Monday, July 25, 2016

Dierks Bentley Congress Reps Honor Jake's Memory

 
A few weeks ago, when Dierks Bentley posted a picture of his best friend/dog Jake captioned "rest in peace pal," the DB Congress (fan club) community mourned along with him. Many of us had met Jake --who had been by Dierks' side for 16 years--petted him, hugged him and designated him as an honorary DB Congress member!
 
But Jake died after a battle with cancer.  He was the best dog and our hearts go out to Dierks and his family.
  
While some fans sent their condolences via Facebook and Twitter, others brought cards and letters to meet and greets, one fan had a special T-shirt made and gave it to Dierks! 


 
At the Charlotte, NC show, the DBC delivered a hand-made keep sake box with a special message inside for the Bentley family, to fill the box with treasured memories of Jake--his dog tags, favorite toy, collar.
 
 
And dozens more DBC reps wanted to leave a legacy in honor of Jake's memory to an animal shelter of Dierks' choice.  I presented to him in the meet and greet in Tampa a plaque and a card with all the donor names and he was blown away.  He said he felt guilty about feeling bad about losing Jake when there was so much going on in the world--I told him we understood and not to feel bad--Jake was family.
 
 
 
During the Tampa show, after singing, "Every Mile A Memory," (Red sundown out across that Florida sky--I saw it tonight!) Dierks turned around to watch his pal on the video screens.  Watch here.
 
I later found out Dierks wanted the donations to go to the VCA Murphy Road Animal Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee.  They own Love At First Sight--a place that finds homes for puppies and kittens!
 
Megan Reaves was so appreciative of our $900 donation!  She told me "Dierks loved that dog so much!"  We know!
 
If you would like to contribute to the Jake Memorial Fund, just give her a call at 615-383-4241 or email her at Megan.Reaves@vca.com.  Tell her you are a Dierks Bentley Congress (fan club) member!
 
In addition to the many music videos and album covers, here are a few of our favorite Jake memories...
 
 
Jake was lost but he then he was found:
 
 
 
Jake flies Southwest Air: 
  
 
Dierks and George (left) and Jake:
 
 
 Jake helps Dierks unwrap his 40th birthday present from DBC:
 
 
The Grand Ole Opry - Induction (left 2005) and 10 year anniversary (right 2015): 
 
 
Dierks and Jake cover Country Weekly - 2009:
 
 
 Dierks Bentley self titled album:
 
 
Dierks and Jake on one of many red carpets over the years:
 

Photo shoot in Atlanta - 2009:
 
 
Classic Jake 'n Tie:

 
 
 
 #RIPJake
For fifteen years right by my side
From a single man to three kids and a wife
Friends come and go, but when it comes to Jake
There's just some things that can't be replaced

 
Ronna Clark
DB Congress Chair (FL)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Album Review-Black: Dierks Bentley's Most Soulful Album Yet


Imagine climbing Everest in the dark, feeling your way up the arduous mountain, holding on to a rope notched with 13 beautifully-laced loops along the way.  That's how I feel listening to Black.  I can’t see a thing, but Dierks Bentley is pulling me along, making me feel one song at a time, each one taking me higher and deeper into the intelligent uniqueness of Dierk’s eighth studio album.

Take a trip with me and DB Congress Chart Reporter, Carrie Srebro, as we try to put our feelings about this body of work into words.

Black
: Written by Ashley Gorley, Ross Copperman and Dierks Bentley


There have been quite a few overtly sexual songs released to country radio over the past few years, which I’m personally not a fan of. What ever happened to leaving something to the imagination? But I think Dierks does a good job here of keeping it sexy but not overdoing it. I also really like the production on this song. I can see this being single #3. –Carrie Srebro (NC)


I still maintain this sensual song will replace Come A Little Closer as his signature love song.  The echo throughout positions the listener right in the moment.  Here, black is not nothing, but everything—no need to see, just feel.  I don’t wanna see a thing, I just wanna feel your love...Make my world go black.   –Ronna Clark (FL)


Watch Dierks intro the songwriters then perform "Black" at Highline Ballroom, NYC, 5/25/16:



Pick Up
: Written by Jaren Johnston, Jimmy Robbins and Andrew Dorff


I liked this song when it was pre-released, but the more I listen to the album, the more I LOVE this song. I feel like Dierks sings the hell out of this one, you can really hear his frustration. And this is a pretty universal theme, but also one that hasn’t been done a million times, either. I’d be totally fine if this were to become a single, but I don’t see it falling that way. – CS


Clever, crafty songwriting!  Dierks said in an interview that his wife “screens” his calls, so he can relate to such a relatable story—who doesn’t get frustrated or worried when the person you’re calling won’t pick up the phone! Nothing more irritating, and you just want to hear their voice no matter what. Vocally and emotionally, Dierks nailed this one. -RC


I’ll Be The Moon (featuring Maren Morris)
Written by Heather Morgan, Matt Dragstrem and Ryan Hurd


Easily one of my favorite songs on the album. Maren and Dierks complement each other nicely and both sing the song well. You can feel the heartache and sadness. It’s so pleasant to listen to.  –CS


How could a story of a secret love triangle sound so sweet and forlorn at the same time?  Easy—get Dierks Bentley and Maren Morris to sing it as a duet!  The narrative explores subject matter from a unique perspective and I hope it becomes a single and radio plays it all the way to #1.  Nobody else can match this extraordinary effort.  -RC


Watch Dierks and Jessi Alexander perform "I'll Be The Moon" at Highline Ballroom, NYC, 5/25/16:



What The Hell Did I Say:  Written by Ross Copperman, Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins

This one has grown on me immensely since being a pre-release track. Once I listened to it in the car, I was sold, haha! I love a good song to jam to, and this one doesn’t disappoint. It’s super catchy, and Dierks hinted it may be a future single on SiriusXM The Highway. –CS


Ross Copperman’s oriental sounding treatment gives it a diverseness only Dierks could pull off.  And how different that the girl actually LIKED “every single word you left on my phone.”  Love the creative new verbs—Did I say we’d go shoppin, that I’d Louis Vuitton her, That I’d Rodeo Drive her slide a Tiffany diamond on her.”  Is that like new math?  Kudos to Ross, Josh and Chris.  The chorus is infectious and I find myself singing it at the top of my lungs at red lights. -RC



Watch Dierks perform "What The Hell Did I Say" at Highline Ballroom, NYC, 5/25/16:




Somewhere On A Beach:  Written by Michael Tyler, Jaron Boyer, Alexander Palmer, Dave Kuncio and Josh Mirenda

Still not my favorite, but damn, did this song blow up and get the job done for leading off this album with some serious momentum. And in the context of the full album, it doesn’t sound out of place at all. –CS

When I heard this was the first single from the new album, I was disappointed to say the least.  Another bro song? Really?  I know Dierks has so much more depth, but I also know radio needed something for the masses.   And sure enough, SOAB climbed quickly and spent two weeks at #1 and three weeks on the Hot Country Songs chart and is still in the top ten this week—four months later!  The song has really grown on me and I sing along happily now.  And yes, it is perfectly placed as chapter five in Dierks’ book of Black. -RC

Freedom:  Written by Ashley Gorley, Ross Copperman and Dierks Bentley

This song makes me want to skip along and bop to it. Obviously a theme that’s been done before, but I love how anthemic and sing-along this is. Once more people are familiar with it, this should be a highlight of the live show. Definitely single worthy. –CS

Paying homage to our US military—that flag on a soldier’s sleeve—is always a popular theme.  Makes me feel very patriotic.  That, and all the singing about all freedoms we enjoy because of those soldiers.  I can see this going over big on tour and can already hear the audience singing it at the top of their lungs.  That ticket to your favorite show/Getting’ lost in the rock n roll.  -RC

Why Do I Feel:  Written by Dan Wilson, Ross Copperman and Dierks Bentley

This is where the album kind of hits the brakes for me. Lyrically and vocally (as in, Dierks sounds good), I like this song. But I don’t like the sparse production at all. When I hear the opening piano, I immediately expect to hear Luke’s “Strip it Down” and that’s not really a comparison I enjoy making. I’ve been trying to get more into the song, but the R&B cadence and vocal style aren’t working for me. –CS

When I hear the piano intro, I hear a matureness in Dierks’ music that easily fits in today’s all-genre world.  The production is distinctly Ross Copperman-crafted.  The second verse gets all the way to me—Dierks’ voice at its gritty finest: Trying to find pain, where there’s only love…And when I get more, it’s never enough.  I love the reverberation in the melody and the subtle dobro—that works for me!  I can’t wait for the vinyl version so I can start with Side B! - RC

Roses And A Time Machine:  Written by Luke Dick and Adam James

I think I’m the only person who likes this song. It’s quirky and funky, but I find the lyrics to be self-deprecating and self-aware – the dude knows he screwed up and at least he’s able to make fun of himself. –CS

No, you’re not the only one, Carrie!  This is the old-school Dierks that we know and love!  Co-writer Luke Dick delivered this tongue-in-cheek tune at the Highline Ballroom Songwriters show May 25 and the whole room was laughing and singing along half-way through. Best regret song ever!  Great rhymes—edumacation/relations.  Is THAT what a time machine sounds like?  Cool vibe, Ross Copperman!   I can see a black hole/time travel treatment video for this song—what do you say, Wes Edwards? –RC

Watch Luke Dick perform "Roses And A Time Machine" at Highline Ballroom, NYC, 5/25/16:



All The Way to Me:  Written by Luke Dick, Scooter Carusoe and Dierks Bentley

This song is like your favorite pair of worn in jeans. It feels so good. It’s like if Lot of Leavin’ Left to Do and Free & Easy had a baby. I love it. It just feels so… DIERKS. The production is like a nod to “old” Dierks, the lyrics are SO Dierks – really this is like a continuation of I Hold On and I just love everything about it. Super high on my list of album highlights for sure. (And I would do a lot to hear a bluegrass version of this. I bet that would be killer.) –CS

Hard to believe the same guy who wrote Roses, also penned this page right out of Bentley’s boyhood morphing into adulthood.  When I first heard this and saw the background video on Apple Music, I couldn’t help but think of Kansas Ambassador and country artist, Logan Mize (Somethin’ ‘bout starlight on Kansas/ The way a wheat field dances), yet distinctly Dierks.  This song demonstrates how deeply he feels about the influences in his life (Cass and the kids).  Favorite line: Somethin’ ‘bout me and her and how our love turned into brown eyes lookin’ up/The sound of hardwood floors on little feet.   Bluegrass version gets my vote, too!- RC

Different For Girls (Featuring Elle King):  Written by Shane McAnally and J.T. Harding

Another great duet. I think the duets on this album are my favorites of Dierks’ career so far. I know there’s a lot of brouhaha over the lyrics and the over-generalization of male behavior, but Dierks himself even said he sucks at being a “dude” when it comes to heartache, so I’m not going to read too much into it. This song sounds great, and I think this is a moment on the album where Dierks is really saying “you know, I’m raising two daughters now, and I look at these things differently than I used to.” And I also like the idea that it’s the douchey bro from SOAB having an introspective moment, too. Love this and I hope it’s a huge hit for him. –CS

A guy takes up for a girl – yes please!  This may not have been written by Dierks, but it’s true to the core of his character.  He has said many times he can relate to how girls handle heartbreak because it’s kind of like he has reacted in the past.  Remember Yeah, 'cause I've lost weight and I've lost hair/And I don't intend to ever go back there/Drinkin' and a-thinkin' 'bout a love that just wasn't true (Forget About You)?  Yeah—that was autobiographical.  Thank you Shane McAnally for thinking of Dierks for this song.  And thanks, Dierks, for thinking of Elle King’s (daughter of Rob Schneider and London King) exceptional voice.  Perfect duet and harmonies.  The unique lyrics tell an honest story of guys and girls reacting to break-ups so differently; different than any other song on the radio right now.  DFG should easily be his 15th number one single.  Favorite line: She don’t scroll through her phone just lookin’ for a band-aid. -RC

Mardi Gras (Featuring Trombone Shorty):  Written by Natalie Hemby, Steve Moakler and Dierks Bentley

I wasn’t too sure about this one when I listened to the album the first time, but wow, has it grown on me. It is so catchy, and again, I think Dierks kills the vocal on this one. I’ve had this song in my head a lot since Friday. –CS

While the production and melody remind me of Mardi Gras, the title is a metaphor for a girl who trashed the guy’s heart just like the streets of New Orleans the day after the real Mardi Gras. The trombone sliding of Trombone Shorty is the perfect action to tell this guy-done-wrong song.  Lyrical imagery abounds, painting the perfect charade picture.  Favorite line:  Strung me right along like lights on a balcony.

Light It Up: Written by Jessi Alexander, Ross Copperman and Dierks Bentley

This is another great track. I really like the spiritual metaphors. The production is perhaps a bit louder than it needs to be here, but it’s still a really great song, and one I wouldn’t mind seeing as a single, but it’s a bit similar thematically to HOLY by FGL so they’ll probably steer clear. –CS

Loved this song since I heard Dierks sing part of it acoustically on The Bobby Bones Show.  Vocally and melodically, the chorus soars and is much stronger than the verses.  Conversely, the lyrics in the verses are brilliantly written!  I used to get numb on a whiskey remedy/But then your spirit poured in like a symphony.  It’s apparent his angel (wife Cassidy) lights ups his soul! Co-writer Jessi and Dierks sang “Light It Up” at the Highline Ballroom in NYC last week. –RC

Here's a short clip of Dierks and Jessi performing "Light It Up" at Highline Ballroom, NYC, 5/25/16:



Can’t Be Replaced:  Written by Hillary Lindsey, Luke Laird and Dierks Bentley

Not much to say here that hasn’t already been said by basically everyone ever, but this is a fantastic song. First of all, I could talk about those dobro solos all day long. They’re gorgeous. Everything about this song is just perfectly executed. Definitely one of the best songs of his career. –CS

Whether its things or people, we all have memories of the images this song conjures up—totally saw my teen years flash before my eyes—Levi jacket, spinnin’ that bottle, Memorex mixtape and Boone’s Farm kiss.  Totally agree with the dobro solos, too—beautiful.  This may never be a single, although Dierks has said he would like it to be.  Our heart goes out to Jake who has been there with him since the beginning. -RC

If you want to feel every emotion in life, be sure to take Bentley’s Black along on your mountainous trek. It will seep into your soul, light it up and transcend you.

Ronna Clark
DB Congress Chair (FL)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

DB Congress Exclusive Interview: Ben Helson, Dierks Bentley's New Lead Guitarist

Ben Helson far right/foreground; From left: Dierks Bentley, Steve Misamore, Tim Sergent
Photo Credit: Zach Belcher 

While we were sad to see Brian Layson leave, we are excited to welcome to the DBC family Dierks Bentley's new lead guitarist, Ben Helson!  Ben joined Team Dude March 31, 2016 and he was gracious enough to answer questions from DB Congress reps in the middle of the Somewhere On A Beach Tour!  

We can already tell his sense of humor is right on par with the rest of the band and his talent has already been proven on stage. He's played in bluegrass, rock and country bands, which he says set him up perfectly to play for Dierks and draw musically from each of those influences!  

Introducing...Ben Helson!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DBC: Where were you when you got the call/text to be part of Dierks band? And what did you
think when you were asked to join the band? PS: Welcome to the family! (Adrian Taylor,
NC)

BH: Thanks, Adrian! I was actually in Italy of all places. I received a text from Dierks who asked
me to give him a call when I had a minute. Of course my heart was racing pretty fast, as I’m
sure is normal when one of your hero’s texts you. He was super cool and asked if I’d like to
come and play some guitar with him and the guys, and here I am. That’s the short version… I
think I blacked out for the rest of the conversation, haha. An unbelievable moment to say the
least.

DBC: When did you start playing (age?) and what was the first song you learned? What other
instruments do you play besides guitar? (Linda Alberts, FL)

BH: I started playing around the age of 13. My dad taught me my first song on the guitar which
was the old bluegrass tune, Home Sweet Home. As far as other instruments, I play a little
mandolin, banjo, bass, dobro, and piano!

DBC: I saw you playing in Dublin and I thought you fit in with the band perfectly. I loved your
guitar playing. My question is, when you started to play guitar, was this the kind of
music you envisioned yourself playing, or did you see yourself taking another path?
(Reet Eaton, Ireland)

BH: Thanks so much! Honestly, I was all over the map musically. I played in a bluegrass band
with my dad, a rock band with my friends at school, and in a few different country bands in
the area. I loved them all. I had no real preference, I just wanted to play music 24/7. I never
imagined it leading to the place I’m at now, but I’m so thankful it did. Looking back, playing
all those styles of music set me up perfectly for Dierks’ band. It’s the first gig I’ve had where I
get a chance to draw heavily from each of those influences!

DBC: Aren’t you originally from Brownsville, Kentucky? Tell us about your family. (Meredith
Mauer, SC)

BH: I am indeed. My family is amazing! I come from a musical family. My mother grew up playing
bass in gospel groups and my dad plays guitar and sings. My step-mother is also a great
piano player and singer. They were always very supportive of me and my dreams of playing
music. I also have 2 brothers and a sister who are awesome. I’m very proud of them all!

DBC: What weird or interesting initiation or pranks did Dierks band play on you? (Grace
Lenehan, TN)

BH: Nothing too big just yet. I have a feeling they’re still cooking something up!

DBC: Do you have a nickname, if so what is it and the story behind it? (Kathy Butler, IN)

BH: I’ve never had a nickname that has stuck. However, because I have a pretty thick
southern accent, people usually think I say Dan when they ask my name. It happens all
the time, haha!

DBC: Who are your musical influences? (Heather Ashley, TN)

BH: Too many to count. Everyone from Van Halen to Tony Rice to Django Reinhardt to Keith
Whitley. I could go on and on but I’ll stop there for now!

DBC: You have toured with mostly female artists—Rhonda Vincent, Danielle Bradbery and
most recently Maddie & Tae. How is it different touring with all guys now? (Ronna Clark,
FL)

BH: The bus doesn’t smell as nice. Haha!

DBC: Who would you like to play with/for dead or alive? (Linda Alberts, FL)

BH: That’s a tough one. I'm thankful to have had the amazing opportunity to share the stage with a
lot of my heroes thus far. But some that come to mind that I would/would’ve loved to play
with are, Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard, Keith Whitley, and Alison Krauss. I’m sure I’ll think
of a hundred more as soon as I send this out, ha!

DBC: Who is your favorite guitarist and why? (David Mattingly, KY)

BH: If I absolutely had to narrow it down to one person, it would have to be Bryan Sutton. When I
heard a Ricky Skaggs record that he played on, that’s the moment that made me really want
to start taking guitar seriously. I didn’t know that people could play like that. He plays
acoustic guitar (and lots of other instruments) on numerous recordings in Nashville, including
Dierks’. He adapts so easily to whatever style he’s asked to play and seems to always have
the right ideas and approach to every song!

DBC: Did you become friends with Dierks/mates while on tour with Maddie & Tae? (David
Mattingly, KY)

BH: Yes, we got a chance to hang out quite a bit with Dierks and the band while we were out with
him last summer. Dierks does an amazing job of making everybody on each tour feel like
family, and the Sounds of Summer tour was no exception. It seemed like each night all the
bands and artists would end up hanging out and having backstage jam sessions. Fun times!

DBC: Have things been as expected so far? Or have there been some surprises during
rehearsal/tour? (Amy Wicks, FL)

BH: The transition to this role has been surprisingly stress free. Everyone in the band and crew
(including Dierks) has gone above and beyond to make me feel comfortable and made sure I was set up for success right off the bat. The only aspect that was a little surprising is how much freedom there is to be yourself musically. They embrace the idea that everyone has their own musical personality and will encourage each other to bring that to the table!

DBC: What is your favorite DB song to play live and why? (Sherrie Shamon, FL)

BH: I love so many different ones for different reasons. However, right now I’d have to say Black.
It’s just different than anything I’ve gotten to play before!  I also really like 5150, Lot of Leavin’, and Freedom, too. Those are great guitar songs!

DBC: You were a musician with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder and directed the
Renaissance Bluegrass at Bethel University in Tennessee. Did that background help
influence Dierks’ bluegrass “Up On The Ridge” to be the show opener for the
Somewhere On A Beach Tour? (Ronna Clark, FL)

BH: I’d like to think it did, haha. Dierks seems to have a never-ending reservoir of ideas and this
one seemed to come about very organically, right before our first show in Ireland. He thought
that since the country of Ireland had such a rich history of Celtic fiddle music, it would be cool
to open the show with the banjo and fiddle. We all liked it so much we thought we would give
it a shot on the SOAB tour. So far people seem to dig it, which lets me know that DB has a lot
of cool fans!

DBC: What are you looking forward to the most in regards to this summer's tour? What
venue/city are you the most excited about playing? (Nancy Eaton, ME)

BH: I can’t think of anything in particular that I’m looking forward to more than just being on stage
with Dierks and the band each night. He and the band bring so much energy to the table, it’s
impossible not to have a ridiculous amount of fun on stage. Each night I’ve had to pinch
myself to be sure it’s all real.

DBC: When you have time outside of music, what are your hobbies? Are you a sports fan?
Favorite team(s)? (David Mattingly, KY)

BH: Not really a sports fan, which I know is borderline sinful when you’re from Kentucky, haha.
When I’m not traveling, I mainly try to be intentional about spending quality time, in whatever
facet, with close friends/family, and of course my wife, Danielle. But, I’m still just as into
playing/practicing music as much as ever, so there’s usually an instrument close by at home.
So, my hobby outside of music is still music I guess, haha!

DBC: What's the craziest fan encounter so far? Have you been warned some of us (DBC
reps) are a little crazy? (Kathy Butler, IN).

BH: Hahaha, no crazy encounters yet, just a lot of support which I appreciate greatly!

DBC: What do you like best about touring with Dierks? (Sherrie Shamon, FL)

BH: Concise answer is… everything. I’m having the time of my life out here. One specific
thing is getting to see how much he doesn’t take anything concerning his success for
granted. He knows where he came from and is thankful for where he’s at. It’s easy to
root for a guy like that.

DBC: What one thing can you tell us about Dierks that we die-hard fans don’t already
know? (Ronna Clark, FL)

BH: I should be the one asking you all! Maybe how seriously knowledgeable he is about
bluegrass and country music. Pretty incredible. But I have a feeling you already knew
that!

Thanks for the questions. I’m so thrilled to be apart of the DB team and I know I have
impossibly giant shoes to fill from Brian Layson (he’s the man!). So thanks for being so
supportive everybody. It means a lot!

Thank YOU, Ben! See you on the tour!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Dierks Bentley: "Black," The Video

Part 4

"Come A Little Closer" just lost it's longstanding crown of Dierks Bentley's career love songs to newcomer, "Black."

The fourth and final video in the series of songs leading up to the album, the title track is intoxicatingly sexy, but the mystery continues when the girl walks out on the sleeping lover.  Is she going to turn herself in? Is the boyfriend really dead?  Is she trying to spare the other guy from being involved? You'll have to draw your own conclusions, as director Wes Edwards keeps you guessing in the black and white (to match the theme of the album) conclusion to the mini-series.

My wife said, 'I thought this was supposed to be a love song,'" recalls the singer-songwriter, who titled his album Black as a nod to wife Cassidy's maiden name. "I said, 'Black' is the love song. And she said, 'But it's not a love song. . . it's an in-the-moment love song.'"





Black

Written by Dierks Bentley, Ashley Gorley and Ross Copperman

The moon outside too bright
Those blinds
Yeah let's just keep em closed
You know my hands they know where to go
To find your fingertips
Trace em back to your lips
Take you on a trip
Flip that switch

Make my world go black
Hit me like a heart attack
Knock me flat on my back yeah
Just keep doing that
That thing you're doing there
Brush me with your hair

I swear, I don't know how long that I can last
Make my world go black
Make my world go black

Like your dress on the floor
Yeah the one you don't need anymore
Black like a sky with no stars
Just find me and fall into my arms

And make my world go black
Hit me like a heart attack
Knock me flat on my back yeah
Just keep doing that
That thing you're doing there
Brush me with your hair
I swear, I don't know how long that I can last
Make my world go black
Make my world go black

I don’t want to see a thing
Baby I just want to feel your touch
Feel your rush
I don’t want to see a thing
I just want to feel your love
Make my world go black
Hit me like a heart attack
Knock me flat on my back yeah
Just keep doing that
That thing you're doing there
Brush me with your hair

I swear, I don't know how long that I can last
Make my world go black
Make my world go black


I don't wanna see a thing
I just want to feel your touch
Feel your love



Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/premieres/dierks-bentley-black-video-20160513#ixzz48f0w1dtW