Teddy Robb hasn’t had the traditional road to a country music career in Nashville. After finishing college at Kent State where he played football, the Ohio native moved to Nashville on a whim. He was working the honkytonk scene when he took a fateful trip to Colorado that changed his career path. While on vacation with some friends in Vail Teddy ended up on stage performing a few songs at a local spot called Pepi’s. The bar manger offered him a full-time gig as their musician on the spot. Having always wanted to live in the mountains Robb took the position.
Throughout the course of the next year Robb refined his sound merging country with folk. It was during that year he had yet another chance meeting that would ultimately bring him back to Nashville. Robb is now back in Nashville full-time and has a publishing deal with SMACK Songs. His debut single “Lead Me On” is just about to cross the million stream mark and this is just the beginning for Teddy.
You were an athlete your entire life. Do you feel you get more of a rush on a stage artist or on the field as an athlete?
Teddy: It’s actually not that different of a rush at all [laughs]. I remember my first time getting on stage and I had that void to fill from not being on the football field anymore. After that night I felt like I found something I could really sink my teeth into, love and not risk my body to do it [laughs]. I love the rush of being on stage, holding a crowd in the palm in your hand and sharing that experience with them.
What drew you to the country genre as an artist?
Teddy: I landed in country music because of the stories country music tells in the songs. I remember discovering “Troubadour” by George Strait or “In Color” by Jamey Johnson and feeling something I never had before as a nineteen, twenty year old….Not really understanding it but feeling moved by a song and realizing if I worked really hard at this one day, I might be able to make somebody else feel that too because of a song I’d written.
How did you end up back in Nashville from Colorado?
Teddy: One night when was I was in Colorado….I actually wasn’t even playing music, I was watching a friend. The bar was pretty packed, a few guys walked in, and I had a table to myself. For whatever reason I grabbed them to ask if they wanted to share the table with me because I was leaving shortly. They sat down, we chatted and shared a beer and one of them happened to be in the music industry. He offered to connect me with some people which lead me back to Nashville and to Ben Fowler.
You co-wrote your debut track “Lead Me On” with Ryan Beaver, Matt McGinn and Aaron Eshuis. It was produced by Shane McAnally, Matt McGinn, and Ben Fowler. What was the story and creativity behind that track?
Teddy: I had that title idea and I brought it in to my first write with SMACK writers. I was nervous and excited. I love songs that give you a title and you don’t really know where it is going to go. I look at my songs as characters and my children [laughs]. I just had the concept that there’s a guy and there’s a girl telling him ‘I don’t want to lead you on.’ He’s saying ‘it’s okay if you do because at least if I’m lead on, I have a chance.’ That’s what that whole song is about. There might have been some personal experience behind that but I definitely let me imagination go wild with it. I think we’ve all been there in one way [laughs].
Every artist is influenced and inspired by dozens of other artists throughout the span of their career. With that said, if you were to pick your musical parents who would they be?
Teddy: I’d say George Strait is my musical dad. That’s who I’d love to be like as an entertainer and a person. I’ve just heard such wonderful things about him in the way that he’s able to be an artist on the top of the world but also disconnect, go out in the woods fishing and hunting and be a real person. Then George’s brothers, my uncles, would be Glenn Frey from the Eagles and Ronnie Dunn. I sound nothing like Ronnie, but the way he tells a story in his songs is incredible. My musical mom would have to be Steve Nicks. She’s just incredible. Then Reba has would be my country mom.
Make sure to grab a warm blanket, a cup of coffee and get cozy before you check out Teddy’s handpicked Colorado themed playlist for Jam Catchers readers below. It includes his debut single “Lead Me On” available everywhere now!