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Tim McGraw, ‘Shotgun Rider’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Shotgun Rider
Big Machine Nashville

With ‘Shotgun Rider,’ Tim McGraw doesn’t deviate much from the pace of his Top 10 hit ‘Meanwhile Back at Mama’s.’ While this song doesn’t include wife Faith Hill, it sounds like it could have. There’s little doubt she was on his mind while he recorded it.

McGraw’s vocal performance is personal. The song’s warmth comes from his vocals, but also the easy shuffle producer Byron Gallimore leans on. ‘Shotgun Rider’ is a reminder that a great love song doesn’t need to be complicated.

“I don’t ever wanna wake up / Lookin’ into someone else’s eyes / Someone else calling me baby / On the other end of the phone,” he sings at the chorus. “A new girl putting on her makeup / Before dinner on Friday night / I don’t ever wanna know no shotgun rider / Beside me, singing to the radio.”

Hillary Lindsey, Marv Green and Troy Verges penned ‘Shotgun Rider,’ the third single from ‘Sundown Heaven Town.’ The song is an example of how the singer, producer and songwriter all need to come together to create beautiful music. They do on this track, with the trio’s second verse being the best:

“Slide, slide over nice and close / Lay your head down on my shoulder / You can fall asleep, I’ll let you dream / Life ain’t nothing but a dream / Don’t wanna be / Cruising through this dream without you.

McGraw’s biggest hits — even the rowdiest of his catalog — always hint at more depth than one sees or hears at first. Give credit to the superstar for that, and use this song — one that doesn’t rely on a particularly original concept, but still shines — as an example.

Key Lyrics: “I don’t ever wanna wake up / Lookin’ into someone else’s eyes / Someone else calling me baby / On the other end of the phone”

Did You Know?: McGraw says he feels all parts of his career are reflected on the new ‘Sundown Heaven Town’ album. ‘Shotgun Rider’ borrows a shuffle heard on early hits like ‘Just to See You Smile.’

Listen to Tim McGraw, ‘Shotgun Rider’

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