Friday, August 21, 2009


Attention DB Congress! If you experienced the Dierks Bentley concert at the Berrien County Youth Fair last night, I want your stories! Email to me your experience and pics at

In the meantime, here is a video I found on You Tube of Better Believer, and an interesting article from from yesterday, with lots of Dierks quotes. Listen closely at the beginning of the video, where Dierks talks about playing The Tabernacle.

Dierks Bentley, one of the most consistent country hitmakers to emerge this decade, will headline the grandstand entertainment Thursday at the Berrien County Youth Fair.

Singer-songwriter Dierks Bentley performs at Berrien Youth Fair tonight
By JEREMY D. BONFIGLIO - H-P Features Writer
Published: Thursday, August 20, 2009 1:09 PM EDT

BERRIEN SPRINGS - Dierks Bentley could easily be considered the poster boy for the alternative country movement. The T-shirt-and-jeans-wearing singer-songwriter has pop star good looks; his high-energy live shows often land on the rock end of the spectrum; and his current studio album, "Feel That Fire," has been lauded for its eclectic mix of rockers and ballads.

Still, Bentley insists, every tune he writes is steeped in country music's rich tradition."Some of the record is progressive, and there's more of a rock energy to the live show," Bentley says by telephone during a tour stop in Charleston, S.C., "but at the heart of it all is a love of traditional country music. To me being aware of that tradition is the cornerstone of a good country songwriter."

The Arizona native, who headlines tonight's grandstand entertainment at the Berrien County Youth Fair, grew up on a hybrid of honky tonk, bluegrass, classic country and modern rock 'n' roll. After moving to Nashville, Bentley spent his nights singing for tips at Second Avenue bars and his days working in the video tape library of the now-defunct Nashville Network. He soaked up everything he could from watching those historic performances and even sought out George Strait and George Jones to autograph his beloved 1993 Martin D28 acoustic guitar.

By blending old country sentiment with new country sound, Bentley has become one of the most consistent hitmakers to emerge in the genre this decade. Last year, after only three major label studio albums, he was able to release a greatest hits package, "Every Mile a Memory 2003-2008." With "Feel That Fire," his fourth studio album released on Feb. 3 by Capitol Nashville, Bentley has now had 12 songs land on the country singles chart, including seven that reached No. 1.

"I love the feeling of combining the best older stuff with the edginess of newer, more progressive sounds," Bentley says."I try to take the real life connectedness of the stories and songs of Hank Williams and Buck Owens, and then try to put a modern sound to it. ... As a songwriter, you're always trying to get better. For me, I just try to write songs that are going to reach out to as many people as possible, and I think we've done that with this record."

Bentley's 2003 self-titled release earned the 33-year-old his first No. 1 single, "What Was I Thinkin'." "Modern Day Drifter" (2005) included the No.1 singles "Settle for a Slowdown" and "Come a Little Closer." "Every Mile a Memory" and "Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go)" off 2006's "Long Trip Alone" both topped the country singles chart, and "Feel That Fire" already has two No. 1 singles, the title track and "Sideways," which was co-written by long-time collaborator Jim Beavers.

The third single off the album, "I Wanna Make You Close Your Eyes," debuted at No. 51 two weeks ago and has since climbed to No. 38.

"I'm not the kind of guy who wants to go into the studio every two years and just keep putting out more of the same because it has worked so far," Bentley says."I really wanted to change our approach ... do it in more of an old outlaw kind of country way. Use your guys; go in the studio; take the clock off the wall."

Bentley spent more than two years writing, road testing and recording new material for "Feel That Fire," a wide-ranging album that opens with a slide guitar rampage on "Life on the Run" and closes with a Ronnie McCoury duet in the bluegrass jam "Last Call." Bentley also added a Spanish groove to "I Can't Forget Her" (recorded by Clay Walker in 2003) and teams with Americana icon Patty Griffin for "Beautiful World."

Bentley understands why some traditionalists might think he's pushing the genre too far, too fast, but his reasons are nothing if not pure country.

"As a songwriter and a human being, I want to experience all that I can in this one life we are given," Bentley says. "It's all about moving forward but remembering where you came from."

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