As Keith Urban gets set to once again play The Great Jones County Fair in Monticello this weekend, I've been running through my many memories of Keith this week. Holly and I have seen Keith in concert so many times I've lost track. It's somewhere in the teens for sure. I've always said that if you've never seen Keith live, you don't fully appreciate him as an artist. Yes, his songs and albums are wonderful. But very few in the business put forth as much effort and showmanship as Keith does in his live show.

The first time Holly and I saw Keith was back in 2004 on his Livin' Right Now Tour. His album 'Be Here' had just been released and Keith played McElroy Auditorium in Waterloo. If you've ever been to a show there, you know what kind of venue it is. Let's just call it let than ideal. But Keith tore the roof off the place and I was absolutely mesmerized. I bought 'Be Here' the next day and I've purchased every Keith Urban album since it. It was also our first meet and greet with Keith that night. He was fairly quiet and his Australian accent was very thick. He sounded like he was calling my wife Holly 'Hailey'. But he signed her photo 'To Holly....' Gotta love the accent.

That set us on a path of seeing Keith nearly every time he played in either Moline or Des Moines for the next several years. Holly and I even traveled to Omaha one year for his 'Love, Pain, and the Whole Crazy Carnival Ride' Tour in which he co-headlined with Carrie Underwood. We even got my parents and my brother and his wife to go on a bus trip with us to Moline to see Keith. They'd heard about how great he was in concert. It was fun to see them find it out for themselves.

Keith finally played The Great Jones County Fair in 2013. Finally! My favorite artist was in my backyard! It also marked the first time we took one of our kids to a show, as Carly was a die hard Keith fan. She was only 4 years old at the time, but she was pumped! We once again got to meet Keith and my wife and Carly even had bracelets had made and gave them as a gift for Keith's two daughters. As for the concert? I'll never forget Carly looking at me when Keith launched into 'Long Hot Summer' and said, "I know this song!"

I've seen Keith several times since that night and he's the same every time. He puts everything he has into his stage show, and backstage he's always warm, friendly, and accommodating. I've met plenty of country artists, but none as genuine as Keith. So look for Holly and me on the track Saturday night. We'll be singing along to every song, just like we have since 2004.

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