Friday, December 31, 2010

Dierks & Blake: How To Cure A Hangover

"Don't bother telling me what I got comin' in the mornin'...I already know," Blake Shelton sings in his "All About Tonight" hit song.

In preparation for the new year, The Boot asked country stars about their resolutions and how to cure a hangover.

Dierks Bentley says there's not really a cure for a hangover. "I think January 1 is universally accepted as a dog, I mean, a little hair of the dog, I guess. But just water and stay on the couch. There's no real sure-fire cure for that."

Blake's cure for a hangover? "I got some feel good pills and a red gatorade by my bed, ready to go."

Watch Dierks at Blake's fan club party in June:

How do you to cure a hangover? We want to know so please leave a comment!

Bentley's Tweet Goes Top Ten With GAC's Top Ten Tweets of the Week include Dierks Bentley along with the above photo and caption below:

DierksBentley: in studio today…must say I think my annual new years day percy priest lake jump beard is coming along nicely

Many of you may remember last year's video of Dierks' traditional dip in the icy lake, but I'm personally not liking the beard!  Hopefully he will post video from tomorrow's "jump" later!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Up On the Ridge On The 9513

Dierks Bentley's Up On The Ridge album lands the #1 spot on the 9513's best bluegrass of 2010 list, but not without some comments questioning that decision.  Check out the article and the comments.  I had to leave my thoughts in defense of our president! 

I applaud and whole-heartedly agree with Dierks Bentley’s album placing at #1. Considering it held the #1 spot on the bluegrass charts nearly every week consecutively since it’s June 2010 release and produced 3 CMA and 3 Grammy nominations, I’d say that’s plenty of validation.

While it’s true Dierks himself stops just short of calling it Bluegrass, it was definitely not a “safe” project. Musical and lyrical diversity shines throughout and pushes boundaries he’s never attempted before. The instrumentation alone screams bluegrass, and in my opinion, his vocals have never been better.

What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dierks Inspires From Big White to Bad Angel

In August 2007, DB Congress rep Shelly, was seven months pregnant, "...sweating my booty off at an outdoor Dierks Bentley concert in Texas--anything for Dierks!"  She met Dierks that day and shared her photo with us.

Shelly had a girl and named her Kinley.  "I used to put headphones over my belly and let her listen to Dierks (and Miranda).  And now when we get in the car she usually requests Dierks...these days it’s, 'Mommy, I want Bad Angel.'  So cute coming from a three-year-old!"  "Dierks is the best!", Shelly says.

Thanks for sharing, Shelly!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Jordan Bentley, What's In A Name?

We told you about Dierks and Cassidy Bentley's early morning Christmas gift to two-year-old sister Evie. Jordan Catherine Bentley arrived Saturday, Dec. 25, weighing in at 7 lbs., 14 oz, according to PEOPLE.

What's in a name? This may be coincidental, but Jordan is the same name as Dierks' good friend who died about 2 years ago. Dierks wrote a song about him called, "Hey Jordan," and sang it at his fan club party in 2009 (see the video below). Dierks' mom's name is Cathy, so that could be the how Jordan got her middle name!

We hope for pictures soon and will keep you updated about our president's new bundle of joy!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bentley Talks About Babies and Bus-Life

How much preparation you have for a child depends on how many children you already have, apparently. “The first one, you think about it a lot, you’re prepping for it,” Dierks said. “My wife did a natural childbirth the first time around, so there’s a lot of thinking that goes into that. We were thinking about Evie a lot more than the second one. You’ve got your hands full with the first one, and so there probably is some truth to being the middle child or the baby [laughs], because they don’t get as much attention as the first. We’ve got our hands full with Evie. She’s so much fun and a total ham. It’s a crazy deal. There’s not words for it.”

Ever since becoming a father two years ago, Dierks has learned to put his career as a touring artist into perspective. “When I come home from the road, you go from one extreme to the other,” Dierks explains. “You don’t realize how selfish the road is until you really come off of it. But the road is the most selfish environment and that’s why we do it, I guess. I can play music on a cool bus and I’ve got video games, and everything’s on my time. I eat when I want to eat. I might sleep in, I might stay up until 6:00 AM, but I’m working. I’m working on music. You think you’re working, but then you get out there and you know what your wife’s doing at home and you feel guilty. ‘Want to play another game of Tiger Woods, that golf game? Yeah, let’s play.’ It’s just two extremes, for sure. I love them both. I’ve got to have that time on the road, to be that gypsy and be out there with the guys, the band, the fans and the road. It’s still in my blood being on the bus, but I love being at home and having that realness. And the second one is going to [make it] even better.”


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Dierks and Cassidy Bentley Welcome Christmas Baby Jordan

She's here! Jordan Bentley was born on Christmas day! It's a miracle what Jesus and Santa can do when they put their minds together! Proud parents Dierks and Cassidy Bentley, along with sister Evie, were blessed with a special gift! Dierks announced her arrival on Twitter and Facebook:

"say what u want about santa's physique, but no arguing his impeccable timing! evie wanted a little sis for Xmas & JORDAN just arrived!"
Then, 3 hours later:

"she chose the banjo driven part of mumford & sons 'awake my soul' as her walk on music... could be a troublesome sign"
Congratulations to our DB Congress president and his family! We are so happy for you, Dierks, and hope mom and baby Jordan are doing well!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dierks Bentley Knows Baby Will 'Rock' Their World

Dierks Bentley and his wife Cassidy, are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their second daughter, who is due any day now. But the country superstar admits that, while they are anxious for their little girl to be born, big sister Evie has an entirely different opinion.

"I have a feeling her world's gonna be rocked here pretty soon," he says (quote via CMT). "She realizes there's somebody else coming over to the house and they're not going away."

The multi-platinum selling singer says that the addition of a new baby right around the holidays is causing him to how he spends Christmas with his own clan. "In the last couple of years, we haven't really done the tree thing because it's just been me and Cas, and we usually have a gig around Christmas, so we come back, and it's all dried up and dead and a big fire hazard," he says.

This year, though, they finally added a tree to their holiday decor. "It's fun to try and remember the traditions you had with your family and try and make them new again," Dierks says.

The country star admits that his entire outlook on life changed after becoming a father, including his devotion to his Miles & Music For Kids charity. "We are fortunate to have a healthy daughter, and we pray that our second child will be healthy as well," he tells The Boot. "These families who have children in the hospital, they need to only have to worry about their child getting well, not where the next money is coming from."

Dierks will spend some time off the road getting acquainted with his new baby and working on a new CD of country hits. He is scheduled to perform in the historic Troubadour night club in Los Angeles on February 12 -- one night before the Grammy Awards, where he has three nominations.

Article from
Photo from People magazine Feb. 2009

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Video: Boston Globe Picks Dierks' Up On The Ridge

The Boston Globe's, Sarah Rodman, picks Dierks Bentley's “Up on the Ridge’ as a top ten CD of 2010:

"Stepping off the Nashville conveyor belt to pursue something a little more personal paid off in spades for Bentley on this expansive, precisely picked, and gorgeously sung set which deftly combines bluegrass, country, folk, rock, and pop."

Story Behind Up On The Ridge Video

The story behind Dierks Bentley's Up On The Ridge video from

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dierks Stars in Dancin' With The Dogs!

Check out Jerks Gentley...aka Dierks Cooter County's Nativity Idol on You Tube. Dierks and Jake think they're on 'Dancin' With the Dogs'. Really funny!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Best Bluegrass of 2010: Dierks Bentley, Up On the Ridge

According to the Billboard Bluegrass charts, Dierks Bentley's Up On The Ridge CD held the #1 spot for the year end of 2010! listed the album as #10 in their Best of Bluegrass top ten list.

"2010 was a year that saw a variety of progressive bluegrass bands pushing the borders of bluegrass further than ever into genre-defying directions. Purists will continue to argue that bluegrass instrumentation alone does not bluegrass make, but everywhere you looked this year, string-band musicians kicked against (or became bored by) traditionalism’s rigid boundaries and delved into subspecies like jamgrass, jazzgrass, chambergrass, avant-gardegrass, etc. At the same time, mainstream country acts, both young (Dierks Bentley) and old (Joe Diffie), made bluegrass-influenced records in seeming reaction to the pop-metal revolution underway over on country radio. "

#10 Dierks Bentley Up on the Ridge

"Not authentically bluegrass enough, you say? Oh, stop it. Sure, Up on the Ridge has the slick sheen of a major-label Nashville release and incorporates as much country as genuine bluegrass, but give Bentley credit for his about-face return to acoustic music. Plus, there’s still enough barn-burning bluegrass here to put you in the shade. By including a wealth of first-rate material (Dylan, Kristofferson, U2) and by accumulating a busload of the world’s best pickers (Sam Bush, the McCourys, Punch Brothers, Bryan Sutton, Tim O’Brien, Alison Krauss), this thoroughly entertaining album is a bluegrass celebration."

A Retrospective Look at Dierks Bentley's 2010 in Pictures

A gallery of Dierks Bentley pictures from serves as visual proof that, this past year, the bluegrass musician has been hugely successful while having a great time. Bentley released his album ‘Up on the Ridge’ in June 2010, and now the album is currently No. 1 on Billboard’s year-end bluegrass charts. This past year also found Bentley collaborating with bluegrass icons like Sam Bush, Ricky Skaggs and Del McCoury. To top off his amazing year in music, Bentley’s personal life is also stupendous, as he and his wife Cassidy Black are expecting their second daughter right around Christmas, 2010. Scroll through our gallery of Dierks Bentley pictures and take a peak at 2010 through the eyes of the bluegrass musician.

Click here to relive Dierks' 2010 in pictures.

Happy 5th Anniversary, Dierks and Cassidy Bentley!

Dierks and Cassidy Bentley celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary on Tuesday, December 14, 2010. They've known each other since middle school and rekindled their relationship February 5, 2005 on a tour bus in Vegas. Ten months later they eloped and got married in Mexico. Dierks even had a stylist friend pick out a Chloe dress for Cassidy as a surprise.

They currently live in Nashville with their two dogs, Jake and George, 2-year-old daughter, Evie, and are expecting another little girl around Christmas.

On Tuesday, Dierks tweeted he was in a writing session that day, so let's hope the couple got some special time together that night! Happy Anniversary Dierks and Cassidy! We love ya!

Bentley's 'Ridge' Gets 3 Grammy Nods & Best Album on iTunes, Amazon

This blog was posted on Dierks Bentley's MySpace and Facebook pages today.


iTunes and Amazon Both Handpick UP ON THE RIDGE For Their
“Best Albums Of The Year” Lists

Dierks Bentley & Friends UP ON THE RIDGE Show Planned For Feb. 12, 2011

Nashville, TN – December 15, 2010 – As 2010 comes to a close, country music maverick Dierks Bentley capped off a daring year with three GRAMMY nominations for Best Country Album for his critically acclaimed UP ON THE RIDGE and two nominations in the Best Country Collaboration With Vocals for the album’s “Bad Angel” featuring Miranda Lambert and Jamey Johnson and “Pride (In The Name Of Love)” featuring Del McCoury and Punch Brothers.

Since announcing this Spring that his fifth Capitol Nashville studio project would be steeped in the bluegrass and roots music that moved him to become a country musician in the first place, Bentley has garnered the support of fans, media and industry peers alike. UP ON THE RIDGE has been named one of iTunes “Best Albums Of the Year” and one of Amazon’s “Top 10 Country Albums of the Year.” It also earned glowing praise from critics who said the album was “the best country recording we’ll hear in 2010” (Washington Post), “timeless” (NPR) and “shocking in its freshness” (Boston Globe).

Bentley will close out his year UP ON THE RIDGE with a revival of his intimate Dierks Bentley and Friends pre-GRAMMY bash at the Troubador in Los Angeles on Feb. 12. The last edition of this event featured surprise guests including members of Pearl Jam, Paramore’s Hayley Williams, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Dwight Yoakam and more.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bluegrass Unlimited Journals Bentley's Bluegrass Journey

From Down At The Station Inn To Up On The Ridge, Dierks Bentley’s Bluegrass Roots Run Deep.
By Larry Nager

Dierks Bentley’s bluegrass journey began when he arrived at the Station Inn. He was a 19-year-old country-loving Arizona kid when he wandered into Nashville’s legendary bluegrass hole in the wall. He’d come to town to attend Vanderbilt University (at least that’s what he told his parents), but the reluctant sophomore found his real education—and future career—at the Sidemen’s weekly gigs at the Station Inn.

Dierks Bentley
“I moved to Nashville in 1994,” says Bentley. “I knew at 17, I wanted to do country music. I’d fallen in love with Hank, Jr., and there was something in my body that told me country music was what I was supposed to be playing. And a few years later, I finally moved down here. Nashville was such a big city. I knew about the music, but I’d never been exposed to the business and I was like, ‘Wow, this is totally not what I expected.’ There were just a lot of people trying to follow in Garth Brooks’ wake. I was a huge Garth fan, but it wasn’t really my thing and I wasn’t sure how I fit in.”

So when he walked through the Station Inn’s beat-up front door and paid his $5, he remembers, “I was looking to learn. I wasn’t trying to draw attention. I was as green as could be. I was trying to find someone or something just to latch on to so I could try to better myself, find my path.”

The Sidemen grew out of a jam session at Bean Blossom’s bluegrass festival in 1989 by young musicians including Terry Smith, Terry Eldredge, Steve Thomas, and Billy Rose who were backing the Grand Ole Opry’s first generation bluegrass artists Bill Monroe, Jim & Jesse, and the Osborne Brothers. It was an occasional thing, with a floating cast of pickers until Ronnie McCoury relocated to Nashville in advance of his dad moving there and joined the group. According to former Sidemen member Mike Bub, “When Ronnie came down in ’92, the band started playing Tuesday nights at the Station Inn. When we initially started the Sidemen, nobody knew who we were. Not long after that was when Dierks came to town to go to Vandy, and he stumbled in there one night with his buddies.”

“The second I walked in the door I felt like I’d been transported into a totally different part of Nashville, watching these guys onstage and seeing how much fun they were having and how young they were,” Bentley remembers. It was a life-changing experience, he says. “I’d never been exposed to bluegrass before. I thought it was like Hee Haw!, which I love. I knew Roy Clark played the banjo on Hee Haw! and I thought that was bluegrass. But I didn’t realize how relevant and how cool and how powerful that music was until I walked in there. It wasn’t just the Sidemen; it wasn’t just those guys; it was the whole room, the whole community, the whole vibe. It was just so much fun—great songs, great musicians. I became a fixture, a regular from that day on. For about seven years I was there every Tuesday night.”

In retrospect, it was an all-star band featuring many of that generation’s best young players. Resonator guitar player Gene Wooten and fiddler Jimmy Campbell have passed on, but the other Sidemen all went on to play major roles in shaping today’s bluegrass music.

Bluegrass Apprenticeship

It was exactly what Bentley was looking for. “I fell right into that community. And I knew what I’d found. It wasn’t like I was giving up country music, but I was just trying to find something to latch onto to find my path. And I felt I did when I saw those guys, ’cause they were singing old country songs as well as bluegrass songs. They were singing songs I recognized and songs I didn’t, and they were just having so much fun. That’s how it started for me.”

He was soon spreading the word at Vanderbilt, says Bub. “Every week he would bring friends or tell girls, ‘Hey, meet us down at the Station Inn.’ And all of a sudden, it just mushroomed from just people in the know and bluegrass fans to all these college kids. And back then you could smoke at the Station, so it was a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other and all the Vandy kids came to party down there. We had a big college following and I attribute it to Dierks and his friends. We had several generations of Vanderbilt kids; the next group that came in would learn about it and start coming. We had a really good run of about five or six years there.”

It wasn’t long before Bentley wanted in on the stage action. “He was there to spectate, but secretly he was learning how to play,” claims Bub. Bentley wasn’t alone. Future Grascal Jamie Johnson had also come to Nashville to become a country star when he too found his way to the Station Inn. They became friends. “We were both nobodies, but we were nobodies together,” recalls Johnson. “We’d sit there and wait for them to call us up. We just enjoyed watching those guys, some of the most talented people anywhere.”

The club added its own magic and “sweat-soaked terror,” adds Johnson. “Like the Bluebird Café for a songwriter, this stage, for a bluegrass or a country singer, is the same intimidation. I thought I was seeing stadium lights shining on me when I stood on the stage of the Station Inn for the first time.”

“It was jut a fertile training ground and an inspiration for them,” says Bub. “We were crazy and you never knew who would show up to see the Sidemen. I mean Doc Watson came in one night…George Clooney…Vince Gill would come and sit in with us. Bill Monroe came in one night. Everybody knew about it. People would plan their vacations so they could be here on a Tuesday night and come see us. We had this thing where anything could happen after 11 o’clock. We would play ‘The Dobro Rhumba’ and it would be chaos after that.”

Johnson and Bentley became honorary Sidemen. “Terry would call us up, and it was pretty rough. We’d talk about it after, ‘Oh, I didn’t do so well.’” Jamie’s feature was Ernest Tubb’s “Driving Nails In My Coffin,” which his idols the Osborne Brothers also recorded. Bentley, who would eventually have a number one hit with “Lot Of Leavin’ Left To Do,” often sang another “leavin” song, “Leavin’s Heavy On My Mind.” A friendly competition developed, says Sidemen fan Ann Soyars.

“There was a bunch of college kids that loved the Sidemen and loved Jamie Johnson and they had T-shirts made, ‘Jamie Johnson Fan Club.’ Dierks saw that one night,” Ann recalls. “And he said, ‘Look at that. He’s got T-shirts. I don’t have T-shirts.’” Soyars took the hint and made T-Shirts with his picture on the front and printed on the back was: “No. 1 Fan of Dierks Bentley, Future CMA Winner.” She also made one for his mother: “Mom of Future CMA Winner.” Later, after he won the 2005 CMA Horizon Award, Soyars says Bentley’s mom asked how she’d predicted it. “I told her I just knew. I saw it in him.”

Country Curriculum

Bentley first heard country music on his family’s car radio in Phoenix. “My dad loved Hank Williams. He loved George Strait and Randy Travis. But then I got into electric guitar at 13.” A few years later, hearing Hank, Jr., shifted him from rock back to country music. When the young “hat acts” (Alan Jackson, Clint Black, Dwight Yoakam, and Garth Brooks) hit in the early ’90s, Bentley was a fan.

“I was hooked. I was way into modern country music back in ’91-’92. I was buying CD after CD of country stuff and that kind of burned out on me when I got to town. And then through bluegrass I kind of rediscovered real country music, ’cause the Sidemen were playing Osborne Brothers songs. Is it bluegrass or country? I don’t know. Those guys were working when there wasn’t such a big gap between the two. And Terry Eldredge singing those George Jones songs, and Haggard songs, Faron Young, Ray Price. I listened to those guys, and I went back and got way into that music.”

“I didn’t even know he played or sang,” says Ronnie McCoury. “Next thing you know, he’s playing guitar and singing, and then he started getting some gigs. He was playing regularly at Market Street Brewery on Second Avenue. He’s a real hard worker.” Bentley was gigging all over town, solo or with his banjo-playing cousin from Colorado, Avery Ogden, and hiring his Sidemen buddies when gigs paid well enough. He was also moving into more commercial country. He took over Wednesdays at Wolfy’s on Lower Broadway after Jamie Hartford, another major Bentley influence, ended his residency there. Bentley also had a day job at The Nashville Network (TNN), archiving vintage performances and studying them like training films.

Instead of college, he applied himself to his new curriculum, sitting in with the Sidemen, playing his own gigs, studying old films and recordings, writing songs, and even taking mandolin lessons from Vanderbilt faculty member Butch Baldassari. His hard work paid off. Bentley signed a publishing deal, the country industry’s typical first step in getting a record deal. In 2001, he released an independent CD, Don’t Leave Me In Love, and in 2003, he signed with Capitol Records.

So far, that’s the typical Nashville success story. But this is where things are different. Ordinarily, for that all-important first album, country artists with bluegrass pedigrees distance themselves from their pasts, diving head first into the mainstream. They rationalize that, once they’re securely established, then they’ ll bring out the banjos. But his 2003 Capitol debut album, Dierks Bentley, was filled with bluegrass touches by Nashville pickers Glen Duncan and Shad Cobb on fiddles, Randy Kohrs on resonator guitar, and Bryan Sutton on guitar, mandolin, and banjo. One of the album’s singles was “My Last Name,” co-written with bluegrass-rooted singer/songwriter Harley Allen. Guaranteeing he got his point across, Bentley closed the album with the pure bluegrass of the Del McCoury Band backing him on his original “Train Travelin.” That gutsy move didn’t surprise his friends.

“That’s something I just love about that guy. He has kind of a no-fear grasp on life,” says Jon Randall Stewart, longtime buddy and producer of Dierk’s new album, Up On The Ridge. “I’ve always kind of made decisions that way, just on my gut, on what I love,” says Bentley. “I’m not too good at planning. I’m not a mad scientist, as far as like over-thinking stuff. I just did what l love to do.”

His mainstream career was up and running, but he continued to fly his bluegrass colors on side projects such as the Grammy-winning Livin’ Lovin’ Losin: Songs Of The Louvin Brothers, an all-star tribute on which he duets with Harley Allen on “I Don’t Believe You’ve Met My Baby.” He hired the Sidemen to play his first fan club party at Fan Fair in 2003, and when his Dierks Bentley album sold a million copies, he gave a platinum album to Station Inn owner J.T. Gray. The follow-up, 2005’s Modern Day Drifter, featured more bluegrass touches and another full-tilt finale with Del and the boys, “Good Man Like Me.” It too went platinum. That same year, he fulfilled a lifelong dream, becoming a member of the Opry. Through it all, success never went to his head. He could still be found sitting in with friends at the Station Inn, Bluebird Café, and the honky-tonks of Lower Broadway and Second Avenue. “He hasn’t changed, personally,” says Soyars, who along with Lin Barber, now books bands at the Station Inn. “He was nice and kind to me from the day I met him and still is.”

Back to Bluegrass

But after the platinum records, sold-out tours, and seven number-one singles, there remained the unfinished business of that bluegrass project he’d wanted to make since his Station Inn days. Following his sixth Capitol album, Feel That Fire (which true to form, ended with the pure bluegrass of “Last Call,” co-written with Ronnie McCoury), Bentley began to think more seriously about his bluegrass album. But he discovered that once you get the clout to do whatever you want in Nashville, you’re usually too busy keeping your massive organization up and running to actually get it done.

“I knew it was something I was always going to do, but it was just waiting for the moment to feel right. It’s tough when you’re out here and you’ve got to constantly try to keep this thing rolling and you’ve got dates planned years in advance and it’s a big machine, a big operation. You’ve got bandmembers and crew involved, so it’s hard to find the right time to step away from it, take a break from the road and make a record that you know is also going to lead to a tour that’s going to be a different kind of tour for a year, where you might be playing with different players. It’s hard to find the right time.” But after an especially busy 2009 touring season, he figured he owed it to himself. “I was on the road last year playing amphitheater after amphitheater and I was thinking, ‘You know, it’s time to make this record.’”

For most artists, the hardest part of that decision would be convincing your record label to let you do it. That’s why those side projects often wind up on smaller, bluegrass labels. But he gives credit to Capitol Records Nashville president/CEO Mike Dungan for immediately “getting it.”

“Mike Dungan is like the greatest label head you could have,” Bentley states. “For better or worse, he lets you hang yourself by your own rope. I never, ever, was questioned about it. Now, if I was a label head, I’d probably go, ‘Wait a second. You sure you want to do that Dierks? You sure our format’s gonna get that?’ But I never, ever, got that from Mike.”

There was still one missing piece of the puzzle. Bentley needed the right producer. He found him, literally, right in his own backyard. “We were sitting around having a couple of drinks,” recalls Jon Randall Stewart. “Our little girls are about the same age (the Bentley’s are expecting their second child around Christmas), so we have family nights. And he and I were sitting on the back porch having an after-dinner drink and he just brought it up. As we started talking about it, we just got more and more excited about it and my brain started going and his brain started going.

“The ironic thing is the very first idea we came up with was just so off the charts. It was the Punch Brothers with Del McCoury doing (U2’s) ‘Pride (In The Name Of Love),’” Stewart says, breaking into laughter. “O.K., that’s as far left as we can go, what can we do to pull it back to the center? And what do we do that’s right down the middle?’ And it was really exciting for both us to us to go over and write a song with Tim O’Brien (‘You’re Dead To Me’) and to come up with a bluegrass song that sounds like it’s a hundred years old. So that’s how it came about.”

Bentley and Stewart also wrote the set’s most powerful song, “Down In The Mine”—as lonesome an Eastern Kentucky ballad as two guys from Arizona and Texas could write. Stewart’s wide-ranging experiences in bluegrass and mainstream country enabled him to make Bentley’s wildest ideas real, while keeping it all firmly in the realm of bluegrass and, at the same time, creating something that still sounds like a Dierks Bentley album. “This record wouldn’t have been the record it is without Jon Randall’s participation,” states Dierks. “It probably would have been more of a straight-ahead bluegrass record. It would have been more of me just calling up Larry Cordle and Alison Krauss and Sam Bush and Tim O’Brien and saying, ‘Hey, I’m making this record,’ and picking some standards and trying to write some songs. If I’d have made it seven years ago, it would have been one hundred percent ’grass, but now it’s just become a cool mixture of everything.”

Stewart credits Bentley’s status in both the bluegrass and country music communities for bringing in Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson, and Miranda Lambert (the latter two on Verlon Thompson’s “Bad Angel”). “I thought, ‘You know, we could do this with a couple of country artists and make it really cool.’ And it was Dierks idea: ‘You know what would make it really cool? Have a girl singing on it.’ And in about ten minutes, he had Miranda on the phone, ‘Hey, you wanna come sing on this record?’”

Jon Randall acknowledges that Up On The Ridge hasn’t been as readily accepted by program directors as a mainstream Bentley project. “Everybody just plays it so terribly safe that the bar just gets lower every day and it just makes me crazy. We knew it was going to be a struggle at radio, anytime you attach the word ‘bluegrass,’ as you well know. I made country records, but just having bluegrass in my world was a battle out there for me for years as an artist. But the fact that we got into the top twenty with a song (‘Up On the Ridge’) that Sam Bush was playing slide mandolin on is something to be proud of.” The album also garnered three CMA nominations: Album, Event (for “Bad Angel” with Lambert and Johnson), and Male Vocalist Of The Year.

Pick it Forward

Bentley is quick to credit his producer. “Having Jon Randall, he’s the reason why it really opened itself up to being like totally bluegrass, but also with country elements and everything else. He’s all about breaking rules. ‘Let’s just make a record we love and not worry about having to label it one thing or the other.’”

In that, the two old friends are of one mind, says Stewart. “Here’s a guy from Phoenix, Arizona, who decided, ‘I want to play hockey.’ So, he just puts on some ice skates and joins a team here and starts playing,” says Jon. “And that’s how he does everything. I don’t know any artist in the world who, after their seventh number one, would have taken on a bluegrass project like this. But he decided, ‘This is something I want to do. You only live once. I’m gonna do it.’”

Bentley’s love of physical challenges was part of the attraction to bluegrass. After Up On The Ridge was completed, but before its release, Bentley took the Travelin’ McCourys on a sold-out 25-show tour, augmented by Bentley’s drummer Steve Misamore and steel player Tim Sergent.

“We went coast to coast, Portland to Portland, in a month and a half,” says Ronnie McCoury. The tour’s last show at the Ryman Auditorium was filmed by cable TV’s GAC channel and continues to air in reruns. For Bentley, the tour meant serious woodshedding on bluegrass rhythm guitar. “It’s like a high school or college hockey player suddenly getting a chance to play with the pros, playing with the best of the best,” he says. “You got to have your three Ts—Tune, Timing, and Tone—ready to go when you’ re playing with those guys.”

Bentley went deep into the roots at the 2010 IBMA Awards, opening the show with an all-star bluegrass band doing “Fiddlin’ Around” from Up On The Ridge (released too late for IBMA Awards eligibility this year). He and Jon Randall also performed with Earl, Randy, and Gary Scruggs in the Hall Of Fame tribute to Louise Scruggs, singing “You Are My Flower.”

He’s also brought his campaign for bluegrass and real country music back to where he first heard the music—on the radio. Bentley currently hosts The Thread, a sixty-minute show on Nashville’s WSM radio.

“You can tell he’s genuine, and bluegrass really means something to him,” says Ronnie McCoury. “There’s only one platinum record on the Station Inn walls, and that’s his. He knows where his roots are.”

Bentley sees it all—Up On The Ridge, his radio show, his work with the Travelin’ McCourys, Stewart and the rest of his bluegrass pals—as a way to share what he discovered at the Station Inn so long ago.” It’s so fun for me to get out there, learning so much and introducing my fans to some really kick-ass music, and I love being the host, the ambassador for that. That’s what it took for me to get into bluegrass. I had to go down to the Station Inn and see the Sidemen. It introduced a whole new world to me, and that’s what I’m hoping to do.”

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bentley's Ridge Album Makes MSN "BEST" List

Nestled among Eminem, Taylor Swift, Jamey Johnson, and Robert Plant is our very own DB Congress president, Dierks Bentley, with his 'left turn' bluegrass project, "Up On the Ridge," earning a well-deserved spot on the MSN Best Albums of 2010 list!

Best Albums, By Sam Sutherland
MSN Music

Another year of music-biz turmoil has brought fresh bulletins from Chicken Little pondering the industry's shrinking fortunes and the Death of the Album in an age of downloads and a la carte songs. But judging from the sonic evidence, reports of the ... morefull-length's demise are premature, at the very least. Many of the artists on our honor roll are represented by new creative peaks, and the diversity of styles brings added reason for good cheer, as does the dominance by artists who've emerged in the new millennium. Here are 2010's most compelling albums as voted by MSN Music's editors and contributors.

Best Albums
Dierks Bentley – "Up on the Ridge" (Capitol Nashville)

One of this year's most satisfying left turns, Dierks Bentley's seventh album finds the charismatic singer chucking modern country convention to head into bluegrass territory. Teaming with a blue-chip cast of bluegrass and... more Americana aces, including Alison Krauss, the Punch Brothers, Julie and Buddy Miller, Kris Kristofferson, members of the Del McCoury Band, Jamey Johnson and Miranda Lambert, Bentley turns a side trip into a satisfying pilgrimage. Smart covers from Dylan and U2 (with Del McCoury himself harmonizing on "Pride (In the Name of Love)" to stunning effect) and well-chosen new material complete a set that's a timely reminder of bluegrass's timeless, high lonesome power. It's also a heartening testimony to the robust health of this homegrown style in the hands of younger musicians.

Hear Dierks Bentley's Last WSIX Interview With Gerry House

Dierks Bentley was the secret voice for one lucky WSIX caller to identify to win Garth tickets! Listen as Dierks Bentley talks with Gerry House for 30 minutes about everything from moonshine, the new baby-to-be, Evie's hobbies, and siblings, to Del McCoury, Chris Thile, Billy Ray, Bono, and Garth to writing songs and recording the alphabet.

Find out if Dierks is ready for the "bluegrass operation" and whether he has a fake or real Christmas tree.

Get comfy and enjoy great conversation, and two songs from Up On The Ridge album: The Grammy-nominated Pride (In the Name of Love) the U2 cover with Del McCoury and The Punch Brothers, and Up On The Ridge!

You're in for a real treat as Dierks says goodbye to the retiring DeeJay!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bentley's Baby-To-Be Will Balance the Family

When Cassidy Bentley was pregnant with daughter Evie, she and husband Dierks were happy to wait until she was born to find out the gender. This time around Dierks made no attempt at his last Meet and Greet in Cherokee, NC, to hide the fact he didn't know the sex of the baby, but was adamant he wanted another girl to 'keep the balance.'

Recently, Dierks announced during his last interview with retiring radio personality Gerry House of Nashville's WSIX, that the Bentley's are expecting a baby sister for Evie around Christmas!

That means it will be 3 to 3: Dierks, Jake and George (the boys) and Cassidy, Evie and baby girl to be makes 3 girls--the perfect balance!

Congratulations! We are so happy for you and your family!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holiday Surprises for DB Congress

Myspace Comments

Hey DB Congress! We have a few holiday surprises for you to fill your December with even more merriment and cheer! 2010 has been a great year for Dierks and the DB Congress, and we want to cap it off right!

The first holiday surprise is a 10% discount code in the Official Dierks Bentley Online Store! This code is good on everything in the store, so pick up some gift for the fellow Dierks fan in your life, or introduce someone new to his music! The discount code can be found on in the Fan Club section. To use it, visit the online store! The code will be active through December 31, and is only for use by the DB Congress.

The second holiday surprise is $5 off membership in the DB Congress (Fan Club)! Time to renew for another year or buy a membership for a friend! Membership is usually $24.99 per year, but with the discount code found on in the Fan Club section, you can take $5 off the membership price through December 31!

We hope the holidays are very happy for you and yours. Cheers to a new year!