Singer, songwriter, musician, and touring artist Cody Webb has played hundreds of dates across the East Coast, Midwest and beyond, earning
thousands of fans with his expressive tenor and deft guitar work. Recently
relocated to Nashville from his native South Carolina, he's finishing work on
his debut EP and has assembled a team of top music business pros for his first
push onto the national scene.
Cody's childhood in South Carolina consisted of hunting, fishing,
sports, and music in tiny Ridge Spring. His mother had been a music major and
led the music ministry at their church. His father had a band and wrote songs,
so it wasn't surprising when Cody gravitated to guitar at eight and joined his
father onstage as a teenager. "I wanted to be a guitar player back
then," he says. "I had no idea what that would look like, but I was
making $100 on Sundays when I was 12 or 13 and thought I was killing it. Big
As first gigs go, the South Carolina Poultry Festival was a
big step for a 12-year-old. "I was terrible," Cody admits. "The
intro to 'Ballad of Curtis Lowe' was my spotlight moment. I was so nervous my
hands were shaking and it wasn't great. But there was a local artist named D.B.
Bryant who played right after us. He was a heck of a guitar player and watching
him, the whole world went away. I remember right then thinking, 'I'm going to
figure out how to do this.' Ten years later, I got to headline that stage at
that festival with my band. That was pretty cool."
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Hank Williams
Jr., were among Webb’s early influences and his father’s band. "They were
a southern rock cover band with a couple of great guitar players," Cody
says. "I learned a lot from them. Modern country didn't really hit me
until I got to college and learned every word and note to Eric Church's Sinners Like Me and Carolina albums. That's what really pointed me toward
Cody went on to major in mechanical engineering at Clemson
University. "I wanted to play the downtown bars so bad," he says.
"My first gig was a party my friends threw during my freshman year.
Eventually, I talked a local venue into letting me play one Wednesday. We
packed it out and I never had a problem booking a date in Clemson after
that." His senior year, Cody was playing every weekend and venturing out
regionally to the tune of 188 dates that year. "I played as much as I could
and saved as much money as I could, knowing Nashville had to be my next
Visits to Music City began late in his college career. Cody
was enamored ... and daunted. "At Clemson, I had the music scene figured
out," he says. "In Nashville, there were 10 guitar players better
than me in the room, let alone the
city. Every song at every writer's round was better than anything I had. It was
overwhelming and I went back thinking, 'You've got to get better. You've got to
work your tail off.' That was real motivation, real inspiration."
A songwriter since his teens – his father was his first
co-writer – Cody has immersed himself in the craft. "I write a lot,"
he says. "It's probably my biggest passion. When I moved to Nashville, I’d
probably written 20 to 25 songs and I probably only still play one of them.
This town takes songwriting so seriously and it has inspired that in me as
well. Writing is the most challenging thing I've ever done. As a musician,
melody is probably my strongest suit, but there are days I can't write lyrics
fast enough. And then there are days when nothing is working. Whether you have
that magic writing session where a song just falls out or you grind through an
idea you've had for months, ending up with a song you're proud of is the
greatest reward there is. Or it seems like it is until someone else hears that
song you wrote, feels exactly what you felt and sings it back to you from the
audience. That bond you get with a fan through the songs ... there's nothing
Performing live is at the core of Cody's artistry, whether
it be for a packed house of familiar faces or winning over a handful in a new
town. "You see it all when you’re on the road," he says. "Doing
what I do, nothing embarrasses you and nothing thrills you more than the chance
to make that connection from the stage. Full band shows, acoustic, opening,
headlining, big room or tiny club – that's the place." His reputation as a
performer has begun to precede him. "I was really into the Allman Brothers
when I was young and learned a lot of slide. I started doing a song where I'm
playing with a beer bottle, switching hands back and forth. A lot of people ask
for that – the beer bottle song – even though it hasn't really been a part of
my show for a while."
Led by songs including the propulsive "More Than A
Little" and plaintive "My My My Girl," Cody's new EP reveals
something distinctive yet undeniably at home in today's country landscape.
"I've had comparisons to Keith Urban in terms of the bluesy feel of my
guitar playing, and others have said my songs sound like '90s alternative and
country had a baby. It's hard for me to put an exact label on what I do, but
it's definitely guitar-heavy country. I don't put myself in a box as a writer
or artist. It's not about being different, but just being myself” says Cody.