Dierks Bentley continues to evolve on ‘most personal’ Riser album
Award-winning singer-songwriter Dierks Bentley is now seven albums into one of country music’s “most-respected and most-unpredictable careers,” according to a news release posted on Dierks.com. The latest release from the Arizona-born artist is Riser, a Capitol Nashville project that stands as his most personal to date. Written and recorded in the year following his father’s death, Riser draws its title from the ‘I’m A Riser’ track, a song about resilience and determination. The tune also serves as a “commentary on spiritual, personal and societal recommitment” that also applies to the “competitive battlefield” of the music industry. It’s also considered particularly appropriate for an album about rejuvenation.
“Life in general has a way of knocking you down,” says Bentley in the press announcement. “It’s different reasons for different folks—could be personal reasons, could be family reasons, your job, drugs, alcohol. [‘I’m A Riser’] really applies to anybody that’s lived. There have always been those moments when we have to get back up and get on our feet. They are defining moments … breakthrough moments.” Accepting change—and growing from it—is regarded as a key theme in Riser, and it’s reflected by the tone of the album, which demonstrates “a new artistic depth and an extra level of intensity for Bentley.”
Riser evolves from track to track, exuding a range of emotions, all the while impressing upon the listener that Bentley’s instinct for a hit is stronger than ever. Bentley made significant reconfigurations in his creative team to “shake up his sonic texture without sacrificing his commercial drive.” He re-enlisted executive producer Arturo Buenahora Jr. (who worked on Bentley’s first two albums) and producer Ross Copperman, who co-wrote ‘Tip It On Back’ for Bentley’s last album, Home., which spawned three of the artist’s 10 No. 1 hits.
Various studio surroundings yielded the “most focused and intense vocals of Bentley’s career,” reads an excerpt from the news release. Some tracks were recorded live with the band as the musicians laid down the tracks, but others were captured in less-than-obvious locales such as Bentley’s tour bus. Others were cut at Copperman’s house, where the producer pushed Bentley to create “some of his most emotional, and seasoned, performances.” Bentley says the set-up in Copperman’s home offered a “kind of intimacy” to the vocal process. “You get a sense of what’s working, what’s not working, when it’s feeling good, not feeling good. It brings a little more emotion and energy out of your voice,” he explains.
Led by new single ‘I Hold On’ (currently No. 8 on the Mediabase Country radio airplay chart and No. 10 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart), the 11-time Grammy-nominated artist is supporting the release of Riser with a string of national television appearances and events. Bentley also hosted screenings of the film, Dierks Bentley: Riser, in Toronto, Nashville, Los Angeles, and New York City. Tour dates in support of Riser kick off March 14-15 in Dublin, Ireland, and London, England, respectively. U.S. dates open April 12 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and pick back up May 9 in Charlotte, North Carolina. A full summer slate of festival and venue shows continues through August 31—including guest spots on Luke Bryan’s That's My Kind of Night 2014 Tour.
Watch the official music video for ‘I Hold On’ off Dierks Bentley’s new studio album Riser.
As A Matter of Fact…
* Frederick Dierks Bentley was born on November 20, 1975 in Phoenix, Arizona. He attended Culver Academies and graduated from The Lawrenceville School. Afterward, he spent a year at the University of Vermont before transferring to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., where he graduated in 1997.
* A “life-altering” drive with his father from Phoenix to Nashville when he was 19 years old influenced Bentley to forge his own path in an industry built predominantly on formula. His mix of modern country, classic country, bluegrass, and rock elements create an unmistakable identity while reinventing his sound.
* Bentley worked at the former The Nashville Network (TNN) before signing to Capitol Records Nashville in 2003, releasing his self-titled debut album the same year. The album's first single, ‘What Was I Thinkin',’ reached No. 1 the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) chart.
* Both Dierks Bentley and the 2005 follow-up, Modern Day Drifter, are certified platinum in the United States. A third album, 2006's Long Trip Alone, is certified gold and produced the No. 1 hits ‘Every Mile a Memory’ and ‘Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go).’
* In 2005, Bentley won the CMA Horizon Award (now Best New Artist) and was invited to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He is the Opry’s third youngest member after Carrie Underwood and Josh Turner.
* Bentley's first seven studio albums have accounted for 18 singles on the country music charts, including 10 No. 1 hits. To date, he has sold more than five million copies, garnered 11 Grammy nominations, and numerous awards and nominations from THE CMA, ACM, CMT, and ACA.