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Think Country Team review Tim McGraw Shotgun Rider


The Country Team are a diverse lot, but what we all have in common is a love of music. We though it would be interesting to see each others views on Country albums, so here are our thoughts.

New year, new McGraw and a funky new track from his new album.  “Lookin’ For That Girl”  was a contentious opener,  with the single getting a lot of negative feedback on Twitter and Facebook, but personally I loved it.    From the opening few bars and later backed by a stylish James Bond inspired video, this was indeed new McGraw.   Yes, there are hints of auto tune here and there,  but listen to it again with fresh ears and underneath it’s a simple country story of looking for love.   Could it have been a calculated plan to appeal to a younger audience?  Do young people still listen to Tone Loc?  Or was he dipping a toe in the water to see whether he could add different styles of music to avoid going stale?   They did release an AM radio mix, stripping away the more modern finery, but whatever the case the song is a brave introduction to the album plus I’m a sucker for songs that contain their album name.    Interestingly, despite the perceived bad reception,  the single actually had to be pulled by the record company so they could release the follow up such was the success of “Lookin’  For That Girl”.


Listening to The album, the track Sick Of Me so far has become the most stand out track for me. Tim McGraw has such a unique sound and style yet this track reminds me of something Darius Rucker would also cut. Its a very catchy track with a sad story of regret and wanting to change. I highly recommend giving it a listen.


My track choice is ” Portland Maine“…..

Such a simple arrangement compared to the other tracks, this acoustic heartbreak song is about the end of a relationship.

A strumming guitar is complemented perfectly by a steel, and that’s all that’s needed so the listener can concentrate on the lyrics and Tim’s great vocals .

He is obviously a real “hometown boy”, not prepared to leave and not even interested in finding out where his partner is heading. He doesn’t want a long-distance relationship, and says they both know she won’t be coming back.

And to be honest, I can’t blame her, he can’t love her that much if he isn’t prepared to make any compromises!!


My favourite track off the CD: Shotgun Rider

This song says everything that I feel about my amazing wife, Heidi.

“I don’t ever want to wake up,
Lookin’ into someone else’s eyes
Another Voice calling me baby
On the other end of the phone”

These lines sum up my feelings perfectly. She is MY Shotgun Rider, and always will be.

The song has a great ‘summery’ feel to it, and makes me think about driving across America with the top down on the car, and the radio cranked up! It gives me the same feel-good factor that ‘Sun Daze’ by Florida Georgia Line does.

Paul nicholson —

Although already released and probably the most known to country music fans of all the tracks featured on Tim McGraw’s Sundown Heaven Town record, my favourite is definitely Meanwhile Back at Mama’s. This song created a highlight for me during last year’s CMA Fest, as wife Faith Hill joined Tim onto the stage to really recreate what Tim & Faith’s vocals prove what the song is all about; reminiscing on your childhood memories and really feeling ‘at home’. This track takes me back to another McGraw favourite, Just To See You Smile – with a similar soft sound, I am always more inclined to enjoy these songs than some of the heavier produced tracks also featured on Sundown Heaven Town.


Words Are Medicine

Having previously only checked out the single ‘Shotgun Rider’, and duet with wife, Faith Hill, ‘Meanwhile Back At Mama’s’, I had to immerse myself in the record before I could fairly pick a favourite track. I chose ‘Words Are Medicine’because I adore the lyrical message behind it.

“When I’m black and blue,

I’m broken and bruised,

I hear your voice again,

Words are medicine”

From the astronaut to the people who are hooked on coca-cola and cocaine, the track visits people from both sides of the fence so to speak. It sends out a uplifting message that while peoples actions can break you, words from a significant other can heal you.

It hasn’t quite made me a fan of McGraw, but nevertheless I love this song and everything it stands for.


My choice is ‘Diamond Rings and Old Bar Stools’

This was a tough choice for me, as I have been a Tim McGraw fan for many years. I chose this song as I love Tim’s vocals on this track, Its a story of how some things just don’t go together, however much you want them too…..

It ain’t like midnight and cigarette smoke
It ain’t like watered down whiskey and coke
I guess some things just don’t mix like you hoped
Like me and you
And diamond rings and old barstools

Track Listing


City Lights

Shotgun Rider


Diamond Rings and Old Barstools

Words Are Medicin

Sick of Me

Meanwhile Back At Mama’s

Keep On Truckin’

Last Turn Home

Portland, Maine

Lookin’ For That Girl

Still On the Line




Annette Gibbons
Hi, I’m Annette, I have been a huge country music fan since the early 90s those were the days we were lucky enough to have CMT in the UK. I enjoy nothing more than listening to country music whilst having a cold beer (or a moonshine) with friends. I try to as many gigs as I can here in the UK and in the USA; I think of Nashville as my second home and I am lucky to have made some amazing friends in Tennessee. Think Country is something I am very proud of, I just want to share my love and passion of all things country music related with you all.
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