Music Wall dedicates its first article dealing with American Country Music to the young and talented Jon Webber
Born in Burlingame, CA, and grew up in the Central Valley Jon moved to Nashville, the ‘City of Music’, in 2010.
This dreamer, romantic, and down-to-earth troubadour captivates audiences with his songs around United States, Virgin Islands and Honduras. His songs are reflections on the stories that define his life.
Jon has performed with the giants of American country music, pop and rock: Lonestar, Billy Currington, Love & Theft, Leann Rimes, Kristen Kelly, LoCash Cowboys and more.
Done Up & Stripped Down (SESAC/ASCAP/NOLA/BMI), the debut album, was launched in 2012 and was followed by a revamped version of Webber’s Blue Swirls as his lead-off single in 2014.
Jon is currently working on his second album as well as writing for other artists across multiple genres.
How was your passion for music born?
First, I’d just like to say thanks for reaching out, I’m happy to chat with ya! I grew up listening to the Beatles, Elvis, the Beach Boys, Johnny Cash, and all the good Motown oldies – there was always music playing in our house. Family legend has it that when I was 2 years old, my older sister was rehearsing for her high school’s rendition of the musical Chicago, and apparently I ‘helped’ her learn the songs. I’m not sure how much I helped her, but I do know that to this day if I hear one of those songs I can still sing along.
Why did you choose to move to Nashville?
When I was still living in Central California, I had the honor of playing at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. It’s a huge, beautiful theater where I used to watch some of my favorite bands perform. It’s the biggest venue in the region, besides the arena, and I knew I wasn’t going to be playing there anytime soon, so I knew if I was going to truly pursue music, I’d have to move to Music City. Nashville is just such a great town, I’m really happy to call it home.
What do you miss most about California?
Definitely my family and friends, my fraternity brothers… they’re more like family anyway. My schedule doesn’t allow me to get back home very often but when I do it’s as if no time has passed. I also miss the Northern California coastline… that was actually a big part of the inspiration behind Shoulda Seen Her Smile.
Which are the singer-songwriters you have as models for your music?
I’m just gonna go ahead and say it: I think John Lennon & Paul McCartney are the best songwriting duo of all time. I love the kind of songwriting that’s fun and catchy but at the same has a strong lyrical backbone, something real.
How did you feel performing with the world-renowned musicians (Lonestar, Billy Currington, Love & Theft, Leann Rimes, Kristen Kelly, LoCash Cowboys)?
It’s awesome. I really respect everything they’ve all done in their careers and it’s an honor to perform with such great talent. A few of them have become really good friends of mine and I’m more grateful for that than anything.
What’s the best memory of your concerts?
I just love connecting with the fans who come out, the people singing along during the show, the high-fives and photos afterward. Every town is different and every fan is unique and I love being able to connect with them on stage– we turn into one big awesome group of energy and fun– and then one-on-one after the set. It’s just a blast.
What kind of music are you into, besides country and pop/rock?
I like anything, so long as it’s real. Bluegrass, Christian, anything New Orleans style, there’s some great stuff going on in the Top40 pop world too which is fun to see.
Which do you write first? The lyrics or the music?
It really varies from song to song. For some reason I seem to get a lot of songs started in the shower…not sure why, but next thing I know I’m finishing up a song and I realize I’ve been sitting in my towel for the past few hours. Other times I’ll sit down with my guitar and get a cool groove going and that’ll inspire something that fits the vibe I’m playing.
Which is the piece that symbolizes you most?
Shucks, that’s a tough one there. I feel like I put a piece of me into every song I write. I know music nowadays, especially country music lately, has shifted more toward the niche artist paradigm, but I don’t see it that way. Nobody’s one-dimensional, so I’m not going to write just one type of song. Sure, sometimes I’m in a feel good, party mood, other times life ain’t all sugar and roses… and I’ll admit to being somewhat of a hopeless romantic. So with every album I put out I try to give an honest representation of where I’m at in my life. This next project I’m working on is really going to showcase that, I’m really excited.
You love your family, country and God… would you like to tell us anything about these values?
I wouldn’t be anywhere if it wasn’t for God. He’s blessed me in so many ways… gave me a loving family, an opportunity to write and play music for a living. I know I’m no Jesus but I sure am grateful for him.
I like very much the lines ‘You’re the rush I get when I dive right in to an icy lake; You’re the breath I take when my head first reaches the surface; Ya, you’re worth it’ of Blue Swirls (written with Allen Shervelle). How did you come up with this metaphor?
Love is a powerful, wonderful, scary thing. For a long time in my life I had this, not really a fear, but a weird irrational hesitation before jumping into any body of cold water. Even a dang backyard pool. No idea why. One day after jumping in I realized how much time I’d wasted just sitting out on the sidelines for no real reason at all. At that moment I decided I wasn’t going to do that anymore, in any aspect of my life.
The sentences ‘I want you to look me in the eye then; I’ll say ‘I love you’ but in silence’ of the song In Silence. Would you like to tell us anything more about this?
For me, I just imagined what that real, true love would feel like, where you can’t even use words to explain it because they wouldn’t do it any justice. I put myself right in that moment and the result is that song.
Let’s talk about One Hand On The Bible. What do you mean exactly with the line ‘I’ve got one hand on the Bible, and the other hand is pouring out the wine’?
That song is a true story, so it’s really close to me. I saw myself going down a dark path… dealing with loss the wrong way. It was time to turn things around.
What was the inspiration for the amazing Waterfall?
Here the refrain:
‘Baby, love’s like a waterfall and I’m divin’ in deep
Forgettin’ how to breathe beside you
Or a twister in the fall and I’m caught somewhere between
Scared out of my mind and can’t help but stare in awe
Ya it all comes so natural’
A girl with green eyes – he smiles.
Can you give us previews of your next project please?
Sure! The single is out now, a revamped version of Blue Swirls, check it out on my website! I’ll be releasing some teasers to fans on Facebook and Twitter soon also.
Could you please send a message or a motto to the readers of our magazine to follow your music?
How about… music that makes you feel – he smiles.
It’s simply perfect! Our magazine has the same motto. I’d like to thank you on behalf of our readers and of Music Wall. This interview has been a great pleasure for us.
Visit the official website of Jon Webber
To read the lyrics of his songs click here