The thunderbird symbolism of Dierks Bentley’s upcoming seventh studio album RISER, available in stores Feb. 25, speaks volumes about the complex ball of emotions locked within. It’s a symbol of strength, resilience and renewal and one that appropriately reflects Bentley’s first album since the death of his father and the birth of his first son. Produced by Ross Copperman and Arturo Buenahora Jr, it’s a project full of sonic power that has a strong sense of family and community.
The community of songwriters, musicians and artists that Bentley moved to Nashville with dreams of joining is ingrained in the texture of RISER. The now 11 time GRAMMY nominated singer/songwriter co-wrote six of the album’s 12 tracks with some of the city’s most acclaimed writers and his friends. He also called on rising artists Kacey Musgraves, Chris Stapleton, The Cadillac Three’s Jaren Johnston and Charlie Worsham to sing and play on the project.
“It’s important to really know the writers and musicians you work with, to hang out with them and live in the same world,” Bentley explains. “I have such a romance with Nashville and this community. I drove across the country when I was 19 years old with a dream of just being invited to the party. It’s still wild to me that I get to work with and call so many incredibly talented people my friends.”
If the songs narrate the personal story of Bentley’s previous two years, then it’s the heightened depth and increased vulnerability in the lead vocals that make you truly feel its intense highs and lows. It comes in part from recording those performances in the Red Room, Copperman’s cozy home studio. Copperman was literally an arm’s length away, and Bentley got immediate feedback from a supportive-but-critical audience even as he breathed the words. It’s the closest Bentley has ever gotten to an elusive sonic attitude he’s sought from the outset.
“It’s the sound in my head that I hear when I’m playing a live show,” said Bentley. “You have one ear monitor in, one ear out, and the crowd’s there and your voice feels really great. There’s a certain amount of gravel to it because you’re tired, but you’re all jacked up on whatever you’re drinking and adrenaline, and the crowds and the fans are there and there’s this feeling, fists in the air—it’s that thing that’s hard to transfer into a studio environment. There’s a rawness.”
RISER Track List:
1. Bourbon In Kentucky (Hlilary Lindsey, Gordie Sampson, Ryan Tyndell)
** Background vocals by Kacey Musgraves
2. Say You Do (Shane McAnally, Matt Ramsey, Trever Rosen)
3. I Hold On (Brett James, Dierks Bentley)
4. Pretty Girls (Jessi Alexander, Jon Randall, Dierks Bentley)
5. Here On Earth (Ross Copperman, Ryan Tyndell, Dierks Bentley)
6. Drunk On A Plane (Josh Kear, Chris Tompkins, Dierks Bentley)
7. Five (Ross Copperman, Ryan Tyndell, Dierks Bentley)
8. Riser (Travis Meadows, Steve Moakler)
9. Sounds of Summer (Zach Crowell, Matt Jenkins, Adam Sanders)
10. Damn These Dreams (Ross Copperman, Jaren Johnston, Dierks Bentley)
11. Back Porch (Cary Barlowe, Jaren Johnston, Hillary Lindsey)
12. Hurt Somebody (Matt Fleener, Shane McAnally, Mark Nesler)
** Background vocals by Chris Stapleton
RISER is available for pre-order at digital retailers beginning tomorrow. Bentley will kick off his RISER TOUR on May 9 in Charlotte, NC. For more information on the upcoming tour and new music, visit www.dierks.com.