Keith Urban Grateful for Lessons From the Bar
Keith Urban got his start in the music business the way almost every artist before him did, by singing and playing guitar in a local bar. But now that more and more bars and clubs are using recorded music to cut down on costs, Keith realizes he may be part of a dying breed.
"It's a tragedy," he tells The Daily Telegraph. "Where do people hone their craft? The only way to do that is to be in the clubs night after night, so by the time you get your record deal, you're rockin'! Bands are now thrown together by a few high-school buddies, who land a record deal or go on 'American Idol.' Then they're playing to all these people and have no clue how to do it."
Keith feels that without playing in the smaller venues first, artists miss out on some of the most important lessons in performance. "Knowing how to get a crowd up if it's not working is trial and error," he says, admitting that even he is still a work in progress. "It's exhilarating on the front end, then, somewhere along the line, it becomes a bit repetitious, and I have to do something to shake it up."
While Keith may be grateful for his humble beginnings, he is also very appreciative of how far he has come. "In the beginning, all I wanted was to have my own bus. I'd spend all my time traveling in a van – I did it for so many years in Australia, then I arrived here and it was like starting over. It was mind-numbingly depressing for most of those first five or 10 years in Nashville. But I got my bus, I got a bunch of buses!"