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From the Country Standard Time Archives

McGraw delivers, but is that the rap?

Tweeter Centre, Mansfield, Mass., June 26, 2004

By Maxine McPherson

MANSFIELD, MA - Can rap and country music co-exist? It seems they can given the number of country performers that are including rap and hip/hop in their shows this year. The latest seems to be Tim McGraw.

McGraw's show including rock based Big & Rich and the Warren Brothers as well as rapper Cowboy Troy.

The sold out crowd of some 20,000 McGraw fans, responded politely to the 20-minute set performed by the Warren Brothers and dutifully got to their feet when exhorted to do so by Big & Rich and Cowboy Troy during their hit song "Horse of a Different Color"."

However, the audience was clearly waiting for McGraw to appear - and he didn't disappoint them. Looking buff in a black tank top and tight jeans that showed his bulging muscles, McGraw had everyone on their feet with the first chord.

Mixing new hits from his latest album with past hits, McGraw moved the show along with only occasional breaks in the music. Fan favorites were "Watch the Wind Blow," "Red Rag Top," "I Like It, I Love it" and "Indian Outlaw."

During a short acoustic set, McGraw introduced a song from his album due Aug. 24, "My Old Friend." He dedicated the song to a childhood friend who is an army chaplain just returned from Iraq. While McGraw made a point of explaining that he wasn't making a statement about the U.S. involvement in the war, the photos of the Iraq war supplied by the chaplain and shown on screens scattered across the stage told a different, somber story.

The concert was good, low-key and simple, typical of McGraw and his music. However, you have to wonder why someone would take a beautiful song like "She's My Kind of Rain" and have rapper Country Troy perform it? First, Chesney with Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker singing country tunes and now a country song turned into rap. Is this necessary?