Thirty-Five Minutes With Keith Urban

In a very casual John Lennon “Love Is Real” T-shirt, sitting somewhere in front of a computer in Nashville for a web chat with fans, Keith Urban came clean about everything from how he plays the piano (like a guitar), to the guitars he had that were damaged in the flood (50-plus), to the guy he’d most love to jam with someday (Don Williams), to the way he likes to play music in a loose way (texture without the technique, he called it). But the best was when he took the time to list his vast array of musical influences. This is not a complete list, but he mentioned Supertramp, Dire Straits, Fleetwood Mac, Dr. Hook, Jackson Browne and the Eagles. But mostly, John Mellencamp. He specifically said Mellencamp’s 1987 Lonesome Jubilee album was kind of an epiphany for him. He also played a bit of his upcoming single, “Put You in a Song,” which was about “a guy who wishes he could be a man someday.” He even played a bit of “San Antonio Stroll,” so I hope Tanya Tucker was listening.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.