Jo Dee Messina Is Latest Artist To Leave Curb Records
After releasing 3 records in the first 4 years of her contract, the big Nashville-based music label put on the brakes on releasing new music like they’ve done to so many of their artists. Messina’s last full-length release was 8 years ago, 2005’s Delicious Surprise. In the fall of 2006 she recorded the album Unmistakable that was originally scheduled to be released on November 6th, 2007. But Curb shelved the album, slowly releasing a number of singles from it in 2008 and 2009, but waiting 3 years after the album’s original release date to make it public, and then it was released it as an “EP Trilogy” with two of the extended plays only made available in MP3 format.
“For me, my fans just want to hear the music,” Jo Dee told Chicago Now. “Do you know what I mean? They just want to be able to get it. And it’s been such a struggle for the last… eighteen years. I signed when I got out of high school. So for eighteen years I’ve been just kind of struggling with the label and having them release stuff or not release stuff. Now, we’re pretty much just free to do whatever we want with this new project so I’m very excited.”
Both Hank Williams III and Tim McGraw went through high profile fights with Curb near the end of their respective contracts. Curb’s modus operandi for the last few years seems to be to refuse to release artists’ last contractually obligated album to keep the artist signed to the label virtually indefinitely. Though Curb has lost most all of the court battles they’ve fought with artists trying to leave the label, their “catch and not release” program seems to still be in practice.
Many believe the character Marshall Evans, the controlling and manipulative record executive from the new ABC drama “Nashville” is based on Mike Curb. Marshall Evans continuously threatens actor Connie Britton’s character Rayna Jaymes with releasing a “Greatest Hits” album. Mike Curb famously released no less than 7 Greatest Hits albums for Tim McGraw while he was trying to keep McGraw under Curb contract.
Jo Dee Messina will be releasing a new album in 2013 on a new label.
December 10, 2012 @ 10:21 am
What the hell is wrong with Mike Curb..Do you want to make money or just be a donkey and ruin people?
I do not understand his reasoning, and he ruined so many great singers and their careers.
December 10, 2012 @ 11:47 am
I understand wanting to keep people under contract on your label, but what good does that do if you arent putting out any material by them? They still get the royalties whenever an old album is sold whether they are on the label or not, so why keep an artist on the roster if you arent going to release anything? Is it solely so the artist will make a few albums that dont get put out, and then once they leave Curb has a few extra albums that the artist cut that they can then release?
TX Music Jim
December 10, 2012 @ 12:36 pm
Seems to not makes sense at all. The only semi logical explanation would have to be to have stuff in the can to release and repackage down the line. Maybe Mike is losing it, seriously losing it. Nothing else makes sense.
December 10, 2012 @ 12:54 pm
The parallels between Jo Dee Messina’s situation and Rayna James’s situation in “Nashville” are absolutely stunning. It really shows how important “Nashville” is in helping people understand the internal workings of Music Row.
December 10, 2012 @ 6:16 pm
I actually have Jo Dee’s first three albums (unfortunately, I lost track of her sometime after that). Such a shame, what Curb did to her… :\
I hope she has better luck with the new label!
December 11, 2012 @ 12:00 am
“(unfortunately, I lost track of her sometime after that)”
That’s because Mike Curb killed her career and quit releasing her music.
December 10, 2012 @ 10:15 pm
Same story different artist
December 11, 2012 @ 12:19 am
In my opinion, the musical world would be better off if the entire concept of corporate record labels went by the wayside. Label executives, like big corporate executives in general, are thieves who steal the fruits of the hard work and talent of their employees. Fortunately, I think we are heading to a point where the Internet will make record labels obsolete.
December 11, 2012 @ 12:24 am
I will add that current idea of a record label contract is an outrageous violation of basic labor rights. I believe there should be some type of government regulation to limit or even ban oppressive label contracts.
December 11, 2012 @ 1:16 am
In the muddied mind of Mike Curb, I truly believe he thinks he’s protecting these artists from themselves.
December 11, 2012 @ 1:24 am
I think a possible way to break the stranglehold of these label executives may be by starting a movement to unionize the artists. What do you think about that idea?
December 11, 2012 @ 10:48 am
Musicians have always been an unruly and independent crowd. Though it may be a good idea, I don’t think a union is feasible.
That can also be a double edged sword. For example, one of the reasons Music Row gained so much control over the music in the 60’s was the unionization of the studio musicians. That’s the reason that if you recorded in one of the big studios in town, principally RCA’s “Studio B” then you couldn’t use your own band, you had to use studio musicians per the labor rules.
This was a seminal issue to the Outlaw movement. Waylon was able to record with his own band only by using Tompall Glaser’s renegade studio that didn’t fall under the restrictive union rules.
December 11, 2012 @ 11:29 am
The problem with Music Row in the 60’s was that the studio musicians were unionized, but the performing artists weren’t (as far as I believe; please correct me if I’m wrong), resulting in a highly restrictive environment for the performing artists.
December 11, 2012 @ 3:34 am
Curb had to get a laugh when McGraw finally got out of his contract and released “Truck Yeah,” though. That might have been his only “I Told You So” moment.
December 11, 2012 @ 9:08 am
I don’t think so.
December 11, 2012 @ 6:59 am
What’s the significance of releasing greatest hits albums. Is this a kiss of death?
December 11, 2012 @ 10:53 am
I think when it comes to the Rayna Jaymes character on “Nashville” she sees it symbolizing that the big part of her career is over and she’s being put out to pasture. I can see how some artists would perceive this, though fans may not feel the same way. Greatest Hits albums have been used so much as a record label gimmick of years, I find it hard to consider it the stigma it once was.
In the case of Tim McGraw, I believe there was a stipulation in his contract that Curb had to release an album from him every 1 1/2 years or something (could be wrong about this). So instead of releasing his new material, they would release these “Greatest Hits” albums and bee off the hook for another 18 months.
December 11, 2012 @ 1:15 pm
I wonder when Curb will release Hank3’s “Greatest Hits” album. Don’t they still own the rights to the songs that he recorded while under contract with them?
December 11, 2012 @ 8:41 am
I wonder if it’s not all just a power trip on Curb’s part, and any monetary gain or loss is a secondary consideration. It could be that he’s just trying (unsuccessfully) to prove to these artists that he still calls the shots, whether they make sense or not.
December 12, 2012 @ 3:15 pm
At least they still have Rodney Atkins! 😉
They can have him! His fall into obscurity wouldn’t be a tragedy to my ears like Jo Dee Messina’s has been!
December 12, 2012 @ 3:50 pm
Blew my mind when he re-singed with Curb. Then again, it may have had something to do with the domestic abuse charges brought against him a few days later.
December 12, 2012 @ 3:53 pm
Looks like it’s become a pattern for artists with family issues to sign with Curb.
December 12, 2012 @ 5:16 pm
It’s practically no more big names left on Curb, then? I think Curb see their artists not as artists or humans, but more of commodities. At least that’s the vibe I’m getting.
December 12, 2012 @ 5:26 pm
Exactly. Curb is no different than Wall Street banks or corporations that outsource jobs to China.
June 16, 2013 @ 6:06 am
Ever wish you could help an artist in the process of making an album? Remember Jo Dee Messina? Country singer who sang hits like “I’m Alright”, “Bye Bye”, “Bring on the Rain”, “Heads Carolina, Tails California”, and “My Give a D****’s Busted”??? Well, she’s making a new album and raising funds through kickstarter. As a huge fan, I wanted to do what I could to get the word out. To see her kickstarter page and help donate to her new album (with cool perks for those who choose to donate), see the link below:
Thanks for your consideration!