Cody Webb is spending a lot of his time in Nashville these days – a long way from Ridge Spring, S.C., where he’s lived his entire life. At 25, he has released two albums and is getting ready to release a third.
“I spend about every other week in Nashville, collaborating with other songwriters and attending meetings,” he said recently, looking out over his hometown from a spot at Juniper’s Restaurant. “Trent Jeffcoat from West Columbia is one of the ones I write with when I’m in Nashville.”
On the days he’s home, he tries to catch up on his bookings and spend time with family. On weekends, Webb is all over the place, doing gigs in much of the Southeast and beyond. He’ll perform at 10 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24, at Wild Wing Cafe, 3035 Washington Road.
Webb is no stranger to the music world. His father, Eddie Webb, is a longtime singer/songwriter.
“I had my first guitar when I was 8,” said the younger Webb. “My dad had bands, and I played with them while I was growing up. I learned a lot from them. I took a few lessons, but mostly I learned as I went along.”
Today, one of his prize possessions is a guitar, custom-made by Fowler Guitars of Ridge Spring.
Webb graduated from Clemson University in 2011 with a degree in mechanical engineering, which he admits he “hasn’t thought about since.”
“My first love has always been music,” he said. “I like singing and performing, but songwriting is my biggest passion.”
He keeps a log in his cell phone and when songs come to mind, he quickly jots them down.
“I tell myself if I’m really going to do this, I’ll build my catalog before I move to Nashville,” he said.
Although he likes all types of music and started out playing mostly Southern rock and blues, now he sticks to country. He likes all the old artists such as Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and George Jones, but the artist who has influenced him most is Eric Church. He also likes Florida-Georgia Line. He has mixed emotions when it comes to new country music.
“On one hand, I hate to see it moving away from traditional country but on the other hand, I don’t like being put into a box,” he said. “I like to spread out.”
Webb said he and his dad played a lot of acoustic shows at home while he was in high school and college.
“I wanted to play in the clubs around Clemson but because I was 18 at the time, they wouldn’t let me. One place finally gave me a break and all my friends came out and packed the place. I didn’t have any problems booking downtown after that.”
Webb performed more than 150 shows in his last year of college.
He raised the money for his first album (called a “kickstarter” and done completely on his own), with 100-plus contributors. Things to Prove was released in April 2012.
“I started talking with Steve Kendrick of Monument Entertainment in Atlanta after that, and I signed a contract with him this past March,” said Webb. “He funded my second album, I Ain’t No Quitter. Both were produced by Chris Beals at Verge Studios in Nashville. The third, an extended play album, is due to be released in January.”
Monument Entertainment also funded a recent nine-state radio tour to promote Webb’s new song, Mudd Bogg.
“We got some radio play out of it,” said Webb. “Eagle 92.9 of Florence was the first station to play, Mudd Bogg. It started at No. 38 and went to No. 21. …
“Most artists look to get a label first and that gets you to radio,” he added. “We’re working backwards. My investor has a lot of radio connections.”
Webb said while he’s looking to get a label, he realizes how fierce the competition is.
“I do the writers’ rounds in Nashville where different writers share songs and network,” he said. “And you never know who’s going to be there. Some of the best musicians in the world are there. But musicians are also a dime a dozen. You just have to hit it right.”
For more on Webb, go to codywebbsite.com.