Tim McGraw seeks to leave Curb Records
With contract trial pending, singer wants right to record
Written by Anita Wadhwani | The Tennessean
Country superstar Tim McGraw’s legal battle with the recording company that discovered him — Curb Records — is scheduled for its first round in a Nashville courtroom on Tuesday.
The independent record label run by industry giant Mike Curb firstsued McGraw in May, claiming McGraw had breached the terms of his contract by recording his latest album, Emotional Traffic, too soon after releasing his previous album, making it not topical or new enough.
McGraw countersued, claiming the deal he signed nearly 20 years ago for five original albums had kept him in a state of “involuntarily servitude” by stretching out by years the time between releases of records of fresh material.
Curb Records did that by issuing recycled greatest hits albums instead of allowing new releases, McGraw claims.
Under the terms of the contract, McGraw was required to wait at least 18 months after an album’s release before releasing another one — whether new material or a rerelease of his old material, allowing Curb Records to stretch out a contract for five albums over 20 years.
A full trial on the contract issues won’t occur until July.
In the meantime, however, McGraw’s attorneys have asked a Davidson County Chancery Court judge to allow the artist to record new music with another label.
The two-day hearing next week will “first make a final determination on whether or not Curb is entitled to prevent Mr. McGraw, by injunction or otherwise, from recording for other entities other than Curb,” court records state.
Emotional Traffic, the last album McGraw recorded with Curb, still hasn’t been released, although McGraw continued on with his Emotional Traffic concert tour this summer.