Seven albums into one of country music’s most-respected and most-unpredictable careers, award-winning singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley continues to grow. His latest evolution comes in the form of RISER, a project due out Feb. 25, 2014 that stands as his most personal to date.
Written and recorded in the year following his father’s death, the album draws its title from “I’m A Riser,” a song about resilience and determination. “I’m A Riser” works as a commentary on spiritual, personal and societal recommitment, but it also applies to the competitive battlefield of the music industry. It’s particularly appropriate for an album about rejuvenation delivered by Bentley.
“Life in general has a way of knocking you down,” Bentley says. “It’s different reasons for different folks – could be personal reasons, could be family reasons, your job, drugs, alcohol. That song really applies to anybody that’s lived. There have always been those moments when we have to get back up and get on our feet. They are defining moments…breakthrough moments.”
Accepting change – and growing from it – is a key theme in RISER, and it is reflected by the tone of the album, which demonstrates a new artistic depth and an extra level of intensity for Bentley. It evolves from track to track, exuding a range of emotions, all the while impressing upon the listener that Bentley’s instinct for a hit is stronger than ever. Bentley made significant reconfigurations in his creative team to shake up his sonic texture without sacrificing his commercial drive. He re-enlisted executive producer Arturo Buenahora, Jr., who worked on Bentley’s first two albums; and utilized producer Ross Copperman, who co-wrote “Tip It On Back” for Bentley’s previous album Home.
The new atmosphere yielded the most focused and intense vocals of Bentley’s career. Some were recorded live with the band as the musicians laid down the tracks, but others were captured in less-than-obvious locales. One track’s vocal was recorded on Bentley’s tour bus. Still others were cut at Copperman’s house with the producer literally at Bentley’s side, pushing him to some of his most emotional, and seasoned, performances.
“It’s not even really a studio,” Bentley says of Copperman’s set-up. “It’s just kind of a corner of the house he’s taken over, so there was a kind of intimacy to the vocal process. It was important to get out of the studio and sing in different places, and to do it with other people in the room. That way, you have an audience and you get a sense of what’s working, what’s not working, when it’s feeling good, not feeling good. It brings a little more emotion and energy out of your voice.”
Since making a life-altering drive with his father from Phoenix to Nashville when he was 19 years old, Bentley has forged his own path in an industry built predominantly on formula. He has mixed elements of modern country, classic country, bluegrass and rock, maintaining an unmistakable identity while constantly reinventing his sound. His album Home debuted at No. 1 and spawned three consecutive chart-topping hits, marking 10 career No. 1 songs for Bentley as a singer and songwriter. His five previous studio albums have sold more than five million copies, garnered 11 GRAMMY nominations and earned him an invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry.
Dierks Bentley was joined by family and friends yesterday (4/15) to celebrate his 18th career No. One single “Burning Man” feat. Brothers Osborne as it serves as the second consecutive chart-topper off of his ninth studio album THE MOUNTAIN. Teaming up with BMI at Martin’s BBQ in downtown Nashville, Bentley and Brothers Osborne celebrated the ACM award-winning hit alongside co-writers Bobby Pinson (BMI) and Luke Dick (BMI), as it serves as Dick’s first No. One celebration.
“When you release songs to radio it’s like the cliff notes of your album and ‘Burning Man’ is one of the most important pieces of THE MOUNTAIN,” said Bentley. “When you do a collaboration it’s a leap of faith but there is no one else that could have done what these guys did on this song. We were in direct communication with no one else involved you know…John walks in with his guitar and amp…I’ve just been really lucky to work with people like these guys where it’s all about the music and friendship. It’s rare to find that outside of Nashville and a really unique thing that is happening in Country music right now.”
“When he sent us the song it was done and already sounded awesome,” added TJ Osborne, “I’m such a fan of Dierks and when I listened to the demo, it already sounded like a Dierks hit and it took me a minute to really make it mine. To take that risk on us with something that already sounded great was all on Dierks.”
Pegged as “one of Country music’s most enviable brands, equal parts affability and authenticity” (Forbes),Bentley continues to be a dominant voice for the genre with over 8.6 billion overall digital streams. Reaching a new creative high while “making music designed to challenge” (New York Times), Bentley co-wrote 10 of 13 tracks on THE MOUNTAIN, which earned him the highest debut sales of his career and became his seventh chart-topping album. Known to deliver “the most thoughtful, complete collections in Country music” (USA Today) Bentley has amassed countless nominations from the ACMs, CMAs, Billboard Music Awards and more while also earning 14 GRAMMY nominations. “Fans get an all-night sing-along party” (Fresno Bee) during Bentley’s 2019 BURNING MAN TOUR as his “stage presence is something to marvel at” (Spokesman Review). The second leg featuring special guests Jon Pardi, Tenille Townes and the Hot Country Knights kicks off in Noblesville, IN on May 31st. For more information visit www.dierks.com.
Photo (L-R): TJ Osborne, John Osborne, Dierks Bentley, Luke Dick (BMI/Little Louder Publishing), Bobby Pinson (BMI/Sea Gayle Music)
Photo Credit: Steve Lowry
Dierks Bentley unveils the official music video for his new single “Living,” from his latest No. One album THE MOUNTAIN, across all digital platforms today. Filmed in Nashville and starring his son Knox, longtime director and collaborator Wes Edwards sets the song’s uplifting lyrics to Bentley’s unexpected daily life off the road through the five year old’s eyes. “Living in the moment is at the heart of” Bentley’s latest album, “its third single is part of its core mission” (Billboard). Fans can watch the “Living” music video in full here.
“’Living’ certainly celebrates life’s big moments and adventures, but for me it’s even more about being intentional and present in everyday moments,” said Bentley. “Knox is at that age where he can still find the biggest joy in the smallest things, and that childlike appreciation for life is the spirit I wanted to bring to this video to remind us of difference between just being alive and actually ‘living.’”
PEOPLE shares an exclusive behind-the-scenes look of the father-son duo on the set of the “Living” music video set filled with karate, go carts, puppies and a trampoline park here: http://bit.ly/2UBfRKv
The “ultra-personal material” (Rolling Stone) behind “Living” follows Bentley’s 18th career No. One and ACM award-winning hit “Burning Man,” as he continues to reveal ambitious, complex sounds with lyrics inspired by his own personal journey through the writing and the recording of THE MOUNTAIN. Serving as “a reminder to shake off auto-pilot” (Duluth News Tribune) his latest single “has an important message for all of us” (Whiskey Riff).
Pegged as “one of Country music’s most enviable brands, equal parts affability and authenticity” (Forbes), Bentley continues to be a dominant voice for the genre with over 8.6 billion overall digital streams. Reaching a new creative high while “making music designed to challenge” (New York Times), Bentley co-wrote 10 of 13 tracks on THE MOUNTAIN, which earned him the highest debut sales of his career and became his seventh chart-topping album. Known to deliver “the most thoughtful, complete collections in Country music” (USA Today) Bentley has amassed countless nominations from the ACMs, CMAs, Billboard Music Awards and more while also earning 14 GRAMMY nominations. “Fans get an all-night sing-along party” (Fresno Bee) during Bentley’s 2019 BURNING MAN TOUR as his “stage presence is something to marvel at” (Spokesman Review). The second leg featuring special guests Jon Pardi, Tenille Townes and the Hot Country Knights kicks off in Noblesville, IN on May 31st. For more information visit www.dierks.com.
Luke Bryan is toting some heavy metal. His song “Drunk On You” was certified five-times platinum by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). In addition, the Georgia native’s “Light It Up” and “Most People Are Good” was certified platinum, while his “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset” have been certified gold. On the album side, Luke’s What Makes You Country has been certified gold.
Maddie & Tae, Travis Denning and Clare Dunn are scheduled to perform at the Tortuga Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this weekend (April 12th – 14th).
Dierks Bentley will release the music video for his new song “Living,” on Friday.
Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill are among the artists helping the Grand Ole Opry kick off its CMA Fest Week, beginning June 4th and running through June 8th. More artists will be unveiled in the coming weeks at opry.com.