Keith Urban and His Guitars
Keith’s passion for guitars has informed his style, while his relationship with his father Bob was an influential factor. Bob took Keith and Shane on many musical adventures as kids, taking them to see country stars in Nashville while instilling them with a love of Nashville music that endures today.
Urban has a passion for classic Fender instruments, and he often takes his ’63 Strat with him wherever life takes him. Additionally, his collection includes two Gibson Les Paul Juniors from the late-50s era which he recently acquired at less than half the price of an original original.
He cherishes his vintage gear with the same devotion he shows his wife: “It’s all just so special.”
When we ask him to select his favorite instrument, he immediately recalls one of the first guitars he ever owned: a three-quarter size Suzuki nylon string his dad gave him when he was eight. This small and inexpensive instrument would serve as the basis for all of his future guitar playing endeavors.
At nine years old, he began playing electric guitar for the first time. Although he had always loved acoustic guitars, he discovered that electric instruments offered more refined sounds.
He would go on to purchase a Fender Stratocaster in his teens, which would serve as the foundation of his musical career. Not only was this guitar an amazing instrument for its time, but it also produced some of the finest electric sounds available in the 1980s.
As a teenager, Urban developed an affinity for guitar solos and techniques, eventually honing his craft onstage with his band. He credits Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton and John Mayer as some of his biggest influences.
Urban’s latest record was created with producer Hubbard and the team at Ocean Way Studios in Nashville. To recreate Urban’s demo template, they assembled an all-star cast of top musicians. Bassist Jimmie Lee Sloas adds a slinky, melodic touch to the opening chord, guitarist Rob McNelley recreates a key riff and offers up an intense solo, while banjo player Ilya Toshinskiy brings everything together with an explosive burst of notes.