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
@AllTheWayToMe

Friday, September 22, 2017

Emotional New Dierks Bentley Song Featured on "Only The Brave" Soundtrack

What Dierks Bentley teased earlier this summer has finally come to light.


Today, he released a new song that will be featured on the “Only the Brave” soundtrack.

A new Dierks song always brings about excitement. But this one comes with an emotional pull you might not have been prepared for.

“This is at the top, if not the most meaningful experience I’ve ever been a part of,” said Dierks. “It hits me harder than any other song I’ve had a chance to be a part of.

That statement is no exaggeration.

The song, “Hold the Light,” written by Dierks, Bon Iver’s Sean Carey, Joe Trapanese, and Jon Randall, graces the soundtrack of a movie that tells the story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. 

On June 28, 2013, 19 of the 20 Hotshot firefighters were killed in the Yarnell, Ariz., wildfire. What looked to be a relatively straightforward firefighting day turned tragic when the winds unexpectedly shifted, trapping the men.

After an early viewing of the movie, director Joseph Kosinski asked Dierks if he would contribute to the rough version of the closing song.

"My first reaction was 'This song is perfect [as is].' But I was honored to be asked and thought maybe I could take it up a notch and put my voice on it," said Bentley.

"The message of the song is that you are never alone," said Kosinski. "It shows the enduring sense of camaraderie and support for one another at the core of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, whether they were working on the fires, or back home just living their lives."

The lyrics are emotional and reflective, coupled with the hope of seeing your loved ones "on the other side." The music itself is haunting, flooding the listener with a process of pain to hope. Just a few seconds in and it's clear this song is motion picture quality.


"Hold the Light" is available now on iTunes and on Amazon.

Dierks was one of the first to publically to help the families of the Hotshots (the 19 men left behind many loved ones, including 51 children). That July, Dierks headlined a “Country Cares” concert fundraiser in Prescott Valley, Ariz., where the Band Perry, Randy Houser, and David Nail joined him on stage. The event raised an incredible $476,000, all of which went directly to the families of the fallen firefighters.

As Dierks said at that time, “I want to help honor the memory of these 19 brave firefighters, to be part of the healing process for the community and to raise money for the families left behind. I was and still am devastated by this tragic event in my home state. I certainly can’t imagine what these families are enduring, but I do believe in the healing power of music.”

The lone survivor from the Hotshots team, Brendan McDonough, joined Dierks at the concert, along with the families of the fallen.
Thank you to KMLE 107.9 from Phoenix, Ariz., for this photo, taken from their Twitter page.
"Over the last couple years, I’ve met and gotten to know Brendan ... and my mom has met with some of the guys’ families, and it’s still unfathomable to put yourself in any of their shoes," said Dierks.

The day after the 2017 ACM Awards, Dierks and his mom visited the Hotshots memorial site in Yarnell, Ariz.

Within the week, at the Country Thunder concert, Dierks shared an inspired song he wrote after visiting the memorial. Deborah Power, DB Congress Rep from Arizona, captured this never-before-heard song, “Hotshots.”


"It's such a powerful, important story that hits home to me so hard."



Only the Brave will be in theaters nationwide on Oct. 20. The movie stars Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Taylor Kitsch, Jeff Bridges and Jennifer Connelly.

Lyrics:
If it wasn’t known
That our love will carry on
I will be the wind
That echoes on the canyon wall

One more day with you
To walk around our neighborhood
We will never know
Like it was understood

You never say goodbye
Just let me hold the light

If you’ve given up
I will call an end to this
I will be your rock
From my perch

If you walk the ridge
You will find the marks and scars
Kneel down by the tree
Under the setting stars

You never say goodbye
Just let me hold the light

We never say goodbye
I’ll see you on this side or the other
Where the desert sun kisses the sky
Baby hold the light
Keep it in your eyes
And promise that you’ll dream of me
Beyond the walls of time
In the end we lay beside
Just look up at the light

Just let me hold the light
Let me hold the light



This is the second motion picture song for Dierks. Earlier this year, his song "Days of Dark" was featured in "The Shack."


Jessica Borrelli
DB Congress Rep, WA
@AllTheWayToMe

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Dierks on the Tuesday Night Opry


Dierks Bentley performed on the Tuesday Night Opry July 18, 2017.  The next best thing to being there is listening online!  Listen here. You can find Dierks at the one hour 39 minute mark. 

Bill Cody's Introduction:  "His critically acclaimed album Black...it was 12 years ago he became a member of The Grand Ole Opry, ladies and Gentlemen, his name is Dierks Bentley!"

Dierks likes to ad lib a lot and change up the lyrics sometimes to match the venue. Here's a litte recap.

I Hold On

...What they don't know is my dad and me We drove her out to Tennessee And she's still here and now he's gone So I hold on

What's up dad?

You see this here flat top guitar, Has had my back in every Broadway bar trying to sing every Vince Gill song

I can hear you Opry

After the song, he introduced the band Tim Sergent, Dan Hochhalter, Cassady Feasby, Ben Helson and Steve Misamore.  "Steve and I go way back, played at a bar on Second Avenue that's no longer there and  one night Vince Gill walked in on stage, so I'm having kind of surreal moment playing the Opry in the same room with Vince again.  Unbelievable to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry and be standing in the circle."

Different For Girls

Big TV up there, I can kind of check the old bald spot. I mean not bad, pretty good coverage, right?
Maybe could use a little spraying...oh, sorry, thought I was here by myself. Y'all having fun tonight? We're gonna try this song for the first time at the Opry... I don't know if it will work or not, this is a tough crowd, its the last big #1 we had ...wrote this song about my wife and all the things that go on when the lights go off."

Black

Standing O! now if one person is standing you really can't count that, but if two people are standing that's a standing ovation plural, right?

My 8 year old daughter Evie is here tonight.  First time being at the Opry as an 8 year old!

Drunk On A Plane - getting drunk on the Opry...I'm getting drunk on a stage...kiss my....YEAH..you know...I think she's getting drunk on Grand Ole Opry lemonade backstage.

Thank you Grand Ole Opry What an honor to be here...hope you all have the best time in Nashville, this great city...it be nothing without these great country music fans...standing ovation! Whoa! That's what a standing O looks like!

Don't miss Dierks on the Tuesday Night Opry August 15!  Listen online at www.wsmonline.com!
























Monday, July 10, 2017

One Year Since Jake's Passing, Bentleys Rescue Two More Dogs

After 15 years of gracing album covers, walking the red carpet, and starring in music videos, Dierks Bentley's beloved dog, Jake, went on to eat doggy treats in heaven.

In a post that broke hearts around the world, Dierks shared of this passing through his social media channels just one year ago today:
A post shared by Dierks Bentley (@dierksbentley) on

"For 15 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 are just some things that can't be replaced."

By Dierks' side for so many memories, many us of had the opportunity to give Jake some love; he was an honorary (and original!) DB Congress member.

This love continues in his passing with gifts created in his honor such as a painting, t-shirt, and a wooden treasure box. DB Congress representatives even donated $900 in Jake's honor to the VCA Murphy Road Animal Hospital in Nashville, Tenn., per Dierks' wishes.

Naturally, the other family dog, George Bentley, was lonely without his buddy Jake, so the Bentleys welcomed Emmylou Who and Patch Adams to the bunch.




Definitely not replacements for Jake, but beloved family members in their own right as seen in this video, it's clear they are right at home (who wouldn't be?)!
A post shared by Dierks Bentley (@dierksbentley) on

Jessica Borrelli
DB Congress Rep, WA
@AllTheWayToMe
-       

"What The Hell Did I Say" Hits The Airwaves Monday (Plus A NEW Music Video!)

The fourth single to be released from Dierks Bentley's Black album, What The Hell Did I Say, is sure to climb the charts in a hurry. Can this summer anthem continue the trend and hit No. 1 like the three singles to come before it?


"We named the tour after this song hoping that it would be a single this summer because it perfectly captures the anything-goes spirit out there this year," Dierks explains.

Mission accomplished.

Though not a song penned by Dierks himself, it was written by the team who, with Dierks, wrote his single Drunk On A Plane--Ross Copperman, Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins. He knew he needed to have it on the album.

"I've learned over the years of making records that ... it's okay to have some of those fun songs on there," he shares.

It certainly brings a care-free spirit to the album and the tour, not to mention the social media craze with #WTH.

A song filled with regret, and a potential hangover, WTHDIS follows a man who clearly blacked out the night before. Waking up to a call saying "I loved every single word you left on my phone" leads the caller to try to determine "what the hell" he said last night.

The momentum-carrying intro practically begs the subject of the song to get it into gear to figure out what happened. The baseline teases of potential trouble in what he said. The chorus slams into the frustration (and humor) of not being able to remember. By the time you hit the bridge, you really start to get concerned (did he propose? promise expensive gifts?). While you never reach the answer, the journey is a sobering one set to a party song tune.

"My fans are really patient on this record [Black]," Dierks said in a recent media event. "We've taken a lot of twists and turns: Somewhere on a Beach was different. Different for Girls was different for me. And then Black, for that to go No. 1, it's not the typical song that does that. [My fans have] been really patient allowing us to do stuff. So to come back with a song that's a real down-the-middle, fun party song--it's kind of a good summer song, and I'm excited about it."

The new music video, filmed last month in Tampa on the WTH tour, was released at midnight EST. Watch it here:



You can help get this song to No. 1 by requesting it from your local radio station! Let's see how fast we can get this song up the charts and leave radio listeners saying, "'What the hell' was that song? Let's 'dial it up again'!"


Jessica Borrelli
DB Congress Rep, WA
@AllTheWayToMe

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Dierks Bentley Has Serviceman Seeing Stars (and Stripes)

Coast Guard Captain Jeff Yarosh's love for his country runs deep, a value instilled in him by his dad. "My dad raised us with the central belief that nothing is more important than God, family and country." Jeff recognizes this same set of values in his favorite artist, Dierks Bentley (especially with headlines such as the military reunion meet and greet). So when the opportunity to possibly sing with Dierks came up for Jeff in 2014, he was all in.

Jeff was nominated by his boss, Rory Souther, to be the Coast Guard finalist in the ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops. Dierks was featured in the event with artists such as Carrie Underwood and Florida Georgia Line. One member from each military branch was selected to perform with the artist of their choice at the concert.
Thank you to Zimbio.com for the photos from the Salute to the Troops event.
Jeff ultimately wasn't selected, but his submission video seen here is still bringing smiles (a video he filmed with his daughter, Evelyn, who shares her name with Dierks' oldest daughter):




At the What The Hell Tour concert last month in Bristow, Va., Jeff's wife, Caren, had the opportunity to share her husband's story with Dierks at a meet and greet. After, Dierks told Caren he needed to look this video up online.

"He asked her for my name, and since he had nothing else to write on or with, he used the Sharpie he was using for autographs to write my name on his forearm," Jeff says. "A lot of people can say they got an autograph from Dierks, but I get to claim that he wrote MY name on him!"

To top it off, Jeff adds "Dierks [did] me the honor of accepting the gift my wife gave him: a t-shirt from the ship I just had command of--the best Band of Brothers I've ever been a part of."

Caren Yarosh w/ Dierks Bentley at the June 9 Bristow, Va., What The Hell Tour meet and greet.
The Yarosh's story, no doubt, resonated with Dierks, given
1. Wish It Would Break is a song he wished would have been his first single
2. He genuinely appreciates his fans
3. Patriotism and support of our service men and women are foundational for Dierks

"To see Dierks giving back and supporting the troops and our veterans, I think it's why we can all agree that Dierks is one of the good guys," Jeff says. "Home is a reminder that we shouldn't take the idea for granted that freedom is something which needs to be cultivated and protected."
Dierks understood how big that anthem could be.

Red, white and blue clearly run strong in Dierks' veins.  Just as strong is his love for his fans.

"I sat near the exit and watched each of [the meet and greet winners] as they came out," Jeff says. "The smiles they had on their faces were as wide as the Grand Canyon. Such a little thing, but it clearly meant a lot to those people. He should be proud of that."

After all, he's the one who taught us, "To the things I believe in, my faith, your love, our freedom."


Jessica Borrelli
DB Congress Rep, WA
@AllTheWayToMe

Monday, June 19, 2017

Dierks Bentley and the Band Hide In Plain Sight As Opening Act

Have you been to a What The Hell Tour concert recently?
Then you might have missed Dierks Bentley and the band hiding in plain sight.

As many concerts go, there are often lesser-known opening acts, giving the crowd a taste of talent and paving the way for the headliner. Depending on the city in which you attend the WTH Tour, that first band is likely an up-and-coming local bluegrass group. Some examples are the Mansfield Manscapers, the Tampa Tug-A-Lots, or the Bolo Boys Bluegrass Band.

Well ... do any of these guys look familiar?



That's right. The opening act setting the stage for Jon Pardi--the band you might have missed if you were running late or getting your swag--is, in fact, Dierks and his band of brothers: Cassady Feasby, Ben Helson, Dan Hochhalter, Steve Misamore and Tim Sergent. With hats, sunglasses, and clothing that is a departure from their normal style, they comfortably play the part of a bluegrass band making their way.


A couple DB Congress fan club members have shared videos and photos of the--to them--obvious act; and almost all have stated that those around them have been none-the-wiser. Even if someone mentions "That's Dierks Bentley!" you can hear disbelief in the background.

Now that the word is getting out, it's fair to assume this is one concert where people will be in their seats early!

Now that you know, it's difficult to watch and not smile! It'll be our secret.




* A special thank you to Amy Wicks and Ann Martin for the video footage!

Jessica Borrelli
DB Congress Rep, WA
@AllTheWayToMe

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Black: #1 in Our Hearts, and Now on the Charts!

One year after the release of what is considered to be Dierks Bentley’s “most fully-formed release of his career,” the title track, Black, has made it to #1.

Dierks secured his 16th career #1 single when Black topped the Mediabase radio chart on May 30. It’s also been climbing Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, reaching #2 this week. Following the Platinum Certified and award-winning singles Somewhere on a Beach and Different for Girls from the same album, Black has already been certified Gold.

“Every single we’ve put out this year has been a really important piece of the story of this album, but Black is the one that’s really the cornerstone of the whole project, and it’s about my wife,” Dierks said. “Watching this one rise to the top of the chart is extra sweet.

A post shared by Dierks Bentley (@dierksbentley) on


The album came together around this title track. According to Dierks, “I wrote the song Black and felt like it was the centerpiece of what the album could be: exploring relationships. It’s kind of dark and moody and sexy, and it’s also my wife’s maiden name, Black, so it has some personal layers to it for me. I felt like it was something I could really go deep on and build an album around.”

Not only is the song itself getting the recognition it deserves, but the video is climbing the charts, as well. The CMT Hot 20 Countdown, as of June 3, has the Black video in the #2 position.




We agree with The Boot in their assessment of the video: “It’s hard to decide what’s more breathtaking: the vast Icelandic scenery or the woman at the center of the clip … who just so happens to be Bentley’s wife, Cassidy!”



Well, we’d add Dierks to the “breathtaking” description, too.

“I had the idea of putting my wife in the video, which is totally taking her out of her comfort zone, but I just couldn’t imagine doing a video for this song without her in it and she reluctantly agreed. But then totally nailed it,” Dierks said. “It wouldn’t have been genuine without her.”


Filmed in picturesque Reykjavik, Iceland, (during a storm, no less), with director Wes Edwards, the video goes on a journey with Dierks as he follows Cassidy through the breathtaking landscape, finally reaching her at the video's end. At face value, it's sexy and beautiful; when you look at it knowing the relationship it’s describing, it becomes intimate, mature and full of trust.

There’s no question why this video is climbing the charts.

There’s still time to get Black to #1. Request it on your local radio stations and vote for the video!

*Update: Since writing this blog, Black reached #1 on the CMT Hot 20 Countdown, as of June 11!


**Bonus: Read Cassidy's interpretation of Dierks asking her to be in the video!

Jessica Borrelli
DB Congress Rep, WA
@AllTheWayToMe