Tim McGraw's long-awaited Sundown Heaven Town Tour kicked off last night (May 8) in Fresno, Calif., and perhaps no one was more excited for opening night than the singer himself.

"After doing this for 20 years, the challenge is always to find new ways to top what you did the last tour," McGraw says. "This summer is all about getting as close to the fans as possible and creating that connection with them, so we can really get to know each other and feed off that energy. Fans this summer are going to get to hear some new songs off the new album too, which is cool because I'll get that immediate feedback that only a live crowd can provide."

The tour is in advance of the release of his upcoming album, 'Sundown Heaven Town,' which will hit shelves in September. The Louisiana native admits that it is a new way to share his music with his fans, but he says he is eager to try something different with his latest set of tunes.

“When you finish making an album, all you want is to have everyone hear it as soon as possible,” he explains. “I’m in the unique position this year that I’m able to tour ahead of the album and introduce the fans to these songs early. I’ve never done anything like this before, but in a world driven by immediate gratification, I want to be able to play a song live somewhere and then have it available for download right then. You just never know where new music might pop up over the next few months… It’s going to be a fun summer!”

The album's debut single, 'Lookin' for That Girl,' landed in the Top 20, and the second single, 'Meanwhile Back at Mama's'  -- which includes McGraw's wife, Faith Hill -- is steadily climbing the charts.

McGraw will head to Sacramento Friday night (May 9), with Kip Moore and Cassadee Pope serving as his opening acts. See a list of all of his upcoming shows here.

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