Radney Foster Sings Praises of Keith Urban
Radney Foster knows a thing or two about hit songs. In addition to his own artist career, both as a solo act and half of the duo Foster & Lloyd, the award-winning songwriter has penned dozens of songs for some of music's biggest acts, including Sara Evans, Gary Allan, the Dixie Chicks and Pat Green, among others. Yet instead of touting his own impressive credentials, he's more likely to point to another writer and platinum-selling artist he admires, namely Keith Urban.
"Keith's such a great guy," Radney tells The 9513. "I know he's not a traditionalist in the best sense of the word, he's doing what some people are calling contemporary country, or pop-country or modern country. But he really has a sense of honoring where the roots of country music came from. He can go toe-to-toe with you on every Glen Campbell or Merle Haggard song ever. And he really reminds me a lot of Glen Campbell. He has that high tenor voice, is a dynamic performer and is just an outstanding guitar player. He has some of that going on. That's what Glen did. He honored country music but pushed the envelope at the same time."
Part of Keith's talent, Radney adds, is Keith's ability to know when to step back. "He certainly doesn't need my help or anybody else's help to write a hit song," Radney admits. "But he's wise enough. The best singer-songwriters ever that have made it into the icon stratosphere always cut some of other people's songs. James Taylor cut some Carole King songs. Merle Haggard cut Harlan Howard songs. The list goes on and on. He's got sense enough to mine something that someone else did and then make that his own. If you look at his records, he still writes the majority of his songs, but he's not afraid to go find something that somebody else has written if it speaks to his heart."
Hitting the music scene for the first time 25 years ago, the Texas native admits he is just now hitting his songwriting stride. "I think inspiration is always there to hit. I think you have to look for it," Radney notes. "You have to be willing to pull the car over and be late. You have to be willing to say that you'll be extra sleepy tomorrow because you have to write this song. But what I didn't have early in my career was the discipline to say, 'OK, Tuesday I'm going to write.' You really set aside time for other writers and yourself to work and perfect the craft of journaling and songwriting. That's the only way you get better."
Radney just wrapped up an acoustic tour with Jewel, and last year released his own album, 'Revival,' which includes guest appearances by Darius Rucker and Dierks Bentley. He and former duo partner Bill Lloyd have cut six songs for a new Foster & Lloyd project.