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Country Music News
Bentley Can Hear His Dad in Riser
songs on Dierks Bentley's new
album Risermake him think about
his late father. They aren't necessarily about
him, but "I Hold On,"
"Here on Earth," "Bourbon
in Kentucky" and "Damn These
Dreams" just remind him of his dad.
Bentley made sure the album wasn't just
one bummer after another, though.
"It's more of a snapshot of the
past two years and not one particular moment
that's just about my dad," Bentley told
me during a Thursday night (Feb. 27) album
release show in Chicago. "That would've
been too dark. It would've been kind of a drag
of a record, and he wouldn't have wanted
His father Leon, who passed away on June
1, 2012, loved George Strait and Hank
Williams. But mostly, he just loved
country music and always had country radio on
in his car.
"He loved that even if you didn't
know a song, you could almost guess the next
line," Bentley said. "He loved the
simplicity of it. You could always be singing
along to it."
That simplicity made Bentley think it
would be easy to write country songs.
"Then when I got to Nashville, I
found out that to write a good song that ends
up like that, you have to write it, destroy
it, tear it apart and put it all back together
again," he said. "It's really hard
to make it look that easy."
But once Bentley did get the hang of
songwriting, his father was his biggest fan.
"My dad loved 'My Last Name,'"
Bentley said of the single featured on his
2003 debut album. "I was changing it a
little and trying to make a bluegrassy version
of it, and he did not like that at all. He
liked the original. And he was right."
And when Bentley had the chance to play
at the ACM Awards for the first time, his
parents came out to Las Vegas for the show.
"I have a great picture of them
from that awards show," he said.
"They both have these huge smiles on
their faces. And my dad was in a bolo
That must've been his Sunday best,
though, because it sounds like Bentley's dad
dressed more casually on most days.
"I used to work at TNN (The
Nashville Network), and I remember sending a
TNN hat back home. My dad wore that hat every
day. Until the very end. That and a Capitol
Records sweatshirt that I sent him.
"He drove the same cars, wore the
same things all the time, kind of like me. I
guess I get that from him."
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