“That’s how it’s done, right there!” Tim McGraw exclaims halfway through a stripped-down, backstage performance of “How I’ll Always Be,” performed with help from McGraw’s touring band and the song’s co-writer, Chris Janson.
Filmed in the tile-covered bathroom of an anonymous arena, the video below shines a light on the power of good acoustics, better songwriting and the connection between two chart-topping solo artists. Friends since the early 2010s, McGraw and Janson have collaborated both onstage and off, with Janson co-writing McGraw’s 2012 tribute to honky-tonk and horsepower, “Truck Yeah,” and McGraw returning the favor by guest starring on Janson’s “Messin’ with Jesus.” They’ve made cameos during each other’s concerts, too, although the new “How I’ll Always Be” video highlights what happens before showtime.
Backed by mandolin, vocal harmonies, cardboard box percussion and the trebly thwack of multiple acoustic guitars, the two singers trade verses throughout the song, with McGraw chiming in during the instrumental breaks with encouragement for his friend.
Before the year ends, McGraw will play Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina on December 29th for the Belk Bowl Fanfest. In April, he and wife Faith Hill will launch their joint Soul2Soul tour in New Orleans.