In his record-shattering career, Tim McGraw has sold over 40 million albums, and dominated the charts with 30 Number One singles. Since the release of his debut album in 1993, he has won three Grammys, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards, 11 Country Music Association Awards, and 10 American Music Awards, while simultaneously maintaining a parallel career as a successful actor.
Now, with the release of Southern Voice-his tenth studio album, and his first in over two years-Tim McGraw is extending his achievements even further. Recorded with his longtime producer, Byron Gallimore (Faith Hill, Sugarland), the disc's twelve songs represent a new level of depth and intensity for the singer from the small town of Start, Louisiana; they tell unforgettable stories of lives lived and lessons learned, and reveal a man staring down what it means to be a father, a husband, a Southerner.
Among the territory explored by McGraw on Southern Voice is aging and mortality and the relationships between parents and children. These concepts aren't new for the man behind "Live Like You Were Dying," but they continue to add weight and perspective over time.
Of course, not all of Southern Voice is such serious business. The album's first single, "It's a Business Doing Pleasure With You," is a cranked-up lament about the financial tolls of romance. The title track, meanwhile, is nothing less than a modern anthem, an irresistible celebration of the joys and contributions of the American South.
"It reminded me of songs from earlier in my career," McGraw says. "Something like 'Down on the Farm'-it has those kind of sentiments, but said in a more mature, more lived-in way. It says a lot without you realizing it's saying it to you."
One of the world's most beloved live performers (on their historic 2006-2007 Soul2Soul tour, he and his wife, Faith Hill, performed for over two million fans), McGraw will support Southern Voice with an extensive tour in 2010. First, though, he needs to fulfill some commitments for his career on the big screen, including a co-starring role in The Blind Side, with Sandra Bullock.
Since his widely-acclaimed performance in 2004's Friday Night Lights, McGraw has also appeared in Flicka (2006), The Kingdom (2007), and Four Christmases (2008)-as well as hosting Saturday Night Live, a rare honor for a singer in any genre.
All of Tim McGraw's experiences-as a singer, an actor, a husband and father-culminate in his work on Southern Voice. These songs offer the perspective of a man who has lived a full life and always stayed just a bit under the radar while steadily racking up multi-platinum honors ("I like going out and quietly slaying dragons," he says.) He has recorded some of the hits that define country music over the last fifteen years-classics like "Just To See You Smile," "I Like It, I Love It," and "It's Your Love" (which was voted CMT's top video of all time)-but he still seems to operate entirely on his own terms.