Sunday, August 28, 2016

First Show, Meet and Greet For One of Dierks Bentley's Biggest Deaf Fans

Keri Nutt has been deaf since she was two years old but she is one of Dierks Bentley's biggest fans! She wore a hearing aid from the age of four until about eight years ago when she switched to a Cochlear Implant in her right ear, allowing her to hear Dierks' voice and music.

"I can hear with the implant fairly well in my right ear and speak pretty well," Keri tells us.  "Sounds like I have an accent, though, and when I get nervous I tend to speak softly. I believe in doing both signing (ASL) and speaking but it depends on who I am hanging around with. I am fully deaf in my left ear and use the implant in my right ear and once I don't have it on I'm fully deaf, obviously."

"I adore Dierks and his music. He is just the ultimate inspiration for me because of who he is and what he does. His music and songs are what gets me through each day."  Keri posted her "Behind Black" fan video on to explain why she is especially fond of "Riser":

Keri attended her first Dierks concerts in Texas last weekend, including interpreters, VIP and her first Meet and Greet. She told us all about her experience below.


I was just so grateful for the opportunity to see him perform. I didn't anticipate winning a meet and greet too, but was hoping and when it happened it was beyond my wildest dreams! I requested interpreters for the shows, too.

I love Dierks' voice.  He has the sexiest and most clear voice I have ever heard.

The VIP Event was beautiful because I got to see the acoustic performances from Dierks.  It was very personal and amazing. The ASL interpreters were awesome!  I loved the VIP experience all the way around because it was small and intimate. It was awesome seeing Dierks interacting with the fans.

I am utterly and eternally grateful for the Meet and Greet opportunity with Dierks in Dallas last weekend, August 20. It was my very first time to meet him as well as attend his awesome concerts. He truly is a very kind and soft spoken gentleman. I was in awe the entire time and nervous. There were so many things I wanted to say and "sign" to him but completely blanked out.

I had planned on showing him a few signs but instead gave him a piece of cardboard for him to sign his name, he asked me what my name was and I signed and spoke K E R I.  He asked how to spelled it, I said, like the hand lotion commercial, Keri.  He chuckled and said, "I don't watch very many commercials, Keri." I laughed.  My ASL interpreters were with me and signing for us.  Dierks was very gracious and kind to them as well.

I got my picture taken with Dierks and signed to him and thanked him.  He thanked me back and then I got my pic taken again with my common in law next to him as well. It was such an amazing experience, I only wished I had more time to talk to him but I knew there were others waiting their turns.

THE CONCERTS: Dallas and Houston.  Damn! That man knows how to put on class act shows!

I was completely in awe the entire time from the start to the end. I didn't want the night to end! It was truly magical and just fricking awesome!  Dierks knows how to work the crowd and make everyone feel a part of the songs itself.  The ASL interpreters were amazing.  I really appreciated them tremendously. They also had a blast!

I will never ever forget my first time for Dierks weekend and I am truly grateful and changed for life.

You can plan on seeing me at more at Dierks shows and I hope to meet Dierks again to talk and sign longer with him and actually show him some signs!



P.S.  If anyone has any questions about implants or ASL or anything, I would be more than happy to assist with info.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Young Fan Gets Priceless Birthday Gift from Dierks Bentley

One of our youngest DB Congress members, 8-year-old Derek Verst, got the best birthday gift ever last weekend in Indy! 
Mom Gina told us, "Derek is one of my triplets and it was his belated birthday present to go to the Dierks Bentley concert, including VIP."
Last September in Cincinnati, Dierks pulled Derek on stage during Drunk On A Plane.  So his goal for the VIP experience this time in Indy was to get Dierks to sign a photo he had brought from last year's experience.
But, boy did he get so much more! Gina tells us the story:
"The Indy VIP show was already extra special in and of itself because Dierks' girls, Evie and Jordan, each joined him on stage to sing songs.  But, then while prepping to do D.O.A.P. during the VIP show, Derek held out the photo and Dierks willingly autographed it.  He then asked Derek if he remembered the words.  Derek confidently replied, "Yes!" (he later asked me how he could not know the words to his FAVORITE song?!?)  Dierks helped him up on the stage and adjusted the mic Ben Helson had been singing on.  Derek nailed every last word!
Derek was still floating on cloud 9 from the VIP experience and I think his night would have been made with that.
But, he stood in the pit at the rail near our seats, singing and dancing along the entire night.  His face when the plane emerged for D.O.A.P. was PRICELESS! 
A group of people who were in the VIP event came over and asked if they could try to get Derek on stage and I said, "Sure!"  While Dierks was singing D.O.A.P., a man lifted Derek up and a large group of people started pointing and motioning towards Derek.  Dierks came over and grabbed his "co-pilot."  He placed Derek in the cock-pit of the plane and Derek got the best view in the house to watch the remainder of the finale.
After the show, Dierks tweeted a shout-out to his "co-pilot" with the picture."
Truly an unforgettable night!

Special thanks to Suzanne Jarvis for the videos and Kathy Butler for the photos.

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  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:

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.

: 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)