Music / Dierks Bentley
singer Dierks Bentley quickly made a name for himself in 2003 when he sent his debut single "What Was I Thinkin'" to #1 on the country charts. What followed is a mainstream country career with a bit more traditional leanings than most. Although his name is maybe not the most recognizable outside the genre, he has maintained a steady following and a solid streak of hits.
Bentley's material also includes a vast number of collaborations: bluegrass musicians Alison Krauss
, Del McCoury, and The Grascals; less mainstream but critically-acclaimed country singers such as Kacey Musgraves
, Maren Morris, and Chris Stapleton; and even a #1 duet with Elle King.
- "Kiss my ass" becomes "Kiss my… yeah" on the radio edit of "Drunk on a Plane".
- "Different for Girls" changes the line "gotta get laid" to "gotta get some".
- Break-Up Song:
- "Settle for a Slowdown". She's leaving him in her car. He says, "I'm not asking you to turn back around / But I'd settle for a slowdown."
- "Say You Do" is about a broken-up man asking his former lover to lie to him for a while.
- Broken Win/Loss Streak: The two singles off Up on the Ridge were his first singles since his first album not to make Top 10 on the country charts. After that, "Bourbon in Kentucky", the lead single to Riser, became his first to miss the top 40 due to radio programmers not wanting to play a melancholy ballad in the summer.
- Distracted by the Sexy: The narrator in "What Was I Thinkin'" repeatedly asks himself the titular question about his crazy night out with a girl. His conclusion: "I was thinkin' 'bout a little white tank top sittin' right there in the middle by me..."
- Drowning My Sorrows: "Bourbon in Kentucky" and "Drunk on a Plane".
- Dual-Meaning Chorus: The title of "I Hold On" applies to both material objects that he never gives up on (his truck and guitar) and a woman whom he vows to stay true to forever.
- In the Style of...: "Lot of Leavin' Left to Do" is clearly in the style of Waylon Jennings.
- Intercourse with You: "Come a Little Closer", "I Wanna Make You Close Your Eyes", and "Black".
- Let X Be the Unknown: Jim Beavers, co-writer of "How Am I Doin'" (and brother of songwriter-producer Brett Beavers), credited himself as "Writer X" on the song.
- Love Makes You Crazy: "5-1-5-0".
- Lyrical Dissonance: For a party song, "Am I the Only One" is rather… lethargic sounding. "Drunk on a Plane" is also rather melancholy for a song that initially sounds like a partying song, but is really about a guy who is drowning his sorrows after being forced to fly to Cancún by himself because he couldn't refund his lover's ticket after she ditched him.
- New Sound Album: Up on the Ridge was not only a radical departure into bluegrass, but also his first one not produced by Brett Beavers. (It was produced by obscure singer-songwriter Jon Randall instead.) He returned to Beavers for Home, but ditched him for Ross Copperman on Riser, which has more of a rock edge.
- Overprotective Dad: The girl's father in "What Was I Thinkin'".
- Precious Puppy: His dog Jake, pictured on his debut album, was a constant companion until dying in 2016.
- Shout-Out: "Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go)" name-drops Cross Canadian Ragweed.
- Song Style Shift: "How Am I Doin'" has a slower intro ("It's strange to hear your voice / I did not expect for you to call…") before launching into the more upbeat actual song. This part is sometimes cut out depending on the station.
- Studio Chatter:
- At the end of "How Am I Doin'", a musician says "You feelin' better, big guy?" and Dierks responds, "Uh, not really, dude."
- "Train Travelin" ends with Dierks and the Del McCoury Band laughing about the song.