What makes ‘Blue’ so cool is not just that it found success with old songs from such a young singer. It’s that old songs were made cool to a younger audience, while the older audience who felt abandoned by country music of the era found someone they could root for as well.
As a broadcasting legend and award-winning songwriter, Bill Mack brought the beauty and love of country music into many homes and big rig cabs for many decades, and has now passed on to that big radio booth in the sky. He died Friday morning (7-31) at the age of 88 due to underlying health conditions complicated by COVID-19.
Today most well-informed country fans know what a death sentence a Curb Records contract can be for an artist, at least for most of them. But in 1990 when Merle Haggard signed with the label, Curb was seen as one of the most trustworthy labels in town. They didn’t have to answer to higher ups in New York and Los Angeles, and could pass that freedom on to their artists.
Let’s just start this off by drudging the big elephant right out in the middle of the room and shining a big ‘ol spotlight on it. Mike Curb, Herr Führer of Curb Records—the man who has made millions off of the indentured servitude of many of country music’s most famous names, has thrown his money behind the much-ballyhooed preservation of Music Row’s historic Studio ‘A’ in Nashville.
That’s right, the Curb Records madness continues, and continues to reach for comical, if not maniacal heights. Apparently Curb Records is readying the release of a new Hank III album called “Take As Needed For Pain.” Meanwhile Curb has prepped the 10th compilation/Greatest Hits album from Tim McGraw, and has more greatest hits albums ahead for LeAnn Rimes and Rodney Atkins.
Big Machine Records, Curb Records, Eyehategod, Greatest Hits, Hank III, Hank Williams, Hank Williams III, Hank Williams Jr., Hank3, LeAnn Rimes, Mike Curb, Mo Pitney, Rodney Atkins, Take As Needed For Pain, Tim McGraw
Glam metal band Mötley Crüe confided in the world today that they are calling it quits after three decades. But buried in the litany of announcements and side stories about the Mötley Crüe retirement was a little nugget of info with a country music angle. Apparently the band has signed a contract with Scott Borchetta and Big Machine Records to produce a country-themed Mötley Crüe tribute album.
The greatest album, and the greatest recorded song will never be able to trump the truly live musical experience where music is shared in real time with both the artist and listeners. It is in this spirit that each year I assemble a list of the Best Live Performances to reinforce that as technology and the busying of life incrementally encroach upon us, we must remember that the live music show deserves its own attention and reverence.
.357 String Band, 2013, American Aquarium, Andrew Bird, Austin City Limits, Best Live Performances, Bob Wayne, Dirty River Boys, Eric Church, Gruene Hall, Hellbound Glory, James Hunnicutt, Jared McGovern, Jason Eady, Jason Isbell, Jayke Orvis, LeAnn Rimes, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Lincoln Durham, Liz Sloan, Patsy Cline, Pickathon, Punch Brothers, Red 11, The Crooks, The Mavericks, The White Horse, Tift Merritt, Turnpike Troubadours, Valerie June, XSXSW
Curb Records is releasing yet another album from Tim McGraw; an artist that hasn’t called Curb Records home officially for over 2 years. The album will be called Love Story and will feature Tim McGraw’s “12 biggest love songs,” two previously-unreleased recordings, and will be released exclusively through Wal-Mart on February 2nd, 2014.
But then here came a Patsy Cline tribute in the last quarter of the show and the whole sad sack theme of the night did a complete 360. There was LeAnn Rimes, singing a medley of Patsy Cline songs, and who better to do it than her? Since the beginning of LeAnn’s career, the Patsy comparisons have come pouring in.
Once again the Europeans out class their cross Atlantic counterparts with the newly-launched Country Music Magazine from Team Rock—the same people who’ve brought the UK the long-running and widely-distributed Classic Rock Magazine. Despite the generic name, this magazine is anything but, with 132 extra wide glossy full-color pages, accompanied by a free, 15-track CD with music from Sturgill Simpson and Guy Clark.
Austin Lucas, Bill Kirchen, Blake Shelton, Country Music Magazine, Deniel Romano, Ed Mitchell, Fifth on the Floor, Florida Georgia Line, Guy Clark, Jack Clement, Johnny Cash, Kacey Musgraves, Kris Kristofferson, Laura Cantrell, LeAnn Rimes, Patty Griffin, steel guitar player Buddy Emmons, Steve Martin, Sturgill Simpson, Team Rock, Tony Joe White, UK, Wanda Jackson
The last few weeks might go down in history as one of country music’s most feud-laden moments. Though country music feuding may be on a sharp rise here recently, it is not an uncommon or recent occurrence in country music by any stretch. Nothing gets folks talking like a good old artist on artist donnybrook. Here are some of the most infamous over the years.
Billy Ray Cyrus, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Charlie Rich, country music feuds, Curb Records, Dierks Bentley, Dixie Chicks, Dolly Parton, Eric Church, Ethan Hawke, feud, Garth Brooks, Gary Allan, Grand Ole Opry, Hank Williams III, Hank3, In A Razor Town, Jason Isbell, John Denver, Johnny Cash, Kelly Clarkson, Kid Rock, Kris Kristofferson, LeAnn Rimes, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Natalie Maines, Porter Wagoner, Rascal Flatts, Ray Price, Scott Borchetta, Shooter Jennings, Stonewall Jason, Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Tompall Glaser, Travis Tritt, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Zac Brown
If you’ve been wishing for a print magazine that would cover cool up-and-coming country artists right beside the big names, and not just focus on the here and now but take the time to look back on the past greats of the genre, well you may just have received your wish. The inaugural issue of “Country Music Magazine presented by Classic Rock” is being released September 11th.
Austin Lucas, BUddy Emmons, Carrie Rodriguez, Case Hardin, Classic Rock Magazine, Country Music Magazine, Edie Brickell, England, Fifth on the Floor, Guy Clark, Johnny Cash, Kacey Musgraves, LeAnn Rimes, My Darling Clementine, Steve Martin, Sturgill Simpson, Tony Joe White, UK, Wanda Jackson
After a six year wait to release an album of original material at the mercy of Curb Records’ career-shattering and sometimes illegal talent retention program, prolonging the release process for artists on their final album with the label nearly indefinitely, the embattled and bruised LeAnn Rimes has finally released “Spitfire.” The chatter around “Spitfire” has been polarizing to darn near bellicose.
In 2013, stories of entertainers that “go country” are routine occurrences instead of reasons for surprise, intrigue, or outrage, because country music has officially become the default repository for talent fleeing the collapse of mainstream rock or the place to find strength in the twilight of a dying entertainment career. Here are some of the most notorious “gone country” moments over the years.
3 Doors Down, Aaron Lewis, Big & Rich, Bing Crosby, Bon Jovi, Brad Arnold, Debbie Gibson, Everlast, Jason Aldean, Jessica Simpson, Jewel, Johnny Cash, Kelly Clarkson, Kid Rock, LeAnn Rimes, lionel richie, Michelle Branch, Olivia Newton John, Smash Mouth, Steve Harwell, Terry Bradshaw, Tiffany
Mike Curb’s repressive stance towards artists and his sharky dealings with other labels is a given amongst the informed country music community, with his latest ploy being the release of a duets album from Tim McGraw two weeks before the former Curb artist is slated to make his debut on Big Machine Records. But Hank3 and Tim McGraw are just the tip of the iceberg.
Big Machine Records, Clay Walker, Curb Records, Frank Zappa, Fuck Curb, Hank Jr., Hank Williams III, Hank3, How Do I Live, I Need You, Jo Dee Messina, LeAnn Rimes, Lieutenant Governor, Lyle Lovett, Mike Curb, The Beat Farmers, Tim McGraw
Curb Records’ talent roster continues to contract. The latest defector is Jo Dee Messina, whose charted 9 #1 hits and sold more than 5 million records worldwide during her 18-year career. The reason? Just like Tim McGraw, Hank Williams III, Clay Walker, Lyle Lovett, and LeAnn Rimes to name a few, Jo Dee Messina is fed up with Curb refusing to release her music.
As the headlines were making people wonder why anybody would ever sign with Curb in the first place, here was a big country star re-signing with the label he’s been with since 1996. We would later find out the potential reason for the curious move. On November 21st, police were called to the home of Rodney Atkins…
As Nashville and Nashville-based entities are erecting what will be landmarks, before taking money from Mike Curb, maybe they should take to heart the headlines that have hounded the Mike Curb name over the last few years, and ask themselves if that name is a legacy their building, their institution, or the City of Nashville wants to tie their future to.
On Tuesday, Tim McGraw will be in a Tennessee courtroom as part of the opening salvo in his bid to leave his contract with Curb Records. I’m no Perry Mason, but I thought I would offer the Tim McGraw defense team a little pro bono research work on how Curb Records itself has set a legal precedence that disproves it’s own case.
In about a week, Hank Williams III will be releasing an unprecedented 4 albums via his own label, and then heading out on tour. Ahead of this, I talked with the head hellbilly himself about the new albums, the legacy of fatherhood in the Hank Williams lineage, his role as a founding father of the country music underground, Shooter Jennings and his XXX movement, and how he feels about the unfinished songs of Hank Williams.
Bob Dylan, Clay Walker, Curb Records, David Allan Coe, Hank III, Hank Williams, Hank3, Kyle Turley, LeAnn Rimes, Nathan Abshire, Pantera, Phil Anselmo, Shooter Jennings, The Grand Ole Opry, Tim McGraw
Billboard.com has just reported that Tim McGraw has filed a countersuit against Curb Records who filed suit against McGraw last week over his Emotional Traffic album. In the aftermath of Curb Records filing a lawsuit against Tim McGraw, fans are now calling for a boycott of the record label.
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. Now Curb is refusing to put out his last album on his record deal, called Emotional Traffic…
Sometimes Nashville’s major labels behave so ridiculously, they do things you thought could only exist in a make-believe world, and this is the case with Curb Records and their incessant, redundant “Greatest Hits” album releases for perfume magnate Tim McGraw.
In a couple of recent interviews, one on Episode 66 of Outlaw Radio and another posted recently on YouTube (see below) Hank Williams III seems almost to be discounting his new upcoming album, The Rebel Within before it even comes out. He mentions that it is a good album, but he also goes out of […]