July 7, 2009 — Keith Urban made his first trip to Nashville around 1992, and he's been making albums in the city since the Ranch put out its first project a dozen years ago.
Still, for years he was kind of a fish out of water as an Australian in Music City. Fortunately, he didn't let that hold him back.
"I think the culture shock was more from the town's perspective," he told The Memphis Commercial Appeal. "Like, 'What the hell is he doing here?' And I get it. I look back now and think, 'What the hell was I doing there?' But because it was so deeply ingrained in the life, because I had tunnel vision focused on it, it made every sense in the world to me."
Making his way to stardom was, Keith reflects, a lot more difficult than he expected. But working as an artist has been everything he thought it could be, and he's hoping to pass along some of the joy to the next generation.
"I want to con tinue to get engaged in music education for kids," he said. "There are kids that have the musical aptitude, who don't have access to tuition or the tools necessary to pursue that passion. It's been a beautiful gift for me being able to play guitar and it's given me an extraordinary life and a chance to realize all my wild, boyhood dreams. I'd like to be able to do what I can to give someone else that same opportunity."
This weekend, the opportunity Keith is extending goes to Jason Aldean, who gets to open the shows on Keith's Escape Together World Tour. Beginning Thursday, the schedule takes them on successive nights to Omaha, Wichita and Dallas.