Alan Sculley wrote an article on The Morning Call website, but he must have written it a while back, because he still thinks Sideways is just a top five hit, and states Dierks has had 6 number one's--clearly Sideways was #7 --and I think we all know 'Close Your Eyes' will indelibly etch the eighth number one mark eventually! Here is some of the story:
For a guy who is generally seen as one big hit album away from becoming an arena-headlining country artist, Dierks Bentley didn't exactly play it safe with his recently released CD, "Feel That Fire."Yes, he did take steps to make "Feel That Fire" a bit lighter and more rocking than his previous CD, "Long Trip Alone," which was more introspective and fell well short of the sales he enjoyed with his second CD, the 2005 release "Modern Day Drifter."But Bentley also took some chances with the CD by changing up the recording process that had worked well for him in the past and challenging himself in how he went about writing songs.
Whether the new CD will put Bentley on a level with artists such as Toby Keith, Keith Urban or Brad Paisley (for whom Bentley opens at the Allentown Fair Sept. 5, along with Jimmy Wayne) remains to be seen. But "Feel That Fire" is already showing promise of being a difference-making record for Bentley.
The title song went to No. One on "Billboard" magazine's "Hot Country Singles" chart earlier this year, and the second single, "Sideways," went to the Top Five. Bentley is excited about the initial response to the new CD and about what the next single, the ballad "I Wanna Make You Close Your Eyes," could do to further build momentum. That song has climbed into the Top 40 on the "Hot Country Singles" chart."
I really couldn't be more pleased with the way things have turned out with this album," Bentley says." We released the record and the first song went number one. 'Sideways' is a top five hit right now. The crowds are reacting to that. I think the third single, 'I Wanna Make You Close Your Eyes,' I think it's going to be a really big song for us."
Now Bentley has taken the fun on tour. Though he spent the past two years mostly as a headliner, the Paisley tour lets him reach out to a new audience."It's a chance to get more fans," Bentley says. "We're playing to 10, 15,000 people a night and hopefully we can bring some more people over to our kind of country music. So it's a great opportunity."
Again, though, Bentley had another reason for doing the Paisley tour that had nothing to do with his career."I've always wanted to tour with Brad," he says. "I like the guy a lot. I just don't get the chance to hang out with him that much."
Of course, accepting an opening slot meant settling for a shorter show -- about 45 minutes in length. For an artist like Bentley, who has had 10 Top Five country hits (six of which went to number one), that makes creating a set list challenging.
But Bentley feels his sets, which will vary a bit over the course of the tour, get the job done."We try to pack a really loaded punch. There's not one second that's wasted in that show," he says. "Whatever we decide upon, it's locked in and it's tight and there's no extra (time). We're going from one song to the next. No one's dilly-dallying around. Let's get as many songs out there as we can. Let's organize the set list in a way that it takes people on a little bit of a ride, but it leaves them high and excited and sets them up for Brad to come out there and knock them down."