With the release of his seventh studio album, Riser, on Feb. 25, GRAMMY-nominated country singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley spoke with GRAMMY.com about the making of the album, the evolution of Nashville's music scene and the challenges of balancing fatherhood and music, among other topics.
"The fun thing about [Riser] for me was getting the chance to just explore some stuff that I couldn't have explored if life hadn't led me to where I am now," said Bentley. "[Having] three kids, and the craziness of that world mixed with being a touring musician — that just causes a lot of tension, which is good for your songwriting but hard on your heart."
At age 19 Bentley left his hometown of Phoenix to pursue a music career in Nashville, Tenn., where he landed a deal with Capitol Records Nashville. His self-titled debut album was released in 2003 and peaked at No. 26 on the Billboard 200 on the strength of the hit "What Was I Thinkin'." Bentley followed with 2005's Modern Day Drifter and 2006's Long Trip Alone, the latter of which earned him five GRAMMY nominations, including Best Country Album and Best Country Song for the title track and "Every Mile A Memory." In 2009 Bentley garnered his first Best Country Collaboration With Vocals GRAMMY nomination for "Beautiful World," a duet with GRAMMY winner Patty Griffin, which is featured on his Top 5 album, Feel That Fire. In 2009 he picked up two additional nominations in the category for "Bad Angel" (with Jamey Johnson and Miranda Lambert), and a cover of U2's "Pride (In the Name of Love)" (with the Punch Brothers and Del McCoury), which are featured on his Best Country Album-nominated bluegrass album Up On The Ridge.
Riser follows Bentley's 2012 chart-topping country album, Home, which features the GRAMMY-nominated title track. Riser features 12 tracks, including the hit "I Hold On" and "Bourbon In Kentucky," which features background vocals by recent GRAMMY winner Kacey Musgraves.
Bentley is currently in the midst of an international tour, with dates scheduled through August.