Austin Webb

Austin Webb

For Streamsounds recording artist Austin Webb, the title of his debut single, "It's All Good," sums up his feelings these days on having a record out to radio. "It feels like a dream, really. It doesn't seem real."

A South Carolina native, Webb's musical influence runs very wide. "I grew up listening to Motown and Kris Kristofferson as a child, so I had a really wide group of influences growing up. It showed through, and I just kept going with it."

He said the music he was listening to helped him stand apart from the crowd as a teenager. "A lot of the people I was hanging out with were listening to pop or punk -- whatever was trending at the time, I kept listening to what I wanted -- which by that time, included a lot of folk music. I kept a lot of my influences to myself, and kept them out of the loop. Everyone was surprised when I made a record. People knew what I wanted to do for a career, but I don't think anyone knew I would do it this much except for my parents," he said, admitting that's by design. "Some things, you've got to keep to yourself, or people will try to destroy it, until things can come to fruition."

Webb's first time in Nashville was one of those magical experiences that you just don't make up. "I had broken up with my girlfriend, and had driven all the way to Nashville in the middle of the night from South Carolina. I got there about four in the morning, and sat down at Johnny Cash's grave playing my guitar. Then, on the way home, I stopped in Manchester at the Waffle House, and put on a 45 of Patsy Cline on the jukebox, and Charlie Louvin was there. We started talking, and he invited me to open for him that night in Monteagle. We became friends until about a week before he died. That was the first time I had ever been to Tennessee, and I meet Charlie Louvin," he says.

Webb is in the process of recording his full-length debut. When asked by Billboard about the sound of the album, he stated "Every song is individual on its' own, but together, they form one piece of work. It's like each song is a patch on the quilt, and the album is going to be a quilt. Altogether, it's something that works together. I have about 80 songs I'm going through right now."

Webb allowed that working in the studio with veteran producer Byron Gallimore has been a great experience. "He's like a father to me. We have a very close relationship," he says of the man behind hits from Lee Ann Womack and Tim McGraw. "We talk about every day. I feel really good about it. In the studio, we tell jokes, which makes it easy. I'll go outside, and play with Star, his basset hound, and hang out. it's super laid back, not stressful at all."

Webb can't wait to get on the road this spring, and he won't be hard to find -- just look for the artist with the tattoos. "I have a full sleeve on my left arm. I have a rose on my wrist. I have a microphone with Patsy Cline's name on it, a ship's steering wheel, a harmonica with an eyeball, a cartoon radio, my dog Archie, who passed away about four years ago, an ex-girlfriend under my armpit, and I just got  'Old Dogs, Children, and Watermelon Wine' on my right arm for Tom T. Hall. I call it my 'all-inclusive arm," he says with a laugh.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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