Backbeat: Tim McGraw, Scott Borchetta, Big Machine Host CMA Week Halloween Party
Backbeat: Tim McGraw, Scott Borchetta, Big Machine Host CMA Week Halloween Party

mcgraw Tim McGraw hosted a Halloween night party to debut tracks off his new album Two Lanes of Freedom.

Big Machine Records threw an invite-only party for Tim McGraw on Halloween night in Nashville for him to preview his new album, Two Lanes of Freedom.

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"Thank you for being here and for listening to one of my favorite bands, The Mavericks," McGraw welcomed the attendees, who had just been treated to a 30-minute set by the salsa/country band. "I'm not going to talk too much, because I want to just play music for you."

Publicist Richard Wootton of Richard Wootton Publicity in London was in town for CMA Week and dropped by McGraw's show. "I've always liked music from Nashville but (it seemed) never enough acts come to Europe," he said.

neyo McGraw duets with Ne-Yo, with whom he recorded a song for his new album.

"Right now that seems to be changing. Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Brad Paisley, all have been there or are coming again. It's great, it makes sense to us. It works overseas especially if they are willing to come over and support the album with their presence."

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McGraw sang most of the tunes from the new CD as well as songs like "Felt Good on My Lips," "Red Rag Top," "Something Like That" and "For a Little While." He explained that the tune "I Can Fly Like An Eagle" was their attempt to recreate the era of the Eagles, and he called Ne-Yo out to duet with him on his tune, "Only Human." Ne-Yo then announced that Nashville songwriter Luke Laird had produced one track on his upcoming album, R.E.D.

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"I believe in the cross pollination of music," Ne-Yo said. "Luke definitely crossed R&B with country, and I wouldn't have done this song without Tim singing it with me."

borchetta McGraw with label chief Scott Borchetta.

The two then launched into their duet, "She Is," which will be on R.E.D., due out November 6.

"I love having all the events together -- the CMA Awards, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC -- it feels like a community," said Fletcher Foster, manager of the Mavericks and Randy Owen. He also likes the fact that people come from music centers in the U.S. and around the world for the week's events. "It's hard when you have to go to all of them, but it's a great time to unite the creative community and celebrate the year."

Label head Scott Borchetta interrupted McGraw at one point in the concert to present him with plaques commemorating the singer being Nielsen BDS's Most Played Artist of the Decade in all genres. McGraw has sold more than 40 million albums, and eleven of his CDs have topped the Billboard charts. His songs, 30 of them number one singles, have had more than 10 million spins on radio.

plaque (L-R): Josh Bennett of Nielsen-BDS SoundScan/Nashville, McGraw, Scott Borchetta, and Robin Rhodes of Mediabase while they presented McGraw with the award for most-played artist of the decade.

"This is a great week for me," said George Briner of Valory Music Company, sister label to Big Machine. "It's an exciting time being a small label, with Reba McEntire, Justin Moore, Thomas Rhett out there and talking to radio. I'm more excited about our team than ever. It was just five years ago this week that we announced the signing of Justin, Jewel and Jimmy Wayne."

Before leaving the stage, McGraw told the crowd, "I've got 20 more years left," he said. "I'm having a blast. There's a lot of history to this music and I'm proud to be a part of it."

Faith Hill was there to support her husband. Also spotted in the crowd were Mark Collie, the Warren Brothers, attorney Rusty Jones, the CMA's Bob Doerschuk, publicist Mary Hilliard Harrington, George Achaves with Lon Helton's Country Countdown USA, CAA's John Hughie and "American Picker's" Mike Wolfe.