Tim McGraw came armed with brand new music and a whole bunch of talented friends for his headlining gig at the 2009 Music City Jam. The show, sponsored by the Academy of Country Music, kicked off the 40th annual Country Radio Seminar March 4th in Nashville. McGraw, whose last album was a greatest hits package, unveiled seven new songs for the radio industry crowd, which he says is one of the toughest audiences to play. “This is probably the second most nerve wracking thing you can do---besides live TV,” McGraw said shortly before taking the stage. “Playing in front of radio guys is hard because you know they are used to hearing your records, and they always sound better. But, I wanted to do it ‘cause I haven’t done it in a long time.” McGraw says he’s been working on the new album for about a year and a half with his band, The Dancehall Doctors. He expects the album to be released in the fourth quarter, with a new single going to radio at the beginning of summer. “We’ve cut a lot of songs, and now we’re weeding through trying to pick the songs that we like the best and the songs that mean the most,” McGraw said. “When I put an album together I like it to have an evolution through the album. From album to album there’s an evolution, but each album in itself has to have an evolution going on.” Joining McGraw onstage were some of his favorite up-and-coming artists, including Halfway 2 Hazard, Lori McKenna, Lance Smith and his cousin, aspiring singer Catherine Rainey. McGraw’s frequent co-writers, The Warren Brothers, hosted the show. Also adding some excitement to the night was a surprise appearance by Faith Hill, who introduced another surprise appearance by country legend Randy Owen. The newly solo-singer ran through some blistering Alabama classics with McGraw’s band. McGraw, a 15-time ACM Award winner, recently released his first children's book, My Little Girl. His most recent album, Greatest Hits-Limited Edition, debuted at No. 1, adding to his career album sales of 40 million. McGraw also continued his budding film career with a role in the hit holiday movie Four Christmases, costarring with Hollywood heavyweights Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn. McGraw scored his first BMI songwriter award in October for his ode to fallen heroes “If You’re Reading This.”The Music City Jam has become a CRS tradition. Past headliners have included Keith Urban, Toby Keith, and Brad Paisley.BRAD PAISLEY UNVEILS NEW TOURMATES AT ANNUAL MUSIC CITY JAM See photos from the '08 Music City Jam here Brad Paisley used the stage at the 4th Annual Music City Jam in Nashville March 5th to announce his new opening acts for 2008. After wowing the industry crowd with a few of his biggest hits and his keen wit, Paisley welcomed onstage recent country crossover Jewel and newcomers Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough. The three acts will join him on Hershey's Presents The Paisley Party, a 42-city tour that will kick off June 12th with a show in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Paisley's 2007 Hershey's Presents Bonfires and Amplifiers Tour was so successful that it was extended through February 2008. The tour played to over one million fans during a 10 month period in 94 cities. According to Pollstar the tour ended the year #2 in total attendance for country tours. Paisley's fifth Arista Nashville album, 5th Gear, was released on June 19th, 2007 and has already sold nearly a half a million units. Paisley's previous four Arista Nashville albums have all been certified Platinum or Double Platinum, with total sales well in excess of seven million copies. The 4th Annual Music City Jam was sponsored by the Academy of Country Music and United Stations Radio Networks.

Tim McGraw headlines Music City Jam (Credit: Bev Moser)

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