When he plays a show, Keith Urban will famously wander off the stage and onto the arena floor - a grinning, guitar-slinging deliveryman, bringing his electrifying, feel-good music to his fans. It's mass-scale locomotion ... and Keith has a passionate motive in mind, as he's stoking those frenzied masses with his guitar and songs.

He says that if he does his job right, fans will leave feeling they can accomplish one of life's most basic and challenging tasks -- to forge ahead.

"It's the only way out," Keith tells the Boston Globe. "You've only got two choices -- go backward, or move forward. As painful and hard as it is, that's what we're here for."

Indeed, Keith thinks fans will see themselves reflected in the lyrics of his current album, 'Defying Gravity,' a title that actually mirrors his own personal life-choice to challenge and survive drug addiction several years ago, and then forge well beyond in his life to embrace an amazing new peace and joy -- which he's found, thanks in large part through marriage to actress Nicole Kidman.

"It's a record about believing in yourself, and hoping for and dreaming about love. It's about wanting the courage to be loved," Keith reflects. "My wife is very courageous in that area."

Keith's longtime co-producer and friend Dann Huff says the tumult of the past few years has influenced Keith's musical life, as well.

"Keith is very controlling, in a good sense," says Dann. "But he had to surrender, ultimately, to the fact that he couldn't manage his addictions. We all have to surrender in life, period, and I think that understanding affected his music. He's started opening up and letting people into the process more. The question is, how do you keep the creative fuel and tension going when you're at peace? For Keith, it's his drive to connect with people -- his incredible drive to communicate a song. He has tremendous respect for the people who have gotten him where he is, and he'll never be insensitive to that relationship."

And so as Keith continues to stoke the masses from a makeshift stage that magically transforms nosebleed seats into front row -- on a show he calls Escape Together -- he underscores with quiet passion the message he's plunging out onto arena floors to deliver to fans through his music.

"It's not me and them, " he explains. "It's us."