Though still knee-deep in his 2011 “Emotional Traffic” Tour at press time, country superstar and Camping World/Good Sam spokesperson Tim McGraw took a few moments to talk baseball, tailgating, the secret of tender, juicy grilled shrimp—and the duet he’d do in a minute.
TM: I’m a pretty outdoorsy guy and I know a lot of my fans appreciate the outdoors, too – so it just seemed like a natural fit. Given the high quality of the products and resources that Camping World and Good Sam offer, I feel honored to have this opportunity.
HW: Have you ever “tailgated”? Maybe cooked out at home and watched a game?
TM: Yes, I have done plenty of tailgating! It’s a great American tradition and one we try to encourage with tailgate parties before many of our shows. I also really enjoy barbequing at home, chilling with my family and watching a game.
HW: Do you have any special recipes you like to prepare or grill? Any grilling tips you care to share?
TM: I’m from Louisiana, so to me there’s nothing better than sitting around a picnic table, peeling and eating shrimp. I like to grill shrimp with the shells on – it keeps them tender and juicy.
HW: Do you have a favorite Major League Baseball or other sports team that you follow?
TM: Well, my dad, Tug McGraw, played for the Philadelphia Phillies, so I’m a big Phillies fan.
HW: Will you be watching or attending any World Series games?
TM: I probably won’t be attending any of the games, but I’ll be watching as many as I can, that’s for sure.
HW: Do you have a chance to attend any baseball games or other sports events that you enjoy?
TM: My daughters play all kinds of sports, so I like to attend as many of their events as I can.
HW: How did you come to enjoy baseball?
TM: As a kid, I played every sport – baseball, basketball, football. But I really loved baseball and I was fortunate enough to get a baseball scholarship to Northeast Louisiana University.
HW: What caused you to decide on pursing music as a career instead of baseball?
TM: I was always an athlete. Singing was just something I did with the radio or at church until I went to college. I learned to play guitar during my freshman year and by the end of that first summer, I had about 50 songs under my belt. I started playing open mic nights and from then on, I never looked back. I was a big fan of Keith Whitley and when he died in 1989, I sold everything I had and got on a Greyhound bus to Nashville.
HW: Natural disasters are continuing to occur across the country this year: flooding, fires, tornado outbreaks. Have you been participating in relief efforts?
TM: Faith and I both grew up in small Southern towns where people helped each other out when times were tough. So we feel it’s really important to give back wherever we can, whether it’s getting a bunch of friends together for a benefit like last year’s Nashville Rising concert, which assisted flood victims, or being part of a team taking supplies to Mississippi and Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, or giving a relief organization the support they need to be able to respond quickly and effectively to these kinds of natural disasters. (Visit timmcgraw.com/neighborskeeper.html for information about McGraw’s and wife Faith Hill’s charity, the Neighbor’s Keeper Fund.)
HW: You’ve done some well-received duets with your wife and others, including American Idol winner Scotty McCreery, rapper Nelly and actress Gwyneth Paltrow. Who is your “dream duet” partner and what song would you like to record or perform with that person?
TM: Well, it’s no secret that Bruce Springsteen is one of my biggest heroes. If I had a chance to perform any song, anywhere with Bruce, I would do it in a heartbeat.
Camping World and Good Sam are presenting McGraw’s 2011 “Emotional Traffic” Tour. Concert dates and tickets are available at timmccgraw.com.
Enter for a chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip for two to one of McGraw’s 2012 concerts plus a chance to meet the star in person at CampingWorld.com/TimMcGraw or any Camping World location. Details and complete rules are available online and in stores.