may 2008

Dierks Bentley
Capitol Nashville

More so than many of his contemporaries who have risen to arena-level popularity, Dierks Bentley has never forgotten to take his cues from country first, and let the rock propulsion drive but not overshadow the content of his music. His is state-of-the-art mainstream country, with a generous helping of acoustic instruments and crying pedal steel supporting Bentley’s gritty, personable baritone. Like George Strait, he’s covered the waterfront of feelings, and done so credibly—enough to have notched 10 top 10 singles and five chart toppers in a mere five years. For his first of what will likely be many volumes of greatest hits, Bentley shows off what he brung to the dance, from stomping, sarcastic kissoffs (“How Am I Doin’”), to roaring, self-deprecating treatises on lustful, inadvisable behavior (“What Was I Thinkin’”), to surging, guitar-driven reflections on the loneliness of the road in “Every Mile a Memory,” which connects the beauty of nature to an abiding passion for an absent lover. Not the least of his memorable songs is “My Last Name,” an atmospheric, fiddle- and pedal steel-rich ballad honoring family lineage, which takes a beautiful turn when it reveals itself to be a prelude to a marriage proposal. Two new cuts join the hit parade: “With the Band” is a thumping, screaming country rock workout centered on the carefree aspects of the musicians’ lifestyles; more substantial is the only song Bentley had no hand in writing, “Sweet & Wild,” from the pen of the redoubtable Radney Foster (co-writing with Jay Clement),” a captivating, densely textured midtempo celebration of love’s sensual pleasures, aided and abetted by the always captivating Sarah Buxton adding a flesh-and-blood companion vocal. Five tracks are exemplary live cuts selected by Bentley’s fans, all of whom are thanked by name in the liner notes. These are the icing on a 17-track cake that gets better with each new serving. Seconds, anyone?—David McGee


Founder/Publisher/Editor: David McGee
Contributing Editors: Billy Altman, Derk Richardson
Logo Design: John Mendelsohn (
Website Design: Kieran McGee (
Staff Photographers: Audrey Harrod (Louisville, KY;, Alicia Zappier (New York)
Mailing Address: David McGee, 201 W. 85 St.—5B, New York, NY 10024