For James Robert Webb, his current single “American Beauty,” isn’t just another tribute song to the men and women who keep us safe and defend the freedoms we hold dear. It’s personal. Webb comes from a long line of military service, (his grandfather served under Patton during the Battle Of The Bulge and his father is an Army vet as well), so he was inspired to write the song in part to honor their sacrifices as well as those who serve today.
“I really wrote this song because military service is real big in my family – my grandfather served under Patton in World War II and when I was born, my dad was overseas actually in Germany in the Army, and so it’s really a song about when soldiers suit up and go and defend the country and leave behind those American Beauties.”
The song is among the tracks on Webb’s latest album, Honky Tonk Revival that was released in May. During a recent visit to the MusicRow Magazine offices, Webb performed a stripped-down version of the song as well as another tune from the project, “Heart Hangover,” that he penned with Alex Dooley.
Though the traditionalist wrote nearly every song on his new CD, he admitted he did reach back into the vaults to put his spin on a couple of classics for the record, including a tune he holds particularly dear and loved as a kid growing up, “Nobody In His Right Mind Would’ve Left Her.” He performed his version of the George Strait classic, explaining why he chose it for the new collection.
“I wrote most of this album, pretty much every song, but I took one outside song and I did two covers. And this is one of those songs I just love. It’s the first song I heard on country radio that it clicked in my head when I was a kid that songs can be clever – nobody in his right mind would’ve left her – and I love it. It’s a classic Strait song and I love Strait. It’s like number two in the honky tonk hymnal. And this version, we do it just a little bit more breezy and a little bit more modern.”
The Tulsa native has been busy touring the country in support of “American Beauty,” and chatted with staffers about how he balances his shows with his day job as a physician and also a dad to three kids as well.
“I still live in Tulsa but I travel to Nashville quite a bit to write. I’d like to make the move here, but I have three little kids at home, but my family has been really supportive of me traveling and performing. I’ve been on a radio tour and that’s my favorite thing about the MusicRow [CountryBreakout] chart is the indicators are supportive of any new artists, not just playing the 20-minute set playlists. And as an independent artist I really appreciate what MusicRow does from a perspective of encouraging that. And actually helping someone like me to get played on the radio. And also to be able to go out and make new fans at these stations that are actually playing us.”
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