Austin grew up immersed in words and music in his home in upstate South Carolina. He grew up with a love of classic writers including Oscar Wilde, O. Henry, Walt Whitman and Dylan Thomas, he began writing his own poetry at nine years old. Musically, he received healthy doses of Motown, rhythm and blues, rock and roll and retro-country from the ‘50s, ‘60s and 70’s. This combination led him to the certainty that he would pursuing a career as a writer of some sort, and after picking up a guitar at the age of fifteen, he began to pour his passion and emotion into songs of his own.
Upon graduation from high school, Austin moved to Atlanta and began playing gigs up and down the east coast. He juggled in several odd job along the way to support his pursuits as a singer/songwriter, including one notable stint on a BMW assembly line building cars. “I’ve had to work hard for everything,” offers Webb. “I’ve always had some kinda fire inside, and I guess it developed into a ridiculous work ethic; there are worse things,” he says with a laugh.
His first trip to Nashville was a spontaneous response to a bad breakup. “I was twenty years old,” he says, “and I just jumped in the car and drove all night to Music City. First this I did was go to Johnny Cash’s grave. It was, like, four in the morning, and there I was, playing my guitar and paying my respects with a few songs. It made sense to me, but telling the story, it was pretty surreal.”
After spending a few days in Nashville, Webb headed back home, stopping briefly along the way at one of the many Waffle Houses along the route. He dropped some change in the jukebox for his favorite Patsy Cline tune and started chatting with a charming older couple in the diner. The husband turned out to be none other than Charlie Louvin, a noted singer/songwriter and longtime member of the Grand Ole Opry and a favorite influence of Austin … and the two became fast friends. Charlie invited Austin to join him onstage that very night at the Smokehouse in Monteagle, TN, and when Charlie introduced him that night, he told the crowd that Austin reminded him of Kris Kristofferson - one of Austin’s musical heroes! The two remained friend and kept in touch until Charlie’s passing.
A local songwriting competition in South Carolina would be the ultimate path for Austin to return to Nashville. Upon Austin’s win of the “Nashville Connection” event, his performance demo found its way into the hands of renowned producer Byron Gallimore (Tim McGraw, Sugarland). Austin immediately headed back to Nashville with the opportunity of a publishing deal with Gallimore followowed immediately by his first record deal.
Austin described his music as country soul. “I grew up on songwriters and soul singers,” says Webb. “That’s where my heart is. I’m a lyric guy that still likes to get down every now and then.”
With varied musical influence like Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Bob Dylan and David Bowie, Austin’s music balances gracefully between genres and styles, blending his unique style with sincere homage. From the radio rips like “Just Got Paid” and “Young Americans,” to the gut-wrenching power ballads like “Getting Even” and “Stitches,” Austin’s writing continues to grow and flourish.
With over fifteen years of writing, touring, and performing in his rearview mirror, Austin is keeping his foot on the gas and continuing to hone his craft. He has earned over 25 million streams, 140 thousand online followers and two Top 40 hit singles at Country Radio. As a writer, Austin has garnered multiple album cuts and radio singles,
On a personal note, Austin married his longtime girlfriend, Melanie, in 2016; the two announced the birth of their son, Owen, in 2017. Both his wife and son are a constant inspiration for his upcoming project to be announced later this year.