Sullivan, Missouri's own Chris Webb is definitely on to something with his debut Nashville recording "On to Something." His genre of choice, COUNTRY... the honest and genuine kind about small-town living, the joys of family, and the daily struggles of your everyday, average American. If you don't think Chris fits that mold, just ask him and he'll tell you that his life has been nothing short of a roller coaster journey.
"I was born in small town USA," Chris admits. "Sullivan, Missouri, that is."
"At the age of two, my father was killed in a mining accident, leaving my mother and grandparents to raise my sister and me." Chris credits his grandfather, Lee Pennock, as one of his greatest influences.
About the time Chris discovered his knack for music was when his family discovered they had a natural-born talent on their hands. Chris' God-given vocal ability was prevalent as far back as they can remember.
"At the age of five, he played his first guitar and sang for us around the Christmas tree," his family recalls.
It wasn't long before Chris took his passion to a whole new level, seeking out every opportunity he could to do what he loved best - sing and play.
"I grew up singing gospel music in the local churches and toured with a well-known group playing bass. I became a big fan of Elvis Presley's gospel recordings and the style just seemed to fit my voice. The soothing sound was a positive and uplifting reminder in my life."
But life ran its course and took a toll on Chris. After starting a family, the unthinkable soon became inevitable as he found himself divorced and relocating to Houston, Texas; his family disconnected and his passion for music on the back burner.
But like any true musician knows, it's only a matter of time before heartbreak and loss can be transformed into lyric and song. Chris' passion for music may have swindled, but it never died.
He reveals, "The flame did not go out...as a matter of fact, the move to Houston only helped ignite the fire."
"I will always have a place in my heart for gospel, but when I moved to Texas, I caught wind of country music. Artists like George Strait, Vince Gill and Tim McGraw made a major impact on me, and it wasn't long before I made the decision to follow in their footsteps."
It was in Houston where Chris was discovered by famed producer, A.V. Mittlestead (Clint Black, Mark Chesnutt, Clay Walker, ZZ Top). Mittlestead took Chris under his wing, producing the first of many demos, which would later help garner him the attention of some of Nashville's Music Row executives.
As fate would have it, Chris' songs caught the ear of Nashville producer, Gary Sadker, and immediately, plans for a full-length album ensued. After carefully selecting the songs that would fit Chris' rich, baritone voice and epitomize his down-home demeanor, the recording process began at Nashville's prestigious Bayou Studios (Music Row).
Chris reflects on his studio experience by saying, "I had an absolutely amazing time making this record and it was a privilege to have so many talented studio musicians and writers contribute to my project. We even dusted off an old Rick Nelson classic, 'Lonesome Town' and put our own contemporary spin on it. Gary picked out some incredible material for me to sing, and I think we hit a home run."
The album is called On to Something and the first single release to radio will be "Shade Tree," penned by brothers Richard and Andy Karg and Bryon Hill (Universal Music) of Nashville, Tennessee.
"It's 'swamp' country with a twist of southern rock," Chris admits. "Shade Tree has a dynamite hook and the lyrical content takes you back to the good ole days...sneakin' out on a summer night to meet a girl whose parent's don't approve. It's the tale of forbidden young love... as simple as that!"
With a dynamic new album and a compelling debut single headed to radio, Chris Webb is no doubt, on to something, and Nashville has taken notice.
But Chris has been around the business long enough to know the importance of staying grounded..."Only God and fate will work from here," he says.
One thing is for certain, Chris Webb is doing what God called him to do.