The Troubadour

 
Austin Webb on Oak & Eden
 

interview by Brad Neathery | photography by Jason Holland

 
 

 
 

Music is a language we all understand. The best songwriting is real, raw, and vulnerable, giving us a peek inside the soul of its creator. It is almost exclusively interpreted through the lens of each individual who experiences it, and speaks something unique to all of us.

Austin Webb was born into a middle class blue collar family in South Carolina and turned to writing songs and poetry at the age of eight, shortly after his parents divorced. At 15, he started playing guitar, and within six months he recorded and released a seven song album/EP. He began touring locally on weekends and weeknights after school. His music took to the ears of those who carried a level of influence, and after winning a songwriting competition, he packed his bags and moved to Nashville, leading to a hard-earned publishing deal, immediately followed by a recording deal, which landed him a Top 40 single, followed by a Top 30 single, and songwriting opportunities for other artists.

We had the privilege of getting to interview Austin, discussing what it means to him to overcome adversity and allow for challenges to become the mechanism for healing and growth.

 
 
 
Austin Webb on Oak & Eden
 
 
 

Brad

Give us a day in the life of Austin Webb.

Austin

I wake up at 5AM, drink 12 oz. of water, drink coffee, drive to gym, workout or write for an hour depending on the day (I switch every other day), drive to my day job, write for an hour at lunch, drive home, arrive by 7PM, play with my son outside for an hour, eat supper with my wife and son, give our son a bath or clean the kitchen, depending on the day (switching every other day). We all watch a movie or read to our son until he falls asleep. Write from 10PM-11PM. Sleep. Start it over. Family is most important time. I try to be mindful of every moment.

Brad

What inspired you to get into music?

Austin

When I was a kid, I bought a working record player and “The Freewheelin” Bob Dylan vinyl album a yard sale for $3. Before that I was listening to a lot of punk, classic and indie rock songs that I’d heard on skateboarding videos. Maybe it was the vinyl, or watching the record spin and hearing Bob Dylan singing poetry, but it was different and hooked me like a fish.

 
 
Austin Webb on Oak & Eden
 
 

Brad

What were some of the challenges you had to overcome that helped to define who you are today?

Austin

Where to begin? A big one is this: the label I was previously on had closed abruptly just two months after my wife and I got engaged. After 6 months of savings dissolved, I got a job working construction and drove Uber to make ends meet. It was embarrassing and humbling, but overall necessary. Bitter, confused and looking for a fresh start, my wife and I left our nice house in Nashville for a small one-room, 100-year-old cottage outside of Charleston, SC. My wife was a three months pregnant with our son and took leave from work. We needed health insurance and a steady income so I took a job selling Cadillacs in Charleston, which was even more humbling and depressing, but I knew I was doing the right thing for my family. I didn’t write a line that whole year. After a year in Charleston, the three of us moved to Atlanta to be close to my wife’s family. Being the sole source of income, I still keep up a day job. Currently, I work at an auto body shop during the week and perform private events every weekend. I should have drowned in the pride I’ve had to swallow. I’ve learned so much about myself. I’ve found out exactly who I am, who I want to be, and how to get there. I’m free from worry or persecution. I’m the best version of me I’ve ever been, and it feels good.

Brad

Who is your hero?

Austin

My wife, Melanie, for sure. It seems like she has super powers. She keeps me motivated and works harder than anyone I know to keep our family together. She’s an incredible mother and wife.

 
 
Austin Webb on Oak & Eden
 
 
 

Brad

What is music to you?

Austin

Music is a language that everyone understands. Music is the audible expression of feelings without words. Lyrics, on the other hand, are either redundant or necessary.

Brad

Every artist is creating something that they are trying to communicate to the world. What is it that you are trying to communicate?

Austin

I write songs because I’m a terrible painter. I’m grateful that I was able to tap into the flow of writing. My absolute favorite part of writing is when someone listens to a song says they could see it. The best songs are always the ones you can see.

Brad

What kind of whiskey do you prefer?

Austin

I prefer bourbon as a sipper. I like the overall full body flavor of bourbons over the drier taste of ryes. The bourbon legend in our house is a double in a short glass with one ice cube.

 
 
 
Austin Webb on Oak & Eden