Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dierks Bentley's CMT Unplugged Performance to Debut May 29

Dierks Bentley's gravelly voice is distinctive even with full-blown electric.  But in "CMT's Unplugged" special, his impassioned vocal shines even brighter, with acoustic instrumentation and his band of brothers complimenting him beautifully--Dan Hochhalter's fiddle, Steve Misamore on the snare, Tim Sergent on the banjo, Cassady Feasby on guitar, Brian Layson playing dobro, and of course Dierks on his trusty Martin.
“I love breaking my songs back down to their original acoustic foundation. When I write these songs by myself or with friends, we just use acoustic guitars… so, it’s fun to sometimes go back to just the simple groove and idea you had to begin with.”
During the acoustic set, Dierks sings a few of his own hits like, "Am I The Only One,” “Up On The Ridge,” “Home,” and current single already at #13 on Mediabase, “5-1-5-0.”   But the standout song might be his poignant interpretation of Adele’s “Set Fire To The Rain.” See video below.

Of the Adele cover, says, "His signature vocals capture the remorseful tone of the song... Some covers come across like a cheap gimmick, but he shows how a great song in the hands of a great artist becomes a classic."

A few DB Congress reps were on set the day they taped the show, like Emily Morgan from Tennessee.

Dierks & Emily, 2-2-12, The Ryman
The taping was Wednesday, April 25 at the CMT studios in downtown Nashville.  The casting call for the audience was 7:45 a.m. and around 9 they were taken into the performance room. Dierks and the band  came in about 10, and the show lasted until 12:30.

"There were only about 35 people total, sitting on stools around the stage,"  Emily tells us. "Several stand-out moments come to mind.  One was when the stage manager was giving Dierks a Red Bull since it was 10 o'clock in the morning; we all needed a pick me up, so the first song was "Am I The Only One," to get the crowd going.  The band was making up lines fitting for breakfast like, 'it was Wednesday in the a.m.,' (vs. Friday in the p.m.)

They probably did 6-8 songs all at least twice to get the right sound.  Dan's fiddle playing was amazing! He is always great, but it may have been given that it was acoustic where you can focus on voices and instruments more directly, but especially on "Home."  He put chills down me and it may have been because I was sitting closely to the right of Dan, so I could hear it better.

"I know its already shown (really wish CMT would have waited on that surprise for the actual airing), but the Adele cover was last and he did it three times.  For me, he could have sang that! Incredible! Then as a backup (in case the Adele cover didn't work) they sang "Pride."  Cassady's vocals were great as usual.

After the taping, Dierks took off his jacket while talking to Janet and me, showing us the mark his jacket had made on his arm from being too tight."

The show will debut exclusively on Tuesday, May 29 at 1 pm/CT.

The episode will also air as a half-hour special Saturday, June 2 at 8 pm/CT on Palladia; Monday, June 25 at 9 pm/CT on CMT and CMT PURE. Fans of CMT’s Facebook page will be able to see the episode in a dedicated tab starting Tuesday, May 29.

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