Darius Rucker: Monumental Moment In Time

When Darius Rucker put together his second country album, he decided to title it Charleston, SC 1966 as a method of paying tribute to one of his biggest influences in country music: Radney Foster. Radney came to prominence in the late 1980s as one-half of a duo, Foster & Lloyd, and in recent years, he’s earned success as a songwriter of Sara Evans’ “A Real Fine Place To Star” and Keith Urban’s “Raining On Sunday” and “I’m In.” But Radney’s also a fine solo performer, and his first album after leaving Foster & Lloyd was named after the city and year of his birth, Del Rio, Texas 1959. Darius’ Charleston, SC 1966 very closely resembles that template, a sort of monument to Radney’s inspiration, which led Darius to discover a whole world of country sounds. Read More

Keith Urban Finds “I’m In” Outback

One of the old jokes about fashion is that if you hold on to your clothes long enough, they’ll come back in style. But it’s not a joke when it comes to songs. They can definitely have a second life. In fact, Keith Urban has given new life to not just one Radney Foster song, but two. Keith picked up a hit in 2003 when he remade Radney’s song “Raining On Sunday,” and he did it again this year by recording Radney’s “I’m In.” In a very real way, “I’m In” is a direct result of the movie Australia. Read More

Keith Urban: CMA Fest Cheerleader

When fans look back on the 2010 CMA Music Festival, one of the sonic moments they’re likely to remember collectively will be the close of Keith Urban’s Friday-night set at Nashville’s LP Field, where he put together an all-star ensemble for a Beatles cover. Keith brought out a horn section led by Kenny Chesney sideman Jim Horn, keyboard players Tony Brown and Tim Akers and a group of background vocalists that included Sarah Buxton and Little Big Town members Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman for a version of “With A Little Help From My Friends.” Footage of last month’s Tennessee flood — and of neighbors helping each other through it — ran across the video screen in the back, underscoring the song’s communal theme. It’s a good bet that even country fans who didn’t get to attend the show will still be able to see the performance: Keith did it twice for a film crew that was taping the stadium shows for the Sept. 1 ABC special “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night To Rock.” Nashville’s recovery from the disaster is likely to be an undercurrent in the special, in part because it’s an example of a city that pulled together to help itself. Read More