I've always liked a bit of Country ever since enjoying the Eagles, Poco, etc back in the 1970s.
I'm no way a connoisseur of Country music and I don't know a lot about it but I've come to appreciate what I like over the past 10 years or so.
One of the artists that has caught my ears has been one Keith Urban.
Keith was born in New Zealand and raised in Australia but I had no idea when I first heard him sing. He sounds like an American. He first came to live in Nashville in 1992 and his career has taken off to stratospheric heights.
I first picked up on Keith with his Golden Roads album in the mid 2000s and worked my way backwards through his albums.
By the time Defying Gravity came out in 2009, Keith had 9 number 1 singles but Defying Gravity was his first number 1 Billboard 200 album.
Lead off single was the very catchy Sweet Thing.
pic courtesy of Billboard
Keith's songs are very melodic and stick to their Country roots in terms of instrumentation and themes.
Defying Gravity certainly has that Nashville polish to the production but it soothes as well as rocks out.
Since 2001, Keith has won more than 30 CMT, ACM & Grammy Awards.
For me, Defying Gravity is his most consistent album in terms of songwriting and performance which has recently been matched by his 2013 release Fuse.
In 2011, Keith signed up as a mentor for the Australian version of The Voice.
And in 2012 he became a judge on American Idol which he resigned for the 2013 series.
2013s Fuse and has a template very similar to that of Defying Gravity and is well worth investigating.
Keith has yet to bring his Light The Fuse Tour to the UK - but I live in hope.
So, if you want to investigate a bit of Country Music, you could do a lot worse than starting with Defying Gravity to show what the latest Nashville Sound is all about.
pic courtesy of New York Times
Twitter - @KeithUrban