Curb Records Continues to Dog Tim McGraw & Hank III
The situation with Tim McGraw has gone from dysfunctional, to immoral, to ironically funny, to now outright insane. The country music star and part-time perfume magnate’s troubles started with Curb in 2008, when the label decided to release a Greatest Hits album instead of new music McGraw had sitting on the shelf. Curb released no less than 4 individual Greatest Hits compilations in 2008 alone, and has released 7 since the year 2000. The incessant Greatest Hits releases spawned parody press coverage, that was chased by then yet another Greatest Hits release in 2010, Tim McGraw’s Number One Hits.
McGraw spoke out in 2008 about Curb’s unusual practices, saying, “I am saddened and disappointed that my label chose to put out another hits album instead of new music… I had no involvement in the creation or presentation of this record”¦ the whole concept is an embarrassment to me as an artist.”
Now Curb is refusing to put out his last album on his record deal, called Emotional Traffic, and won’t even give it a release date, despite the album being done since the Fall, and Tim currently being on a concert tour called “Emotional Traffic”. This prompted public words about his feud with the label today. From the Associated Press:
All the songs have been done for a long time, and the label has had it. It’s the last album that they have of mine, so they’re trying to hold on to it as long as they can. Whenever Mike Curb decides he’s going to play fair, it will be out.
He also called it his “absolute last album” with Curb if it kills him.
Hank Williams III, who is now officially done with Curb, had similar issues with Curb refusing to give his 2005 album Straight to Hell a release date. It finally took a court order in Hank III’s favor to get the album to the public. But even though his contract is done, Curb is still giving Hank III fits. On May 17th, Curb will be releasing Hillbilly Joker, an album Curb refused to put out when initially handed over to them in the early 2000’s. By not releasing the album until Hank III was free of his contract, it gave Curb another album above what Hank III needed to fulfill his Curb obligations.
Curb has put up displays in Hastings stores and other retailers promoting the new album, which has confused many Hank III fans into thinking the album is new material. Hillbilly Joker has been circulated as a bootleg called This Ain’t Country for many years. Not wanting to give Curb any more free publicity than necessary, Hank III has stayed mostly mum about the release, though he did tell fans through Facebook when the Hillbilly Joker news initially broke, “Don’t buy it, but get it some other way and burn the hell out of it and give it to everyone.”
Curb Records has also had public feuds with LeAnn Rimes, with Clay Walker, and squandered the Hank Williams legacy by getting sideways with Hank Williams Jr., who was a long time friend of Mike Curb and helped build Curb Records into the largest independently-owned record label in Nashville. Jr. is also leaving at the end of his contract.
April 20, 2011 @ 4:53 pm
What a shame……
April 20, 2011 @ 5:08 pm
tim needs a “fuck curb” sticker on his guitar…
April 20, 2011 @ 5:44 pm
What is the point of it? Can you get a one on one with Mike Curb? Maybe he can explain it.
April 20, 2011 @ 7:27 pm
I would guess that Curb paid for production (studio, mastering, artwork), They have also paid PR folks, data entry, filing etc… they probably had contracts needed fulfillin’. And behind the scenes, they have probably paid a lot of advertising and are probably just barely out of the black in the budget and wantin to recouple a lil money. I do not sign contracts with our artists…. never will. Thats all industry bullcrud. Its what you get when you associate yourself with folks that aint “with” you.
April 21, 2011 @ 1:46 pm
A handshake should suffice. I dig it man.
April 20, 2011 @ 7:33 pm
and yes, all in all…. it still sucks though….. 91% of the buying public aint label readers anyhow, so as long as there is “industry”…. there will always be cards like this played
April 21, 2011 @ 2:53 am
I agree Cathy, but hes too much off a puss to do that. And thats what separates III from those schmucks.
Sound In The Signals Magazine
April 21, 2011 @ 3:37 am
This type of stuff happens all the time from all types of labels and it really is crazy. I never understood the concept of signing an artists to record albums and then those albums not being worthy of release.
If Tim McGraw’s album never gets released it won’t hurt my feelings. I don’t care for his music at all, but I did smell his scent at Target and it is quite nice.
I hate the idea of labels releasing albums with no input from the artist and creating album art and a whole aesthetic for something an artists created but has little to no input on. So their music gets a treatment that they didn’t even approve. That’s like fixing a nice dinner and then serving it up on a trash can lid.
"Louie" Chris Lewis
April 21, 2011 @ 3:28 pm
I totally agree with ya. I don’t care for his music either. Labels shouldn’t have the decision to release anything from an artist without their consent.
April 21, 2011 @ 7:19 pm
The issue is that Curb, despite being an independent record label, is actually run very similar to many of the major labels out there. It’s not about albums not being worthy of release, it’s about maximizing profits from your roster of artists. Artists sign contracts all the time giving the label free access to release compilations of their music. Why not? Make more money on songs you’ve already released, right? And very rarely does an artist want to tour and promote a “Greatest Hits” album. You don’t need to, they sell themselves. So a penny ante label like Curb doesn’t want to have to dole out tons of promotional money to support a release of an album of new music by an artist when those “Greatest Hits” albums cost little in comparison to put out.
I’m not a Tim McGraw fan either, but I just hate seeing an artist getting screwed when all they want to do is write, record, and release new music. I thought Curb was only pulling this crap with Hank, not a cash cow like Tim McGraw.
April 22, 2011 @ 4:18 pm
April 22, 2011 @ 4:36 pm
Good find! I’ll add that video to the story!
April 22, 2011 @ 6:25 pm
Holy Shit. I now have some sympathy for Tim Mcgraw. Still dont like his music, but I Hate curb even more now.
“Whenever the record label decides to play fair, you’ll have some new music”
April 22, 2011 @ 6:31 pm
I’ve got an old record ” Hank Jr and the Mike Curb Congregation”. Im assuming those were times when curb wasnt such a dick. Music is very dated, but Im gonna record and post online as a tombstone of before mike curb lost his soul.
April 22, 2011 @ 8:37 pm
Geez Trig, I log out for a week and you write a crap load of things to read! HBHQ made a good point about the buying public not paying attention or even caring about who is on the label. I used to be one of those and really for the most part I still am to a point. If I want to buy a CD for my kids or a Christmas CD (yes I buy a lot of those) I don’t look at the label. Curb does catch my eye now though and I steer away from them. Even though it sucks that Curb is still managing to pull this crap I’m glad it happened to someone with a big name. Now maybe more people will see whats happening.
April 23, 2011 @ 6:36 am
The Triggerman is good like that Nikki! I agree with you that maybe more people will see what’s happening but will they care? I think it might come down to that: who cares and who doesn’t. I can just about guarantee that companies like Curb and such are banking on people not caring. It’s just the numbers and money to them.
April 23, 2011 @ 6:44 am
I saw a “FUCK CURB RECORDS”-banner 20 years ago at a Beat Farmers concert. By now, I think artists should know that Curb isn’t likely to keep whatever promises they make to the artist. Curb doesn’t care about music. Don’t sign, look for a label that cares, there are plenty.
By the way, if you’ve never experienced the Beat Farmers live, go to Youtube and look for the Beat Farmers Camping. This is Country Dick Montana at his best.
April 23, 2011 @ 7:28 am
The Beat Farmers were one of my all-time favorite bands.
May 3, 2011 @ 2:50 pm
Link to listen to samples of Hillbilly Joker
August 18, 2011 @ 8:30 am
If you Look curb is doing this to alot of their artists…They Simply do not care.
Another good example of one of their artists they are doing this to is Jo dee Messina.
the woman has an amazing voice and she is one of the sweetest and most giving people out there.
And curb continues to push her down.
She has released 3 albums this past year. Which were songs that she has been writing over the years Waiting and waiting for them to release her album which kept getting put on the back burner.
Then she realeases 3 within a year. Do you think curb helped promote them.. NO she has been having to do that all on her own.
Do you think they would let her make videos to promote her songs. NO…..
They just keep messing with her. They will not let her out of her contract. She is trying to do everything to make a come back which many people would love to see.
And curb is making this impossible for her.
To sum this up in My Opinion… Curb REALLY Needs to pull their Head out.
February 5, 2013 @ 8:07 pm
This article and the fact that Curb does this to “many” of it’s artists tells me they hold the last album for release until they want to release it, (MONEY GRUBBERS) which is fine but if they do not release it by the artists “contract end date” They should not be able to hold the artist up once the artist has contracturally fulfilled that CONTRACT. I mean really….Tim McGraw turned in the last album 10 months early. If they decline to release it, BOO on them. That’s why CURB has lost the lawsuit. They are in Breach of Contract, Not Tim McGraw.