» Keith Urban, “Country Is A State Of Mind”

Debating the state of country music and the question “what’s country” isn’t new. It happens with every new crop of new artists that are trying to carve up their space and stand out among the crowd. Last year there was a lot of chatter about it from the likes of Ronnie Dunn, Luke Bryan, Zac Brown, and now Keith Urban shares his thoughts on “what is country music?”

Keith tells Michigan’s M Live its roots haven’t gone anywhere. “It’s never changed. If people really really were country fans, they’d know it’s always been there, in every single decade.” He admits country has absorbed inspirations from pop music over the years, but points out that it’s always been that way.

“It’s been that way since the ’50s,” he says. “That period, the mid-to-late ’50s, when rock ‘n’ roll exploded; it started to take over the country audience. Guys like Chet Atkins intentionally started to put string sections on country songs, which had never been done before.”

And Keith says that the definition of country music transcends more than just sound. “It’s a spirit. I’ve always thought that. Country is a state of mind. At the end of the day, people decide what they want to call it, if they want to call it anything.”

Keith’s new song “Cop Car” will play as part of Thursday night’s New Music Smackdown at 8:00 p.m. on Cat Country 98.7!

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