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Tim McGraw: Still True To Himself

Tim McGraw has sold over 34 million records since his debut in 1993, thanks to 11 albums and 26 No. 1 singles.

The country music star is getting ready for a summer tour with his wife, fellow country star Faith Hill.

And McGraw's latest CD, "Let It Go," goes on sale Tuesday.

On The Early Show Monday, McGraw told co-anchor Harry Smith he pretty much knows a song is for him the moment he hears it.

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"We've been working together for a long time, these guys (his band members) and I. Some of us for 18 years. … We've spent a long time together, so we all sort of know what sounds I like to hear and what songs I like to do. I've passed songs that were hits that I knew were hits, but it just wasn't me.

" … With what we do, we've been doing it for so long now that I feel like I can stretch my wings and do all kinds of styles of music because, when I open my mouth and sing, it's going to come out like me. I can't do anybody else. So it allows us a certain amount of freedom to just pick whatever songs we like and not necessarily look for any type of song. Just a song that I like and a song that I want to record."

McGraw and Hill will bring their three kids on tour with them over the summer.

"We always look forward to that," McGraw says. "We thought, you know, the kids are getting older, 9, 8 and 5, and there's not gonna be too many more summers, probably not any, when they're going to be able to go out (on tour with us), with all the activities going on in the summertime. So, the reason we continued the tour this year is we thought it might be the last shot we would get to tour together."

McGraw says it sure beats being on the road alone.

"It keeps me out of trouble when they're out there, that's for sure!" he chuckled. "You know, it's just fun. It's a real family kind of atmosphere when we're out there. This last year, we had a bus and people brought their family out every now and then. With the kids running around, they're working in the office, and stamping passes … and doing all kinds of things on the bus. … They're pretty heavily into it now. They have a good time."

"Let It Go" has a duet with McGraw and Hill called "I Need You."

"We really love doing that," McGraw says. "We did that on tour last year."

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