Dierks Bentley is an intriguing specimen. He's not your typical modern male country star. Sure, he knows how to have fun when he can, but he also knows how to deliver heartfelt and organic stories. When you examine his new record Riser, you'll find a vast array of themes and influences, ranging from the breezy, tongue-in-cheek "Drunk On A Plane" (his current single) to the emotional title track. It was his need to heal that allowed Bentley to tap into the personal aspect of his life for his new music, something he could never expected at the start of his career years ago.
“It’s an interesting time in my life right now, having these kids at a certain age, going full bore with my career, my dad passing away, my son being born,” Bentley shares in this week's CMA Close Up. "I’m glad we captured it all. You see the show and backstage, but you also see me in my kitchen and me pushing the kids on the swing. And you’re in the hospital with us when Knox was born. It’s pretty personal.”
Furthermore, Dierks Bentley: Riser is just as important to the development and progress of the record as anything he's ever done. “I didn’t feel like I had time,” he notes, showing his skepticism over the documentary-style piece. "I had my hands full trying to tour and finish a record, and I didn’t want to add more work to that. Mary pushed me into doing it, but once we started I was like, ‘Thank God we are doing this.’"
Riser first began with last summer's "Bourbon In Kentucky" release, featuring the harmonious voice of Kacey Musgraves. Amidst the party anthem craze, the single stuck out and didn't quite catch on, as Bentley had hoped it would. The tune was written by tastemakers Ryan Tyndell, Hillary Lindsey and Gordie Sampson. “I was proud we put that one out there first, even though we knew it was against the grain,” the performer says. “I got honest feedback from radio. Some guys just said, ‘When we play it, it is so real and honest, it just sticks out in the midst of these summertime radio songs.’”
As a result, Bentley headed back into the studio to finish the record, ultimately releasing "I Hold On" as the next single. Not surprisingly, it went straight to No. 1 on the radio singles charts. The follow-up, the humorous and nuanced "Drunk On A Plane," comes just in time for the beach-laden summer months and will surely continue his streak.
Bentley launched his Riser Tour last month and features special guests Jon Pardi, Chase Rice and Chris Young. Find out more info and to purchase tickets here.