Looking Back At Tim McGraw’s First Show In Philly With Kenn Kweder


      Here’s a trivia question few can answer. When and where was Tim McGraw’s first performance in Philadelphia?
     Maggie’s at Front and Fairmount, way back in 1987 is the correct answer.  The tiny venue is one of the first places McGraw, who was 19 back then, played anywhere.
      McGraw was just becoming acquainted with his famous dad, Tug McGraw. The legendary Phillies closer brought Tim McGraw into the world courtesy of a brief affair while he was a Mets farmhand.
      Tug and Tim became close. The former was good pals with veteran Philly troubadour Kenn Kweder.
        “I remember playing with Kenn so, so many years ago,” McGraw said. “It was awesome. I was new to performing and he was kind enough to let me play.”
    The charismatic Kweder laughed when recalling meeting McGraw.
     “I remember Tug introducing me to Tim and he said, ‘my son is very, very interested in music,” Kweder said. “I was just doing my thing (at Maggie’s). I said (to Tug) that I’m on break and he can do a couple of songs. I brought him up and said, ‘ladies and gentlemen, this is my friend’s son, Tim.’ He had his guitar and sang two songs and I remember thinking, ‘he could play the guitar but man, he can sing like a hummingbird.’ His voice was spectacular. I shook his hand and told him that he was really good. He said, ‘I’m going to try to get into the music business.’ I said, ‘good luck, keep me posted.’
     Three-years later, McGraw signed with Curb Records. He invited Kweder to jam with him at the Stone Balloon in Delaware during the early ‘90s.
“I drove down and brought my harmonica and jumped up onstage with him,” Kweder said. “He had a full band and they were unbelievable.”
     During the mid-90s McGraw was playing Penn’s Landing and invited Kweder. “There were like a gazillion people there,” Kweder said. “You couldn’t help but be impressed by him. Tim is very talented and just a great guy. Who would ever guess that he would start playing in Philly on Fairmount at a place that doesn’t exist anymore? It’s a crazy world. You never know what can happen. Who would ever guess that Tug McGraw’s son would be this amazing musical talent? It was just great to see him backstage at Penn’s Landing getting interviewed and then playing before so many people. I got chills of happiness watching it. And now look at where he is. He’s at the top. Incredible.”

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