How Tim McGraw Is Country’s Superman

On Taking the Listener Through the Scene

At first, the cowboy hat was kind of his superhero cape. It was what Tim McGraw relied on to help get him into the character of Country Singer.

“I’m shy, so in the beginning of my career I put the cowboy hat on,” McGraw told Delta Sky magazine. “Stepping up in front of the microphone, it was a different persona. It was almost like developing a character. It’s like Superman’s cape.”

McGraw also admits that he likes universal themes in the songs he cuts, even if they aren’t who he is. He’s just the messenger. “And I’m not up there preaching. But art is the social conscience of everything we do, and I’ve tried to do it subtly in some ways, I’m not up there telling you what to do,” he said, “I’m just delivering the message.”

The thought process he goes through, he says, is that every song is a mini movie.

“I want to take the listener through the scene. So I’m trying to picture that I’m sitting at a bar with somebody, and I’m telling him a story about this guy I know,” he said.

And as for his Soul2Soul world tour with his wife Faith Hill, it sounds like McGraw didn’t take one minute of it for granted.

“This may be the final time (the fans will) care about this, so we can’t ignore the gravitas of what we’re doing right now,” he said, adding that when he’s under the stage getting ready to go on every night, he’s listening to the walk-out music and thinking, “God, I don’t know if I’m going to find it tonight, is it going to come?”

“And Faith and I look at each other and we sort of fist bump,” he said, “and as soon as that thing starts coming up and you hear it, (then) alright there it is. It’s here.”

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