There's something about Tim McGraw and traffic.
The unofficial king of country -- or certainly a member of the royal family -- is just coming off his 2012 album "Emotional Traffic" with a soon-to-be-released single "Truck Yeah" from his new album, "Two Lanes of Freedom." It's his first release for Big Machine Records.
"A lot of artists can tell you how they feel," said McGraw in a statement, "but when somebody can tell you how you feel, and you didn't know it or couldn't put it into words, that's the goal. What you want to do as an artist is let someone discover how they feel from your music, in a really visceral way, from the inside out."
McGraw's fans aren't at all shy about telling him how they feel. At the last few D.C. area shows the crowd, which skewed heavily toward women and their teenage daughters, lasciviously apprised McGraw's performance in loud shouts to the stage.
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McGraw seemingly loved it, prancing and primping before the crowd. But the multiGrammy and every-other-kind-of-award winning singer, who released his debut in 1993, isn't just another pretty face.
"I feel like I've progressed in my work, and I've gotten better," said McGraw. "On my last album, "Emotional Traffic," I was discovering some new sounds and new things that I wanted to do, scratching the surface of the direction I wanted to head. This album was a way to reach a little further back, to all that I'd done throughout my career, and bring both sides together -- it's a combination of that discovery, along with some rediscovery."
He's sure had plenty of time for that. McGraw has famously changed major parts of his life -- from his management to his record company -- in the past few years. That overhaul clearly prompted him to take a long look back at his career and reassess his goals. He put those reflections into his new music.
"I've always gone in the studio and tried to make the best record I could possibly make," he said, "but to come into a situation where there's some weight lifted, some refreshment going on, you can feel that in the music. I think you can feel the horses gallop on this record, and where I might go and what I might do when my engines are revving."