One of the most talked about new singer-songwriters in Nashville is our Swag Spotlight this week, Teddy Robb. Robb grew up in Akron, Ohio and didn’t really start listening to country music until high school. Before that, he listened to classic rock like Bob Seger, The Eagles, ACDC and Pink Floyd. He laughs as he explains that he only started listening to country music for a girl. “I thought, ‘No that is just for sad people and for people who’s dog died and their truck broke down’ but then I remember listening to “Summertime” by Kenny Chesney and I was like…oh actually this is really fun I can get into this,” he tells us. From then on he loved Brooks and Dunn, Tim McGraw and of course, Kenny Chesney. He didn’t play music growing up, instead, he played sports and even played football in college for a few years but after he stopped playing football he took that passion and newly founded free time and started learning how to play guitar. After a teacher challenged him to play one night at an open mic night, he fell in love with performing and being up on stage.
“I started playing local clubs in Akron, Ohio and before long I decided I wanted to move to Nashville so one morning I just woke up and said this is the day, I am moving,” he explains his spontaneous decision. He played honky-tonks and cover songs for about a year before once again making a big move, this time to Colorado. He was captivated by the lifestyle, as an outdoorsman, being able to hike and fish in the summer and ski and snowboard in the winter, he loved living there. All the while, he was playing country music at night, honing in on his craft and perfecting his sound. He explains that although he was playing country music, every once in a while a request would come in for something a little different, whether it was John Prine, Bob Dylan or Pure Prairie League. This allowed him to open up his musical horizons and eventually create the sound that he now brings back to Nashville. His voice, his delivery, and his lyrics are the perfect blend of laid back folk and modern country.
His travels from Ohio to Nashville to Colorado and back to Nashville again have taught him lessons about himself as a musician and allowed him to learn about the type of music he wanted to create. “On a whim, a little bit of luck and a little bit of hard work, that is how I got here,” Robb tells us. He signed with Sony Monument Records and started getting into writing rooms around town. “I connected with the SMACK writers, I knew it felt very natural and I knew I wanted to end up being there and then they offered me a publishing deal,” he recalls. “Since then I have been there writing every day.”
He tells us when he was 20 years old he heard George Strait’s “Troubadour” for the first time, a memory that he will always remember as the moment he knew he wanted to pursue a career in music. He had the pleasure of being in a writing room one day with one of the writers of that song, Leslie Satcher. He took the opportunity to explain to her how that song had changed the course of his life. “I’m in a room with somebody writing a song with them and they wrote a song in the past that is a huge reason why I am here today playing music. It was an incredible experience for me,” he tells us. “Nashville is a really special town because of those types of moments.”
Robb released his debut single earlier this year, “Lead Me On” was written with SMACK writers, Matt McGinn, Ryan Beaver, and Aaron Eshuis and produced by Shane McAnally. It is an upbeat honest track, a fun song that has a unique twist, where the singer doesn’t mind the cat and mouse game. His raspy voice and sultry delivery will have any listener throwing out the relationships rulebook. He explains that he truly loves the song and decided it should be the first single because of its versatility. “It’s the first one I wrote with SMACK writers and I think it leaves us room to go left or right, once we pick another song, that one doesn’t put us in a box of this is what we are, it has a nice availability to go a little more pop country or traditional.” He performed “Lead Me On” along with other songs recently at an exclusive event in Nashville hosted by SMACKSongs. Read our recap of the special night here. He also hosted his own writer’s round featuring Blake Chaffin and JT Harding where he impressed even more fans in Nashville.
Looking ahead, he is playing another writers round tonight (Mon, 11/5), be sure to head to our Instagram for video clips from the show. He is looking forward to getting out on the road and expanding his reach, playing his new music and eventually putting out an EP of that new music. Grab “Lead Me On” here and follow Teddy Robb on Instagram for the latest updates.
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