Keith Urban has made no secret of his love for Nashville -- past and present, and those emotions shine through loud and clear as the Capitol Nashville recording artist recently took viewers around Music City for an episode of "Going Home" on Ram Country on Yahoo! Music. In his exclusive interview, Urban talks about how it feels to perform in Nashville, his favorite part about creating an album and why Nashville remains so special to him.
Urban's first stop with Yahoo! Ram Country is the Country Music Hall of Fame. Once inside Urban stops to point out the beauty of the Hall and its history, "There are manuscripts, original lyrics from Hank Williams, Johnny Cash. That's stuff that I love because you see what a song like 'Walk The Line' could've been." Two of the artists that Urban has named among his biggest influences - Don Williams and Glen Campbell - are both members of the Hall.
He also discusses the annual "We're All for the Hall" benefit concerts with Vince Gill that raises money for the Hall of Fame, as well as his induction into the Grand Ole Opry. "Last year's 'All For The Hall' benefit was particularly special," Urban says. "I got presented with this induction into the Grand Ole Opry. I was genuinely blindsided by it. The funny part about it was that they did it right before Merle Haggard was coming on - this is like Merle Haggard - Merle Haggard is waiting in the wings! It was the most conflicted emotions that I've ever had in my life - this incredible gratitude and incredible want to bring him on. It was beautiful." Urban became a member of the Opry this past April.
Next Urban visits his "favorite live music venue", The Ryman Auditorium - "the mother church of country music. It has this energy about it," adds Urban, "and it's historic - its been here over a 100 years and is undoubtedly the best place to hear live music."
The final stop is at the famed Blackbird Studio, where he has recorded several of his multi-platinum albums. "The studio is a magical place," says Urban, "When you create in a studio it's captured and when you play on stage it's gone in a moment and that's it."
Of Nashville, Urban says, "I moved to Nashville and it was referred to as the third coast - it has all of this country around it. But the songwriting has a particular flavor that you don't find anywhere else."
Urban is currently riding high on the Billboard Country Songs chart with his latest, "For You," which rises to No. 9 this week.