McGraw and Hill find harmony on duets record
By Kristin M. Hall
In a scene from their Showtime documentary, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are rehearsing for their elaborate Soul2Soul tour, one of the biggest tours of their careers. Hill is on top of the stage singing “Devil Calling Me Back,” while McGraw is at the bottom of an opening on the stage waiting to be lifted up on a platform to join her.
“So Faith is dancing, and I am about ready to get on this [lift], and I hear a whack,” McGraw recounted later.
In the documentary, which comes out today, Hill plummeted backward into the hole in the stage, a 6-foot drop onto her back. McGraw cradled her under the stage, while the crew rushed to her aid. Luckily, she escaped serious injury and was back performing the next day.
“It was a scary, scary moment,” McGraw said. “If she had fallen on her ankle or fallen on her head, it would have broken her neck. If she had fallen any other way than she fell, it would have been a disaster.”
They took the song out of the set list, but Hill is not deterred. “I want to put that song back in,” Hill said. “It’s some of my favorite lighting in the show.”
After 21 years of marriage, the Grammy-winning power couple seems invincible at a new peak in their careers. They released their first duets album, “The Rest of Our Life,” featuring songs written by hit singer songwriters in pop and country including Ed Sheeran, Meghan Trainor and Lori McKenna, and expanded their tour into 2018.
And even though they have had countless duets on their respective albums, this was the first time they literally looked into each other’s eyes as they were recording the album.
“We were side by side in the vocal booth together,” McGraw said.
That physical closeness helped McGraw to push himself vocally, especially on songs such as the title track, which was written by Sheeran. Initially McGraw wasn’t sure he could handle the range of the song, but he nails an impressive falsetto with Hill backing him up.
“He had to tighten a couple of things,” Hill said with a smile. McGraw responds, “Put the clamps on.”
The album is a mix of their singing styles. Hill, who hasn’t put out an album of new music in nearly a decade, delivers flawlessly on the big power pop and soulful anthems such as “Love Me To Lie.” And McGraw brings it back home to his country rocker roots on songs such as “Cowboy Lullaby.”
The songs also touch on the normal cycles of most long-term relationships, from early romance, through the tension and arguments and back to the affirmation of love.
McGraw said there’s always hard work involved in a marriage.
“Your first thought can’t be, ‘Am I supposed to be in this relationship?’” McGraw says. “That’s the last thought that you should have during an argument or a time period when you’re not getting along.”