Curb Records is once again cobbling together previously-released material from Hank Williams III in an attempt to make money off of songs many fans already have, only this time it is in a much more conventional manner. Saving Country Music can confirm that Curb Records is planning the release of a Hank Williams III Greatest Hits album later this year. Though there is no specific track list or further details at the moment, it is currently scheduled to be released on August 18th, 2017.
The release of a Greatest Hits album would not normally be a reason for consternation, but with Curb Records, it’s a different story. The label has a long history of re-releasing songs under different titles for various purposes that only serve the label’s best interests instead of the public or the artists. For example, Curb Records released a total of seven Greatest Hits packages for Tim McGraw during his stint on the label for the sole purpose of keeping the country music star on the label indefinitely by not allowing him to release any new material to fulfill his contract.
Hank3 entered into a six album contract with Curb Records in the late 90’s. The Nashville-based label was able to stretch Hank3’s album count to seven by releasing Hillbilly Joker in 2011; a “hellbilly” album Curb initially rejected, but released after Hank3 had fulfilled his contract at the end of 2010. Then Curb released an outtakes album in 2012 called Long Gone Daddy that brought the total of Curb releases on Hank3’s six-album contract to eight. Ramblin’ Man released in April of 2014—another album of previously-released material cobbled together—made it nine. Hank3 also had agreed to the release of one heavy metal album as part of his Curb deal. An album of mostly previously-released tribute songs called Take As Needed For Pain brought that count to two.
Curb Records continues to regurgitate material from previous artists on their label as they continue to lose current artists and insist on a strategy of only releasing new albums from artists on their roster every five years. By one count, all 15 of the albums Curb currently has planned for release in 2017 are compilations of one sort or another. Many former Curb artists, including Hank3, Tim McGraw, Hank Williams Jr., LeAnn Rimes, and others have publicly criticized the label’s practices, and blamed it for contributing to career declines.
Hank3’s usual response to his fans on these post-contract Curb releases is to “Burn it, and give it away.”
As for Hank3, he has been curiously silent for going on 2 1/2 years, with no releases or tours. A year ago, Saving Country Music reported that he recently had to move out of his “Haunted Ranch” in east Nashville, and the move had delayed his touring plans.
“Been having to rebuild camp,” Hank3 said on 1-16-2016 as he co-hosted a show with Alamo Jones from the famous Jack Clement Cowboy Arms Hotel and Recording Spa in Nashville on Sirius/XM Outlaw Country. “No camp, no war. So once the camp is officially taken care of, we’ll be back in the trenches … Musical gear and all that stuff just piles up. You hold on to everything. It’s almost like homesteading in its own sort of certain way.”