OFFSTAGE: Tim McGraw’s Not as Good as He’s Gonna Get

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Some days, the irony of the music business is just too good to be true. Tim McGraw put a big part of his legal trouble behind him Wednesday (Nov. 30) when a court ruled that he is free to go out and shop for a new record label. But right after that ruling was made, his ex-label, Curb Records, released a new McGraw single from his still-unreleased Emotional Traffic album. It’s not a Friday night drinkin’ anthem. Not a cheatin’ song. Not a patriotic God-bless-our-troops ballad. And not a light-hearted love song, either. The song they released is about how McGraw knows how to hold a grudge and can’t count the people he’s let down. And that he is “learning who you been ain’t who you gotta be.” And, “I ain’t as good as I’m gonna get, but I’m better than I used to be.” It’s called “Better Than I Used to Be.” It sounds like it was Curb’s choice to send that particular one to radio, but I have to think that the message in it is exactly what’s on McGraw’s mind right now.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.