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Tim McGraw and The Dancehall Doctors

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Album Review

Tim "Outlaw" McGraw has been one of the most consistent of the late-'90s country superstars. Never content to reply on his reputation, he continually pushed at the pillars of the hall that created him, namely Nash Vegas. McGraw's particular gift as an interpreter of other songwriters' works is almost singular among his generation of singers. Not relying solely on production, McGraw uses numerous voices to get to the heart of a song. On this album, McGraw convinced his label and co-producers, Byron Gallimore and Darran Smith, to use his road band, the Dancehall Doctors, to make a more organic and immediate sounding record. It worked. From the stunning opener, "Comfort Me," by Craig Wiseman and Don Poythress, an ancient military sounding snare drum and a bleeding guitar note usher in a tune that is the only non-cloying patriotic song that was recorded after September 11, 2001. It's a hymn equal parts country and Celtic that is an homage to all of those who entered this country by going past the Statue of Liberty and entered the American experience. When he reaches the end, "I am the tired, I am your poor in spirit/yearnin' to breathe, breathe free...," the listener is caught up in the "us" of the song; it's inclusive, and captures in McGraw's prayer for comfort, for deliverance not from something else but to the space that freedom is — defined both individually and collectively — is unique among the country songs that came up after the disaster struck. Interestingly enough, it sets the tone for a record full of romantic archetypes, not only the icon of Lady Liberty, but family ("Home"); the reliving of experience unconsciously ("Red Ragtop"); escape and recreation of oneself ("That's Why God Made Mexico"); the idealization of love as a force in and of itself ("Watch the Wind Blow By", a killer soul-oriented track by Anders Osborne, and McGraw sings the hell out of it); dislocation and the realization that home isn't such a bad place to be ("Sing Me Home"); and others. McGraw closes the record with Elton John's and Bernie Taupin's "Tiny Dancer," and for a verse or so, you'd swear it was the same recording. It's frightening how close to the original it is. Why would anyone try to recreate a song so close to its original version; simple, because they love it. And McGraw's version is gorgeous, soulful, and deep like the rest of And the Dance Hall Kings.

Customer Reviews

One of Country's Best.

What a great album. Not too country, not too rock n' roll. a great mix, which he let's his road band help on. what a great thing, because the insturmentals as well as the vocals are great on the album. The lyrics are mvoing as well as uplifting and fun.One of his best, which hasn't been sold out on the rdaio. Buy the album if you're a Tim fan, of his new or old music. It's a good combination of what tim HAS been doing, and what he IS doing.

His BEST album!!

EVERY SONG is great on this album, you will never once hit the next button on your ipod through this whole album...not too country, love it!!!

This is by far his one of his best!

Everything from "Confort Me" to his remake of "Tiny Dancer" every song just gets to ya. This is an album you can sit on the hood of your truck turn up the volume and watch the sun set


Born: May 1, 1967 in Delhi, LA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

When Tim McGraw debuted in the early '90s, few would have predicted that he would eventually take over Garth Brooks' position as the most popular male singer in country music. Yet that's exactly what he did, thanks to a string of multi-platinum albums, a high-profile marriage to fellow superstar Faith Hill, and Brooks' own inevitable decline. His sound epitomized the strain of commercial country that dominated his era: updated honky tonk and Southern-fried country-rock on the uptempo tunes, well-polished,...
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