Tim McGraw Used To Fool Label Executives By Giving Them The Same Mix When They Asked Him To Change His Songs

Tim McGraw country music
Youtube/Apple Music

Tim McGraw was pretty dang sneaky back in the day.

He sat down with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 this week to talk about his forthcoming Standing Room Only album that drops everywhere this Friday, August 25th, and of course, they went way back into his early career too.

Tim talked about the challenges he faced in learning how to speak up for himself in the studio when he was first getting started, and recalled the moment he decided that he was going to start cutting the songs he wanted to, the way he wanted to do it, with his 1994 Not A Moment To Soon album.

He actually recorded, cut and mixed all the songs without his label at the time knowing, and says:

“That was the one that kicked the world open for me.”

That was a pretty bold move, to say the least, for a relatively unknown Tim McGraw at the time, and obviously goes to show the importance of an artist following their gut, so to speak, and not always allowing a record label executive to make every single decision about the music.

Not A Moment To Soon went on to peak at #1 on the U.S. Top Country Albums chart, and produced Top 10 hits like the title track, “Down on the Farm,” “Don’t Take the Girl” and more.

It has since been certified 6X Platinum by the RIAA, so safe to say now, he certainly made the right call with the way he went about creating the record.

Tim and Zane also talked about how the “great people” in the music industry are the ones who support the vision of the artist, but too many of them either don’t know what they’re talking about, or want to feel important, when it comes to having input on the music itself.

Tim says he actually used to pretend to change his mixes for executives after they’d make a suggestion, wait a few days, and bring back the same exact song with no actual changes.

Funny enough, they’d wind up loving it, thinking he had taken their suggestion to “improve” the song.

In hindsight, it’s a win-win, because he clearly knew what he was talking about in terms of the music, and the executives were none the wiser to the fact that he was still doing exactly what he wanted.

And to be honest, it’s kinda bullshit that he had to go about it this way, but it certainly makes for a great story to tell in 2023, nearly 30 years later:

“I’ve done things like you’ll play a mix for somebody, like an executive or something, you’ll play a mix and they’ll go, ‘This really sounds great, but I think if you tweaked it right here and you tweaked it right there and you did a few little tweaks on the mix, it’d be really good.’

And I’d go, ‘Okay.’ So I’d go away and two or three days later I’d come back with the same mix and say, ‘We tweaked it.’

‘We took your suggestions,’ and I’ll play it, and they’ll go, ‘Hot damn, that’s exactly what it needed. Now it sounds great.'”

How damn funny (and brilliant) is that?

That might be my favorite Tim McGraw story I’ve ever heard…

You can listen to their full conversation here, and that particular story starts around the 19-minute mark:

Tim McGraw Announces 2024 ‘Standing Room Only’ Tour Featuring Carly Pearce

Tim McGraw is hittin’ the road.

In support of his 17th studio Standing Room Only, slated to drop soon on August 25th, he’ll hit over 30 cities in North America starting on March 14, 2024.

Carly Pearce will open every single date on the tour named for McGraw’s new record, so it will certainly be a can’t-miss show if they’re going to be anywhere near you, and it’s a pretty extensive run, so they likely will be.

Standing Room Only is co-produced by McGraw and Byron Gallimore, and marks McGraw’s first album since his 2020 Here On Earth record.

Of the live shows and getting back out on the road, Tim says he wants this to be the “biggest and best” tour he’s ever done:

“I always want to deliver the best possible concert I can for the fans. We’ve got some really special plans to make this the biggest and the best tour we’ve ever done.”

Tickets go on sale next Friday, August 4th at 10AM local time.

Standing Room Only tour dates:

March 14 Jacksonville, FL – VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
March 15 Tampa, FL – Amalie Arena
March 16 Orlando, FL – Amway Center
March 21 Des Moines, IA – Wells Fargo Arena
March 27 Vancouver, BC – Rogers Arena
March 29 Seattle, WA – Climate Pledge Arena
March 30 Eugene, OR – University of Oregon – Matthew Knight Arena
April 4 Denver, CO – Ball Arena
April 5 Salt Lake City, UT – Delta Center
April 6 Boise, ID Boise State University – ExtraMile Arena
April 13 Tulsa, OK – BOK Center
April 18 Indianapolis, IN – Gainbridge Fieldhouse
April 19 Milwaukee, WI – Fiserv Forum
April 20 Saint Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center
April 25 Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
April 26 Knoxville, TN – Thompson-Boling Arena
May 9 Belmont Park, NY – UBS Arena
May 11 Wilkes-Barre, PA – Mohegan Sun Arena
May 16 Greenville, SC – Bon Secours Wellness Arena
May 17 Charlotte, NC – Spectrum Center
May 18 Charleston, WV – Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center
May 30 Toledo, OH – Huntington Center
May 31 Chicago, IL – United Center
June 1 Grand Rapids, MI – Van Andel Arena
June 6 Sioux Falls, SD – Denny Sanford Premier Center
June 7 Omaha, NE – CHI Health Center
June 8 Kansas City, MO – T-Mobile Center
June 13 Biloxi, MS Mississippi – Coast Coliseum
June 15 Lexington, KY – Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center
June 20 Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center
June 21 Baltimore, MD – CFG Bank Arena
June 22 Raleigh, NC – PNC Arena
June 27 Phoenix, AZ – Footprint Center

McGraw previously released title track, as well as a new single titled “Hey Whiskey.”

“Standing Room Only”

“Hey Whiskey”

Standing Room Only Tracklist:

“Hold On To It” (Ryan Larkins, Seth Mosley, Jimmy Yeary)
“Standing Room Only” (Tommy Cecil, Patrick Murphy, Craig Wiseman)
“Paper Umbrellas” (Monty Criswell, Drake Milligan)
“Remember Me Well” (Heather Morgan, Jimmy Robbins)
“Hey Whiskey” (Brad Hutsell, Joel Hutsell, Brad Warren, Brett Warren)
“Her” (Jason Gantt, Tim Nichols, Jimmy Yeary)
“Fool Me Again” (Kameron Marlowe, Brad Warren, Brett Warren, Rob Williford)
“Small Town King” (Jaren Johnston, Jenn Schott, Jeremy Stover)
“Beautiful Hurricane” (Mike Lane, Tony Lane)
“Cowboy Junkie” (Bill Luther, Lance Miller, Justin Weaver)
“Nashville CA/L.A. Tennessee (Featuring Lori McKenna)” (Tim McGraw, Lori McKenna, Bob Minner)
“Some Songs Change Your World” (Mark Irwin, Josh Kear, Lance Miller)
“Letter From Heaven” (Chase McGill, Lori McKenna, Parker Welling)

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock