Dierks Bentley shares personal relationship ups and downs on new album
Dierks Bentley explores “the most intimate and sometimes darkest corners of his relationship history” on new album Black. The eighth studio release from the award-winning, multi-platinum-selling recording artist is his latest project for Capitol Nashville. The new album also features his new No. 1 hit, ‘Somewhere On A Beach,’ giving the Arizona native 14 No. 1 songs on the country music charts. “Black is personal,” reads a news release posted on Dierks.com, the singer-songwriter’s official website. While it’s a reference to his wife’s maiden name, Black is further described as being about the human heart and not any one person. “It explores breakups, hookups, mess-ups and everything in between,” continues the press announcement, “shining a light on the things that happen after the sun goes down.”
“It’s a relationship album that covers the ups and downs of the journey and ends with some self-realization and evolvement,” says the 40-year-old Bentley. “The [title] song 'Black' helps set all of that in motion at the top of the album by guiding you into the darkness and the shadows of the night. The same guy who sings 'Somewhere On A Beach' winds up growing and having enough perspective to sing something introspective like 'Different for Girls.' By the last song, he's taking a look back on love and life,” explains the singer.
Black was produced by Ross Copperman (Keith Urban, Eli Young Band, Jake Owen) and executive producer Arturo Buenahora. The project features guest vocalists Maren Morris, Elle King, Natalie Hemby, Hillary Lindsey and Jessi Alexander. “Having a female perspective on this record really made the album more than just music,” notes Bentley. “It makes it a conversation between a guy and a girl. Sometimes it's harmonious and sometimes it's two people clashing, but it's always there.”
The album’s aforementioned No. 1 lead single, ‘Somewhere On A Beach,’ is the fastest moving single of Bentley’s career as it tops both the Mediabase Country airplay chart and Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. In addition, several of the 13 songs on Black are the focus of a short film series. The track ‘I’ll Be The Moon’ featuring Maren Morris is the first installment of a “modern day film noir” about a love triangle guided by the “destructive power of steamy secrets,” reads a website news item.
“’I’ll Be The Moon’ is a pivotal part of the flow of this record and is where the storyline of the couple in this series begins,” reveals Bentley. “We first recorded it just me, but the song looks at a relationship from a different angle, where the girl is instigating the deceit. So, I felt like it needed a female voice, and I started to hear it more as a duet. I love the perspective Maren adds, there’s weight to her voice,” he says.
Bentley’s Somewhere On A Beach Tour is currently underway with Randy Houser, featuring special guests Cam and Tucker Beathard. The singer plans to celebrate Memorial Day (May 30) and his No. 1 single with a “Somewhere On A Beach Bash” in Panama City Beach, Florida. “Memorial Day is the official kick off to summer, and this will be a great way to celebrate the current single and the new album,” declares Bentley, who is scheduled to perform at major city venues, state fairs, and country music festivals in the U.S. and Canada through September.
Watch the official music video for ‘Somewhere On A Beach’ from Dierks Bentley’s new album Black.
As A Matter of Fact…
* Frederick Dierks Bentley was born November 20, 1975, in Phoenix, Arizona. He grew up listening to country music, and decided to make it his life’s work by moving to Nashville as a 19-year-old hopeful. He quickly grew discouraged when he couldn’t generate any interest in his music.
* Bentley found new inspiration by attending all-night jam sessions. He also took a job at the former TNN television network, doing research on classic country music. One of his demos finally hit pay dirt when he was signed to Capitol Records.
* The self-titled Dierks Bentley debut was released in 2003, scoring a No. 1 debut single with ‘What Was I Thinkin'.’ He followed up in 2005 with the platinum-selling Modern Day Drifter, which topped the country albums chart and put up two more No. 1 singles with ‘Come A Little Closer’ and ‘Settle For A Slowdown.’
* In 2006, Bentley issued a second straight No. 1 album with Long Trip Alone, a project noted for the No. 1 singles ‘Every Mile A Memory’ and ‘Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go).’ By 2008, the singer-songwriter already had a best-of compilation with Greatest Hits: Every Mile a Memory, which also included fan-selected live tracks.
* Fourth album, Feel That Fire, is a 2009 No. 1 project that took the title track and ‘Sideways’ to the top of the country charts. The bluegrass-themed Up on the Ridge appeared the next year, while 2012’s Home re-established Bentley as a country music superstar.
* The singles ‘Am I The Only One,’ Home,’ and ‘5-1-5-0’ were three consecutive No. 1 hits for Bentley in 2011-2012. The track ‘Tip It On Back’ was another of the Top 5 singles from Home, and the duet ‘Bourbon In Kentucky’ with Kacey Musgraves introduced Bentley’s seventh full-length studio release, Riser (2014).
* Dierks Bentley has released eight studio albums, one live album, and one compilation album. He has sold more than five million albums copies, charted 14 No. 1 singles, and has earned 13 Grammy nominations as well as nods from the CMA, ACM, and CMT. Bentley co-hosted the 2016 Academy of Country Music Awards and was up for two awards.
* Bentley is a member of the Grand Ole Opry and one of the latest country music stars to be featured in an exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The artist’s stage wear, guitars, song manuscripts, photos, and other personal items are included in “Dierks Bentley: Every Mile A Memory,” which is on display through September 6.