Tim McGraw, Faith Hill Unveil Soul2Soul 2007 Tour

Jeep's Sponsorship Tied to Couple's Own Love Story

What started 11 years ago as a Tim McGraw and Faith Hill love story has been parlayed into the sponsorship of the stars’ upcoming tour. The husband-and-wife team unveiled the specifics of their Jeep Presents Soul2Soul Tour 2007 Wednesday (March 7) at a press conference at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville.

The 34-date tour begins June 6 at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb., and concludes Aug. 10 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Cal. It will include six performances in western Canada and marks the first time the two have worked together there.

Visitors entering the Hall of Fame during the press conference may have puzzled over the red 1978 CJ6 Jeep parked at the entrance and cordoned off by ropes since there were no explanatory signs attached.

But inside, Hill explained it all. She said that in March 1996, when she and McGraw were in State College, Pa., on their first tour together, he borrowed the Jeep and took her for a romantic drive. “It was the time we decided we were definitely going to make a life together,” she recalled.

“You can add the details,” she continued, turning to McGraw, who looked to be reliving the moment. “There’s not too many details I want to add,” he leered. He did note, however, that Hill had traced down this very same Jeep and bought it for him as a birthday present “a couple of years ago.”

Speaking of the upcoming tour, McGraw joked, “I can’t wait to get out there and see everybody and read the bad reviews. “He pointed out that, “This is my 20th year of playing on the road, including the times with a van and a trailer. It feels like I’m a kid again when I do this.”

Hill said that she and McGraw will use the same staging this year that they did last, a setup that enables them to be close to virtually everyone on the floor or in the lower stands. “It’s a phenomenal piece of art,” she declared. “There’s so much more we can do with it.”

“The whole set list we’re going to change,” McGraw added. “But there are certain songs you have to do or get run out of town.”

Looking toward their incursion into Canada, McGraw remarked offhandedly, “Those people are crazy.” Then, realizing he might be misunderstood, he qualified, “I mean crazy in a good way. They’re crazy, wild and colorful. How’s that?”

“I’ll let you get out of that one,” said Hill. “I’ve had my share,” evidently referring to her perceived dissing of Carrie Underwood at last year’s CMA awards.

Soul2Soul 2006 remains the bestselling country tour on record, even outgrossing concurrent tours by Madonna and the Rolling Stones. “You want everybody to do good,” said McGraw of their competition. “You just want to do better.”

Here’s the Soul2Soul 2007 lineup:

June 6, Omaha, Neb.; June 8, St. Paul, Minn.; June 11, Salt Lake City; June 13, Portland, Ore.; June 14, Tacoma, Wash.; June 16, Vancouver, British Columbia; June 19, Edmonton, Alberta; June 21, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; June 22, Winnipeg, Manitoba; June 25, Toronto; June 27, Ottawa; June 29, Cleveland; June 30, Philadelphia.

July 5,Boston; July 7, Washington; July 9, East Rutherford, N.J.; July 11, Detroit; July 13, Chicago; July 17, Pittsburgh; July 18, Columbus, Ohio; July 20, Greensboro, N.C.; July 21, Atlanta; July 24, Sunrise, Fla.; July 25, Tampa, Fla.; July 27, Biloxi, Miss.; July 28, Lafayette, La.; July 29, Dallas; July 31, Denver.

Aug. 3, Phoenix; Aug. 4, Las Vegas; Aug. 6, Sacramento, Calif.; Aug. 7, Fresno, Calif.; Aug. 8, San Jose, Calif.; and Aug. 10, Anaheim, Calif.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.