues Chesney will play in 2012.

‘Brothers of the Sun ‘ Country Tour Dates:

Sat. June 2 – Tampa, FL – Raymond James Stadium

Sun. June 3 – Atlanta, GA – Georgia Dome
Sat. June 9 – Dallas, TX – Cowboys Stadium
Sun. June 10 – Kansas City, MO – Arrowhead Stadium
Sat. June 16 – Philadelphia, PA – Lincoln Financial Field
Sat. June 23 – Nashville, TN – LP Field
Sun. June 24 – Charlotte, NC – Bank of America Stadium
Sat. June 30 – Pittsburgh, PA – Heinz Field
Sun. July 1 – Cincinnati, OH – Paul Brown Stadium
Sat. July 7 – Chicago, IL – Soldier Field
Sun. July 8 – Minneapolis, MN – Target Field
Sat. July 14 – Anaheim, CA – Angels Stadium
Sat. July 21 – Denver, CO – Sports Authority Field at Mile High
TBA – Indianapolis, IN – Lucas Oil Stadium
TBA – Cleveland, OH – Cleveland Browns Stadium
Sat. August 11 – East Rutherford, NJ – MetLife Stadium
Sun. August 12 – Washington, DC – FedExField
Sat. August 18 – Detroit, MI – Ford Field
Sat. August 25 – Foxboro, MA – Gillette Stadium

 

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Emotional Traffic from Tim McGraw Review

Posted on 16 January 2012 by editor


Tim McGraw and his longtime record label have been squabbling for quite a while on the release of his final studio album for the label.   McGraw has said in interviews that he handed off the finished product to Curb back in 2010 but had been sitting on it.  In fact Tim conducted his entire Emotional Traffic Tour waiting for the release.  He’s already moved on to a new Tour with Kenny Chesney.

In November 2011 a court lifted an injunction on McGraw freeing him to record elsewhere… prompting Curb to finally release the album “Emotional Traffic” Produced by Byron Gallimore (and McGraw) January 24th 2012.

Interesting to see early copies of the CD stickered with the Tim quote, “My Best Album Ever.”

Is it his best ever? Probably not.  But he once again completed a solid piece of work. Country fans will be happy to finally get their hands on the number one “Felt Good On My Lips” and a new radio single “Better Than I Used to Be.” “Better Than I Used to Be” is probably the strongest real country song in a while from McGraw who has a knack for working in a pop vibe in most of this album.  In fact Ne-Yo makes an appearance on one track.

Still can’t accuse him of trying to cross over.    Similar to earlier McGraw Album “Let It Go” there’s plenty of steel and country perspective in songs like “Die By My Own Hand” and the just silly enough “Touchdown Jesus.”  In fact, after a few listens “Touchdown” is quicly becoming a favorite.

“Right Back Atcha Babe” ventures into a different and jazzy vibe and “One Part Two Part” brings background vocals from Faith for a warm beachy sound.

Tim has a writing credit only on the track “I Will Not Fall Down” along with the Warren Brothers and Martina McBride.   It’s one of the most powerful songs in the collection.

Overall, “Emotional Traffic” will be an album McGraw fans will want to have although it’s not likely to get the kind of new release publicity without Tim playing along.

Grade: B

Download: “Hey Now” another jazzy fun hit with crossover potential

Delete:  “Right Back Atcha Babe”  for a bit too much cheese.

Emotional Traffic Track Lising:

Emotional Traffic

Emotional Traffic - Curb Records

1. “Halo”   4:57
2. “Right Back Atcha Babe”  4:51
3. “One Part Two Part”   3:32
4. “I Will Not Fall Down”  4:35
5. “The One”   3:52
6. “Better Than I Used to Be” 3:22
7. “Touchdown Jesus”  4:04
8. “The One That Got Away” 4:44
9. “Felt Good on My Lips”  4:08
10. “Hey Now”   4:15
11. “Only Human (feat. Ne-Yo)”  3:52
12. “Die By My Own Hand”   5:07

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Colt Ford Tour and Every Chance CD

Posted on 15 April 2011 by Bill West


Colt Ford Album

Every Chance I Get

It’s no secret that Average Joe’s Entertainment’s Colt Ford is the epitome of the fan-driven revolution of the traditional music industry. In just three years, he is nearing double-platinum digital single sales, has reached over 500,000 in album sales, performed over 500 dates, and garnered his first Academy of Country Music Awards nomination for Vocal Event of The Year for single “Cold Beer” (feat. Jamey Johnson). Showing no signs of slowing down in 2011, the grassroots country phenomenon will release his third studio album, Every Chance I Get, to digital realms and stores nationwide on May 3, 2011.

The album’s debut radio single and opening track, “Country Thang,” features co-writer and Billboard #1 Songwriter of 2010 Dallas Davidson on vocals as well as a special album-only version with Eric Churchas guest vocalist. Written by Ford and the so-called “Peach Pickers” of Music Row– Davidson, Rhett Akins, and Ben Hayslip, the release is Ford’s fastest rising radio single on the Country Billboard andMediabase charts. On April 22, the music video for the song will debut worldwide on CMT andCMT.com during their Big New Music Weekend.

Every Chance I Get was produced by Shannon HouchinsJayson Chance and Phivestarr Productions – Houchins and Chance also partnered with Ford for his 2010 Top 10 release, Chicken And Biscuits—and will feature guest vocals from Tim McGrawEric ChurchLuke BryanCharlie DanielsJosh Thompson, and more (full track listing below).

As a songwriter, Ford is most proud of the album’s song “She Likes To Ride In Trucks” which he wrote and included for his 16 year-old daughter, Annesly.

“I wrote this song for my daughter. She’s 16, coming of age, and I’m not the man in her life anymore, her boyfriend is. She wants to do her own thing, chase her own dreams, and she doesn’t need me as much as she used to. Whenever I do this song live, it’ll choke me up. It’s about real life, and real life is hard sometimes,” said Ford.

Ford also co-wrote “Work It Out,” “Waste Some Time,” “This Is Our Song,” “What I Call Home,” “Overworked and Underpaid,” and album stand-out, “Twisted” (feat. Tim McGraw).

Performing over 200 shows in both 2009 and 2010 on tour with Jason AldeanHank Williams Jr., as well as headlining his own theater and club dates, Ford will likely top that number in 2011 in support of his new album.

Every Chance I Get track listing:

1. Country Thang f/ Eric Church

2. Work It Out f/ Luke Bryan

3. Waste Some Time f/ Nappy Roots and Nic Cowan

4. Do It With My Eyes Closed f/ Josh Thompson

5. This Is Our Song f/ Danny Boone of Rehab

6. Titty’s Beer f/ Trent Tomlinson

7. She Likes To Ride In Trucks f/ Craig Morgan

8. Pipe The Sunshine In f/ Tyler Farr

9. Every Chance I Get

10. What I Call Home f/ JB & The Moonshine Band

11. Overworked & Underpaid f/ Charlie Daniels

12. Skirts & Boots f/ Frankie Ballard

13. Twisted f/ Tim McGraw

Colt Ford’s Upcoming Tour Stops:

April 14, 2011 Birmingham, AL

April 15, 2011 Monroe, LA

April 16, 2011 Colfax, LA

April 21, 2011 Tupelo, MS

April 22, 2011 Pensacola, FL

April 23, 2011 Biloxi, MS

April 28, 2011 Battle Creek, MI

April 29, 2011 Grand Rapids, MI

April 30, 2011 Flint, MI

May 1, 2011    Richmond, KY

May 5, 2011    Laurel, DE

May 6, 2011    Watchung, NJ

May 7, 2011    Bradford, VT

May 12, 2011  Baltimore, MD

May 14, 2011  Eutawville, SC

May 20, 2011  Charlotte, NC

May 21, 2011  Greenville, SC

May 28, 2011  Brookfield, OH

June 3, 2011    Cleveland, GA

June 4, 2011    Danville, VA

June 5, 2011    Rossville, GA

June 10, 2011  Poplar Bluff, MO

June 11, 2011  Kearney, MO

June 16, 2011  New Berline, IL

June 17, 2011  Ebensburg, PA

June 18, 2011  Roanoke Rapids, NC

June 19, 2011  Decatur, AL

June 23, 2011  Fort Smith, AR

June 24, 2011  Little Rock, AR

June 25, 2011  Tulsa, OK

June 26, 2011  Des Moines, IA

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Country Strong Soundtrack Details

Posted on 29 September 2010 by Bill West


gwynyth

Paltrow Country

Nashville, TN – The original motion picture soundtrack to the feature film, Country Strong, is set to release on October 26, and the complete list of artists and songs has been announced today. Film stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Garrett Hedlund, and Leighton Meester all contribute tracks to the collection, with one song each from Hedlund and Meester and four songs featuring Paltrow, including the title track single – at country radio now – and “Me and Tennessee,” a duet with McGraw, written by Paltrow’s husband, Chris Martin.

In addition to the film stars, the participating artists include (in alphabetical order) Trace Adkins; Ronnie Dunn; Sara Evans; Faith Hill; Patty Loveless; Hank Williams, Jr.; Lee Ann Womack; and Chris Young.

With the soundtrack album produced by Randall Poster and Shana Feste, the collection also benefits from the work of some of Nashville’s finest producers behind each song, including Chuck Ainlay, Kenny Beard, Tony Brown, Nathan Chapman, Byron Gallimore, Jay Joyce, Michael Knox, Frank Liddell, James Stroud, and Luke Wooten, with a self-produced track by Ronnie Dunn. Tim McGraw, who serves as album executive producer, also teamed with Gallimore and A. Martin to co-produce “Me and Tennessee.”

Along with the release of the full album on October 26, fans can now own the digital single for Paltrow’s “Country Strong,” which released today, and features background vocals by Vince Gill and Patty Griffin.

The motion picture will be released in theatres in Los Angeles and Nashville on December 22 and nationwide on January 7.

In album sequence, below is a complete list of songs, artists, songwriters, and producers featured on the soundtrack:

Gwyneth Paltrow – “Country Strong”
(Jennifer Hanson/Tony Martin/Mark Nesler)
Produced by Byron Gallimore

Chris Young & Patty Loveless – “Love Don’t Let Me Down”
(Marv Green/Troy Olsen)
Produced by James Stroud

Sara Evans – “A Little Bit Stronger”
(Luke Laird/Hillary Lindsey/Hillary Scott)
Produced by Tony Brown

Garrett Hedlund – “Chances Are”
(Nathan Chapman/Lori McKenna/Liz Rose)
Produced by Frank Liddell and Luke Wooten for Carnival Productions

Lee Ann Womack – “Liars Lie”
(Sally Barris/Morgane Hayes/Liz Rose)
Produced by Frank Liddell and Chuck Ainlay for Carnival Productions

Ronnie Dunn – “She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinkin’ Double)”
(Wayne Carson Thompson)
Produced by Ronnie Dunn

Gwyneth Paltrow – “Shake That Thing”
(Mark Irwin/Josh Kear/Chris Tompkins)
Produced by Byron Gallimore

Hank Williams, Jr. – “Thirsty”
(Dallas Davidson/Rhett Akins/Brett Eldredge)
Produced by Michael Knox

Faith Hill – “Give in to Me”
(Billy Falcon/Rose Falcon/Elisha Hoffman)
Produced by Jay Joyce

Trace Adkins – “Timing Is Everything”
(Natalie Hemby/Troy Jones)
Produced by Kenny Beard

Leighton Meester – “Words I Couldn’t Say”
(Gregory Becker/Tammi Kidd/Steve Robson)
Produced by Nathan Chapman

Gwyneth Paltrow – “Coming Home”
(Bob DiPiero/Tom Douglas/Hillary Lindsey/Troy Verges)
Produced by Byron Gallimore

Tim McGraw and Gwyneth Paltrow – “Me and Tennessee”
(Chris Martin)
Produced by Byron Gallimore, Tim McGraw, and A. Martin

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Gwyneth Gone Country

Posted on 26 July 2010 by Bill West


Paltrow McGraw

Paltrow and McGraw in Country Strong

Nashville, TN – Today, country radio stations have begun receiving the dynamic new single, “Country Strong,” sung by Gwyneth Paltrow, who stars as singer Kelly Canter in the upcoming Screen Gems film, Country Strong. The song, which features Vince Gill and Patty Griffin on background vocals, is the first single from the original motion picture soundtrack to Country Strong, set for release October 26 on RCA Nashville.

Hear it now on the Boot here

Additional information on track listing and participating artists will be forthcoming.

The motion picture, Country Strong, will arrive in theatres on December 22, starring Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Leighton Meester, and Garrett Hedlund.

gwynyth

Paltrow Country

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