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Tuesday, March 25, 2003 4:15 PM EST

On Cloud Nine, and then some: Singer releases first album


Jennifer Webb isn't exactly sure where she's going, but she's having a great time getting there.

The Winchester resident is working on a promotional tour for her first album, "Cloud 10." She'll be performing at the Leeds Center for the Arts on April 4-5, along with a concert at Cole Ford-Mercury on April 5.

"Well, I guess (I'm) new country, more pop sounding," said Ms. Webb, a native of Middlesboro who moved to Winchester in 1989. "It's like Shania Twain, Faith Hill."

Ms. Webb is no stranger to the local music scene. She has been performing with the band Off the Ground for the past seven years.

Although music has been her life's passion from the time she was 3 years old and singing in the church choir, it almost seems accidental that her first album ever was made.

"I had a songwriter from Nashville call," Ms. Webb said. "She had heard a demo that I did several years ago. She asked if I would be interested in doing an album and if so, she wanted to send me some of her work.

"Her name is Lisa Palas. She, I think, was born in Richmond, Ky. She's a very well-known writer in Nashville now. She's written for Reba McEntire and Diamond Rio."

So Ms. Webb had some good songs, but there's a lot more than just music to making an album. That's where JP Pennington, a member of the group Exile, comes in.

"A friend of mine was on the road as their stage manager and did their sound," she said. "He took some of the songs I was listening to of Lisa's. JP happened to know who she was and asked why he had them. He introduced me to JP at their next show. He listened to my demo and asked if he could help me in any way.

"It was awesome. We were really lucky. I got lucky."

Pennington ended up producing and arranging the album, as well as writing several of the songs and playing many of the instruments featured on the tracks. Two of the songs - "It's a Guy Thing" and "Every Angel in Heaven" - were written by Ms. Palas.

"We've started a promotional tour, kind of as an independent label now," Ms. Webb said. "It's been picked up by FYE Records, which is Disc Jockey. ... We've kind of worked it out where we can do a concert at the mall to help promote the album.

"We're doing real good. Sales are going great. We're already having to order again. We're real happy."

The albums, said Ms. Webb, primarily are being sold at Disc Jockey outlets in Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio. They are available at several places locally, including Jams Music Exchange, Rifle City Collectibles, Daffodils and Shopper's Market.

Ms. Webb, who works part time as a nurse in Dr. Thomas Burchett's office, said she isn't sure what path her career will take next. Whether she hits the big time or not, she's having a great time doing what she loves.

"The whole music industry has changed so much, I'm not really sure where it's going," Ms. Webb said. "Independent labels are becoming bigger and bigger. ... So I don't know if the traditional going to Nashville and getting a label is how it's going to be or go the route we're going and make your own things happen.

"If Nashville called, I would go immediately. ... We're waiting until we get a few of these under our belt so we can go down and show them what we're doing on our own. I'm loving it. It's a dream."




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