I recently had the opportunity to interview Roy Webb.
Q. You’ve had musical training which, compared to the average Southern Gospel pianist, is a little unusual. Could you tell us about your musical training and influences?
A. I guess my attitude towards musical training is pretty simple… God deserves our absolute best! The Bible states that we should “Study to show thyself approved,” so, that’s what I try to do! I live just north of Cincinnati, so, I checked in to getting a teacher to study with at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. What a great school. There are so many talented musicians attending there. People from all over the world. It is very diverse. However, it was a pretty tedious job just trying to find someone to teach me, making sure our schedules “lined up.” driving through all of that traffic, the CONSTANT practicing, studying, all of those things-it makes it worthwhile knowing that I am doing my best in order to make God’s music the absolute best that I can make it! So, if I were to give anyone advice-it would be this-learn as much as you can-and NEVER stop learning! EVER!
Now-my musical influences are BROAD! I have over 10,000 songs on my iPod-everything from Jazz, Country, Black Gospel, Choirs, Bluegrass, Classical, Oldies, Southern Gospel, 80’s
Rock, ..EVERYTHING is on there…so, my influences are broad. But, Southern Gospel is my first love! It ALWAYS has been and always will be! I think you can learn something both good and bad from ANY song you listen to, no matter what genre it is.
Q. You had your first concert a few weeks ago. How did that go? How busy has your schedule since been?
A. My first concert went really, really well! It was just a good feeling to get out there and see the fans again, playing the piano for people is what I do, so, it felt great to share what I do with all of the people who were there that night.
Since then, my schedule has been hectic-in a different way! I knew this solo thing was going to be ALOT of work-and believe me it is-but, now I am responsible for EVERYTHING! So, I am busy with everything from ordering product, to maintaining my website, handling dates, mailing out website orders, coming up with new musical ideas, practicing, writing new jokes and comedy material, the list goes on….AND on top of that-just trying to be a good Dad and Husband. Wow….no wonder I’m tired everyday!
Q. What can fans expect at a Roy Webb concert?
A. I don’t know how to answer this, because I don’t even know what to expect from one of my concerts! -just kidding…well, the obvious, alot of piano-however, I also include some comedy(as would be expected) and I just share my story of how God is working in my life! One thing that has really been fun is when I take requests from the audience. Everybody has a favorite hymn or gospel song, so I will take requests and try to accommodate as many people as I can-time permitting. I do several songs off of my new cd “You Raise Me Up” and then we will do an audience sing-along. I just want people to leave with a smile on their face and I want them to know that being a Christian is the best choice anyone could ever make!
Q. Do you have any plans to sing on any upcoming projects, or at your concerts?
A. As of right now, I have NO plans to sing on ANY cd that I will ever make. Now, I can carry a tune, but after watching SSQ sing every week for almost 4 years, I can say, I am not a singer! Those
guys ARE singers. They are incredible. So, I’m just happy to be able to play the piano! But, in concert I will sing along every now and then-but unless God allows me to sing like Doug Anderson or David Phelps….you won’t hear me on an album anytime soon! 🙂
Q. The year is 1977, and you have your pick of playing piano for any Southern Gospel group. Which group do you choose?
A. If the year was 1967-1977-1987-or 1997 my answer is simple-I would play piano for The Cathedrals. They were, in my opinion, the best quartet of all time. They mesmerized me. They were consistent in their arrangements, their songs, their abilities. George Younce IS hands-down the BEST bass singer the world has ever seen. There are alot of great bass singers, but, he was anointed. And, Glen Payne was a great, unbelievable lead singer! Combine that with Lari Goss producing their records, and their song selection-they were unmatched. My favorite album of all time is High And Lifted Up. Followed by Master Builder, Going In Style, Something Special, Cathedral Christmas, Radio Days, Travelin’ Live….I love everything they did!
Q. Are there any questions you wish an interviewer would ask you, but nobody has yet?
A. Where do I see SG in 10 years? I really wish I knew-With the development of the Internet, Youtube, and iPods, there is no telling where our music is going! I mean that in a good way! When I was a kid-I would have to listen to the same records or cds for weeks and months until a group came to my area and I got the chance to purchase more of their music. Now, you can have it anytime of the day for $.99. I would get so excited in the days and weeks leading up to a concert because I couldn’t wait to see what a group was going to sing or do-now you can go on Youtube and see whatever you want! So, i think as an artist, we are going to have to pray alot more and work alot harder to make our concerts a better experience! People want to be motivated, challenged and lifted up. Our music does all of those things! Now we just need to polish our programs to make the experience so enjoyable that, when an artist comes to town people want to shut off the television, put their kids in the car and say “you kids are about to experience something you can’t download off of the Internet!” That is what is going to keep our music alive for decades to come. We need to keep passing it down. And, we need to represent the music well. Good arrangements, good singing/playing, work hard at perfecting the music-it all pays off in the end.
Q. Could you tell about your upcoming recording projects, and other future plans?
A. As far as upcoming albums-I just finished one entitled Continual Praise, which is a collection of over 35 praise and worship style songs done with just an acoustic piano. Like the title, the album is continual-one song right into the next without stopping. It lasts for over 45 minutes and will be great for people who want something to listen to while driving home from work, or doing their morning devotions, this album sounds great! I’m proud of it! Also, I am working on a Love Songs cd. I have already created 8 of the 10 tracks. It is coming along really well! I spent alot of time selecting the songs for this one and I cannot wait for people to hear it! It is pretty different than any other cd I have done so far! It has been really fun making this cd!
As far as my plans for the future-I’m just going to every solo concert and having a blast! I will only do about 90 concerts per year-which gives me ALOT more time at home and my family loves that! Things are going really well and God is blessing my life! I try not to say what I am going to do, or not do in the future because I have learned that God has total control over my life and I have no idea where He will take me! I would have never believed he would have taken me this far! So, wherever He wants to take me….I’LL GO!!
Q. How can fans contact you?
A. www.roywebbmusic.com or [email protected].
Thank you very much!