Austin grew up in Greenville, S.C. listening to healthy doses of Motown, R&B, rock, and retro country from the '50s, '60s and '70s. He also loved authors like Oscar Wilde, 0 . Henry, Walt Whitman and Dylan Thomas, and started writing poetry at nine years old. He knew he was going to be a writer of some sort, and at 16 when he picked up a guitar, he began pouring out his emotions into songs.
Austin's Martin guitar has been with him through thick and thin since he was 16 and is his most prized possession. He keeps signed photos of two of his heroes, Guy Clark and Kris Kristofferson, on the back of it.
"I really love that guitar," he says. "It never talks back, it never pisses me off, it never gets mad."
For a time after high school, he went to Atlanta and played gigs up and down the East Coast. He worked twenty-five different odd jobs during his quest to make it as a singer/songwriter, including working on an assembly line building cars at a BMW plant.
"I've always had to work hard for everything; nothing was ever handed to me," says Austin. "My family is not very rich. They're just regular people, so I had to do a lot of things for myself, and so I've always had a pretty good work ethic."
Austin's first trip to Nashville was completely spontaneous after a bad breakup. He turned his car towards Tennessee and drove all night to Music City, stopping at Johnny Cash's grave about four in the morning to pay his respects to the country legend with a few songs on his guitar. On his way back home from the trip, he stopped at a Waffle House, put Patsy Cline on the jukebox, and met a charming older couple. The husband turned out to be none other than Charlie louvin- (another influence of Austin's)- and the two soon became friends. Charlie invited him to play onstage with him that night at the Smokehouse in Monteagle, Tennessee, and when he introduced him, he told the crowd that Austin reminded him of none other than Kris Kristofferson himself!
After winning a local South Carolina songwriting competition, ironically called the Nashville Connection, Webb moved to Nashville. The demo he made through the contest made its way into the hands of Grammy award-winning producer Byron Gallimore, who immediately offered him a publishing deal. His debut album on Streamsound Records is due out later this year, and it features his recent Top 40 single, "Slip On By." The song is a sentimental ballad that stresses the value of time and not living in regret. Country Weekly named Austin as "One To Watch in 2013."
Austin describes his music as "country soul" and strives for honesty and relevance in his lyrics. His top three musical influences are Joe Cocker, Otis Redding and Bill Withers, but he also has tons of songwriting heroes such as Townes VanZandt, Bob Dylan, and Guy Clark as well. From the upbeat "It's All Good" to the gut-wrenchingly honest "Getting Even," his songs convey the real emotion of everyday life in fresh and rousing new ways.
For some examples of the things Austin loves, check out his arm. His sleeve of tattoos includes pictures of his beloved basset hound, Archie, who passed away, a vintage radio, an ex-girlfriend, a ship's wheel, and many more.