Keith Urban

Keith Urban Reignites the Fuse with Brett Eldredge, Jerrod Niemann

Keith Urban Reignites the Fuse with Brett Eldredge, Jerrod Niemann

Despite currently fulfilling his duties as a judge on Fox’s “American Idol”, Keith Urban is set to follow his stint in the judge’s chair with a concert tour just in time for summer.

The Raise ‘Em Up tour’s US leg is scheduled for lift off at The Borgata in Atlantic City, New Jersey on July 17th, and will see the country singer make stops in Boston, Virginia Beach, Atlanta, and Denver, among other locales, before wrapping up in Puyallup, Washington on September 13th.

Jerrod Niemann and Brett Eldredge will accompany Urban on the road across the tour’s 27 dates.

The new tour is named after the duet with Eric Church of the same name that appears on Fuse, Urban’s latest album, of which the tour is in support. The name of the tour has, somewhat unsurprisingly given internet culture, caused speculation that Eric Church may join Keith on some of the dates. Whether or not that’s true remains to be seen, but Urban did give fans some idea of what to expect for the upcoming trek.

“The ‘Raise ‘Em Up’ tour will be a complete build from the sky down. New staging, new production, a lot more songs from Fuse that the fans have been requesting, a different mix of previous hits and some rarities from past albums that we haven’t played in a while, if ever. And we’ll be sharing the stage with Brett and Jerrod, both with killer new albums.”

2014 looks to be a road-heavy year for Urban, who ended his Light The Fuse tour on February 1st.

Urban is also playing eight shows in his and wife Nicole Kidman’s native country of Australia during the month of June, but these dates have not been announced as part of the Raise ‘Em Up tour. His official website also lists four additional shows in the US during March, April and May. Somebody get this man a Gatorade!

iTunes Brings Coldplay, Keith Urban, Imagine Dragons to SXSW

iTunes Brings Coldplay, Keith Urban, Imagine Dragons to SXSW

Apple is bringing the iTunes Festival to the South-by-Southwest (SXSW) festival this year.

Running five nights, from March 11th to March 15th, 2014 at ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, the current lineup includes Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Pitbull, Keith Urban, and ZEDD, with more yet to be announced. If these five are anything to go by, the remainder of acts will be similarly massive, but suitably different. (Is anyone else thinking Outkast, because I am thinking Outkast.)

“The iTunes Festival in London has become an incredible way for Apple to share its love of music with our customers,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services in a statement. “We’re excited about the incredible lineup of artists performing and SXSW is the perfect place to debut the first iTunes Festival in the US.”

Back in September, in addition to the material up for sale on iTunes, the London version of the festival received its very own channel on Apple TV, allowing remote fans to enjoy the shindig from the comfort of their own home. Apparently, this will also be an option for those who can’t make it to Austin for the party.

All five nights of the iTunes Festival will be available to enjoy for free as a live and on-demand stream via the iTunes Store on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC (or should that be iPC?) Performances can also be seen in the iTunes Festival app on any iOS device.

According to SXSW’s website, those who are already registered for the music portion of SXSW will be able to enter a draw in an attempt to win tickets to the iTunes Festival shows.

At the iTunes Festival in London over 400 artists have performed in front of more than 430,000 fans and tens of millions more online.

Keith Urban Launches ‘Fuse’ by Playing Nashville Bars Friday

Keith Urban Launches ‘Fuse’ by Playing Nashville Bars Friday

He’s either an alcoholic or he really loves his fans, and I’m sure he’s not an alcoholic, but Keith Urban is taking latest album Fuse on a pub crawl to probably rival The Hangover.

The pub crawl is scheduled to kick off this Friday (September 6th) in downtown Nashville and is set to be an exclusive event in celebration of his upcoming album. Getting involved in proceedings are Clear Channel Country WSIX/NASHVILLE at Legends Corner, Cumulus WSM-F/NASHVILLE at Tootsies and Cumulus WKDF/NASHVILLE at The Stage. Lucky fans can win tickets to the whole event by tuning into those stations.

Urban’s latest album, Fuse, is due for release on Tuesday September 10th, and is set to be his most experimental album yet, with production duties filled in by Stargate and Benny Blanco (Beyoncé, Katy Perry), Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Little Big Town) and Butch Walker (Train, P!nk), none of whom have worked with the country star before.

Urban recently told Billboard that the album was, in part, inspired by his current fascination with electronic elements in music, as well as quote that he read from U2′s The Edge, naturally.

“I’ve always had a deep, deep fascination with the fusion of robotocism and human elements. That’s always been in my songwriting. It’s just never been that present in my records, and it was something I wanted to explore more.”

“He [The Edge] said that machinery, when you blend it with the human element, makes the human element that much more human. I thought, ‘That’s a really insightful way to look at it.’ There’s something very appealing to me about total machinery—whether it’s drum machines or sequenced keyboard parts—that’s completely robotic. And then there’s a human voice on top. And then add in my human instruments like a mandolin, or a six-string banjo or acoustic guitar. Those things fused together are very appealing to me.”

“Roboticism” is a good word, isn’t it? I’m gonna start working that into conversation more often.


Keith Urban Toasts 2014 With New ‘Fuse’ Tour Dates

Keith Urban Toasts 2014 With New ‘Fuse’ Tour Dates

American Idol judge Keith Urban has just announced the last leg of his Light The Fuse tour and its headed straight for 2014.

The tour kicked off this July and by the time its done with Keith, he’ll have played 58 whole shows. The tour has seen the singer perform a couple of landmark concerts, including shows at the Hollywood Bowl and Red Rocks Ampitheatre in Colorado.

Of the remaining shows in leg two (i.e. this leg) of the tour, Urban has yet to visit a number of cities in Florida, California, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Connecticut, and more.

The final leg of the tour kicks off on January 9th 2014 in Grand Rapids, Michigan and includes five stops in Canada, as well as stops in New York, Knoxville, Minneapolis, Chicago, among others, before wrapping up in Nashville on February 1st.

The tour is in support of his upcoming album Fuse which is due for release on September 10th, so final leg-attendees can look forward to knowing the words for sing-along purposes.

Support comes from special guests Little Big Town and opener, Dustin Lynch, who will be replaced by Brett Eldredge for the Canadian shows.

Urban recently confirmed that he’d be back for the next season of American Idol, making him the only returning judge from season 12, so it looks like he’s gonna have a busy couple of years, after which, we imagine, he’ll have a long bath and a cup of tea.

Urban has released a total of nine studio albums, charted 29 singles on the US country charts (of which 14 have climbed to the top spot), has one a whole table’s worth of awards on Wikipedia, and is married to Nicole Kidman. Keith Urban: You da man.


Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Keith Urban Highlight iHeartRadio Fest 2013

Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Keith Urban Highlight iHeartRadio Fest 2013

Can this year’s iHeartRadio Music Festival top last year’s event? Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry and Keith Urban are among the artists that are going to give it a try.

Though this will just be the third year of the Las Vegas festival, the event has boasted an extremely star-studded lineup the previous two years it has been held. That said, I remember last year’s event more for Billie Joe Armstrong’s rant that essentially ended with him checking into rehab than I do those who played.

But that’s the rock and roll lifestyle, I suppose — as long as your rock life is paid for by Clear Channel and other corporate sponsors. But nearly all popular festivals these days have some sort of corporate sponsor, so regardless of your (or my) feelings on Clear Channel, iHeartRadio is just another festival paid for in part by a large company — but since that company is a behemoth in the radio industry, the festival draws the biggest names in pop music, from past and present.

It’s hard to even decide who the top billed artists should be when the lineup also includes Elton John, Miley Cyrus, Bruno Mars, Queen, Miguel, Benny Benassi, Chris Brown, Maroon 5, J. Cole and Muse, among others. The festival will be held September 20-21 Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Arena, and will then be broadcast on the CW network September 30-October 31.

In addition to the performances in the arena, this year’s incarnation will feature the Fan Village for the first time. This part of the festival will be held outdoors in a 15-acre space and will feature daytime performances, as well as interactive experiences from the festival’s additional sponsors, which include Macy’s, Pepsi and AT&T. This portion will be free to those with tickets to the festival, and standalone tickets also are available for $20.

CMA Fest Review: Keith Urban, Lenny Kravitz, Jason Aldean, Kelly Clarkson

CMA Fest Review: Keith Urban, Lenny Kravitz, Jason Aldean, Kelly Clarkson

The CMA Music Festival may look like a musical fanfare, but it’s actually a mad scavenger hunt to try to piece together which surprise artists will find their way to the LP Field stage each night. Already this weekend we’ve seen impromptu performances from Tim McGraw, Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, Kenny Rogers and Jason Mraz. Most festivals would kill for a top line of performers like that, but at CMA they are just fun treats. While I was waiting to get into the photo pit this evening, I happened to see one of the security personnel’s schedule for the evening. Beyond the high wattage stars that were already public knowledge (Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson, Dierks Bentley), there were a few eye popping names that I thought couldn’t possibly be right. Sure enough, Lenny Kravitz, Jason Aldean and Trisha Yearwood just helicoptered in to play a few. I think CMA just made every other country music festival irrelevant. I’ll let you decide if that is a good thing.

So we got a tease of the Oak Ridge Boys Thursday night when they sung the national anthem. Tonight, they opened the music. These boys have been around forever. Everyone knows “Elvira.” That is the song not the busty vampiress. That is one of the Oak Ridge Boys signature tunes. It’s a bit fitting that the band were introduced to the stage by the principles actors of Duck Dynasty.

The Oak Ridge Boys did roll out “Elvira” as well as a few quick songs to fill out their 15 minutes set. They thanked the CMAs for inviting them to play with all of the young country artists. They said it was important to know where we’ve come from which was the perfect transition into their tribute to George Jones. They sang “Same Old Me” as photographs of the country legend cycled through on the big screens. George’s wife, Nancy, was there and thanked the crowd for supporting her during this rough time. With George’s passing only a couple weeks past, the loss weighed heavy on the festival and its fans. He seemed ever present.

The Florida Georgia Line hit the main stage next. These boys have had quite the run over the past year. Last year, they were playing in the parking lot outside of LP Field, and now they’ve jumped to the main stage. Brian Kelley (Florida) and Tyler Hubbard (Georgia) came out full of energy, ready to rock this stadium. They opened the evening with “It’z Just What We Do.”

Their latest album Get Your Shine On was released back in January and they’ve been touring pretty much non-stop ever since. In their brief four song set, they trotted out all of their singles from “Round Here” to “Shine On.” They lit the crowd on fire with their number one single “Cruise” which provided the rocket fuel to their instant rise to fame.

So we know that Lenny Kravitz and Jason Aldean are due up next (the crowd is still in the dark on this one), but we don’t know what the format is going to be. For those scratching their heads trying to figure out how Lenny Kravitz factors into country music, he was at the CMT Awards on Wednesday night and performed a duet with Jason Aldean. The CMA organizers must have asked him to stick around to reprise his genre-bending performance at the festival.

For Kravitz’s rock fans out there, I don’t think there is any worry about him pulling a Darius Rucker and jumping ship for country. He played his rock catalog during his CMA set including favorites like “Are You Gonna Go My Way” and “Let Love Rule.” This was Lenny’s set and Jason Aldean would come out to lend a hand. Once the chords of “American Woman” began rifling out, Aldean hit the stage. I can’t say this was the most natural pairing, but its oddness somehow worked in its favor. I may be in the minority, but I thought it was great to get a little rock infusion in this country event.

Dierks Bentley started off his six song set with his hit single “Free and Easy Down the Road I Go.” He brought the full band along with him, and they would frequently come together at center stage for a jamathon. He highlighted a new song “Bourbon in Kentucky.” The crowd got all worked up into a tizzy when he said he needed to call on a special guest to help him out, but it wasn’t the guest they were hoping for. Instead of Kasey Musgraves, seasoned Nashville songwriter Hillary Lindsey displayed her vocal talents onstage.

After playing tracks like “Up on the Ridge” and “What Was I Thinkin’,” he stopped for a second to say he’d love to be sitting out there in the audience drinking a cold beer with the crowd and witnessing the greatest country show on earth. He lit up LP Field when he asked everyone to get out their cell phones for “Home.” It was a stirring tribute to our military who put their lives on the line every day to fight for our freedom.

American Idol season one winner and pop queen Kelly Clarkson was up next. She was a bottle of contradictions, equal parts ecstatic and anxious. She is newly engaged yet she didn’t know where she misplaced her ring. This worry became a recurring theme throughout the evening. Maybe officiant Blake Shelton knows. She was also worried because this was the first country festival she’d played. Although she is firmly entrenched in Top 40 pop, you could hear the country influence peak out on a few of her songs.

She highlighted chart topping tracks like “Stronger” and “Because of You.” Jason Aldean even came out to sing a duet with Clarkson. Kelly won the nightly popularity contest as she scored not one, but two guest stars. To close the evening, she dusted off an old Garth Brooks tune “Ain’t Goin’ Down (‘Til the Sun Comes Up).” Who better to help her out on a Garth song than his wife, Trisha Yearwood. The two sounded great together even if Trisha needed some crib notes so she didn’t muck up her husband’s lyrics. Hopefully, this performance is a tune up to a Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood tour in 2014

That leads us up to the star of the evening, Keith Urban. He opened things with “Long Hot Summer” in the cool breeze of the Tennessee night. He’s recognized as one of the greatest guitarists in music. He would frequently pull away mid song to let his guitar loose. It would run and run until he yanked it back into submission. I mean this isn’t a Phish concert after all.

Urban just looks like a rock star with his well-cultivated physique, tattoos and tussled hair. The audience’s love bridged the oceanic divide for the Aussie import. He played crowd favorites like “You Look Good in My Shirt” and told them he wished the set could go on all night long. On his farewell notes of the evening, a burst of fireworks towered over the back walls of LP Field. It was a nice punctuation mark for a great night of country music.

Well the CMA Fest may have taken a bit of a breather last night, but it punched things back to full throttle once again Saturday night. Lenny Kravitz and Jason Aldean took a solid bill and shot it through the roof. Trisha Yearwood’s appearance was brief, but special since fans rarely get to see her live anymore. Guest stars are great, but Keith Urban was the undeniable star of the evening.

We enter our final day of coverage of the CMA Music Festival. We close things out with a bang with Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, The Band Perry and Jake Owen. I think it’s pretty safe to say we’ll see a few special additions this evening. The question is always who. Check in with us tomorrow as we wrap up our fantastic time at the CMA Festival.

Keith Urban Keeps Lighting the Fuse With Fall Tour Dates

Keith Urban Keeps Lighting the Fuse With Fall Tour Dates

Keith Urban and Little Big Town apparently weren’t content with their previously announced summer tour, and a new fall leg has been added to the “Light the Fuse” trek.

The new leg will kick off October 18 in Omaha, and will continue through a December 8 show in Louisville, Ky. Other cities on the tour include Oklahoma City, Okla.; Bossier City, La.; Des Moines, Iowa and Peoria, Ill. Dustin Lynch also will provide support on the tour.

Additionally, Urban announced to USA Today that fans can finally expect some new music for the first time in about three years. In fact, Urban talked to the paper about the new tour leg from the studio.

Before you get too excited, Urban’s been in the studio for some time now, so this doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a new record by the time the tour leg starts up.

“Even if the record is not out at the beginning of the tour, we will be doing songs off the new album on the tour,” he said in the interview.

At this point, the Australian singer says he has 16 songs tracked, but that he is at the mercy of the schedules of those he’s working with.

“It’s taking a long time, mostly because I’m working with people I’ve never worked with before,” he continued. “Most of the length of time on this record has been, simply, people’s schedules, and not just my own. When you work with one producer, you can block out your time and your album’s finished. Working with various people, I’ve been at the mercy of [lining up] everybody else’s schedules and mine.”

You’d think that being one of the biggest stars in country music would provide a little clout when it comes to setting your own schedule and having others work around that, but I’d like to take this to mean that Urban doesn’t get too diva-ish about his work.


CMA Fest Busts at the Seams with Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban

CMA Fest Busts at the Seams with Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban

Nashville’s annual CMA Music Festival is known for drawing the top acts in country music each year, and this year looks to be no different as Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood highlight the packed lineup.

This year’s festival will take place June 6-9 in downtown Nashville, with the headlining acts playing at the city’s LP Field, which is otherwise home to the Tennessee Titans.

As if those names weren’t enough, the lineup also includes Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, Gary Allen, Kelly Clarkson, Eric Church, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Jake Owen, Zac Brown Band and more.

“We have an amazing lineup of talent for this year’s festival,” said Country Music Association CEO Steve Moore in a statement. “I know our fans will be entertained and enthralled to see our family reunion of the best and brightest performers in the industry.”

The festival first debuted in 1972 and was then known as Fan Fair. It is now one of the biggest country festivals in the U.S., and in 2011 set a record with 65,000 attendees.

The festival also will feature Fan Fair X, where fans can experience autograph signings, concerts, lifestyle exhibits, live broadcasts and a marketplace. The events will be held at Nashville’s new Music City Center, a huge new convention center in the heart of the city.

“The relationship between our artists and the fans is at the very heart of what this event was founded on, and we continue to embrace that legacy with Fan Fair X,” said Moore. “By moving to the Music City Center, we are able to provide more opportunities and activities to enhance this treasured experience for the fans.”

In addition to two stages, the building also will display a gallery of music memorabilia, such as Elvis Presley’s custom 1975 Cadillac Coupe De Ville.

Keith Urban Stacks Tour Dates for Summer 2013

Keith Urban Stacks Tour Dates for Summer 2013

Keith Urban has announced the initial dates of his 2013 summer headlining tour. The trek will likely support Urban’s next record, which is expected to be released sometime after the new year.

The extensive road trip kicks off June 18 in Cincinnati, and Urban currently is scheduled to stay on the road through October 5, when he will perform in West Palm Beach, Fla. Other cities the tour will visit include Charlotte, N.C.; Atlanta; Detroit; Baltimore; Dallas; Birmingham, Ala.; St. Louis; Pittsburgh; Los Angeles and San Diego.

Urban’s official website promises that additional shows will be announced soon. The only other dates Urban currently has scheduled are seven Australian dates that will be held in late January and early February of next year.

Joining Urban on the road will be Little Big Town and Dustin Lynch.

No official announcements about a release date or title has yet been revealed about Urban’s upcoming album, but he has said in multiple interviews that he has been working on the record for most of this year. He told that is making an album out of his comfort zone.

“I wanted to have everything around me be totally unfamiliar to me,” he told the website. “And I think it’s great in a sense that all sorts of stuff is coming out that I normally haven’t done before… It just isn’t easy to do, but it just feels very, very strong to me to do it. I am putting a tour on next year, but it won’t be early in the year, so there is somewhat of a need for an album sooner than later. But I just would like for the album to be right.”

Urban’s most recent record, Get Closer was released in 2010. The album’s lead single, “Put You in a Song,” was co-written by Sarah Buxton, who also wrote Urban’s hit “Stupid Boy.”


Country Thunder Arizona and Wisconsin Release Star Lineups

Country Thunder Arizona and Wisconsin Release Star Lineups

Lady Antebellum, Toby Keith, Eric Church and Brantley Gilbert will headline the Arizona version of next year’s Country Thunder festival, while Keith Urban, Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley will be topped billed at the Wisconsin version of the event.

The Arizona version is up first and will be held over four days from April 11-14, 2013 in Florence, Ariz. Other artists appearing at the event include Kip Moore, Jana Kramer, Tracy Lawrence, Diamond Rio, Lee Brice and Justin Moore.

As you might expect, the Wisconsin version of the festival (which is outdoors) won’t take place as early in the year, and will be held at Twin Lakes, Wisc., which is about halfway between Milwaukee and Chicago. Other performers at the festival include Little Big Town, Chris Young, Phil Vassar, Edens Edge and Joe Nichols. Lady Antebellum also will headline this version of the festival, as well.

In addition to attending the festival, concertgoers also have the option to camp on festival grounds. Camping requires an additional fee in addition to festival tickets.

The festival date is one of the first few concerts Toby Keith has planned for 2013, and the news comes soon after the singer had surgery following a gall bladder attack, though he assures that he came through fine.

“I had an attack, I thought it was weird indigestion back in December,” he said. “Then it was gone for three months and didn’t think anything about it. I thought it was a cramp. Then in March I was on the golf course and by the third hole, I hit my drive and then started feeling that same thing I had three months earlier. Me and the guys hit our second shots and by the time I got to the green, I was doubled over, and dry heaving, broke out in a sweat. Everybody says when you have a gall bladder attack, it feels like a heart attack. And I didn’t think it was that bad. It felt like a stomach cramp.”

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