OFFSTAGE: Tim McGraw Sings to You, Not at You

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

Only a very well-established country singer would say he doesn’t want to record just hit songs. That’s what Tim McGraw said during an interview for the cover story in the new issue of Billboard magazine . “I hear hits every day. I pass on songs all the time that I know are hits. But I don’t want to just do hits,” he said. I think what he meant was — and I could be wrong — that he wants to do some songs that he loves but that may not be big radio hits. He also talks about how there are so many great songs floating around in Nashville, he has trouble narrowing them down. And how once he gets to the recording process, he likes to do things a certain way. “I try to be subtle in what I do. I like it to be dark in the studio when I’m doing vocals. I don’t have any lyrics to look at, and I try to picture me sitting there on a bar stool right across from somebody, me just talking to them, trying to get a message across,” McGraw said. “There’s a difference between singing at you and singing to you.”

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