Like a pair of rapid-talking auctioneers, Keith Urban and Chris Janson tackled a cover of John Michael Montgomery’s “Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident”) at the Grand Ole Opry earlier this month.
The one-off performance took place on October 10th, while both singers were part of a stacked Opry bill that also featured country duos like Brooks & Dunn and Maddie & Tae. Moved by the collaborative spirit — not to mention a shared love of Montgomery’s biggest hit, which dominated the country airwaves in 1995 — Urban and Janson hammered out their own arrangement of “Sold” on Urban’s bus before hitting the Opry House stage, carrying nothing more than an acoustic guitar, a harmonica and a drum machine with them.
The performance finds Urban hammering his acoustic guitar while simultaneously playing a four-on-the-floor kick-drum pattern with his foot. Janson handles the song’s solo sections on harmonica, and the two share vocal duties equally, with harmonies running throughout every chorus. The result is one of the most compelling pieces of unscripted musicianship in recent Opry history, full of broken guitar strings and goofy grins.
“Chris Janson: the real deal!” Urban tells the audience after the song’s conclusion.
“Keith Urban: the realer deal!” adds a thunderstruck Janson.