Sunday, December 10, 2017

Riser Dierks Bentley To Be Recognized For Humanitarian Efforts

Dierks Bentley is finally getting accolades for something DB Congress members have known all along--Dierks is an amazing guy with a huge heart.

Country Radio Broadcasters announced this week that Dierks has been selected to receive the Artist Humanitarian Award at the 2018 Country Radio Seminar. Created in 1990, this annual award recognizes the "humanitarian achievements of country artists." Dierks is the 28th recipient of the award; past recipients include artists such as Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley and Charlie Daniels.

Looking back on more than a decade of service, the examples of Dierks' humanitarian achievements are endless.

One of the most notable--the reason he was selected for this award--is his Miles and Music for Kids motorcycle ride and concert. This event, held for 10 years, raised more than $4 million for children's hospitals across the country, including the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

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Another highlight that contributed to Dierks receiving this award were his efforts to support the families of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. In 2013, he partnered with Entercom Country KMLE/Phoenix and Guyann Communications Country KAFF/Flagstaff to host the Country Cares Concert in Arizona, which raised more than $500,000 for the families of the firefighters. He since played a part in promoting the major motion picture about the Hotshots, "Only The Brave," singing and writing the movie's featured song, "Hold The Light." (This song is so powerful, there is buzz about it being an Oscar contender.)

He's also an advocate for the Safe Haven Family Shelter in Nashville, even featuring a family from the shelter in his "Riser" music video. The entire Bentley family has jumped in to support this shelter. Through these efforts, the family has brought tens of thousands of dollars in donations, not to mention countless opportunities for advocacy. Even last week, Safe Haven did a fundraiser where the Bentleys were on site and matching funds raised (his kiddos even helped serve).

Beyond these three notable humanitarian efforts, in just the last year, Dierks has raised money for disaster relief for those affected by the hurricaneshosted a private concert for first respondersdonated bloodadopted from the humane societysupported our militaryadvocated for the National Park Servicefished to benefit cancer research; took on the volunteer position on the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority Board of Commissioners. Not to mention his day job (of which we all are familiar!) and being one heck of a hubby and dad.

It's clear Dierks has taken his natural platform and made it a voice for good. We might be biased, but looking at all this man does, not just for his family and fans, but for the community, it's clear there is no one more deserving of this honor.

Congratulations, Dierks!

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The award will be presented at the Country Radio Seminar on Feb. 5 in Nashville.

Dierks previous received the Country Radio Seminar "New Faces of Country Music" award in 2004.

Jessica Borrelli
DB Congress Rep, WA

Monday, November 20, 2017

DBC Reps Stand Out In Durant (with a special gift for Dierks, as well!)

For the last 17 Dierks Bentley shows that Cecia Benoit, rep from Louisiana, has attended, she has made a t-shirt to stand out in the crowd. So when she heard a couple dozen DB Congress members planned to attend Dierks' show in Durant, Okla., on Nov. 18, she decided to introduce herself. She never imagined where this offer would take her.

"I was collecting my thoughts to make myself a shirt and I thought I'd like to make myself approachable to other DB Congress members whom I haven't met in person before," she said. "So I decided to put my name and state on it ... adding DB Congress and the Riser bird was a given. I shared my idea with a couple of other ladies who were going, and before I knew it, I was making shirts for ones from every corner of the United States--from Oregon to Maine, from California to Florida."

The shirts were a hit! Cecia ended up making shirts for 12 DB Congress reps from 10 states--all of whom went to Durant for the show. The Dierks Dozen met up at the venue (hours before the velvet rope dropped) and shared their love and passion for "our favorite dude" while standing in line, discussing the "musical gift he has shared with us all."

What started as a 1,200-mile road trip with her friends--Sylvia, rep from Louisiana, and Tracy, rep from Mississippi (who were naturally having Dierks withdrawals)--ended up as a gathering of new friends from across the country. (She even made special sweatshirts for her roadtrip buddies!)

"It made my heart overflow with happiness to have been the brains behind the shirts that all of these beautiful people were rocking."

To top it off, Mary Lou, rep from North Carolina, asked Cecia to make one of the shirts to give to Dierks--just in time for his birthday.

"To see my creation presented to Dierks during the show was icing on the cake. Wow. Just mind blowing!"

Great work, Cecia! Way to represent, ladies!
And Happy Birthday, Dude!

Side note: Did you catch Dierks saying they just finished a new record in that video? Happy birthday TO US!

Jessica Borrelli
DB Congress Rep, WA

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

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!

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"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!

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"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!

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"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.

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"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!"

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(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