When Tim McGraw decided to record “Highway Don’t Care,” from his 2013 Two Lanes of Freedom album, he knew he wanted both Taylor Swift and Keith Urban on the track, but wasn’t actually sure he would be able to secure both superstars for the song.
“At first, I just wanted to go in and make a great record. Certainly I had Taylor in mind all along for doing the female part on that. I just thought she’d be perfect,” Tim said for a video series about his latest project, McGraw Machine Hits: 2013-2019 (via CMT). “I never wanted to put any pressure on anybody and didn’t know if it would actually happen, but that was sort of my dream person to do that role.
“But firstly, I wanted to go in the studio before any of that could happen and make a great record,” he continued. “And a record that when you present it to another artist that you want to do a project with, you wanna give them something that’s great. Once Taylor decided she was gonna do it, then I really wanted Keith. Because I’m a huge fan of his playing, I’m a fan of his singing and just of the person he is as well.”
Thankfully, it didn’t take Keith long to agree to collaborate on the song.
“I sent it over to Keith, and right away he sent it back and was very happy to play on it,” Tim shared, adding that Keith also provided a killer guitar track as well.
“When I sent it over to him, and he laid his guitar track down on it, it blew me away,” Tim said. “We had a really good guitar track already on there that I liked a lot, and you don’t want to have to tell Keith Urban that you like the other track better.”
Tim was thrilled to have both Taylor and Keith on the song, although he admits that it turned out even better than he hoped.
“It really made it an iconic record,” Tim boasted. “With Taylor on there, which I think is one of her best vocal performances ever, and Keith just blazing the guitar like he did, I think that took that record to a whole other level.”