In a Country California exclusive, we’ve learned that country superstar Tim McGraw is taking the unusual step of self-releasing a new album on CD-R. Distributed under the pseudonym Hank Leppard, the new recording will fill the gap between his last album, Southern Voice, and his next, which Curb will release sometime between 2011 and 2018.
“This is just another way for Tim to get music to fans… or, rather, a way to get music to fans, since Curb has never shown much interest in being that outlet,“ said our source. McGraw’s next Curb album is expected to fulfill his contract with the label.
The homemade CD-R, with the title of Contry Music scrawled hastily across the disc itself in indelible black Sharpie and cased in a simple Slimline clear plastic case, features material written by McGraw and sourced from close friends like the Warren Brothers and Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger. “We’re taking it back to basics, going rogue,” said a McGraw associate, who explained that Tim is personally sneaking copies of the album onto the shelves of Walmarts at stops all along his current headlining tour.
We managed to track down one copy of the album at an Oregon Walmart. When we tried to purchase it, the cashier appeared confused, remarking “What the hell is this? We don’t even sell this.” On hearing that it was a new McGraw album likely shelved by the man himself, the cashier rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “Oh, now that you mention it, a guy in a blouse did come through a day or two ago. I didn’t even recognize him.”
Contacted for comment, a Walmart spokeswoman offered: “We do have a strict policy against customers attempting to merchandise items that aren’t sold by the store, so we’ll have to look into how Mr. McGraw got the CDs past our fleet of watchful greeters and motivated store personnel and into our music display area. We’ll notify our other locations to be on the lookout for him as well.”
Copies of Contry Music are selling for upwards of $50 on eBay. Of the album title, our source says: “Spelling has never been Tim’s strong suit. Faith probably wasn’t home when he was labeling the discs.”