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Tim McGraw changes Swampstock fundraiser; next one slated for 2008

Tuesday, September 11, 2007 – Tim McGraw's Swampstock will no longer be an annual event with McGraw citing time as the main reason for the decision regarding the charity event held in his native Louisiana. The next Swampstock will be in 2008.

"It's a lot of work to put this event on each year, and I know it's asking a lot of the staff, the volunteers and, of course, the other artists and their bands," said McGraw. "I want to keep the event fresh and important in the eyes of the community - and continue to grow Swampstock. Holding it every other year will help us to achieve those goals."

McGraw started the event in 1994 to raise monies for youth sports in his hometown community of Start, La. As the event grew and enlarged, McGraw expanded the beneficiaries to include college scholarships and regional causes.

Swampstock has traditionally included a celebrity softball game (McGraw's team still looking for its first victory over wife Faith Hill's team) and a multi-artist outdoor concert. Artists and sports celebrities that have generously lent their support over the years in addition to Hill include Martina McBride, Rick Allen of Def Leppard, Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, Rhett Atkins, Jo-el Sonnier, Sons of the Desert, Chris Cagle, Stan Humphries, former baseball player Rafael Palmeiro, the Warren Brothers, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Lori McKenna, Hot Apple Pie and Halfway to Hazard. In 2002, McGraw turned the event into a hugely successful network television special on NBC "Sing Me Home."

In 2006, Swampstock became a part of Neighbor's Keeper Foundation, the charity co-founded by McGraw and Hill. The event has drawn thousands of people each year to the small town of Rayville, La., close to Tim's childhood home.

"I'm thankful that I can give something back to the community and I want to thank everyone who has played a part in making it possible to help so many kids," said McGraw. "We are already underway with plans for 2008."

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Damn Country Music CD review - Damn Country Music
Tim McGraw said of his 14th studio album, "Damn Country Music," "It's is all about passion, (taking him back to 1989) "when I came to Nashville to chase my dreams." Country music has richly rewarded him over the past two decades, and he honors the genre's tradition here. The album gets off to a very traditional start with Celtic folk. The flute and skillful acoustic picking on the opener "Here Tonight" bring a Mark Knopfler tune immediately to mind. »»»
Sundown Heaven Town CD review - Sundown Heaven Town
The banjo comes first out of the speakers, the opening strains of "Overrated," the lead-off song on Tim McGraw's latest. But with a "1-2-3-4" count, the mood changes and goes for a more modern country approach. McGraw does about the same on the follow-up "City Lights" with Michael Landau's steely, but rocking lead guitar taking over near the conclusion as it does later hard on "Sick of Me" where the protagonist contemplates a need to turn his life around. »»»
Two Lanes of Freedom CD review - Two Lanes of Freedom
Tim McGraw's debut on Big Machine, "Two Lanes Of Freedom" is his first record since the announcement that he gave up alcohol five years ago and the first since his acrimonious, litigious split from the only label he had ever known, Curb. The new CD literally and symbolically represents a fresh start. If only the material better reflected his new take on life. What is presented here is about as boiler plate as contemporary country gets. The album is a safe play and takes almost no chances. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Kristofferson gives insight, but no easy answers – When they say music gets better with age, they're not always just talking about songs alone; sometimes they're also referring to the listener. When Kris Kristofferson sings, "Well, I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," to smartly open "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," he... »»»
Concert Review: No sugarcoating, Welch dishes out an experience – Gillian Welch (accompanied, as always, by master guitarist David Rawlings), celebrated her "The Harrow & The Harvest" album with a powerful night of music. She apologized many times for the utter unhappiness expressed through this album's songs, admitting it's "not the most chipper album" at one point.... »»»
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