Saturday, November 4, 2017

WTH Tour memories from the DBC

While DB Congress members diligently and eagerly count down to when we get to see Dierks again, it's the perfect time to take a look back at our favorite memories from this year's WTH Tour. 

We asked and you delivered! Here are some of your favorite memories:

I took my 12 year old, Ellie, to see Dierks for her first country concert and he did not disappoint! We also were chosen for the meet and greet and, as you can see in the picture, her smile says it all! He was so kind, gracious and humble; it was a night we will never forget! He's such a great performer and truly entertains with such a love for family and country. It was a great time for us and we can't wait til next summer! Emily, DB Congress Member from Pennsylvania

My sister and I are huge fans and supporters. I have been to 13 shows--three just this past summer! At one, we were lucky to get a meet and greet. Dierks is such a sweet and genuine guy and his concerts show that! Elaine, DB Congress Rep from Wisconsin 

Dierks taking a selfie at VIP in Darien Lake, NY, on Aug. 4 was pretty memorable! 😉 
Nicole, DB Congress Rep from New York

My favorite moment from the WTH Tour is hands down when my husband drove our RV to Jacksonville from Tampa just to wait out in the parking lot while our son and I went in to see Dierks! (Not to worry about my hubby: He is going to see Dierks in Oklahoma. He has a ticket to get in this time 😂 All I know is I never have to doubt his love for me and he never questions my love for Dierks!) Nichole, DB Congress Rep from Florida

Every year (since 2014), I drive from Columbus Ohio to Charlotte NC to see Dierks. [That first year was] the tour's opening night and I had just graduated ... with a bachelor's in nursing (definitely needed a night to celebrate). Brandi, DB Congress Member from Ohio

Only 10 DB Congress members win meet & greets per show. And [my husband and I] BOTH won! When we walked up, Tom, the tour manager, looked at us funny and asked us if we knew each other. I said, "We're husband and wife." You should've seen his face. He said we're only one of three other couples that have ever won in six years. He called us the 🦄.. We got a couple of extra minutes with Dierks and got two pictures. I still can't believe it! Michelle, DB Congress Rep from Texas

At the sold out show in Fresno, before the show Dierks surprised a military family by having their husband, father at the show waiting for them. Then Dierks brought them up on stage, it was a very special moment. So much fun! Deanne, DB Congress Member from California

I went to SIX WTH shows this year--Nashville, Knoxville, Bristow, Charlotte, Raleigh and Phoenix (with a Grand Ole Opry show thrown in the week before Phoenix). I have literally 1,000s of pix, but [here are] a couple of my favorites. I have all kinds of special moments, but a couple that stand out: 1)Knoxville VIP: I requested my favorite song--Draw Me A Map--and he tried (twice) but couldn't get the words right ... so he handed me the mic and we sang it together (I so cannot sing! 😳)! He redeemed himself in Charlotte with mostly the right words. 😌 2)Bristow: My first meet and greet 💙 3)Phoenix: Pretty sure he drove past me next to the arena while I was videoing the marquee on the day of show about 10 a.m. and I met three fellow DBC'ers for the first time! We went to Whiskey Row, hung out, then went to the show together. Immediate friends! 4 Charlotte: I was part of D's "beach towel!" The WTH shows were amazing with Jon and Cole ... loved the George Strait song with Jon every night! So many awesome memories!
Mary Lou, DB Congress Rep from North Carolina

My big memory from the WTH Tour has to be Dierks posting my poem all over social media--that was surreal! 😍
Jenn, DB Congress Member from Maryland

As for me, two concerts with my hubby (also a DBC member), two VIPs, two meet and greets, two pit experiences against the stage, countless memories and chances to meet DB Congress members, holding Dierks' hand while he swayed and sang to the music from stage, and he even signed my pilot hat. Yah, it was one unforgettable tour!

Jessica Borrelli
DB Congress Rep, WA

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Behind the Scenes at GMA's Block Party, Featuring Dierks Bentley

The summer of 2017 held countless barbecues and block parties for DB Congress reps around the country. But there is one block party that brought a few DBC reps together and had the entire nation looking in--and it featured our president, Dierks Bentley.

On Tuesday, Oct. 17, Good Morning America with King's Hawaiian hosted a Summer Block Party in Austin, Tx. The location was selected as the host site as a result of a contest that was announced in May. Thousands of photo and video entries were submitted, all vying for the chance to host a summer concert with Dierks Bentley, right in their neighborhood. While a DBC member wasn't selected, a handful of reps had the opportunity to attend. It was a morning they will never forget (and the lost sleep was completely worth it).

GMA host Ginger Zee, when gearing up for the show, even had the chance to talk with DBC reps in the audience.

Here is a behind-the-scenes look from Texas DBC Lobbyist Meredith Mauer:

"[Attending the block party] was unplanned and unexpected on my part, so when I found out at 10:30 p.m. the night prior that this was happening, I made the decision that I was just going to be pulling an all-nighter!

A post shared by Meredith Mauer (@itsmere1) on

"I downed a couple cups of coffee, threw on my jeans, boots, Riser hat, and DB Congress sweatshirt before heading out the door for my 2-hour drive. When I reached the neighborhood where the block party was taking place, the whole place looked pretty much asleep. I parked my car, then headed to the stage area on foot, walking by a sleeping [Dierks Bentley] Goldie Bus. It was literally set up in the middle of the street, with homes on both sides. Production equipment and tents were set up in front yards, and there were maybe a dozen people present when I got there. ... Over the next couple hours, I watched a few more people trickle in and listened to the production meeting in front of the stage, so I was able to get a general idea on how this was going to play out.

"The area in front of the stage was set up for VIPs on the left, first responders in the center, and ADA accessible on the right. The area directly behind was for the first 200 people in line with wristbands. The area behind them was pretty much general admission with wristbands. Those who live on the street were given lawn passes, which allowed them to watch the concert from the lawn on the left side of the stage. I'm not exactly sure how many showed up, but I did hear someone mention 1,000 people were expected.

"Once 5 a.m. rolled around, it didn't take long for the crowds to start flooding in. King's Hawaiian sponsored the block party, and provided a fun area for concert goers to grab a water, a sandwich made with their yummy rolls, a t-shirt, sunglasses, and some game fun, such as a giant game of Jenga. Standing on the lawn with those who live on the street, I spent some time talking to a few. I didn't realize that at one point I was standing next to Scott and Ashley Cooper, the winners of the block party. I learned that the block got to enjoy watching Dierks and the guys do a soundcheck the day prior, and Dierks spent some time with the Coopers.

"Once GMA started on the East Coast, things started happening. Without a doubt, it was a production put together for live TV. There was a crew of about 10 people there from GMA New York. There was a live teleprompter attached to the camera near me, and I watched it scroll as Robin Roberts was speaking in NY. ... Before coming to the stage, Dierks was escorted into the crowd to do a quick live shot in the middle of the crowd, saying "GOOD MORNING, AMERICA!"

From there, they took him to the King's Hawaiian party tent, and did another live shot of him playing Jenga with a child from the crowd. Meanwhile, our guys from the band came up on stage for a short soundcheck. From the look on Cassady's face, it looks like they may have just crawled out of bed on a cold, dark morning!

A post shared by Meredith Mauer (@itsmere1) on

"They warmed up with "I Hold On," with Carlos strumming along using Dierks' guitar. Those of us in the lawn were able to participate in a number of live shots, from the weather with Ginger Zee to Dierks passing between us on the way to the stage. Of course, what was live on television took a few minutes prior to set up. I only participated in the live shot of Dierks heading to the stage. I was standing closest to the stage with my DB Congress sweatshirt on!

"Dierks played five songs. He performed "5-1-5-0" while it was still dark out, then talked to the crowd a little bit about his time in the neighborhood. About 18 minutes later, he got on stage and joked about being so cold (it wasn't, really) and the irony of his next song "Somewhere on a Beach" for a GMA live performance. At least the sun was coming up at this point!

A post shared by Meredith Mauer (@itsmere1) on

"He then joined the first responders in front of the stage for some pictures, selfies and a live shot. They were some excited fans! It tickles me to see others appreciate the great guy Dierks is! Soon after, Ginger did a live interview with Dierks from the stage where he praised the first responders, mentioned the tragedy in Las Vegas, talked about the movie "Only The Brave."

"Dierks then performed "Black" live.

A post shared by Meredith Mauer (@itsmere1) on

"For the next live shot, they brought the Coopers, their neighbors and the first responders on stage. He performed one more song for the crowd, "Riser," then was whisked away to catch his shuttle to NY for his appearance on Fox News with Dana Perino.

"As the crowd dispersed, I waited to walk back by the buses to my car. I was glad to find my car wasn't towed, and drove off to find my next cup of coffee for the drive home. It was definitely worth the all-nighter!"

A post shared by Good Morning America (@goodmorningamerica) on

(You can watch the entire concert here.)

With recent (potential award) buzz about Dierks' hit song, "Hold the Light" for the movie "Only the Brave" and his advocacy for first responders in light of the Las Vegas tragedy, more and more people are learning about the man we already know and love. This was one more way for the DBC and the country to see him in action. What an unforgettable morning!

Jessica Borrelli
DB Congress Rep, WA

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Dierks and Sheryl Hit The Streets of Nashville in Carpool Karaoke

For those of us who follow Dierks Bentley on social media, we knew it was coming.
For those who follow happenings in downtown Nashville, you knew even sooner than that.

Carpool Karaoke (Goes Country) edition, featuring Dierks Bentley and Sheryl Crow, finally aired this week, and it was worth the wait.

On July 31, Dierks dropped this teaser:

A post shared by Dierks Bentley (@dierksbentley) on

With that bit of information in our pocket, a look back at an April 5 post from Legends Corner gave us a little more insight on what we could expect from this highly-anticipated episode:

The episode was available on iTunes and Apple Music as of Sept. 26. You can watch it here (though you will need an account to do so). It didn't disappoint.

For those who don't have an account (or who want to relive the magic), here's a brief recap!
*spoiler alert*

With Dierks in the driver's seat and Sheryl riding shotgun, the comfortable pair took a drive down music memory lane, singing personal hits such as "All I Wanna Do," "Picture," "What Was I Thinkin'," and "Drunk on a Plane." (Though it's questionable if Sheryl knew all of the words, she nailed the majority of the song!)

They even pull in a random musician strolling down the street to have him sing "If It Makes You Happy." Surprising the pair, he gets the chance to sing one of his own. They picked a winner. Dierks even replies, "If I had the button to turn my seat around right now, I would! You're great man!" As it turns out, the musician is David Oakleaf who was a top 5 finalist on CMT's Can You Duet? in 2008. According to his Instagram post, he's still on a Dierks and Sheryl high six months later.

After finding out pretty much no one knows how to spell either of their names, Cheryl and Derk decide to take the challenge of seeing how many gigs they can accomplish in their remaining 30 minutes. The only rules--pull over, run in, play something, run out.

With stops at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge and (a very familiar venue for Dierks) Legend's Corner, they successfully fit in four shows in 30 minutes (with an entertaining bonus fifth show in the last minute in a back alley!). Classic country was on the menu with songs such as "Good Hearted Woman" and "I Hear That Train A Comin.'"

For those who want to see behind the scenes, these lucky fans happened to be at Tootsie's and Legend's when the pair took the stage:

With prior duets at the 2014 ACMs and the 2013 ACM Fan Festival, a special Miles and Music for Kids in 2012, and even social media jokes last year, it's clear the two have a friendship filled with laughter and "some fun" performing together.

With Whiskey Row opening in the coming months in Nashville, my guess is DB Congress members will be taking to the streets in droves, looking for their chance of a drive by!

Jessica Borrelli
DB Congress Rep, WA

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Dierks Bentley and U2 Connection, Years in the Making

As die-hard, card-carrying members of DB Congress, we know what it's like to be super fans.

We listen to--and know--all the songs; we travel--sometimes around the world--to see him; we have the homemade t-shirts to prove it.

But what if you had Dierks Bentley's phone number in your cell? That's reaching dream status. Am I the only one?

Dierks knows that feeling. He, himself, is a card-carrying member of U2's fan club (literally--he carries the card in his wallet). AND he is in regular contact with frontman Bono.

Their history goes farther back, and is more intricate, than many realize. It all started with a "mutual interest in helping people out and trying to use our celebrity currency for good."

But a very public nod from Bono to Dierks this month drew the attention of country music (and U2) fans everywhere.

In a New Orleans concert on Sept. 14, U2 stunned the audience--and very clearly, Dierks Bentley--with a cover of "Drunk on a Plane" as an interlude in their hit "Beautiful Day."

One could argue that is the ultimate compliment.

The feeling is mutual. In addition to publically noting U2 was the best concert Dierks has ever seen, for those of us who are familiar with Dierks' bluegrass album, Up on the Ridge, the song "Pride (In the Name of Love)" is actually a U2 cover.

Dierks even contacts Bono before every new album release, sending a song or two for Bono's feedback. A recent example is "Freedom" from the Black album.

"The third verse of the song was kind of inspired by something he said to me once," said Dierks. "He said when people in other countries see the American flag, they don't just see a geographical location, they see an idea of freedom. And they want a piece of that idea. So I sent him the song, and he sent me a pretty thoughtful email back. ... He couldn't be more supportive. It was pretty cool to get that email."

It's not just professional feedback between the two artists. When Dierks' dad passed away in 2012, Bono reached out with a letter of condolence. The words that stuck out most to Dierks were, "I don't know how close or far away you were, but it's just a stinker." That message held a lot of meaning in a very difficult time.

Just two months before, Bono--a lover of country music himself--had the privilege of introducing Dierks at the ACM Awards.

"Dierks Bentley's music reaches all the way from Nashville into my kitchen in Dublin."

As DB Congress representatives globally, we would have to agree, Bono.

Now the only question that remains: Has Bono joined our ranks a DB Congress member?
If not, sounds like he has honorary member status already established.
Now, to get him a card ...

Jessica Borrelli
DB Congress Rep, WA