Dierks Bentley to play gigs in Akron, DetroitWritten by John Benson | | email@example.com
A tip of the bill or a turn of the cowboy hat tells country music’s Dierks Bentley all he needs to know about new material he’s currently road testing on the Jägermeister Country Tour. The tour has booked a May 5 show at the Akron Civic Theater and a May 6 gig at The Fillmore in Detroit.
“A lot of times I’ll just record our show from the front of the house and I can just tell from the direction the cowboy hats are facing if the songs rock,” said Bentley, calling from Nashville. “If they’re turned to the side, they’re talking. If it’s face forward and moving up and down, they’re grooving. We’re putting some of these new songs in the show and they’re going over great. You can really beat up the crowd and see what’s working, what’s not working, what songs need a bridge, what songs don’t. It’s actually a good way to make a record.”
Making good records is something Bentley knows a lot about. In roughly a decade, he’s sold more than 5 million albums and scored seven No. 1 hits — “What Was I Thinkin,” “Come A Little Closer,” “Settle For A Slowdown,” “Every Mile A Memory,” “Free and Easy (Down The Road I Go),” “Feel That Fire” and “Sideways.”
So far the new songs going well for Bentley are the current radio single “Am I the Only One” and the tongue-in-cheek “Diamonds Make Babies.” The latter track finds the singer warning his fellow dudes about the slippery slope from an engagement ring to a newborn baby.
Due out in late summer or early fall, the new CD is a follow-up to Bentley’s 2010 project “Up On The Ridge,” which found the Arizona native scratching his bluegrass itch. The Grammy Award-nominated album included covers by Bob Dylan and U2, as well as guest appearances by Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Jamey Johnson, Miranda Lambert and Kris Kristofferson.
“What I learned from the bluegrass record was really just getting away from Nashville and doing something out in a different city,” Bentley said. “We did a lot of stuff in Brooklyn, New York, and this record I took the band to Asheville, North Carolina. We holed up there for five days straight. What I learned was when you’re away, no one has a place to go. So you might as well record music until midnight, go out and drink until 2 a.m. and come back into the studio at 11 a.m. or when it feels right and start all over again.”
Speaking of drinking, Bentley is known to take his Jeep on tour to better allow tailgating with fans before his shows. Josh Thompson and Miss Willie Brown open the concert.