Tim McGraw to Ask Court to Allow Him to Record for Another Label

Hearing Will Take Place Wednesday in Nashville Chancery Court

Lawyers for Tim McGraw and Curb Records will be in Nashville’s Chancery Court Wednesday (Nov. 30) at 9 a.m. to argue whether or not McGraw has sufficiently fulfilled his contract with Curb to move to another record label.

A clerk at the court said the Wednesday hearing, by agreement of both sides, will consist of oral arguments and that no witnesses will be called. He added that the nature of the case suggests there will be a “fairly quick” ruling.

It is not clear whether a ruling on this matter will cancel the jury trial scheduled for July.

Curb Records sued McGraw in May for breach of contract, alleging he recorded and delivered his still-unreleased and, from his point of view, final album, Emotional Traffic, prematurely.

The label contended it had the contractual right to decide on the spacing of McGraw’s album releases and that he had essentially jumped the gun in completing Emotional Traffic before the label was prepared to approve and release it.

Responding to the suit at the time, McGraw said in a prepared statement, “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.”

Soon after, McGraw countersued Curb and asked the court to award him punitive damages, an advance payment for his latest recordings and a ruling that he has fulfilled his contract.

McGraw has spoken openly of his discontent with Curb Records for years and of his eagerness to record elsewhere. In July 2010, he announced at the Billboard Country Music Summit that he would leave Curb after completing his next album.

That album was Emotional Traffic, which he delivered to Curb in the fall of 2010.

So far, only one single, “Felt Good on My Lips,” has been released from the album. It held the No. 1 spot in Billboard for three weeks.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.