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Tim McGraw ropes in country stars for #DeepCutsChallenge

Updated March 26, 2020 - 10:24 am

The call to arms, and guitars, was issued by Tim McGraw on Twitter: “Who’s got cool songs they’ve always loved to play when they’re sitting around the house or when u were in high school or college? Here’s one of my favs: John Schneider’s #TaketheLongWayHome. @kennychesney, @jason_aldean, @bradpaisley. I know you got something. #DeepCutsChallenge.”

That hashtag is a keeper. Since that post on Friday, #DeepCutsChallenge has blossomed on Twitter and Facebook McGraw performed Schneider’s song, a top-10 tune on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in March 1987. Brad Paisley took up the challenge and posted a cover of Steve Wariner’s “What I Didn’t Do.”

The series has unfolded from there. Paisley roped in Darius Rucker (Foster & Lloyd’s “You Can Come Cryin’ to Me”). Rucker then challenged Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum (who last year performed in residency at Pearl Concert Theater), who performed “Call Me a Dog” by Chris Cornell, and challenged Russell Dickerson (who is to be featured Thursday on the 95.5-FM The Bull “Quarantined and Unplugged” Instagram Live series).

Dickerson played McGraw’s “Seventeen,” then tagged Thomas Rhett, who played Hank Williams Jr.’s “The Blues Man.” Morgan Wallen then produced Jason Aldean’s “Water Tower” and challenged Luke Combs, who sang Stapleton’s “What’re You Listening To.”

Combs tossed the challenge to Vince Gill, who played the Bob McDill-written “Last Dance At The Old Texas Moon.”

Gill was most recently in town with the Eagles last October at T-Mobile Arena. He issued a general challenge to Faith Hill (who at this writing has not posted under the hashtag); McGraw and Hill were resident headliners at The Venetian Theater in 2012-2013. McGraw has also summoned Adele with, “Would love to hear you do @FaithHill’s ‘Breathe’.” He also asked Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson to do Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe.” Nothing yet from any of those stars.

The effort is growing organically. Easy to keep up by hitting the #DeepCutsChallenge hashtag. Bonus trivia: You learn Paisley’s favorite baseball team from his backward ballcap.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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