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Michael Webb rocks the house at Chamber banquet
Many peers and mentors included Danny Bailey, Steve Wheeler, Larry Dudley, Bobby Coffey, Todd Ballou, Doug Neal, John Sandusky, Martin Russell, David Murrell, Carl Johnson, Ray Martin, the ACHS Band, and piano teacher Sharon Harris...
By Linda Waggener
Singer/Songwriter Michael Webb rocked the house and demonstrated his musical talent as guest entertainer at the annual Columbia Adair County Chamber of Commerce banquet Tuesday evening at Lindsey Wilson College.
His singing, and playing on three different instruments, was really well received. Sandy Simpson noted, "I felt like I'd been home as he spoke of so many local names he'd worked with along his music career."
He remembered their band called Equinox and said, "our proudest moment was representing Adair County at the State Fair. We got our first standing ovation right down the hill at the Fairgrounds."
He told the group, in part, "I was born and raised right here in Columbia. In fact, I went to the training school right here at Lindsey Wilson from Kindergarten through the fourth grade! Sometimes, at lunch, the student teachers would bring us up here to the student union building and that was and exciting adventure.
"It was in that building that many of us kids heard the hits of the day for the first time. These weren't nursery rhymes or sing-a-longs, no, these were the songs the COOL COLLEGE KIDS were listening to - "American Pie" "You're So Vain" "Crocodile Rock" "Colour My World" and that edgy rockin' Osmond brothers song "Down By the Lazy River".
"Meanwhile our local country music station played all the latest classic country hits: "Rose Garden" "Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'" "When You're Hot You're Hot" and that 'dirty' classic song that made me fall in love with the classic country piano style "Behind Closed Doors."
"I went to EKU as piano performance major but it wasn't long until I was playing in bands on the side and taking summer work playing in shows at Kings Island in Cincinnatti. This eventually led to my studying at Berklee School of Music in Boston and moving to Virginia Beach to play at Busch Gardens.
"It wasn't long until I found my kindred spirits in Nashville with like-minded musicians who loved it so much that's how they wanted to make their living!
"One of the first I connected with was Adair County's own Danny Bailey who was making his mark as a recording engineer and producer. He taught me a lot about the recording process. How to set up for drums, how to record background singers, who to hire for this, who to NOT hire for that, how to build a sound booth - EVERYTHING!
"These were exciting times and I experienced a lot of fun things: playing all through the country, watching the landscape change through the tour bus window. New York, LA, Phoenix, Dallas, San Francisco, Denver. I loved it - still do - and always appreciated the opportunity to catch up with family and friends throughout the country." He has traveled the world.
It began in his youth. Michael said, "Somewhere around fifth grade I began piano lessons with Sharon Harris. She was the perfect teacher, very patient letting me play my Elton John rock and roll songs as long as I kept up with my lessons. She was always very encouraging and I try to carry on that spirit with younger musicians today. I began taking guitar and mandolin lessons from principal William Rigney at John Adair Middle School. A few of us boys hung around after school and played bluegrass and country songs together and had a lot of fun doing it.
"I started playing trumpet in the beginning band and, thus, was totally immersed in a music education, learning all about reading music in band and piano, playing by ear on guitar, and listening to others in all three. Kept me out of trouble for a while!
"At some point I saw my first actual LIVE BAND at the high school gym. Danny Bailey, Steve Wheeler, Larry Dudley, and Bobby Coffey were playing rock and roll in PERSON - FOR REAL *IN FRONT OF PEOPLE! I was hooked forever!
"Soon, I started my own little band with Todd Ballou and Doug Neal. Doug put up with us as long as he could and soon passed the job on to John Sandusky. Martin Russell played with us for a while and we actually got pretty good. But soon, everybody lost interest and I soon found myself with an entirely new line-up: David Murrell on drums, Carl Johnson on bass, and Ray Martin on guitar and sax. We were called Equinox and our proudest moment was representing Adair County at the State Fair. We got our first standing ovation right down the hill at the Fairgrounds - what a great memory!
"We were all members of the ACHS marching band so we pretty much spent all our time together and it showed. We were a tight-knit group! I guess the pattern of my life was started then; bus travel on weekends, working at night, try to be normal during the day!
Today he is recording with a new band called Cimarron 615, completing an album this week.
"In the meantime," he said, "I'm playing with Hank Williams, Jr. through the summer and we'll right over there at Beaver Dam in early August! So, thank you for having me home, and keep moving forward!"
After his songs and sharing his story from his heart, Michael was given another standing ovation from his admiring hometown fans at the 2022 Chamber of Commerce annual banquet.
This story was posted on 2022-06-17 07:57:16
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