It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out what constitutes the perfect Tim McGraw song. Or should it?
His career hit, “Live Like You Were Dying,” made a sweeping statement about life. “Indian Outlaw” and “I Like It, I Love It” were lighthearted ditties. “Back When” revolved around wordplay. “Just To See You Smile” and “I Need You,” a duet with wife Faith Hill, were love songs. “Southern Voice” is essentially a laundry list of ideas built around a central theme.
OK. Maybe it isn’t so easy to figure out the perfect Tim McGraw song. As it turns out, Tim can’t really put his finger on what works best for him, either. “It’s different every time,” he told The New Orleans Times-Picayune. “I don’t know. I never know. That’s why I have to listen, because I don’t know what I’m looking for. I know what I’m feeling, and where I’m at in my life and the kind of songs that I want to do. But sometimes that goes out the window when you find a song that has nothing to do with any of those things that you’re thinking and you just love it.”
Fortunately for him, Tim has access to a lot of songs. When you’ve been making hits for more than 15 years, songwriters tend to send you the best material they’ve got, and Tim’s able to run through volumes of titles every time he gets set to do an album. As a result, he’s confident that the 12 titles on his current album Southern Voice are the biggest pluses on the project.
“The strongest things are the songs, and my band, and the weakest thing’s me!” he laughed. “You hear great songs and great playing, but you have to trudge through my singing to get to the songs. Other than that, I think it’s a great album.”
The album went gold in January, and Tim’s had plenty of travel time since then to seek out songs for a future release. He’s in the midst of his Southern Voice Tour, and he sandwiched shooting for the movie Love Don’t Let Me Down. He’s also found time to throw the ceremonial first pitch before a minor-league baseball game last week in Tulsa and to attend the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction in New York with Faith.
One more thing on Tim’s to-do list: He’s part of the cast of the indie movie Dirty Girl, along with Dwight Yoakam, Milla Jovovich, Mary Steenburgen and William H. Macy. The film is already in production.