Who needs a full band when you’ve got a Fender Strat, a lapel mic and some simulated reverb?
That was Keith Urban’s mentality during this morning’s appearance on NBC’s Today show. During an hour-long stint as the series’ co-host, Urban allowed Al Roker and Sheinelle Jones to talk him into a solo performance of “Blue Ain’t Your Color.” Without a backing band, Urban grabbed a nearby Stratocaster – “I just happen to have this guitar handy,” he quipped – and performed the song in its entirety. Stripped free of the drum loops and pop-heavy production that fill the song’s studio recording, “Blue Ain’t Your Color” was refashioned into a lean, lonely love song – a setting that may be better suited to the song’s melancholic mood, after all. The best part? Urban’s descending guitar lick during the final chorus, which provided a harmony for his own vocals.
As Jones points out in the video above, Urban is in the beginning stages of a particularly busy week, culminating with an upcoming performance of “The Fighter,” his new duet with Carrie Underwood, during the Grammy Awards on Sunday night. He’s up for three awards that evening, too. Two of the nominations focus on “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” which topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart one week before Thanksgiving and remained there until last weekend, when Little Big Town’s “Better Man” climbed into the Number One position.