Tim McGraw has been a country music superstar for more than 15 years and mainstream pop star for a decade taking the mantle of crossover king from the semi-retired Garth Brooks and racking up a string of country and pop chart topping albums and sell out tours alone and with his crossover superstar wife Faith Hill.
One of the ways McGraw has topped both charts is heâs not afraid to cross-pollinate his music mixing in crunchy rock, slick soul and big pop ballads with his neo-traditional country and contemporary honky-tonk.
Wednesday night at Blossom McGraw and his longtime band the Dancehall Doctors wowed and wooed a near sellout crowd of screaming women who wish they could touch his chiseled body and urban cowboys who would love to drink a beer with him.
McGrawâs superstar status doesnât stop him from bucking the fairly codified country music system by using his touring band in the studio and recording tunes with rappers and rockers. While many artists have stopped playing soon to be released songs in concert because of camera phones and Youtube, McGraw opened the Blossom show with a solid new song, Still from his next album due in the fall and played three more new songs.
McGraw isnât a particularly animated performer preferring to let his (usually) tight pants and tighter shirt carry much of the visual load. But the singer, wearing loose cargo pants and a tank top, and oozes charisma and gives his nine band mates-some who have been with him for 20 years- plenty of room to elicit their own screams from the audience.
McGraw whipped out hit after hit, spanning his career from 1993âs still politically incorrect Indian Outlaw through to his recent hit If You're Reading This, about fallen soldiers.
In between he hit showed his soulful side with a cover of Eddie Rabbitâs Suspicion, revisited his daddy issues on the new ballad You Had To Be There and on the new rootsy rocker Southern Voices he named checked a slew of southern icons including Dale Earnhardt, Hank Williams Sr., Rosa Parks and Billy Graham.
Blossom is one of the final stops on McGrawâs Live Your Voice tour, but given their energetic performance it seems neither he nor his band seem ready to leave the road.