Tim McGraw has had a lot of hits… 54 Top 10 hits and 35 Number Ones, to be exact. But unfortunately for Jimmy Fallon, none of them are called “Dem Smurf Bastards” or “I Strongly Dislike Trucks.”
The country superstar and Tonight Show host sat down for a one-on-one interview to discuss two decades’ worth of beloved McGraw tunes. And let’s just say whomever did Fallon’s prep work has a unique sense of humor. (Watch above.)
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon was just one of several outlets for the singer to debut new music from his Sundown Heaven Town album before it hit stores this week. While he just released current single “Shotgun Rider” to radio in late August, he’d already performed it on the NBC show back in February. The feel-good love song is one of several tracks from the new project that McGraw tested out on various TV shows and on tour.
“It’s just the nature of where we are with music now,” the Louisiana native tells Rolling Stone Country. “Everybody wants to hear stuff; everybody buys singles — more than they do albums anymore. Everybody wants to know what’s going on in an artist’s career. It’s a way to lead up to the album and give them a glimpse of what’s coming.”
It also gives McGraw a glimpse of what’s working. It’s a rare fan who wants to hear a brand-new, unreleased song at a concert, so positive reaction to new material is like a crystal ball to the country charts.
“To play new stuff in the middle of everything else and not lose any momentum, that’s when you can tell,” says the singer. “When it falls in with the songs that are hits and still feels like you’re playing a hit, then that’s what it feels like when a song is going to work.”
Sundown Heaven Town is the country star’s 13th studio album. “Shotgun Rider” follows the heartwarming Faith Hill duet, “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s,” which is up for CMA Musical Event of the Year at November’s awards ceremony.