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Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Song Wasn't Written As Duet


. (Radio.com) According to Jaren Johnston, when he, Tom Douglas and Jeffrey Steele initially wrote their song "Meanwhile Back at Mama's," they never intended for it to be a duet.

"[We] just wrote a folky thing," the Cadillac Three singer explained to Radio.com of the song-a slower-paced ballad that focuses on the simple pleasures of quiet country life.

So when word came that Tim McGraw was interested in cutting the song, Johnston was blown away. "They said it was going to be a single and I was like, 'Holy crap! That's crazy,'" Johnston said.

But the surprises didn't stop there. The song, he was informed, would not only be a single but a duet between McGraw and his wife, Faith Hill. "[Big Machine Label Group President] Scott Borchetta said, 'You know it's going to be a duet, right?' And I was like, 'Who are they going to get?' I had no idea. He's like, 'Faith's going to sing on it.' I was like, 'Score! Touchdown!'"

"Meanwhile Back at Mama's" was the second radio single from McGraw's 2014 album Sundown Heaven Town. It earned a good deal or radio airplay, and eventually reached the Top 5 on the country singles charts. Now it's been nominated for Vocal Event of the Year at the 50th Academy of Country Music Awards.

McGraw has cut a variety of material in his more than two-decade-long career, but "Meanwhile Back at Mama's" stands as one of his quietest moments. Something about the homey, laid-back "Meanwhile Back at Mama's," though, struck him at his emotional core.

It's a song of reflection that steps aside from our "crazy" modern world, if only for a few brief minutes. It's a reminder, too, that while country music may continue to evolve in new and different directions, sometimes it's the simplest, most familiar-sounding melody that captures the moment.

"What I wouldn't give for a slow down," McGraw sings in the song, "'cause where I come from, only the horses run."

"Right off the bat, it probably wasn't four bars into the songs that I knew I wanted to cut it," McGraw explains to Radio.com. "The phrasing of it, and what it said, and how it developed…I knew just from the phrasing that I wanted to cut the song right away. Because you sort of had an idea of the gravity of the song." Read more here.

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Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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