On the same day Curb Records released Hank III’s Hillbilly Joker, marketed as a “new” album on displays at Hastings and other outlets even though the album is 8-years-old, they filed suit against cash cow and perfume magnate Tim McGraw for breach of contract. McGraw has been trying to get Curb to release his Emotional Traffic album that he turned into Curb last Fall.
At issue is what’s referred to as the 12 masters for the “Emotional Traffic” album that McGraw delivered to Curb in October of last year. Curb alleges in the complaint that McGraw recorded the album too early prior to its delivery “in a transparent tactic to attempt to fulfill his contractual recording commitment to Curb prematurely in breach of the recording agreement.”
Curb’s position in the suit is that McGraw’s recordings must be “topical and new” and that the artist had agreed that each new album would be recorded “no earlier than 12 months and no later than 18 months” following the delivery of the previous album. The suit alleges McGraw began recording “Emotional Traffic” tracks “in 2008 or before,”
And what does Curb want in this lawsuit? Yet another album of course, so that they can release Emotional Traffic and squeeze another original album out of Tim before he leaves, just like they did when they disallowed Hank III’s Hillbilly Joker to count toward his contract, but then released it after his contract was fulfilled. Curb is also seeking “damages”, and to block Tim from releasing music with another label. Tim’s camp fired back with…
Sadly, after a 20-year relationship which has provided unprecedented success for both parties, Curb Records has chosen to end its accord with Tim McGraw by filing suit against him. Tim McGraw delivered his new album, ‘Emotional Traffic,’ to Curb in the fall of 2010. The label is holding the album hostage from country music fans in an attempt to force Tim McGraw to serve perpetually under a contract that he has already fully and faithfully completed.
Even though the album has yet to be released, Tim is currently on the “Emotional Traffic” tour and playing songs from the album live. Tim has previously come out against Curb Records after the label released numerous greatest hits albums instead of new material, likely one of the reasons the material for Emotional Traffic was recorded so long ago.
When Hank III sued Curb Records in the mid-2000’s to release his album Straight to Hell, Hank III won. Now Curb is on the offensive in the courtroom.
Tim McGraw, his fans, and his legal team and management, have the full support of Saving Country Music on this issue. I encourage Tim McGraw fans to start grass roots campaigns, petitions, protests, whatever, to insist Curb release the album Emotional Traffic and release Tim McGraw from his contract.
Curb Records must be stopped.